Solar power in New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Solar power in New Jersey has grown significantly, increasing from less than 50 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to over 2,800 MW in 2018,[1] such that solar power provided 4.17% of the state's electricity consumption. This is aided by a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 22.5% of New Jersey's electricity come from renewable resources by 2021, and by one of the most favorable net metering standards in the country, along with Arizona, allowing unlimited customers of any size array to use net metering, although generation may not exceed annual demand. Best practices recommend limiting net metering only to the size of the customer’s service entrance capacity (i.e. no limit).[2] As of 2018, New Jersey has the sixth-largest installed solar capacity of all U.S. states and the largest installed solar capacity of the Northeastern States.[3]

New Jersey has historically been aggressive in installing solar power, at one point being the second largest solar state in the U.S. with 306.1 megawatts of installed solar power in 2011, which was a 131% increase over the 132.4 megawatts installed in 2010. In 2010, New Jersey became the second state, after California, to install over 100 MW in a single year.[4] As of mid-2018, 94,510 solar photovoltaic systems have been installed, totaling over 2,526 MW.[5] Many of the homes, schools and businesses which have installed solar panels can be monitored online on the internet.[6] Prominent solar contractors in New Jersey include Trinity Solar, 1st Light Energy, Gehrlicher Solar America Corp, GeoPeak Energy, Solar Maxing, and Amberjack Solar.[7]

North America's largest rooftop photovoltaic system is on the banks of the Delaware River in the Port of Camden (lower right, photo from before installation)

Incentives[edit]

The former New Jersey Clean Energy Program rebates on PV equipment have been discontinued.[8][9]

The federal Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit (income tax credit on IRS Form 5695) for residential PV and solar thermal was extended in December 2015 to remain at 30% of system cost (parts and installation) for systems put into service by the end of 2019, then 26% until the end of 2020, and then 22% until the end of 2021. It applies to a taxpayer's principal and/or second residences, but not to a property that is rented out. There is no maximum cap on the credit, and the credit can be applied toward the Alternative Minimum Tax, and any excess credit (greater than that year's tax liability) can be rolled into the following year.[10][11]

NJ law provides new solar power installations with exemptions from the 6.625% state sales tax, and from any increase in property assessment (local property tax increases), subject to certain registration requirements.[12][13]

Renewable Portfolio Standard[edit]

New Jersey's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is one of the most aggressive in the United States and requires each electricity supplier/provider to provide 22.5% from renewable energy sources by 2021. In addition, 2.12% must come from solar electricity, an amount estimated to be 1,500 megawatts (MW).[14] Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) must be purchased by electricity suppliers to meet the state targets or else they face a fine known as a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) that was $0.691/kWh in 2010.[15] As New Jersey was approaching the minimum requirements, the requirements were accelerated on July 23, 2012, changing the shape of the compliance curve from slowly increasing at first to rapidly increasing at first.[14]

By the end of April 2019, 2,909,156 kW of solar had been installed and an additional 640,869 kW was planned.[16]

Total Photovoltaics[17][18][19][20][21]
Year Total installed solar power (MWp)
2001
0.028
2002
0.687
2003
1.81
2004
4.34
2005
13.9
2006
32.2
2007
46.5
2008
74.7
2009
131.2
2010
252.2
2011
699.5
2012
1,032.8
2013
1,253.2
2014
1,456.7
2015
1,652.8
2016
2,061.0
2017
2,411.4
2018
2,738.2
2019
2,908.2
2020
3,592.8
2021
3,854.2

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates[edit]

In 2004, New Jersey adopted a program promoting the use of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) to meet the solar energy carve-out of the state RPS. In the 2011 Energy Year, 306,000 SRECs (or MWhs of solar electricity) must be purchased by electricity suppliers in the state in order to meet the state solar requirement. That requirement grows to over 5 million in 2026.[22]

An SREC program is an alternative to the feed-in tariff model popular in Europe. The key difference between the two models is the market-based mechanism that drives the value of the SRECs, and therefore the value of the subsidy for solar. In a feed-in tariff model, the government sets the value for the electricity produced by a solar facility. If the level is too high, too much solar power is built and the program is more costly. If the feed-in tariff is set too low, not enough solar power is built and the program is ineffective.

