Jersey City, NJ:The electric distribution companies (EDC’s) sold 60,600 New Jersey SRECs at $70.50 each today in an auction. This was the price for energy year 2013 SRECs. They sold over 5,000 energy year 2012 SRECs yesterday at $70.02 each. The EDC’s sell SRECs every quarter.
Based on an estimated average price of the long term contracts of $350 each, this auction produced approximately an $18 million loss for the quarter. The loss is spread out among the ratepayers.
These SREC prices match what customers have been selling on the Flett Exchange trading platform during the last few weeks.
Why are prices so low?
Prices for New Jersey SRECs have been very weak in the past few months because of the significant oversupply due to overbuilding versus the requirement set out by the State. The oversupply is going to persist until the requirements put forth by new legislation kick in for energy year 2014. At that time SREC buying obligations increase by almost 300%. Surplus SRECs from current years will be needed in those years.
The amount of solar installed dictates how many SRECs are produced. If too much solar is installed compared to New Jerseys requirements then the surplus will continue and prices will stay low. We estimate that if more than 15mw a month are installed on average then the market will be oversupplied. The average install rate in the last 4 months has been about 24 mw. This is still too much but it is down significantly from an average of over 37 mw for a one year period ending this past spring. The trend is going in the right direction to balance the market.
What will make prices rise again?
Install rates are expected to drop in the first quarter of next year as the project pipeline gets built out. New installs are expected to drop due to the low SREC price. If all goes to plan the market will self correct.
Based on low installed costs we hear that if SRECs were to rally to $120 new installs would pick up. $70 SRECs only support the very cheapest projects. Projects at this level seem speculative based on the low rate of return at current electricity prices and SRECs. Those investors may justify their actions if they have a bullish view on solar install prices, electricity prices and SRECs.
Two major events that could make solar more expensive is a heavy tariff on Chinese solar panels and a elimination of Federal tax incentives for new solar.
More about Flett Exchange:
Flett Exchange is a leading environmental exchange and brokerage firm. Our online trading platform brings transparency, price discovery, and liquidity to Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs). Our knowledgeable staff is also available to assist you in selling your SRECs for you. Over 4,400 active clients utilize Flett Exchange to negotiate the price, quantity, and details of SRECs through our brokers or on our online trading platform. Upon each SREC transaction Flett Exchange remits immediate payment to our sellers. Flett Exchange operates SREC markets in NJ, PA, DE, MD, OH, and DC supported by trained solar professionals with specialized knowledge and proven experience.
Flett Exchange also brokers bilateral long-term SREC contracts between qualified counterparties. Flett Exchange buyers and sellers can secure price, quantity, and terms of SREC contracts 1-5 years in duration. Our stringent vetting process ensures that quality solar projects are presented to the market in a skillful manner. Buyers and sellers utilize Flett Exchange for long-term SREC contracts gain direct access to large pools of SRECs, while mitigating risk and locking-in profits. Please visit www.flettexchange.com to learn more about our services. (201) 209-0234.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains forward looking statements. Actual market action could differ materially from those anticipated. Sellers of SRECs should do their own research. Actual SREC production may differ significantly from those estimates. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.