New Jersey’s solar presence has become increasingly prevalent in today’s market for renewables. As a long-time solar energy leader on the East Coast, recent policies have continued to open up opportunity in the state for property owners with easy to come by space: parking lots.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) released an Energy Master Plan, a least-cost generation mix to meet clean energy goals, including 17 GW of solar by 2035. In addition to this plan, the BPU closed its Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) program at the end of April 2020 as it reached its 5.1% electricity generation by solar, closing the legacy SREC program on May 1, 2020.
To bridge the gap between the end of New Jersey’s SREC program and the upcoming successor program planned to begin April 2021, the BPU created the temporary Transition Renewable Energy Credits (“TREC”) program which is generated on a per MWh (megawatt hour) production basis. Under this new program, new solar projects will be eligible for TRECs for 15 years at a fixed rate of $152 based on project type.
With this new incentive, under-utilized space such as parking lot carports seem increasingly desirable for solar energy, coming in at $152 per TREC generated. Due to the factorization of this specific project type within the TREC program, non-residential carports serve as the perfect setting for solar energy.
The time is now for carports to take advantage of New Jersey’s robust TREC program, as the program is coming to an end within the next nine months. Customers with carports over their parking lots can effectively utilize this space for solar development at practically no cost, as power purchase agreement (PPA) prices are decreasing, providing low-cost, clean energy to commercial customers. Customers taking advantage of the TREC program will lock in immediate savings, extra income from TRECs generated, and short-term stability of fixed rates for 15 years.
The TREC program holds the ability to make carport projects rich. And while the successor program still awaits a final proposal, the opportunity for solar carports on schools, universities, and manufacturing plants is fruitful, but must be taken advantage of soon. Solar energy is crucial for the state’s commitment to 100% clean energy by 2050 and will help ensure job growth, community, and environmental benefits for all.
Sol Systems specializes in carport solar projects for schools, manufacturing facilities and municipalities. Please fill out the form below if you know of a parking lot that can benefit from solar energy or simply want to learn more.