The SREC program allows for the creation of a certificate with every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced. The certificate represents the "solar" aspect of the electricity that is produced and can be unbundled and sold separately from the electricity itself. Electricity companies, known as load-serving entities, are required by state RPS laws to procure a certain amount of their electricity from solar. Since it is often more costly for them to build solar farms themselves, the load-serving entities will purchase SRECs from solar generators and use the SRECs to comply with the state laws. With an SREC market, the value of an SREC is determined by supply and demand, subject to certain limitations. If solar is slow to develop, SREC values will remain high, encouraging the development of solar. If too much solar is added, SREC values will decrease, which in turn lowers the attractiveness of the investment. The goal of an SREC market is to find the SREC price that effectively represents the difference between the cost of producing other electricity and the cost of producing solar electricity. As the cost of solar electricity comes down, so will the value needed for SRECs. SRECs in New Jersey have traded as high as $680 per MWh.[23] In comparison, the average sale price for the electricity itself ranges from $50 per MWh to $180 per MWh. The value created from the benefits of selling SRECs dwarf the value created by the actual electricity produced in today's market. This means that SRECs play a major role in the return on investment for solar in New Jersey. The program was modified in the "solar rescue bill" to increase the value of the SRECs, which have declined in value by 92% but cap them at no more than $325.[24]

Net metering[edit]

New Jersey is one of five states to receive an A in a comparison of the 38 states plus Washington D.C. which have net metering. Five received an F.[25] New Jersey and Colorado were the only two states to allow unlimited net metering customers, up to 2 megawatts for each customer. In 2010 the limit was removed, and in 2012 connection may be to a 69 kV or lower line voltage, raising the previous requirements.[14] New Jersey is one of three states which have no limit, although generation may not exceed annual demand, and the Board of Public Utilities originally had the option of limiting participation to 2.5% of peak demand,[26] but the cap was raised to 2.9% in August 2015, which was seen as a temporary fix that would cover three years.[27]

Solar 4 All project[edit]

Solar panels on PSE&G utility poles in South Brunswick

In 2009, Public Service Enterprise Group, the largest utility company in New Jersey, announced plans to install solar panels on 200,000 utility poles in its service area, the largest such project in the world.[28][29] The Solar 4 All project intends to increase the capacity for renewable energy in New Jersey by 120 MW and is expected to be completed in 2013.[30] In addition to 40 MW of pole mounted power,[31] PSEG built four solar farms in Edison, Hamilton, Linden, and Trenton in 2012.[32] 40 MW is expected to come from customer installed projects.[33]

Comparative capacity[edit]

US Grid Connected Photovoltaics Capacity (MWp)[34][35][36][37][38]
No Jurisdiction 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
1 California 5,183.4 2,559.3 1,563.6 1,021.7 768.0 528.3 328.8
2 Arizona 1,563.1 1,106.4 397.6 109.8 46.2 25.3 18.9
3 New Jersey 1,184.6 955.7 565.9 259.9 127.5 70.2 43.6
7 Colorado 360.4 299.6 196.7 121.1 59.1 35.7 14.6
9 New Mexico 256.6 203.4 165.5 43.3 2.4 1.0 0.5

Generation[edit]

