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Solar Transition Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following are frequently asked questions that were submitted through the email solar.transitions@bpu.nj.gov. Staff is aiming to provide clarity to questions that are asked and help inform all interested stakeholders. Questions asked and answered in the initial version of the FAQs have been retained and are noted (April 2020) to provide context for the evolution of the Solar Transition. New questions and responses recently added are noted as insertions (added July 2020). New questions will be added and these responses will be updated on a rolling basis to inform the solar community. We suggest you check this page on a regular basis or join the Renewable Energy listserv to be notified of any updates.

Frequently asked questions are grouped by the following subject areas; you can jump to any section by clicking on one of the topics below:
The Clean Energy Act of 2018 and the Solar Transition
Legacy SREC Program
Transition Incentive Program
TREC Values and Factors
Transition Incentive Registration/Process Eligibility
Transition Incentive Registration: Disclosure Forms
COVID-19 PTO Waiver Request
SRP Application
SRP Construction Deadlines and Extension Policies
Remote Net Metering
Grid Supply
Community Solar
Solar Successor Program
Links and Resources

The Clean Energy Act of 2018 and the Solar Transition

1.    What is the Solar Transition? (April 2020)

The Clean Energy Act of 2018 (P.L. 2018, C. 17, or “CEA”) was signed into law by Governor Murphy on May 23, 2018. The CEA instituted changes to the New Jersey solar incentive program.

In particular, the Clean Energy Act directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“NJBPU” or “Board”) to:

...adopt rules and regulations to close the [Solar Renewable Energy Certificate] SREC program to new applications upon the attainment of 5.1 percent of the kilowatt-hours sold in the State by each electric power supplier and each basic generation provider from solar electric power generators connected to the distribution system. The board shall continue to consider any application filed before the date of enactment of P.L.2018, c.17. The board shall provide for an orderly and transparent mechanism that will result in the closing of the existing SREC program on a date certain but no later than June 1, 2021.

The Clean Energy Act further directs NJBPU to:

...complete a study that evaluates how to modify or replace the SREC program to encourage the continued efficient and orderly development of solar renewable energy generating sources throughout the State.

Therefore, NJBPU is conducting a Solar Transition, which includes the steps necessary for the closure of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Program upon NJBPU’s determination that the 5.1% Milestone has been attained, and the transition to a new, still to-be-determined incentive program (currently referred to as the “Successor Program”).

2.    How is NJBPU implementing the Solar Transition? (April 2020)

NJBPU is implementing the Solar Transition as a three-step process:
1.    Closure of the SREC Program (also referred to as the “Legacy SREC Program”) to new registrations on April 30, 2020 (which is the date on which the Board has determined the 5.1% Milestone will occur);
2.    Implementation of the NJ Solar Transition Incentive Program as the interim program while the Solar Successor Program is being developed; and
3.    Development of a Solar Successor Program.

3.    How do I know which incentive program my project will be eligible for? (April 2020)

Currently, solar projects in New Jersey can be eligible for either the SREC Program or the Transition Incentive Program.

The incentive program for which your project will be eligible depends on:
1.    the date on which you submitted an SREC Registration Program registration (SRP) or submitted an application for conditional approval;
2.    the date on which your project received permission to operate (PTO) from the Electric Distribution Company (EDC); and
3.    the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone and the date at which the Board begins the Successor Program.

See Question #5 and Question #10 for further information on understanding which incentive program your project may be eligible for.

Legacy SREC Program

4.    What is happening to the SREC Program? (April 2020)

NJBPU has adopted rules and regulations to close the SREC Program to new registrations upon the determination that the 5.1% Milestone has been attained. The rule adoption is available on this link. The full rules can be found here.

On April 6, 2020, the Board determined that the 5.1% Milestone will be attained on April 30, 2020. The SRP will be closed to new registrations on April 30, 2020 at 11:59:59pm EST. The SRP portal will remain open for 90 days to allow projects that reached PTO on or before April 30, 2020 to upload their post-construction certification package in order to be eligible to receive SRECs (see Question #15 for more information).

5.    What will happen to my SRP registration if my project hasn’t reached commercial operation / received a permission to operate (PTO) by April 30, 2020 (i.e. by the time the 5.1% Milestone is attained)? (April 2020)

There are two basic types of solar electric generation facilities eligible for SRECs in New Jersey:
1.    Net metered systems, which receive retail credit from an EDC for the electricity produced. These projects must file an SREC registration through the online portal located on the NJCEP website.
2.    Grid supply projects, which sell their power in the PJM wholesale. These projects must have applied directly to NJBPU for SREC eligibility as either:
       - Subsection (t) (projects that are planned to be located on landfills, brownfields, or areas of historic fill), OR
       - Subsection (r) of the Solar Act of 2012 (projects that are planned to be located anywhere else).

If you filed a Subsection (t) application for SREC eligibility for your project ON OR BEFORE October 29, 2018, but do not reach commercial operation prior to April 30, 2020 (the 5.1% Milestone), your project will be eligible to receive SRECs as long as it achieves commercial operation prior to the expiration of your SRP registration.

If you filed an SRP registration for a net metered system or a Subsection (t) or (r) application for SREC eligibility for your project AFTER October 29, 2018, but do not reach commercial operation prior to April 30, 2020, your project will be eligible for the Transition Incentive Program as long as your SRP registration is valid and complete.

Please see Question #10 for a further breakdown of incentive eligibility by project scenario.

6.    What is the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone? (April 2020)

By Order dated April 6, 2020, the Board determined that the 5.1% Milestone will occur on April 30, 2020. Therefore, no new SRP registrations will be accepted after 11:59:59pm EST on April 30, 2020.

7.    How was the 5.1% Milestone calculated? (April 2020)

NJBPU delineated its method for calculating the percentage of retail sales provided by eligible solar electricity and forecasting the 5.1% Milestone in an Order dated February 19, 2020. The Order is available on this link. Monthly reports on the state’s progress toward attainment of the 5.1% Milestone are posted to the Solar Transition Proceeding page.

8.    Is there a floor price for SRECs? (April 2020)

No, there is no floor price for SRECs.

9.    If a Subsection (t) project was awarded an SREC strip through the second EDC SREC Program, are the applicable SRECs already included in the 5.1% Milestone calculation? (April 2020)

The law requires NJBPU to close the SRP when actual electricity produced from eligible solar electric generation facilities provides 5.1% of the retail electricity sold by Third Party Suppliers and Basic Generation Service Providers. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are not created in the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) used for New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) compliance until metered solar electricity is reported to GATS.

10.    At what point in the SRP registration process is the customer considered to have been allotted a spot within the current SREC Program? Are customers “grandfathered in” after the registration is initially submitted or after the registration has been reviewed and received a Notice of Conditional Registration? (April 2020)

If you filed an application for SREC eligibility for your project via Subsection (t), Subsection (r), or filed a complete SRP registration for your net metered project on or before October 29, 2018, your project will be eligible for 15 years of SRECs, so long as your project reaches commercial operation prior to the expiration of your SRP registration.

If you filed an SRP registration for your net metered project or applied for Subsection (t) or (r) eligibility after October 29, 2018, and your project commences commercial operation prior to the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone (i.e., prior to April 30, 2020), your project will be eligible for 10 years of SRECs, contingent upon your submitting a complete SRP post-construction certification package (also known as the Final As-Built package) within 90 days of receiving PTO (see Question #15 for more information on this 90-day requirement).

If you filed an SRP registration for your project after October 29, 2018, but before April 30, 2020 (or before the date the Board starts registrations for the Successor Program, whichever comes last), and your project retains an active registration but has not commenced commercial operation prior to April 30, 2020, your project will be eligible for the Transition Incentive Program.

If you did not file an SRP registration for your project before April 30, 2020 (or before the date that NJBPU starts registrations for the Successor Program, whichever comes last), or if your SRP registration was materially incomplete or expired, your project may be eligible to apply for the still to-be-determined Successor Program.

Please also see response to Question #5.

11.    Are there plans for the market to be reduced for projects that have not reached PTO by April 1, 2020? (April 2020)

There are no milestones or deadlines associated with April 1, 2020 within New Jersey’s solar program administered by NJBPU. The next major milestone is the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone, i.e., April 30, 2020 as discussed in the Order issued April 6, 2020. NJBPU determined the April 30 milestone date based on the amount of solar electricity generated and retail electricity sold over the previous twelve months. All properly registered projects that receive PTO from their EDC before this date will be eligible to join the SREC market, and most projects that receive their PTO after this date should be eligible for the Transition Incentive Program.

12.    If a project has received a conditional registration for SRECs, is this project grandfathered into the SREC Program even if the Transition Incentive Program has been implemented? (April 2020)

See answer to Question #5 and Question #10 above.

