216 Stelton Road
Piscataway NJ 08854
The sun has been providing New Jersey with an incredible amount of power, solar power that is. New Jersey has had many scientific firsts. Many of the major achievements in the field of solar happened right here in the Garden State. The highlights are as follow:
The use of solar energy has not only provided clean, locally-produced energy, but has also brought jobs into New Jersey. On July 23, 2012 Senate Bill 1925 was signed into Public Law 2012, Chapter 24. As sponsor of this legislation, Senator Smith worked diligently with the legislature and the stakeholders to craft legislation that would bring stability to the solar market, increase our use of a clean, domestically produced energy source and ensure the continuation of manufacturing and installation jobs for many New Jersey residents, while keeping costs down for electric ratepayers.
New Jersey is now known as an international leader in solar energy production – making it an excellent growth forum at a time when other industries are struggling. Part of New Jersey’s success with solar energy can be credited to solar renewable energy credits (‘SRECs’). An SREC is 1 megawatt-hour of electricity generated from an eligible renewable system and may be sold on the open market. 174 megawatts of solar energy were installed in New Jersey in the first quarter of 2012 – more than in any other state.
Solar power has become so popular in New Jersey that the supply of solar energy has grown faster than the demand from energy companies – who are required to purchase a minimum amount of their energy from solar supplies each year. Rather than allowing this market’s growth to stagnate and the production of clean and domestically-produced solar energy to slow, we need to continue to supply incentives for New Jerseyans to purchase and install solar equipment, while keeping costs down for electric ratepayers. This law is a great step in avoiding another bust of New Jersey’s solar market.
New Jersey, which is second in the nation in solar energy production, has seen a boom and bust cycle in solar energy development in the past few years. According to Flett Exchange, an energy brokerage firm, the price of solar renewable energy certificates, whether it is a household rooftop panel or a solar farm – reached an all time high of nearly $700, only to plummet to its lowest rate of under $90, as new solar installations have flooded the market.
This law has brought stability to the solar market and will increase the demand for solar energy by increasing the amount of SRECs that the energy companies must purchase. The state can then continue to encourage development of solar installations and provide new life to the solar job market which includes both manufacturing and installation in New Jersey. According to the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, there are more than 10,000 New Jersey residents working in the solar industry. It was therefore imperative that this legislation be passed so that it would stabilize the market to protect and secure these jobs. It has done so and SRECs currently trade at $130-$150 per SREC which provides sufficient incentive to continue a vibrant solar energy sector of our economy.