The New Jersey Office of Clean Energy released the July solar installations last week. There are now 23,076 solar installations in the state with a total capacity of 1,106 Mw. There were only 11.5 Mw installed in July. This is the lowest amount of solar installed in one month since May of 2011. A continued trend of low installation months such as this should support the SREC market.
The amount of solar installed on a monthly basis is one of the most important tools used by market observers to determine if the New Jersey solar market will be overdeveloped compared to goals set by solar legislation. In previous years development outpaced sate goals. It is estimated that an average of 15 to 17 Mw a month is the pace of development needed. If more solar is installed than needed the SREC market can crash as it has in the past. If the pace of installation declines the SREC market will increase to encourage more solar development.
As shown by the chart above, the monthly rate of installations has been steadily decreasing. The 6 and 12 month moving averages are close at 21.5 mw per month. In early 2012 the 6 month average was as high as 47Mw per month!
SREC pricing has been steady this year. We attribute this to 2 main factors. The first is the controlled pace of development and the second is electric suppliers hedging activities in preparation for the increase of SRECs required for energy year 2014. SREC demand increases over 140% from 596,000 in energy year 2013 to approximately 1,440,000 in energy year 2014. Energy year 2014 just started in June.
Legislation signed into law last year rescued the New Jersey solar market from collapse in both solar jobs and values of SRECs used by investors in solar projects. Those investors are homeowners, businesses and schools in New Jersey with solar. Ratepayers without solar who are obligated to buy SRECs due to previous commitments set forth by the BPU also benefitted from the legislation.
In previous years the fall has been a time of light SREC volume due to weak SREC prices. We do not expect the market to drop this fall anywhere close to the $60 level that it had last year due to the above factors. Electric suppliers have been active in the spot market hedging forward production due to the fact that SRECs now have a 5 year life. They will most likely continue to procure SRECs at a steady pace in the spot market. We expect there to be an increased interest in buyers procuring 2 and 3 year contracts from large solar facility owners. (Flett Exchange is active in brokering both spot and forward contracts directly between electric companies and solar owners)
As always, we encourage solar owners to sell consistently during the year. If prices increase you should sell your production forward for 2 to 3 years.
If you have a large volume (100, 500, 1,000) of spot SRECs to sell call us directly on the trading desk. For large volume the prices are typically a few dollars over our spot price on the screen, we do not charge you commission, you get paid the same day and you do not have to execute pages of contracts.
We would like to thank all of our customers for your business. Use of our exchange helps us bring market transparency to the New Jersey SREC market. This helps both buyers and sellers make the market more efficient thus bringing more solar to New Jersey!