NEW JERSEY SREC PRICES END A FOUR YEAR RALLY
The four year uptrend in spot New Jersey SREC prices between 2012 and early 2016 has officially ended. The market is now in a downtrend. It is making new lows and subsequently lower highs on any rallies. We should expect to see the market find new lows and trade off of varying levels of support as it digests and interprets how new investors react to lower SREC values. Will they throttle back and keep in line with State requirements or will they overbuild like they have in the past?
Prices trended higher from a low of $60 in the fall of 2012 to a high of $290.09 on June 13th of 2016. This can be attributed to the adjustment in the law governing solar development which was passed in 2012. The law achieved its goals up to this point as the amount of solar installed has almost exactly matched solar growth rates in the past few years. Prices are now under $220. Short-term support is at $200 and $180. If the market holds $200 now we may not see the $180 level until next spring after the BGS auction.
The end of the rally occurred as there were enough SRECs to satisfy all of the energy companies’ compliance needs for the RY 2016 deadline on November 1st. After hitting a low of $235 in August, RY 2016 SRECs led the way and rallied up to $265 briefly on September 27th. At that time the buying for the RY 2016 compliance dried up and energy companies could relax and take their time procuring SRECs for next years’ compliance. Requirements for SRECs increase next year however, new solar installations have been running higher than the State requirement which will produce enough of a cushion so that buyers do not have to worry about a shortfall.
Many sellers are still selling their SRECs on the spot market however, buyers and sellers of large blocks of SRECs have been actively negotiating 3 year deals at the $180 level for RY 17, 18 and 19 SRECs. The prices implied for each of these individual years shows where the market prices SRECs in the future:
Due to the steep discount that the market is placing on SRECs three years out there is less incentive to bank and hold SRECs as sellers have in the past.
Year after year there has been significant SREC buying in February as winners of the statewide BGS auction hedge out a portion of their 3 year obligations. The question each year is if prices will rally because of the BGS auction. When the market was in a bull trend there was always a rally on each BGS auction. Now that the clear uptrend has stalled that rally may not repeat itself. At least possibly not to the same degree. Between now and the end of this calendar year we can expect SREC prices to find a support level in anticipation of the BGS buying. Support levels are $200 and $180. A BGS rally off those levels will run into resistance at $220 and $235.
Based on current market conditions we recommend to our sellers to sell spot SRECs on a continual basis, especially if the market rallies.
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.