Solar Alliance Questions NJ’s Solar Commitment

Joanna Schroeder

New Jersey has been heavily promoting its addition of solar energy across the state but today the Solar Alliance criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his administration’s conclusions about the merits of the state’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program as part of the Energy Master Plan (EMP).

“While the Draft EMP successfully lays out New Jersey’s energy needs, it excludes solar as an energy source and investment opportunity. Further it contains factual inaccuracies. The type of rigorous analysis encouraged by the EMP must be based on the best and most current information available and not on lingering stereotypes,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, President of the Solar Alliance.

The SREC’s have been a big factor in the investment in and installment of dozens of solar projects in the state. The loss of the program could dramatically slow the growth of solar energy in the state. The Solar Alliance says they agree with EMP’s focus on rigorous “net economic benefit” analysis but claims that the plan does not apply the benefit equally. They continued by saying many of the costs cited are outdated or misconstrued while the benefits of solar have been overlooked or de-emphasized.

The national solar association cited a few specific examples: the BPU should quantify all value streams associated with solar when applying a ‘net economic benefit test’; the EMP should use updated, universally recognized cost estimates of solar technology; and the EMP should reassess its interpretation of the rate impact of the SREC Program, which is less than 1/2 percent.

Hitt added, “We may debate the methodology for measuring benefits of solar, but their existence is undeniable and their omission from the Draft EMP extremely disappointing. This unfortunately leads to an incomplete picture of the role that solar can play in creating jobs, new investment and clean, reliable electricity for New Jersey.”

“As currently drafted, the EMP will restrict New Jersey solar businesses from creating jobs and deploying clean, reliable solar electricity,” he concluded.

Electricity, Energy, politics, Solar