The NJ Solar SREC-II program awards 10-year fixed price SRECs selected through a competitive process. Over the past 3 years, the Program received bids for 45,815 kW of solar projects over 8 submission rounds. The Program awarded 36,176 kW of solar projects over this period, or nearly 80% of the power capacity bid. In terms of bid activity, the Program received 212 bids and awarded 139 bids across all segments, roughly 66% of bids.
This difference is a function of the competitiveness of bids within each segment – segments are divided into residential, commercial, and brownfield grid supply projects. Bids in each segment are evaluated against different criteria, highlighted in the RFP, but on average large commercial projects have had the most consistent and successful results within the program. Originally, the program included a 2 MW cap for large commercial projects, but this has been lifted at the discretion of the Solicitation Manager.
Specifically, the average acceptance rate of Large Commercial bids – is 78.8%. The average acceptance rate of kWs bid in Residential and Small Commercial projects is 30% lower compared to Large Commercial, or 55.1%. Finally, brownfield grid supply projects have seen limited activity over the course of the Program, but 100% of kW bid in Round 6 were awarded. Although brownfield grid supply projects are typically more expensive per kW compared to greenfield grid supply projects, participants in the NJ Solar Program delivered competitive bids.
Finally, the NJ Solar Program is not immune to market pressures. Round 8 saw a sharp drop off in participation when compared to the previous rounds; rounds 1-7 averaged 28 bids; while Round 8 had 13 bids. This is a direct consequence of market conditions and specifically, unclear solar ITC timelines. In contrast, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 decreases the corporate income tax rate to 21%; we anticipate this will free up capital for project development.
The NJ Solar Program has been established for Atlantic City Electric Company, Jersey Central Power & Light Company, and Rockland Electric Company to successfully and periodically issue RFPs to select solar projects with which to enter into contracts for the purchase of SRECs at fixed price for ten (10) years. The program is solicited under three program segments, each of which have different parameters ; this information is available here. The program has been broken out into 8 solicitation rounds, with the 9th and final round of bids due June 29th, 2018 at 5:00 PM Eastern.
Bids are evaluated for completeness on a rolling basis through the June 29th deadline and applicants are encouraged to begin the process early to receive feedback on completeness before the June 29th deadline.