13.    If a project is approved and operational before the closure of the SRP, will I receive SRECs for the ten years or be transferred over to the Transition Incentive Program? (April 2020)

See answers to previous Question #5 and Question #10 above. Your project will be eligible for 10 years of SRECs if:
1.    you filed an SRP registration for your project after October 29, 2018;
2.    your project commences commercial operation prior to the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone (i.e., prior to April 30, 2020); and
3.    you file a complete SRP post-construction certification package within 90 days of receipt of PTO.  

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, then your project will be transferred to the Transition Incentive Program (see Question #15 for more information on this 90-day requirement).

14.    How will the SRP be closed? (April 2020)

The SRP will be closed upon attainment of the 5.1% Milestone, which the Board has determined to be April 30, 2020. Any project that reached PTO prior to the 5.1% Milestone must submit a post-construction certification package within 90 days of receipt of PTO in order to be eligible for SRECs.

15.    What is the 90-day requirement to submit a Final As-Built package? (April 2020)

By Order dated March 27, 2020, the Board ordered that projects must submit a post-construction certification package (also referred to as a “Final As-Built package”) within 90 days of receiving PTO, or 90 days of the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone, whichever is earlier.

16.    My SRP extension is about to expire; what do I do?
(April 2020)

If your initial SRP registration is set to expire before April 30, 2020, and you are seeking a first extension, you must file a request for a first extension via the SRP Administrator. Note that these projects are still required to commence commercial operations prior to the 5.1% Milestone and to submit their Final As-Built package within 90 days of the date of PTO in order to be eligible for SRECs.

If you already received a first extension that is set to expire on or before April 30, 2020, and you are seeking a second extension, you must file a request for a second extension to the Board via petition submitted to the Board Secretary’s Office. By Order dated March 27, 2020, the Board directed NJBPU Staff to grant a first or second extension to projects with a registration set to expire prior to April 30, 2020, the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone. Note that these projects are still required to commence commercial operations prior to April 30, 2020, and submit their Final As-Built package within 90 days of the date of issuance of the PTO, in order to be eligible for SRECs.

If you already received a second extension, and your registration is scheduled to expire on or before April 30, 2020, you must file a request for a new registration, along with an updated milestone reporting form.

NOTE: If you submitted an initial SRP registration or a Subsection (t) application prior to October 29, 2018, you must file all extension requests directly to the Board. Instructions for submitting a petition are available on this link.  Pursuant to the March 27, 2020 Order, you must document substantial progress toward completion and the imminent commencement of commercial operations in order to be considered for an extension of SREC eligibility.

17.    Will the market for Legacy SRECs be changed in any way? What happens to the SRECs for the current customers under the Legacy SREC program? Do they still get the same prices they have been getting? (added July 2020)

There are currently no changes being made to the Legacy SREC Program other than the closure of the Program to new market entrants. Projects that are currently eligible to create SRECs will continue to operate under the current SREC rules until the end of their qualification life. Note that the SREC Program and its associate rules do not guarantee SREC prices. By Order dated December 6, 2019, the Board directed Staff to initiate a proceeding on the calculation of the statutory cost cap. On January 6, 2020, Staff issued a request for comments, which included questions about potential reforms to the Legacy SREC Program to ensure a robust solar market while conforming to the statutory cost caps.

18.   What are Subsection (r) and (t) projects? (added July 2020)

The Solar Act of 2012 includes several provisions to address the criteria for SREC eligibility for grid supply solar installations, found at subsections N.J.S.A. 48:3-87(q), (r), (s), and (t). Subsection (r) was drafted to address all grid supply projects not dealt with in the other subsections; the Board has promulgated rules to implement Subsection (r) at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4 (g). Subsection (t) provides the criteria for SREC eligibility for grid supply solar installations on properly closed sanitary landfills, brownfields, or areas of historic fill.

19.   On or around day 91 following the closure of the SREC Program, can Staff provide transparency into how many projects in each market segment remain in the SREC pipeline (i.e., either landfills approved before October 29, 2018 or projects seeking an April 30 PTO waiver)? (added July 2020)

Staff plan to continue to issue SRP pipeline reports as well as Transition Incentive pipeline reports on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Owners with projects that have registered in the SRP that did not receive PTO by April 30 and that do not qualify for the waiver will have an opportunity to transfer their registrations to the Transition Incentive Program before day 91 following April 30. Since Staff may not have full insight to the status of every project remaining in the SRP pipeline on day 91, we anticipate continuing the practice of issuing SRP pipeline data beyond this date.

20.   I currently have a project that was granted an extension to August 2020. Am I still able to submit documents in the current SREC portal to complete this project after April 30, 2020? (added July 2020)

Any extension granted to a project registered in the SRP after October 29, 2018 expires on the earlier of the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone (April 30, 2020) or the date indicated in the extension. A project that received an extension to August 2020 must have received PTO by April 30, 2020 in order to be eligible for SRECs, unless it was granted a waiver due to COVID-19 delays . The SRP portal will remain open for the sole purpose of allowing the uploading of documentation for those projects that achieved PTO by April 30, 2020 or that received a waiver of that requirement.

21.  How will SRECs still be bought when the EDC can purchase a TREC at a lower price? (added July 2020)

The Legacy SREC Program and the Transition Incentive program are distinctly different incentive programs with different rules and processes. SREC and TREC demand are tied to separate compliance obligations within the Class I Renewable Portfolio Standard. Each Third Party Electric Supplier and Basic Generation Service provider (load serving entity, or “LSE”) has both an SREC and a TREC compliance obligation, determined by the amount of retail electricity sold. Thus, LSEs will continue to need to purchase and retire SRECs. The LSEs may not use a TREC to meet an SREC compliance obligation, and vice versa.

22.   I have a project that was grandfathered into the 15-year SREC program (i.e., submitted a complete SRP registration or a Subsection (t) application to the Board prior to October 29, 2018). Is my project subject to the requirement to have achieved PTO by April 30, 2020? (added July 2020)

No. As long as the registration has not expired and has remained continually active, projects with applications for conditional certification by the Board that were submitted on or before October 29, 2018 retain their expiration date as set by the Board (the original expiration date plus any extensions the Board granted). The April 30, 2020 deadline for PTO applies to projects that registered in the SRP or submitted an application for conditional certification to the Board after October 29, 2018.

23.   When is day 90 (i.e., the deadline by which projects seeking SREC eligibility must submit their post-construction package, unless they have been granted a COVID-19 PTO waiver)? (added July 2020)

Ninety days from May 1, 2020 is July 30, 2020.

Transition Incentive Program

24.    What is the Transition Incentive Program? (April 2020)

NJBPU established the Transition Incentive Program (also referred to as the “TREC Program”) to provide a bridge between the Legacy SREC Registration Program and the Successor Program (see the Board’s December 6, 2019 Order). Specifically, the Transition Incentive Program will be open to projects that submitted complete SRP registrations after October 29, 2018, have yet to commence commercial operations but otherwise remain in compliance with the Legacy SRP requirements at the time the 5.1% Milestone is attained on April 30, 2020 (i.e., projects in the SRP pipeline on April 30, 2020) or projects that register for TRECs after April 30, 2020 (if a Successor Program is not ready to take applications at that time).

By Order dated January 8, 2020, the Board determined that, if the Successor Program is not ready to accept new project registrations by the time the 5.1% Milestone is attained, the Board will allow projects to apply to participate in the Transition Incentive Program.

25.   Will new registrations to the Transition Incentive program have one year from the date of registration to receive PTO? (added July 2020)

Yes. Projects that register to the Transition Incentive program on or after May 1, 2020 will receive an expiration date occurring on the one-year anniversary of the registrant's notice of conditional registration, with the exception of Subsection (t) projects. New Subsection (t) projects (i.e., Subsection (t) projects that receive conditional certification from the Board after May 1, 2020) will receive an expiration date set at two years from the registrant’s Board Order granting conditional certification.

26.    If a new application were submitted and approved on August 1, 2020 and that project achieved PTO on July 30, 2021, would that project still qualify for TRECs? In other words, does the project remain in the Transition Incentive Program (provided expiration has not occurred) if the Successor Program opens? (added July 2020)

Correct. A project that submits an application to participate in the Transition Incentive program will have until the expiration date associated with its registration to reach commercial operation (i.e., receive PTO) and will therefore be eligible for TRECs. Please see Question #25 on TREC registration expiration dates.

27.   Is there any idea how long the Transition Incentive Program will last? (added July 2020)

Pursuant to the Board's January 8, 2020 Order, the Transition Incentive Program will remain open to new registrations until the establishment of a registration program for the to-be-determined Successor Program.

