The following report provides a monthly summary of proposed and recently enacted legislative and regulatory policy affecting the renewable energy markets in the United States. It also serves as the first iteration of a Karbone renewable energy policy commentary series. The series will be updated regularly on a monthly basis.
Today, May 23, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy finally signed Bill A3723, new legislation to support the states’ renewable energy market. The bill originally passed both houses on April 12th after initially being introduced on March 22nd. Broadly endorsed by clean energy advocates, the legislation ramps up SREC and Non-Solar Class I REC obligations with ambitious targets through the course of the next decade.
The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) this month filed a final version of its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, building on a proposal of the plan released last October. This plan introduces a number of changes to the IL Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), setting ambitious goals and measures to advance the development of new renewable resources in the state.
New Jersey SRECs have experienced steady pricing pressure since upwards revisions on previously reported monthly installation rates were first announced in July 2016. Uncertainty of build rate revisions and growing concern of large surplus, price trajectory for the most liquid of the forward curve has been largely negative.
A rising tide around the Basic Generation Service (BGS) Auction has been lifting all New Jersey SREC vintages, with prices for the forward three years of the curve (EY2017, EY2018, and EY2019) erasing most of their losses from November’s market-wide sell-off.
Despite a post-BGS retreat, New Jersey SREC prices have climbed steadily since the beginning of the spring through much of Q2 2016, retesting four-year highs for front-of-the-curve vintages.
New Jersey SREC pricing has reached four-year highs, recording levels not seen since December 2011. Breaking through what appeared to be 2015’s $250 resistance level in early November, front-of-the-curve pricing and liquidity have strengthened ostensibly through the end of the year and start of 2016. The first week of January saw EY2016 and EY2017 SRECs trade north of $290 before settling in the $285 context by the week’s end. In light of the considerable surplus of SRECs in circulation, this price rally seems to render the market paradoxical.
Behind-The-Meter (BTM) installations continued to drive forward the New Jersey solar market, adding approximately 13 MW last month. July had no Direct Grid- Supply completions, contrary to NJCEP’s estimates of around 13 large-scale projects to be in service by July. New Jersey SREC levels experienced an uptick in price volatility in the first two months of Q3. RY 2015 and RY 2016 prices started the quarter in the mid-$230 area but ultimately traded in a range as wide as $20 since the start of July.
Grid-Supply projects in the development pipeline have finally impacted the market bringing last month’s new solar build number up to approximately 14.4 MW. June had two new Direct Grid Supply projects with total capacity of 5.86 MW – compared to only one Grid Supply project since February, previously the only Grid Supply project YTD. With relatively anemic total build numbers for Q2, New Jersey SREC prices have shown an expected resilience in the front end of the curve from early spring through mid-summer.
The strength in this spring’s New Jersey SRECs rally has pushed spot prices to their three-and-a-half-year high. Since post-BGS lows of $190, the front of the SREC curve has marched to the high $230s range following the June 9th EDC Auction and monthly solar installation data release for May.