New Jersey Passes Solar Resurrection Bill 0

New Jersey edged out California in the first quarter of this year for the lead in solar installations with 174 megawatts (see below for state-by-state details from USSMI — sorry, California).

And the New Jersey solar miracle might keep rolling along, despite threats to derail its momentum.

New Jersey’s General Assembly approved the substitution for S-1925 (A-2966), and the Senate just approved the amendments. This piece of solar legislation, which has been referred to as the “resurrection bill” for solar in New Jersey, could sustain solar project development and job growth at a healthy rate in the Garden State.

New Jersey Governor Christie was quoted last week saying of the solar bills, “If they pass, I will sign them.” He said that the bills “will help to continue to support the solar industry, which is a big job creator in this state,” according to Flettexchange.

More than many other major markets, New Jersey’s solar status is influenced by political will and extensive renewable energy policy rather than abundant solar resources. The solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market in the state drives a significant amount of capacity installation — credits are created through a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) which requires that a certain amount of energy generated in the state comes from solar. The price of SRECs is determined by the supply of solar generation and the demand to meet New Jersey’s RPS requirements.

SREC pricing has dropped precipitously in the last year.

Shayle Kann, VP of GTM Research, said, “This bill will go a long way toward shoring up the New Jersey market beginning in Energy Year 2014. That said, it will not save the market from the increasingly drastic oversupply in the near term. We continue to expect a slowdown in installations in the second half of 2012, but this legislation means we could begin to see a resumption of growth in late 2013.”

“The legislation will prevent a complete collapse of the market, as was seen in Pennsylvania,” added GTM Solar Analyst, Andrew Krulewitz.

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