28.    What are the siting guidelines for Transition Incentive projects? (added July 2020)

Transition Incentive projects are subject to the same siting requirements as the SREC Registration Program. Note that some TREC factors are defined based on the location of a system (see Question #31 for a chart of TREC factors).

29.   I understand that there will be a two-year useful life for TRECs. Why is the useful life greater than one year when the TREC is a fixed price? (added July 2020)

The State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard rules have historically operated on a compliance year basis that begins on June 1 and ends May 31 of the following year, mirroring the operating schedules employed in various State electricity planning and procurement processes. Regulated entities with compliance obligations are provided a “true-up” period that has been variably extended from four to six months following the close of the compliance period as statutory changes have occurred. Solar owners have historically varied in the procedures and timelines used for submitting the electricity production meter readings needed to create SRECs. Therefore, Staff has built a degree of flexibility into that timeframe. Staff believes that the two-year useful life of the TREC will balance flexibility for market participants in submitting meter readings to GATS on the one hand, and the need for timely redemption of TRECs on the other.

30.    Has NJBPU published an estimate of the TI-RPS? (added July 2020)

Staff assumes that by TI-RPS, you mean the number of TRECs that must be retired by or on behalf of Third Party Electric Suppliers and Basic Generation Service providers (collectively, the LSEs). NJBPU has proposed rule amendments that would establish the process for allocating the TREC obligation among TPS/BGS Providers based upon market share of each TPS/BGS Provider.

TREC Value and Factors

31.    How is the value of a TREC determined? (April 2020)

NJBPU calculates the value of a Transition Renewable Energy Certificate (TREC) by multiplying the base compensation rate ($152/MWh) by the project’s assigned factor.

The TREC factors are defined based on the chart below:

Project Type Factor
Subsection (t): landfill, brownfield, areas of historic fill 1.0
Grid supply (Subsection (r)) rooftop 1.0
Net metered non-residential rooftop and carport 1.0
Community solar 0.85
Grid supply (Subsection (r)) ground mount 0.6
Net metered residential ground mount 0.6
Net metered residential rooftop and carport 0.6
Net metered non-residential ground mount 0.6

32.    Will the TREC value for a community solar project be locked in as $129.20/MWh for a 15-year term? (April 2020)

Yes. The value of a TREC is calculated by multiplying the base compensation ($152/MWh) by the project’s assigned factor. In the case of a community solar project, this is a factor of 0.85:

$152 x 0.85 = $129.20/MWh

See Question #31 for further information.

33.    Is the TREC value for a residential project $91.20/MWh? (April 2020)

Yes. The value of a TREC is calculated by multiplying the base compensation ($152/MWh) by the project’s assigned factor. In the case of a net metered residential project, this is a factor of 0.6:

$152/MWh x 0.6 = $91.20/MWh

See Question #31 for further information.

34.    Under the TREC Program, how will residential net metering be defined versus non-residential net-metering? Will it be based on the building’s use category/type l? Or will it be based on the utility tariff rate, whether that is commercial or residential? For example, if a customer installs a solar system to offset load billed under a General Light and Power (GLP) commercial tariff rate, for TREC factorization purposes, would that application be considered a non-residential (commercial) TREC application? (April 2020)

Such a solar system would be considered a non-residential or commercial system for purposes of determining the TREC classification. The difference between net metered commercial and net metered residential for purposes of determining the TREC factor depends on the EDC tariff assigned to the electric utility account that is receiving net metering credits.

35.    For a commercial project that contains both ground and rooftop arrays (both of which are subject to 0.6 factorization unless submitted as separate SRP applications), is a separate revenue grade meter required for each application, or can the same meter be used for roof and ground applications? In other words, is it meter = 1 factor? (April 2020)

There will only be one factor assigned per ANSI c-12, revenue grade TREC production meter.  Staff anticipates that the TREC registration process will include a step for project developers or owners to specify the project type, which determines the TREC factor. In this example, since only one ANSI c-12 revenue grade production meter will be installed for purposes of TREC creation, the developer or owner would specify the lower of the two factors (0.6) to be applied to all electricity production.

36.    Who is the ultimate purchaser of generated TRECs?
(April 2020)

The TRECs will be purchased monthly by a TREC Administrator who will allocate the TRECs to the Load Serving Entities (BGS Providers and Third Party Suppliers) annually based on their market share of retail electricity sold during the relevant Energy Year.

37.    Who is the TREC Administrator? (April 2020)

The TREC Administrator has not been selected at this time. The EDCs issued a Request for Proposals on April 10, 2020 and will be jointly selecting the TREC Administrator based on the bids received.

38.    I want to apply to become the TREC Administrator. How will the TREC Administrator be selected? Will an RFP or similar solicitations be published? Is there a list of potential providers? Is it done by invitation? (April 2020)

The EDCs will procure the services of the TREC Administrator and have issued an RFP.

39.    Will there be a contract or agreement between the generator and the TREC Administrator to outline the TREC purchase? If not, what contract or agreement does the generator enter into to cover the transfer of TRECs to the Administrator? Also, who is the other entity involved in that agreement? (April 2020)

There is no contractual agreement anticipated to cover the transfer of TRECs to the TREC Administrator, per se. The owner may be required to complete a standing order within the PJM-EIS GATS system pledging all metered generation to the creation of TRECs for solely for NJ RPS compliance purposes. The TREC Administrator will be contractually bound to comply with NJBPU Orders and rules governing the program and to verify and procure all TRECs from generators certified as eligible to participate in the TREC Program. Currently, the Board requires the TREC Administrator to purchase TRECs monthly.

40.    How long are projects eligible to receive TRECs? (April 2020)

Eligible projects may generate TRECs for 15 years following the commencement of commercial operations (also referred to as the “Transition Incentive Qualification Life”). After 15 years, projects may be eligible for a NJ Class I REC.

41.    How will the owner of the solar system receive payment for the TRECs: cash or bill credit? (April 2020)

Owners of TRECs will be paid by the TREC Administrator. Further details regarding the TREC payment method will be provided after selection of the TREC Administrator.

42.    If a ground mount grid supply project is converted into community solar, would it earn the 0.85 TREC factor? (April 2020)

An existing system cannot apply to become a community solar project. Only a project that applies and is approved by the Board as a community solar project is eligible for a 0.85 TREC factor.

43.    Will grid supply ground mount projects receive a 0.6 TREC factor if they are located on a brownfield or landfill? (April 2020)

If the ground mount grid supply project was approved by the Board through the Subsection (r) process, it would be eligible for a 0.6 TREC factor. If the ground-mounted grid supply project was approved by the Board through the Subsection (t) process, it would be eligible for a 1.0 TREC factor.

44.    Regarding the generation and tracking of TRECs, will the generator be required to create an account in GATS and use this account to track and transfer ownership of such TRECs to the Administrator? Or will systems be registered directly with the TREC Administrator in GATS so there is no TREC transfer process from generator to Administrator? (April 2020)

TRECs will be created within generator accounts established in the PJM-EIS GATS system. Owners of TRECs from eligible generators will be required to create an account in GATS and use this account to transfer TRECs to the TREC Administrator. More information about how to automate this transfer will be provided at a later date.

45.   Do commercial ground mount installations have a factor other than 1?
(added July 2020)

The only commercial ground mount installations with a factor of 1 are those that the Board has conditionally certified as being located on a properly-closed sanitary landfill, a brownfield, or an area of historic fill. Net metered non-residential ground mounted systems have a TREC factor of 0.6. See Question #31, Question #144, and Question #145 for further information.

46.   When are monthly TREC payments to generators expected to begin? (added July 2020)

The EDCs have selected a TREC Administrator and are in the process of implementing the Transition Incentive Program structure. More information on TREC creation in GATS and payments will be forthcoming.

47.  Will there be any opportunity for generators to enter into a contract with the TREC administrator for sale of TRECs? (added July 2020)

See the answer to Question #39.

48.   The April 28, 2020 webinar said that individual projects require separate revenue grade meters. Does this mean that projects must have a separate interconnection application with the utility? Or can you have several subsystem revenue grade meters behind ONE utility point of interconnection? (added July 2020)

As with the solar electric generation facilities that are eligible for both SRECs and net metering, separate revenue grade meters are required for each incentive (TRECs and net metering). Some customer-generators, in cases where additional capacity was installed to supplement an existing system with a different SREC qualification life, currently have multiple revenue grade meters measuring electricity destined for SREC creation. These SREC production meters are on the customer’s side of the EDC-owned net meter which is used for billing electricity supplied from the grid. Both the meter installed and owned by the EDC, which is used for net metering, and the meter(s) installed and owned by the customer used for measuring the solar production eligible for SRECs are ANSI c-12 certified meters. A project may have additional revenue grade meters behind one utility point of interconnection, but where an owner seeks different TREC factors for distinct solar arrays behind one customer meter, or adds capacity to an existing system currently eligible for SRECs, each array must have its own revenue grade meter devoted to its specific incentive as well as an EDC meter for net metering. However, these meters can be behind one utility point of interconnection.