2017 NJ Solar Energy Generation Profile
2015 Monthly Profile of Solar for NJ[39]
Utility-scale solar generation in New Jersey (GWh)[40][41]
Year Total % of NJ total % of US solar Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2009 11 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 0
2010 21 <0.1% 1.7% 0 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
2011 69 0.1% 7% 1 3 4 6 7 9 8 8 6 7 4 6
2012 305 0.5% 7% 17 21 26 32 27 33 32 31 28 21 22 15
2013 438 0.7% 4.8% 22 23 35 49 44 46 44 38 43 41 31 22
2014 514 0.75% 2.9% 22 31 43 53 52 56 59 58 49 36 33 22
2015 628 0.8% 2.5% 34 38 49 63 71 60 67 72 61 53 38 22
2016 835 1.08% 2.3% 51 45 73 82 74 94 90 88 66 67 61 44
2017 924 1.22% 1.74% 34 63 81 85 91 108 106 107 91 58 60 40
2018 992 1.72% 1.94% 57 54 89 89 104 117 124 110 74 69 54 51
2019 1,165 63 75 106 101 110 126 142 127 111 80 76 48
2020 1,592 83 98 121 148 172 169 186 162 136 126 104 87
2021 1,203 89 93 142 164 185 179 173 178

Beginning with the 2014 data year, the Energy Information Administration has estimated distributed solar photovoltaic generation and distributed solar photovoltaic capacity. These non-utility scale estimates project that New Jersey, generated the following additional solar energy.

Estimated Distributed Solar Electric Generation in New Jersey[42][43]
Year Summer capacity (MW) Generation (GWh)
2014 1,106
2015 1,026.4 1,435
2016 1,058.2 1,385
2017 1,285.6 1,660
2018 1,490.9 1,927

Facilities[edit]

As of September 2021, New Jersey has more than 80 photovoltaic installations of over 5 MW.[44] The largest in the state include (incomplete list; selected projects):[44]

Name Location Capacity (MW) Size Commissioned Notes
Ben Moreell Solar Farm[45] Naval Weapons Station Earle, Tinton Falls 28.5 170 acres (68.8 ha) 2015 [46]
Six Flags Solar Jackson 23.5 60,000 PV modules - ground mount and carports 2019 KDC Solar
DSM Solar Belvidere 20.2 62,000 PV modules 2019 DSM North America[47]
Tinton Falls Solar Farm Tinton Falls 19.9 100 acres (40.5 ha), 85,000 panels 2012 Operator: Zongyi Solar Energy(America)
Pilesgrove Solar Farm Pilesgrove Township 19.9 100 acres (40.5 ha)71,000 panels 2011 Panda Power Funds Con Edison
Fort Dix Landfill Lakehurst 16.5
McGraw-Hill Companies East Windsor 14.1 50 acres 2012 private corporate complex[48]
Frenchtown Solar III Kingwood Township 13.2 50 acres (20.2 ha)33, 300 panels 2013 French Solar I & Fenchtown Solar II nearby

Consolidated Edison[49]

