Massachusetts is known for being a leader in many areas including technology, academia, bio-pharma, financial industry, and of course pragmatic Yankee can-do attitude. Add something else to this list; residential solar power. Massachusetts is second only to California in solar jobs at just over 15,000 solar industry related jobs, and has 944 MW total installed solar capacity, according to the "Solar Jobs Census Compendium 2015" report. So what's wrong with this? State solar policy may have been so successful that the program is getting full.
If you've noodled around on the Web looking for information on residential solar energy systems, you may have come across something called a "Solar Renewable Energy Credit" -- or SREC (pronounced "S wreck") for short. Since SRECs help make solar panels a great investment in some states, we figured it might be helpful to explain what these credits are and how they work.
Hooray for the Garden State! We are happy to say that as of September 1st, New Jersey residential solar rebates are back. New Jersey is offering $0.75 per watt for systems as large as 7.5 kilowatts (kW). Systems larger than 10 kW are currently not eligible for rebates, and neither are commercial systems.
Once again, New Jersey's solar boat has been rocked: due to revisions to a previously approved budget, the state's Clean Energy Rebate will not accept new applications for the month of April, and all applications currently in queue will be frozen until the program reopens in May. If the solar rebate is reduced from current levels--all too likely--then projects in queue will be approved at the revised (lower) rate.
Over the last few years, the largest sporting event in the United States has shown some awareness of the enormous draw it makes on energy resources wherever it's hosted. Yesterday's 44th Super Bowl, accordingly, was the greenest yet: Florida Power & Light Group's (NYSE: FPL) subsidiary NextEra Energy supplied the NFL with enough renewable energy credits (RECs) to completely offset the energy usage of not only the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, but of the preparations leading up to the games in Miami, as well.
As part of the Bay State's Green Communities Act, investor-owned utilities must solicit bids for 10-15 year renewable energy production contracts at least twice in the next four years. The first round of solicitations--for 750,000 MWh--is being organized by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The state's Renewable Portfolio Standard requires electricity suppliers to include a minimum percentage of renewable power in their energy portfolios each year:
Beginning in late January, Massachusetts will once again be accepting applications for the Commonwealth Solar Rebate Program. The press release from Governor Deval Patrick's office laid out the next phase for solar in the state:
If you own a business or live in PSE&G service territory in New Jersey and have been thinking about installing solar, but have not been sure how to finance such a large investment, now may be the time for you to move forward. The utility's ultra-popular solar loan program just received the go-ahead from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to expand to the tune of $143 million. This additional capital should fund up to 51 MW of additional solar capacity for what has turned out to be one of the country's fastest-growing solar markets.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are a mechanism designed by policymakers to ensure that a certain amount of solar energy capacity is installed in a designated area. One solar REC is created for every one MWh of solar energy produced. Some sort of compliance mechanism is generally established to ensure that producers or generators of power are encouraged to install solar and produce RECs rather than pay the pre-determined penalty.
Peco Energy Co.'s plan to purchase solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) to help meet its alternative energy goals has just been approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The utility has proposed an SREC purchasing plan to last for the next ten years, and its approval is another excellent step forward in Pennsylvania's solar market. Peco says it will purchase 80,000 SRECs within the decade, a potential investment of more than $24,000,000.