49.   Has a pricing schedule been set yet for TRECs? (added July 2020)

See the answer to Question #31.

50.   Will TREC strips be available to sell upfront? For example, can a customer in the TREC sell 5, 10, or 15 years upfront? (added July 2020)

Staff does not foresee a need for forward hedge contracts to facilitate project participation in an incentive program that provides a fixed price over a defined term. However, there is no prohibition against selling TRECs through a third party, as long as the project has a Standing Order transferring the TRECs to the TREC Administrator and executed by the project owner on file with GATS.

51.   For a project for which multiple factors could apply (i.e., a project with a combination of a rooftop system and a ground mount system), can each system apply separately for a TREC and receive the different factors? (added July 2020)

Yes. A project for which multiple factors could apply may file with the Transition Incentive Program as separate projects and receive the TREC factor associated with each project type, as long as each project has a separate designated revenue grade meter measuring solar electricity production.

52.   What is the expected timing for TREC payments? Will they still be minted monthly in GATS? (added July 2020)

TRECs will be minted monthly in GATS. More information on TREC creation in GATS and payments will be forthcoming.

53.   Is each EDC purchasing the TRECs generated from projects? (added July 2020)

No. TRECs generated by TI-eligible projects will be purchased by a TREC Administrator.

54.   Will TRECs be sold to brokers like SRECs?
(added July 2020)

No. TRECs created in GATS will be transferred automatically to the TREC Administrator by means of a Standing Order in GATs. The TREC Administrator will purchase all TRECs created.

55.   For residential systems over 25kw, do they get a .6 factor or do they get the full $152? Rumors are out there that over 25kw does receive the full $152.
(added July 2020)

TREC factors are not based on system size, but on the project type. Please see Question #31 for the chart of TREC factors.

56.   What is the factor applied to grid supply non-net metered carport mounted projects? (added July 2020)

A TREC factor has not been assigned to grid supply carport projects, since none of the conditionally certified Subsection (r) projects eligible for the TI Program are carport projects.

57.   Will PV plus storage qualify for a different type of project with a factor above 0.6? (added July 2020)

TREC factors do not include a storage adder. Please see this page for updates to the New Jersey storage program.

58.   Can you confirm whether new applications to the Transition Incentive Program can have multiple mounting types and receive the corresponding factor for each as long as they have a separate revenue grade meter, and that they are not subject to the lower factor? (added July 2020)

See answer to Question #48 and Question #51.

59.   How will TRECs be generated, tracked, and delivered to the EDCs? How will the EDCs make payment to project owners? (added July 2020)

TRECs will be created via PJM-EIS GATS based upon metered solar electricity. Instructions on how to register a TREC-eligible project in GATS will follow. TRECs will be purchased by the TREC Administrator, not by the EDCs.

60.  What factor will floating solar receive? (added July 2020)

The Board is currently considering a pending petition on the value of the TREC factor for floating solar projects. Any floating solar project wishing to participate in the Transition Incentive program should similarly submit a petition to the Board  (instructions for submitting a petition are available by clicking here).

61.   If we lease a system to a homeowner, is that considered commercial if the solar company owns the system to get the full 1.0 TREC value? (added July 2020)

The difference between net metered commercial and net metered residential for purposes of determining the TREC factor depends on the EDC tariff assigned to the electric utility account that is receiving net metering credits. See Question #34 for further information.

62.   Where can I find information on which projects qualify to which TREC factor e.g., projects that qualify for two or more factors? (added July 2020)

See Question #31. As directed in the Board’s January 8, 2020 Order, in the case where a project may be eligible for multiple factors, the lower of the two factors would apply unless the project owner decides to separately meter and register the distinct project segments.

63.   How do I know whether my solar site qualifies as a brownfield so that I can realize the full TREC factor? (added July 2020)

To qualify as a brownfield eligible for a Transition Incentive, a project must receive a conditional certification as a Subsection (t) project from the Board. The Board implements Subsection (t) in consultation with the NJDEP. The first step for a developer seeking conditional certification for project as a Subsection (t) application is to schedule a Permit Coordination meeting with the NJDEP. Based upon the input received in the permit coordination meeting, a developer may decide to submit a Subsection (t) application to the Board.

64.   We are currently installing a project that is in the SRP queue. The installation will be a canopy that is above vendor stalls. The TREC factor calls out rooftop and carport. This mounting solution will be most similar to a carport but instead of cars, it will cover people. Will this project receive a Factor of 1.0? (added July 2020)

An elevated solar canopy project, whether over a parking lot or another structure, would be eligible for the TREC factor assigned to a carport.

65.   How many TRECs are created per MWh? (added July 2020)

One TREC is created for every one MWh of eligible generation entered into GATS.

66.   Are TRECs equivalent to other RECs in the system, as fully aggregated generation attributes that convey exclusive ownership, use, and delivery of renewable generation? (added July 2020)

TRECs are analogous to other RECs for purposes of compliance with the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard. Note that RECs do not necessarily imply ownership of the delivered electricity; New Jersey allows unbundled RECs by which the RECs and the electricity can be sold and delivered in a different transaction, potentially under different ownership.

67.   Where do non-profits fit into the new “factors” for TRECs? (added July 2020)

The Transition Incentive program does not distinguish between non-profit or for-profit entities; rather, factors are determined based on project type, project location and, in the case of net metered projects, the utility rate class of the system offtaker. The difference between net metered commercial and net metered residential for purposes of determining the TREC factor depends on the EDC tariff assigned to the electric utility account that is receiving net metering credits.  See the answer to Question #34 for more information.

68.   In the TREC Program, who will get to claim the environmental attributes of each TREC? Is it the utility or the customer/owner of the solar system? (added July 2020)

The environmental attributes associated with each TREC are tied to ownership and retirement of the TREC. Any TREC that is created in GATS will be transferred to the TREC Administrator for payment and then be allocated to the load serving entities (Third Party Suppliers and Basic Generation Service providers) for retirement toward NJ Class I RPS requirements.

Transition Incentive Registration Process/Eligibility

69.    Will the TREC project registration change from the current SREC registration process? (April 2020)

Projects seeking eligibility to receive a New Jersey solar incentive at this time (whether an SREC or a TREC) must submit an SRP registration prior to beginning construction. More information about the SRP is available on this link.

Projects registered for SRECs that have yet to commence commercial operations will be transferred to a new TREC registration pipeline (see Question #72 for further information). A new TREC registration process is in development to address projects seeking to register after the 5.1% Milestone date of April 30, 2020 and is expected to open on May 1, 2020.

70.    When will the Transition Incentive Program open? How do I register for the Transition Incentive Program? If we don’t make it into the SREC market, will we get automatically shifted to TRECs?  (April 2020)

Projects seeking eligibility to receive a New Jersey solar incentive (whether an SREC or a TREC) must register through the SRP prior to beginning construction. SRP-registered projects that have yet to receive a PTO on or before April 30, 2020 will be automatically transferred to a Transition Incentive registration pipeline. Developers and owners of these projects will be instructed if they are required to submit any additional information to confirm the TREC factor. See the response to Question #72 for more details on the transfer of project from the SRP to the Transition Incentive Program.

A new Transition Incentive registration portal is currently under development, and is expected to open on May 1, 2020. This portal will be available to projects that did not register in the SRP prior to April 30, 2020, and will remain open until the Board establishes a registration program for the Successor Program, so as to ensure that there is no gap in incentive program availability. See also the response to Question #69.

71.    I have an existing SRP registration for a project. Is there any harm in letting this reservation expire and resubmitting a new registration? (April 2020)

Staff cannot provide business advice on individual projects. Generally speaking, a project can withdraw its SRP registration and resubmit a new one at any time, as long as they submit an SRP registration prior to the commencement of construction of said project. See answers to Question #5 and Question #10 above on eligibility for SRECs.

72.    What will happen if my project doesn’t reach PTO by the 5.1% Milestone (i.e., by April 30, 2020)? Will I have to reapply to the Transition Incentive Program, or will my SRP automatically carry over? (April 2020)

Any SRP registrations that are in good standing (i.e., not expired) and have not received PTO prior to the 5.1% Milestone may either 1) request to be transferred over to the Transition Incentive Program, or 2) will be automatically transferred over to the Transition Incentive Program on the 91st day after April 30, 2020. Registrants will be required to access the Transition Incentive portal to validate the transfer and provide data regarding the TREC factor. More information on the transfer process will follow.