Berry Plastics Phillipsburg 13.15 50,6888 ground-mounted panels private manufacturing complex
New Jersey Oak Solar Fairfield Township 12.5 100 acres (40.5 ha)53,000 panels 2012 Lincoln Renewable/Atlantic City Electric (customer)[50]
Seashore Solar Egg Harbor 10.66 46 acres 2016 KDC Solar
Holt Logistics Gloucester Terminal Gloucester City 9 27,528 panels 2012 Private refrigerated warehouse, one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the US[51][52]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Jersey Solar". www.seia.org. June 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  2. ^ Net Metering Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Solar Industry Research Data". Solar Energy Industries Association. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  4. ^ Secondary U.S. Markets For Solar Power Are Continuing to Grow Archived 2011-06-23 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Solar State By State". Solar Energy Industries Association. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Live monitoring". Enphase. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Solar Power World Top 250: The Top Solar Contractors In New Jersey". www.solarpowerworldonline.com. October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  8. ^ Renewable Energy Incentive Program: Customer Sited Incentives "There no longer are incentives for solar installations"
  9. ^ "Renewable Energy". State of NJ. Retrieved April 29, 2016. "solar projects are no longer eligible for rebates"
  10. ^ "Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit". Energy.gov. US Department of Energy. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  11. ^ "Federal Income Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency". EnergyStar.gov. US EPA. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  12. ^ "Solar Energy Sales Tax Exemption". DSIRE. NC Clean Energy Technology Center. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  13. ^ "Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems". DSIRE. NC Clean Energy Technology Center. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c "New Jersey Passes Legislation to Stabilize Its Solar Market - SEIA". SEIA. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  15. ^ NJ Board of Public Utilities - Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Solar Installation Projects Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Solar Installation Projects Archived 2009-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ New Jersey Solar Market 2011 Overview Archived 2012-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  20. ^ "NJ's Clean Energy Program Installation and Project Status Reports". www.njcleanenergy.con. April 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  21. ^ New Jersey Solar
  22. ^ Inc., SRECTrade. "SRECTrade - SREC Markets - New Jersey - NJ". www.srectrade.com. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  23. ^ Inc., SRECTrade. "SRECTrade - Home". www.srectrade.com. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  24. ^ Forand, Rebecca (December 18, 2012). "N.J. solar market struggling from oversaturation". South Jersey Times. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  25. ^ Report: States Falling Short on Interconnection and Net Metering Archived 2008-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ New Jersey - Net Metering Archived 2012-04-18 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Johnson, Tom (August 11, 2015). "Bill Could Mean More Money to Small Businesses, Residents with Solar Panels". NJ Spotlight. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  28. ^ "PSE&G plans $773M for solar panels on 200K utility poles". The Star-Ledger. February 10, 2009. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
  29. ^ "PSE&G To Install 105 Pole Mounted Solar Panels in the Borough of Magnolia". Borough of Magnolia. March 6, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
  30. ^ Sroka-Holzmann, Pamela (July 27, 2010). "PSE&G installing solar panels in Hillsborough". Courier News. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
  31. ^ Belson, Ken (2009-02-10). "New Jersey Utility Plans Major Solar Project". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  32. ^ "PSE&G Selects Sites and Developers for 4 NJ Solar Projects Totaling 12 MW" (PDF). PSEG. January 6, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
  33. ^ "PSE&G Solar 4 All(tm) Program Centralized Solar Program Capacity" (PDF). PSEG. August 10, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-09. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  34. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  35. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  36. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  37. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2008). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2007" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  39. ^ "Electric Power Monthly" [1] retrieved 2016-3-10
  40. ^ "Electric Power Monthly-Data Browser 6/17"[2] retrieved 2019-3-19
  41. ^ "Electricity Data Browser" [3] retrieved 2019-3-24
  42. ^ “Electric Power Monthly”[4] |title=Electric Power Monthly (February 2019 with data for December 2018) - Table 6.2.B. Net Summer Capacity using Primarily Renewable Sources retrieved 2019 3 19
  43. ^ “Electric Power Monthly”[5] |title=Electric Power Monthly (February 2019 with data for December 2018) - Table 1.17.B. Net Generation from Solar Photovoltaic retrieved 2019 3 19
  44. ^ a b "Solar Activity Reports | NJ OCE Web Site". njcleanenergy.com. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  45. ^ "Ben Moreell Solar Farm 28.5 MW". CS Energy. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  46. ^ Lewis, Michelle (2020-05-18). "New Jersey's largest solar farm has been completed". Electrek. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  47. ^ "DSM North America opens newly expanded 66 acre solar field in Belvidere, New Jersey | DSM". @corporate. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  48. ^ "Solar energy project at McGraw-Hill site recently completed". 12 January 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  49. ^ "Frenchtown Solar III". Con Ed Development. Archived from the original on 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
  50. ^ "Lincoln Renewable Energy cuts ribbon on $50 million solar facility in Fairfield Township". 10 May 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  51. ^ "Largest Rooftop Solar Power Plant in North America Formally Completed - CleanTechnica". cleantechnica.com. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  52. ^ Greene, Jasmine (June 28, 2011). "Jersey Rooftop Solar…Gasp…Goes Big Again". Earth Techling. Retrieved 2014-12-30.

External links[edit]