Exception scenario: Subsection (t) applications that submitted an application for SREC eligibility on or before October 29, 2018 and have not received a PTO prior to the 5.1% Milestone will be eligible for SRECs if they receive a PTO before the expiration of their registration and if they submit Final As-Built paperwork within 90 days of receipt of that PTO
.
73.   When will the TREC portal open? Where can I find the Transition Incentive portal? (added July 2020)

The Transition Incentive portal opened on May 1, 2020. The link to the TREC portal is available here.

74.  After April 30, 2020 what is the process for applying to the Transition Incentive Program? (added July 2020)

Information about the process for registering a project in the TI Program is available here.

75.  Can a current solar project with an interconnection approval and SREC registration, take that down, build a new solar project, reapply for interconnection, and have access to the TREC Program? (added July 2020)

Yes, subject to the project being in compliance with the Transition Incentive Program rules and regulations.

76.   Is there any benefit to transferring projects manually before the 90-day deadline? (added July 2020)

Project developers may wish to transfer their projects before the 90-day deadline if they will reach PTO prior to the 90-day deadline, and therefore wish to start creating TRECs.

77.   Can you confirm that projects that did not submit an SRP registration before April 30, 2020 are eligible to apply for TREC incentives? (added July 2020)

Yes, projects that did not submit an SRP registration before April 30, 2020 are eligible to apply for TREC incentives until the establishment of a registration program for the to-be-determined Successor Program.

78.   Will NJBPU Staff be providing a walkthrough of the Transition Incentive portal? (added July 2020)

Please subscribe to the renewable energy listserv to receive notifications of any upcoming walkthroughs or webinars. Please see Question #151 for more information.

79.   Can a “behind-the-meter” project be eligible for TREC as well? (added July 2020)

Yes, "behind-the-meter" projects are eligible for the Transition Incentive Program. See Question #5 for more information.

80.   Is the hard copy of the utility bill required to be submitted for the TREC program?
(added July 2020)

A copy of the portion of the utility bill showing the EDC tariff must be submitted in order to register a new project in the TI portal after May 1, 2020 and should be submitted electronically.

81.   What happens to new projects that have not filed anything yet? (added July 2020)

The SREC Registration Program closed to new registrations on April 30, 2020. The Transition Incentive Program opened for new projects to apply on May 1, 2020. The ability to register in the Transition Incentive portal will remain open until the Board establishes a Successor Program.

82.   I have a client that just signed a contract for a new system, expected to be installed in September. We have not filed any paperwork yet. What should they expect from state incentives? Will they be eligible for TRECs?
(added July 2020)

As long as you submit a TI registration before the implementation of the Successor Program, and meet the rules and regulations of the TI program, your system will be eligible for TRECs. Please see Question #3 for more information on which incentive program your project may be eligible for.

83.   There seems to be a requirement to submit a utility bill in order to register a project in the Transition Incentive Program. What should we do for new construction where the utility service is not yet established?
(added July 2020)

Developers with solar projects proposed on new construction where electricity accounts have yet to be established should submit the application for electricity service as well as the application for interconnection of solar electric generation facility with the Transition Incentive registration materials.

84.   Will the TI portal use the same username and password as the SRP portal or will we be required to re-enroll?
(added July 2020)

Yes, project developers can access the TI portal using the same login information as the SRP portal.

85.   Do existing projects that have been in the SREC Program have to do anything to move into the Transition Incentive Program?
(added July 2020)

Projects that are eligible to create SRECs will continue to be eligible to create SRECs until the end of their Qualification Life. The SREC market will have projects eligible to supply SRECs through 2035. Projects eligible to create SRECs are not eligible to transfer to the TI program.

86.   Staff opened the TI application process on May 1, 2020 but will NJBPU adopt the April 2021 commence operation deadline to qualify for TRECs? (added July 2020)

The Board proposed rule amendments to the RPS rules that will establish the Transition Incentive program requirements and timelines. The rule proposal was published in the New Jersey Register on May 18, 2020, with comments due in 60 days (i.e., by July 17, 2020). The rules that will provide final direction in this regard will be adopted shortly thereafter.

87.   Are rooftop grid supply projects that have not registered for SRECs eligible to register for TRECs? If so, what aspects of the TREC registration process will be different (if any) vs. net metered?
(added July 2020)

No. Rooftop grid supply projects would formerly have had to apply to the SRP pursuant to Subsection (r) of the Solar Act of 2012 (N.J.S.A. 48:3-87(r)). The Board clarified in its March 27, 2020 Order that no new expressions of interest submitted pursuant to Subsection (r) would be considered for the Transition Incentive Program. Therefore, grid supply projects other than those certified as being located on properly closed sanitary landfill facilities, brownfields, or areas of historic fill (pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:3-87(t)) will not be considered in the TI program. These projects must pursue eligibility through the Successor Program.

88.   If a client has received SRECs for a solar system that has since been decommissioned, are they still eligible for TRECs on a whole new, different system?
(added July 2020)

Yes, if 100% of the original equipment including racking, modules, inverter, and other balance of system equipment has been replaced.

89.   Is there any allowable increase or decrease in system size that can be added/subtracted to the system between approved application and Final-as-Built submission? Do you need to resubmit the application if the system size goes up or down after an application is approved? (added July 2020)

If, after submittal of an initial registration package, an increase or decrease of more than 10% in the solar electric generating facility’s generating capacity is planned, the registrant shall notify NJBPU Staff by e-mail to oce@bpu.nj.gov. Projects that were granted conditional certification or conditional approval by the Board (i.e., Subsection (r), Subsection (t), and community solar projects) may not increase the system size beyond what was approved by the Board. The e-mail must be sent within 10 business days after the execution of the change order for the increase or decrease, or the contract for purchase, installation, or removal of the photovoltaic panels included in the capacity increase or decrease.

90.   Are there any delays/interruptions to the timeline of application review and TREC certification for the TREC program? (added July 2020)

While some delays may occur in connection with the review of new TI applications due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, NJBPU Staff and the TI Administrator are working to ensure that reviews continue to be conducted in a timely manner.

91.   We currently have a large project that we previously obtained an extension on that is now coming up on its new expiration date. If these expire, will we be able to reapply under the new TREC program, or will other steps need to be taken? (added July 2020)

Yes, you will be able to reapply to the Transition Incentive Program, as long as you do so before the Board establishes a registration program for the Successor Program. If you are confident that the project will not achieve commercial operations prior to the existing expiration date, you also have the option of transferring the registration to the Transition Incentive Program prior to the expiration date. Please also note that if your project submitted an SRP registration after October 29, 2018, any previously granted extension expired on April 30, 2020, i.e., the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone (unless your project was granted an extension due to COVID-19 delays pursuant to the Board’s April 27, 2020 Order). As stated previously, you may choose one of three options: 1) cancel your SRP registration and reapply in the TI Program, 2) transfer your project from the SRP to the TI Program, or 3) wait 90 days and have your project automatically transfer from the SRP to the TI Program. Note: if your SRP expiration is set to occur less than 90 days from the 5.1% Milestone, you must select option 1 or 2; only active SRP registrations will be transferred after 90 days. In other words, an SRP registration set to expire less than 90 days from the 5.1% Milestone will not be automatically transferred after 90 days. Upon completing your registration in the TI Program, you will receive a new expiration deadline associated with your TI Program registration.

92.   If a project is in the TREC Program and the customer’s load goes away (for example, if a customer abandons the facility), would the system continue to create TRECs? (added July 2020)

TRECs are created based on electricity production by an eligible solar electric generation system. As long as the system continues to produce electricity that is metered by the revenue grade ASNI c-12 production meter, the electricity is eligible for TREC creation.

93.   If a project received PTO before April 30, 2020, and is producing power, but can’t get its final as-built paperwork in until after the 90-day requirement, are they a) eligible for the TREC program, and b) able to register the RECs produced from its PTO date?
(added July 2020)

A project that received its Permission to Operate (PTO) letter before April 30, 2020 but does not submit their post-construction certification package within the 90-day deadline will not be eligible for SRECs, irrespective of having received PTO by April 30, 2020. That project will be eligible to register in the Transition Incentive Program and will be eligible to create TRECs for generation produced since PTO.

94.   What is NJBPU looking for with the “ideal system rated output” question for each array, and in comparison to the “designed system rated output”? (added July 2020)

Solar panels are rated based on how much power they produce in ideal sunlight conditions and temperature conditions known as standard test conditions. This is defined as the maximum (optimal) power rating. The product of the number of modules multiplied by the maximum peak power output rating of each module establishes the “ideal system rated output” for the solar electric generation system. The “designed system rated output” is the estimated system output for the designated installation based on the system’s specific conditions. The question is intended to show the difference between the output of a system under optimal conditions versus the actual (designed) conditions of the system installed.

95.   Form 2 is asking for the “Tariff”. What is being asked for there?
(added July 2020)

The tariff under which an electricity account is served (residential, general service commercial, etc.) is included on the utility bill and will be used to establish the appropriate TREC factor for the solar electric generation facility (i.e., residential, non-residential).

96.   We have a portfolio of projects that has been registered in the SRP portal, but will not achieve final certification until after April 30, 2020, when the TREC program is put into place. We will need to assign the facility ownership from the original applicant entity to a new business entity. In the past, we have done this via a Schedule A System Change form as part of our registration package to GATS, but we are uncertain what the process will be going forward under the TI Program. Can you advise? Will the Schedule A System Change route still be open to us under the TI Program? Alternatively, is there a way to assign ownership prior to achievement of final SRP/TREC certification?
(added July 2020)

Staff anticipates that the Schedule A System Change process will continue to exist. More information about the creation of TRECs in GATs will be forthcoming.

97.   Under the TI Program, if a project is sited on an active brownfield but is a traditional net-metered project located behind the meter, do we still need to submit a Subsection (t) application in order to receive the preferred siting factor of 1? Or do we just need to submit proof that the brownfield is still active with our initial TREC Registration Application?
(added July 2020)

The TREC Factor defined as “Subsection (t): landfill, brownfield, areas of historic fill” is available only to projects that have received a conditional certification from the Board as a Subsection (t) project. A net-metered project would be assigned a TREC factor based on the project type, but would not be eligible for the Subsection (t) factor, irrespective of being located on a brownfield. See Question #31 for the list of TREC factors.

98.   If a grid supply project received conditional certification from the Board for a 10 MWdc system, and only 6 MWdc were built, can we build up to 4MWdc in additional capacity and register the new capacity in the TREC program? (added July 2020)

No. Subsection (q) and Subsection (r) of the Solar Act of 2012 required eligible projects to commence commercial operations within two years of designation by the Board. These projects are subject to the rules and regulations of the Board. Grid supply projects granted conditional certification by the Board under Subsection (q) or (r) are required by statute and rule to submit escrow and build within two years of the Board’s conditional certification subject to potential loss of escrow for project capacity that was not built.

99.   Is there a system size cap to how large a system can be to receive TRECs? (added July 2020)

No, there is no size limit associated with TREC eligibility. System sizes are limited by the onsite load, in the case of net metered projects, and by the capacity approved in the Board’s conditional certification Order, in the case of grid supply and community solar projects.

100.   Will projects larger than 2 MW require Interconnection approval as part of the TREC application? (added July 2020)

All solar projects require interconnection approval prior to energizing (N.J.A.C. 14:8-5).

Transition Incentive Registration: Disclosure Forms

101.   Where can I find the disclosure form required for registering net metered projects in the Transition Incentive Program? (added July 2020)

The Disclosure Form that must be submitted as part of the Transition Incentive application for net metered projects is available on this link.

102.   Are customer signatures required for the new Disclosure form for the TREC program? If so, how can we obtain customer signatures? Via the TREC portal, or will contractors have the option to submit a “docusigned” form? (added July 2020)

Yes, customer signatures are required on the disclosure form. Customer signatures can be provided via “wet” signature or docusign/electronic signature. However, if the signature is via docusign, you must provide the Certificate of Completion to verify the signature.

103.   Even if a contract is no longer required to register with NJBPU for the Transition Incentive Program, can we still provide it in place of the disclosure form?
(added July 2020)

Net metered projects that register in the Transition Incentive portal on or after May 1, 2020 must provide a signed disclosure form. Net metered projects that registered in the SRP prior to April 30, 2020 and were transferred to the Transition Incentive portal are not required to provide a disclosure form.

104.   In the disclosure form, do you want the license number completed for each company (provider, installer, warranty/maintenance provider) if they are all the same? (added July 2020)

Yes, please complete the license number for each company.

105.   What is the Customer ID in the disclosure form? (added July 2020)

The Customer ID is the First and Last Name of Premise Contact.

106.   If the system is purchased, do we only complete section A and select finance in section C or do you want the bank’s payment terms to the installer in section B? (added July 2020)

Section A is the total installation cost, including all equipment, installation, and applicable interconnection costs for the solar system; Section B is the payment terms between the customer and the provider; Section C depends on the financing. If the provider is financing the installation, select the option “Will be financed;” if the customer is paying for the full system, select the option “Will not be financed;” if provider does not know whether the installation will be financed, select the third box.

107.   In Section A, do you want the total system cost listed or system cost less Tax Credit Less TREC income and those sums listed below?
(added July 2020)

Total installation cost includes all equipment, installation, and applicable interconnection costs for the solar system. Do not include any deductions. The installation cost that is entered in this form should match the installation cost entered in the portal.

108.   How are we to provide a rate for removal or reinstall on a system that is 20 years out? We cannot foresee what the costs will be that far out. Is there a price point you can recommend? (added July 2020)

NJBPU cannot recommend a “price point;” if developers provide a price for these services in their contract this price should be entered in the disclosure form. If developers do not contract for this service, developers are expected to provide solar customers with an anticipated cost for the removal or reinstall of a system at the end of the contract or life of the system.

109.   How long is the Disclosure Statement enforceable? (added July 2020)

Answer: The Disclosure Statement is enforceable for the duration of the contract.

COVID-19 PTO Waiver Request

110.   We have a few systems that have been installed but we haven't been able to get certificates of approval from municipalities or PTOs from utilities yet due to COVID-19. Can there be an exception process to allow these systems to be included in the SREC Program? (added July 2020)

In an Order dated April 27, 2020, the Board established a procedure by which projects that were mechanically complete by April 30, 2020 but were unable to receive final inspections and/or final permission to operate due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, can apply for a waiver of the requirement to commence commercial operations by April 30, 2020 for purposes of SREC eligibility. Please see the Board Order for a list of the documentation required to apply for the waiver. Projects are able to apply for this waiver through the SRP portal as of May 1, 2020.

111.   Does the "Public Health Emergency" referenced in the April 27 order refer to a State action or the Federal PHE declared by HHS secretary? (added July 2020)

The April 27, 2020 Order directs projects granted a COVID-19 PTO extension to obtain and file evidence of final inspections and PTO no later than 90 days following the end of the Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency established by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 103, whichever ends later. The Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency were both established by Executive Order No. 103; for the latest updates on whether they are still in place, please consult Governor Murphy’s Executive Order(s) available here.

112.   Where can I find the affidavit forms that need to be submitted as part of the COVID-19 PTO waiver request?
(added July 2020)

The content of the required affidavits is identified in the April 27, 2020 Board Order. Sample affidavits are available for informational purposes only on this page. Affidavits must be notarized; please see A-3903/S-2336 (2020), P.L. 2020 c. 26, allowing remote notarial acts during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor Murphy in Executive Order 103.

113.   Where do we submit the documents required to request a COVID-19 PTO waiver? (added July 2020)

The documents required to accompany a request for a COVID-19 related delay to the commencement of commercial operations extension must be submitted via the SRP Portal after May 1, 2020. Please see the this link for further instructions on how to submit a COVID-19 PTO extension request.

114.   We have a project which reached commercial operation by April 30, 2020, however the initial RGM has a bad modem.  We are awaiting the arrival of a new meter. What can we submit with the PTO certification for production proof of commercial operations by April 30? (added July 2020)

The documentation required to accompany the request for waiver of the requirement to commence commercial operations by April 30 is described in the April 27 Order.

115.   Municipalities shut down completely in March and have offered no means of communication to code officials. How can documentation reflect calls to recorded closure messages? (added July 2020)

Emails, phone call logs, or other correspondence sent to municipal code officials can serve as evidence that project representatives attempted to communicate with local code officials.

116.   How would you like us to obtain time-stamped photos for projects already installed? (added July 2020)

Most generally available phones and digital cameras are capable of showing the time and date of a photo.

117.   Are the extensions granted for SRP eligibility due to projects delayed for COVID-19 related issues limited to delays in municipalities via inspections and the like? What about delays due to workforce reductions, material acquisitions, etc.? (added July 2020)

The PTO extensions established by the Board in the April 27, 2020 Order are only available for projects whose owners or developers can demonstrate that they were materially complete by April 30, 2020, but were unable to reach PTO by that date due to permitting and interconnection delays. The Order does not contemplate extensions for other delays. Please consult the Order for further information.

118.   It sounds like there is a path for residential net-metered projects that are installed and impacted by COVID-19 to still qualify for SRECs. My question pertains to residential jobs that have been sold and not yet installed due to COVID-19 delays. I have a handful of customers who signed contracts, took out loans, were permitted and then due to COVID-19 delays could not be installed. These clients are depending on the amount of money from the SREC program to make their projects financially viable. Is there a path for these customers to apply for a waiver and still receive SRECs? (added July 2020)

The waiver process established by the Board on April 27, 2020 is available only to projects that were mechanically complete by April 30, 2020 and that would have received the final inspections necessary for them to reach PTO by April 30, 2020, had it not been for the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency established by Governor Murphy in Executive Order No. 103.

119.   For the waiver process, are all of the requirements listed needed to be eligible for an extension to the April 30 PTO deadline? (i.e., do we need to submit both affidavits, data stamped photos, and the executed milestone report form? Or are projects eligible if one of those listed items are submitted?) (added July 2020)

SRP registrants seeking a PTO extension due to COVID-19 related delays must submit all required documents in order to be considered. Please see the April 27, 2020 Board Order for the list of required documents. Incomplete extensions requests will not be granted.

120.   Where do we submit the affidavit? In the TREC portal or SREC portal? (added July 2020)

The documentation required to request a waiver of the SREC eligibility requirement to commence commercial operations by April 30 must be submitted in the SRP portal.

121.   Where can I find details regarding the COVID-19 exceptions? (added July 2020)

Details regarding the process for requesting a COVID-19 PTO waiver can be found here.

122.   In order to be eligible for SREC, how can I get an affidavit from the town if the town is not responding to phone calls or messages? (added July 2020)

The affidavit required is from the project developer, not the town. Please see this link for further information.

123.   Where do we find the executed milestone report form needed to apply for a COVID-19 PTO extension? (added July 2020)

Please use the milestone reporting form at this link.

124.   Is an affidavit required to be submitted for each project? Or will one affidavit suffice for the group of projects we will be requesting the waiver for? (added July 2020)

Each project for which a waiver is sought must submit all the required documentation described in the April 27 Order within the SRP portal.

125.   Regarding evidence that project representatives attempted to communicate with local code officials: as you know most NJ local township requesting inspections are through phone call, and I called one township yesterday explain this special situation. I was told that they don't answer inspection request through email, and she is not the authorized person to give this kind of proof in email; her boss will come back next week, but it's too late, so there is no email evidence I can provide, also there is no one to pick up the phone call at this time in some townships. How should I gather this item? (added July 2020)

The requirement to provide evidence that code inspection was requested does not require that a local code official responded to your email. The requirement simply includes the email in which you requested the inspection. Phone records identifying an appropriate call to the right officials can also serve as evidence. Submit your request for a COVID-19 PTO extension with as much supporting evidence as you can, as required by the Board’s April 27, 2020 Order, and your request will be reviewed.

SRP Application

126.    Assuming all checklist items are completed, what criteria will determine if an SRP application is approved or denied? (April 2020)

Applications for SRP registration are not approved or denied. Instead, they are deemed either “complete” or “incomplete/ineligible.”

SRP registrations submitted via the online portal are processed by the SRP Processing Team. Applications for registration are considered complete if the project meets the SREC eligibility criteria established by statute and by rule located at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4. Complete registrations are issued an NJCEP Registration Number.

Applications with deficiencies are returned as incomplete or ineligible.

No registrations for the Legacy SRP will be accepted after April 30, 2020, when the Board has determined that the 5.1% Milestone will be attained and the SRP closed.

For more information about the SREC Registration Program, click here.

127.    Is the approval tier-based? E.g., SREC Approval > TREC Approval > Denied? (April 2020)

See answer to Question #126 regarding approvals versus denials.

Further to this, applications for SRP registration are also not tier based. If a project application is confirmed to be “complete” and eligible for SRECs, at that time the applicant is notified of the project’s conditional registration. Eligibility to create SRECs is conditioned upon meeting certain construction deadlines, including commencement of commercial operations and submission of a post-construction certification package within 90 days of receiving a PTO letter. If the project is not eligible for the Legacy SREC Program or if the registration is materially incomplete, an SRP registration will not be deemed complete.

Eligibility for the Transition Incentive Program is determined by the submittal of a complete registration package relative to the date of attainment of the 5.1% Milestone, and by receipt of PTO after April 30, 2020.

128.    For the checklist items that have multiple acceptable items, such as EDC Documentation, and Executed Contract, are these criteria evaluated on a pass-fail basis, or are more final documents worth more in the evaluation (i.e., LOI<Executed Contract)? (April 2020)

The SRP checklist is designed to enable registrants to fulfill the requirements for SREC registration contained in the Renewable Portfolio Standard rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4. A developer/owner must satisfy all of the rule requirements for a given project before it will be conditionally registered. Any document identified by the rules as satisfying a requirement will be accepted. The rules can be found on this link. Please review the rules if you have a question about the requirements for conditional registration for SREC eligibility.

129.    What are the SRP registration requirements and process for grid supply projects in the TREC Program?  (April 2020)

Grid supply projects must be approved by the Board prior to registering with the SREC Registration Program via the Subsection (t) process.

Please note that NJBPU is no longer accepting applications for Subsection (r) projects. Instead, the Board has advised developers to pursue eligibility for grid supply rooftop projects in the development of the Successor Program.

130.    Will changes to capacity, production, or price that occur between the submission of the registration package and final due diligence have an impact on the validity of an SRP application? What is the process to make these changes? (April 2020)

The rules for the SRP registration process at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4 (o) discuss how changes to proposed capacity are handled. However, the SRP rules do not address changes to “production or price”.  

131.    Regarding the Letter of Intent (LOI), what equipment needs to be listed in the “summary of equipment”? If there are changes to the summary of equipment listed in the LOI, what is the process to make those changes and are there any implications of making changes to the application? (April 2020)

The rules for the SRP registration process at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4 (j) 1-6 discuss the requirements for the initial SREC registration package.

SRP Construction Deadlines and Extension Policies

132.    Are there additional registration extensions (beyond the usual six-month extensions) that these projects could obtain due to actions beyond our control? (April 2020)

The provisions in the SRP rules for registration extensions do not address alternatives to the existing terms. Further extensions must be sought by petitioning the Board. See Question #16 for further information.

133.    Would previous energization deadlines apply after the Transition Incentive Program starts?  (April 2020)

The amended SRP rules for SREC eligibility require commencing commercial operations by the 5.1% Milestone attainment or the expiration of registration term or extension term (whichever occurs first), and submission of the post-construction certification package within 90 days of the date of the PTO.

134.    We are submitting an SREC application as an extension to an existing project. If we apply as an ‘add on’ and do not reach commercial operation prior to hitting the 5.1% milestone, would this project still be part of the original program, would it switch to TREC, or would we need to reapply? (April 2020)

Registrations for add-on capacity to existing projects will be treated as other applications for incentive eligibility. The add-on systems require additional, dedicated ANSI c-12 production metering in order to receive an incentive. See Question #5 and Question #10 for further information.

135.    How will TRECs work on retrofit projects in conjunction with SRECs (e.g., PV plus storage)? (April 2020)

If defining “retrofit” as capacity added to an existing project, then the application for an incentive will be treated as other applications for incentive eligibility. The add-on systems require additional, dedicated ANSI c-12 production metering in order to receive an incentive.

Power discharged from a battery that is capable of being charged by the electric distribution grid will not be allowed to register on a SREC or TREC meter or on an EDC’s net meter.

Before you build, please work with the EDC and the SRP inspection team to determine whether your proposed solar and storage configuration can qualify for SRECs, TRECs, and/or net metering.

136.    How will add-on solar capacity be treated under the TREC Program? Which program will the add-on qualify for under the following scenarios, assuming each will receive a new solar production meter:
(April 2020)

  • Original project in Legacy Program AND new project registers pre-5.1% Milestone Date?
  • Original project in Legacy Program AND new project registers post-5.1% Milestone Date?
  • Original project in Transition Program AND new project registers pre-5.1% Milestone Date?
  • Original project in Transition Program AND new project registers post-5.1% Milestone Date?

See answer to Question #134 and Question #135 above.

    
Remote Net Metering

137.    Would NJBPU consider reviewing a remote net metering application for a denied community solar project on a municipal owned landfill? Is there a current program other than community solar that a project can be submitted for SREC qualification? (April 2020)

Projects may apply for the remote net metering program if they fulfill the program requirements. In particular, the host site must be a public entity and the host site’s utility account for electricity consumption and system size must be based on the average consumption of multiple metered accounts. Information about the remote net metering program is available on this link.

Properly closed sanitary landfills can receive conditional certification for SREC eligibility by submitting a Subsection (t) application to the Board through April 30, 2020.

138.    Regarding the establishment of remote net metering for public entities to act as host customers for remote net metering capacity, has this program been put into effect, and is it currently open to applications? (April 2020)

The remote net metering program is open for applications. Please visit this page for more information.

139.   Are remote net metered projects eligible for TRECs? (added July 2020)

Yes.

Grid Supply

140.    If a developer wants to build a New Jersey-based grid-connected project, do they need to get approval from the NJBPU to receive SRECs? (April 2020)

All projects seeking SREC eligibility must be “grid-connected,” either via interconnection behind a customer’s meter that is net metered with an EDC, or as a directly connected grid supply project that participates in the PJM wholesale electricity market. Net metered projects do not require Board approval for SRECs, but rather must register in the SRP and demonstrate the ability to net meter via approval to interconnect granted by their EDC. Grid supply projects seeking to be eligible for SRECs or TRECs must receive conditional approval from the Board, either through the Subsection (t) or the Subsection (r) processes. This conditional approval is required prior to registering in the SRP. The Subsection (t) process is limited to projects located on landfills, brownfields, or areas of historic fill.

Please note that NJBPU is no longer accepting applications for Subsection (r) projects. Instead, the Board has advised developers to pursue eligibility for grid supply rooftop projects in the development of the Successor Program.

141.    What incentive path is open to grid supply projects that do not qualify under Subsection (t)? Is Subsection (r) open for applications? Is Subsection (r) going to be opened? (April 2020)

Pursuant to the Board’s Order dated March 27, 2020, Subsection (r) has been closed to new applications. Expressions of interest submitted pursuant to Subsection (r) for Energy Year 2021 will not be considered for the Transition Incentive Program. Developers interested in pursuing grid supply development in New Jersey are encouraged to engage in the Successor Program stakeholder process.

142.    The December 6, 2019 NJBPU press release about the TREC Program lists a factorization category for “Grid Supply Rooftop = 1.0”, however it is our understanding that grid supply rooftops are no longer accepted since the closure of Subsection (r). Please reconcile. (April 2020)

Pursuant to the Board’s Order dated March 27, 2020, Subsection (r) has been closed to new applications.

The Board’s December 6, 2019 Order did assign TREC factors for grid supply Subsection (r) projects (1.0 for Subsection (r) rooftop, and 0.6 for Subsection (r) ground-mount), however these factors only apply to Subsection (r) are for projects already granted conditional approval by the Board. The Board has advised developers to pursue eligibility for new grid supply projects in the development of the Successor Program.

143.    If the developer wants to sell the off-take kilowatt-hours to any third party within New Jersey, do they need to be a NJBPU-approved third-party provider? If they sell the kilowatt-hours outside of New Jersey, but still within the PJM states, do they still need to be an approved third-party supplier in New Jersey? Does NJBPU need to approve any Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that the developer would sign with any offtaker? (April 2020)

The eligibility criteria for SRECs are included in the statutory definition of “connected to the distribution system”. Net metered projects are, by this definition, approved to create SRECs, and the statute and Board’s rules for net metering address how the electricity is valued and sold.  Aside from these statutory requirements, which are copied in the rules governing SREC eligibility, NJBPU has no restrictions in its solar incentive programs on how the electricity is sold from grid supply solar electric generation facilities.  

144.   If we submitted a new Subsection (t) application, what would be the timeline for review by NJBPU? (added July 2020)

The timeline for review of Subsection (t) applications is dependent upon the specifics of each individual application. Once applications are received by NJBPU, Staff reviews the application for administrative completeness. Administratively complete applications are shared with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for a review of the history and status of environmental remediation of the property and the requirements for safely constructing a solar electric generation facility on the properly closed sanitary landfill, brownfield, or area of historic fill.

145.   What would happen if an applicant submits a Transition Incentive application for a Subsection (t) project but is still awaiting NJDEP or NJBPU approval at the time the Successor Program registration is opened?
(added July 2020)

Staff cannot provide guidance on the Board’s future decisions with respect to the establishment of the Successor Program. However, it is likely that a Subsection (t) application submitted under the Transition Incentive Program would receive a conditional certification making the project eligible for TRECs.

Community Solar

146.   Will community solar projects that registered in the SRP but have not received approval from NJBPU need to request to be transferred to the TI portal or will they be transferred automatically? (added July 2020)

Community solar projects that received conditional approval from the Board as part of Program Year 1 of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program and filed a complete SRP registration will be automatically transferred to the Transition Incentive portal. Applicants will receive instructions for how to enter the TI portal to confirm the transfer.

147.   When will you start accepting applications for Year 2 of the Pilot Program? When will this application period close? When will selected projects be announced?
(added July 2020)

The timeline for Program Year 2 of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program has not yet been announced. Please visit this webpage or subscribe to the community solar listserv for future updates on the Pilot Program.

148.   Is the income definition of an LMI subscriber statewide or by HUD area? (added July 2020)

The definition of a low- and moderate-income (LMI) subscriber can be found at N.J.A.C. 14:8-9.2. A low-income household means a household with adjusted gross income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Moderate-income household means a household with a total gross annual household income in excess of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, but less than 80% of the median income, as determined by annual HUD income limits.

149.   How will community solar pilot projects apply for TRECs? (added July 2020)

Community solar projects may only apply for TRECs after they have received conditional approval from the Board. For projects that received conditional approval from the Board as part of the Program Year 1 community solar application process, see Question #146.

150.   If a project applies for a TREC prior to the opening of a new community solar application period, will the TREC application need to be withdrawn to continue the community solar application? In other words, will TRECs interact with community solar exactly as did SRECs? (added July 2020)

Community solar projects may not apply for TRECs prior to receiving conditional approval from the Board. For projects that received conditional approval from the Board as part of the Program Year 1 community solar application process, see Question #146.

Solar Successor Program

151.    Will there be additional workshops or stakeholder meetings? (April 2020)

Yes. Please subscribe to the Renewable Energy listserv to receive updates on any future workshops or meetings related to the Solar Transition. You can sign up for the Renewable Energy listserv, and other listservs offered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, on this link.

152.    Is there a set date that a decision will be made on the Solar Successor Program? (April 2020)

No. Please subscribe to the Renewable Energy listserv to receive updates on the development of the Successor Program. You can sign up for the Renewable Energy listserv, and other listservs run by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, on this link.

153.   When is the Successor Program Straw Proposal coming out? (added July 2020)

NJBPU aims to implement the Successor Program as quickly as possible; however, there is no timeline for when it will be implemented. Staff anticipates that future stakeholder engagement on the Successor Program will be conducted in July - August. Please subscribe to the Renewable Energy listserv to be notified.

154.  Is there a date by which the Successor Program must be in place? (added July 2020)

Pursuant to the Board's January 8, 2020 Order, the Transition Incentive Program will remain open to new registrations until the establishment of a registration program for the to-be-determined Successor Program, which is currently in development.

Links and Resources

155.    Where can I find the Clean Energy Act of 2018? (April 2020)

A copy of the Clean Energy Act of 2018 (A3723/S2314) can be found on the New Jersey State Legislature website, on this link.

156.    How close is the State to reaching the 5.1% Milestone?
(April 2020)

The Board has determined that the 5.1% Milestone will be attained on April 30, 2020. NJBPU Staff also published monthly reports on the attainment of the 5.1% Milestone. The monthly reports are available on this link. Information on New Jersey solar projects, including pipeline and installed capacity, can be found within the Solar Activity Reports on this page.

157.    Where can I find more information about the Solar Transition?
(April 2020)

More information about the Solar Transition, including Board Orders, notices, Staff straw proposals, and other materials, is available on this link.

158.    Who can I contact for questions about the Solar Transition, the Legacy SREC Program, or the Transition Incentive Program? (April 2020)

Please email any questions to solar.transitions@bpu.nj.gov. Your question will be answered via the Solar Transition FAQ page. Please be patient as we process the response.

159.    Where can I find stakeholder comments? (April 2020)

Stakeholder comments on matters related to the solar transition will be posted to the Policy Updates and Request for Comments page.

160.    How can I sign up for the Renewable Energy listserv?
(April 2020)

You can sign up for the Renewable Energy listserv, and other listservs offered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, on this link.

You can also receive information on Board meetings, stakeholder meetings, and more by signing up for NJBPU listserv on this link.

161.   Where can I find a copy of the slides used in the April 28, 2020 “Navigating New Jersey's Solar Transition” webinar? Was the webinar recorded? (added July 2020)

A recording of the webinar is available here. The slides used during the webinar are available here.

162.   Will there be a webinar on the TI program? (added July 2020)

Please subscribe to the Renewable Energy listserv to receive notifications of future webinars.

163.   Is there a separate listserv for the Successor Program stakeholder group or will those materials be posted with the SRP closure/TI Program materials?
(added July 2020)

Matters relating to the Successor Program will be communicated via the Renewable Energy listserv, which you can sign up for here.

164.   Where is the Transition Incentive portal? (added July 2020)

The Transition Incentive portal can be found at this link.

 



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