How to Participate
In order to be eligible to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), solar project owners must enroll in the SREC Registration Program (SRP) to establish the project's eligibility. More detailed requirements regarding the SRP can be found in the SRP Program Guidebook.
Finding an Installer
If you have not yet chosen an installer, the Trade Ally Database includes a list of solar photovoltaic (PV) installers. It is recommended that customers meet with at least three installers to discuss project sizing, panel placement, and financing options before choosing an installer.
N.J.S.A. 45:5A-2(d) states that solar PV systems are, by definition, electrical work and require any person engaged in installing, erecting, or repairing such equipment to be an electrical contractor under the provisions of the statute. The Program Manager will collect the name of the New Jersey electrical license holder and license number stated on the SRP Registration form in order to demonstrate that the contractor has a valid business permit and holds a non-expired license from the New Jersey Board of Electrical Contractors. If anything changes between the time of registration and program inspection, an updated and signed SRP Registration form must be submitted PRIOR to the program inspection or waiver. Customers are urged to discuss this with their prospective solar installers.
Some solar installers or project developers may offer to buy SRECs as part of the project financing, thereby reducing the amount of up-front capital needed to finance the project. All residential and commercial customers considering financing options for a solar installation should ask their installer about the value of SRECs and who will have the rights to claim them once the project is completed. You might find this Consumer Reports article from June 2016 to be helpful as you begin your research.
Your installer will guide you through the process, which is broken down into six steps:
- Determining your eligibility
- Submitting your registration
- Requesting your state inspection
- Passing your state inspection
- Receiving your New Jersey certification number
- Earning and trading your SRECs
Participation starts by identifying the type and size of the solar installation you need. Your installer will work with you to determine the system size and develop a financial structure that works for you. The annual expected electricity production of the solar installation cannot exceed the annual historical electricity usage of the utility meter that connects to it. Participants may submit one registration for each utility meter that will connect to a solar project. For large projects, if the project will be installed in phases, submit one registration for each phase of the project.
All solar project owners installing behind-the-meter (system is sized no larger than historical electric consumption at the meter) or grid-connected solar electricity projects (solar farms which produce electricity for sale to utilities on a wholesale basis) in New Jersey are eligible to generate SRECs, provided that the system is interconnected with an electric distribution system that supplies New Jersey.
On-site load at least equal to project generation must exist before a net-metered system may be energized or final program approval is issued. At the time of interconnection the utility will require the existence of sufficient load to justify the capacity installed.
Once you and your installer have determined that you are eligible, you must complete and submit an SRP Registration Packet through the online portal. A complete list of required documents is defined on the SRP Registration Checklist.
On May 1, 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) re-adopted Chapter 8 (renewable energy and energy efficiency) rules with amendments that became effective upon publication on June 4, 2012. The new rule amendments require SREC registrations to be received no later than ten (10) business days after execution of the contract for purchase or installation of the photovoltaic panels to be used for the solar project. If the applicable deadline is not met, any SRECs based on electricity generated by the solar facility cannot be used for compliance with the New Jersey RPS for 12 months from the date the solar facility received authorization to energize by the Electric Distribution Company (EDC) in accordance with the Board's interconnection rules at N.J.A.C. 14:8-5. See NJ Administrative code.
To remedy the project's lack of compliance with the Chapter 8 rules governing SRP submittal requirements following contract execution, registrants may revise the SRP Registration packet and resubmit it to the Program Manager within one year from the date of the Non-compliant SRP Acceptance Letter. The revised SRP Registration packet must include all items on the SRP Registration checklist and an updated contract for the purchase or installation of photovoltaic panels to be used in the solar facility with an executed contract date no later than ten business days from the date of resubmission. A cover letter cancelling your non-compliant SRP registration must be included with the revised SRP Registration packet.
You cannot begin construction under a conditional registration prior to submitting a revised SRP Registration packet for compliance without incurring the penalty described at N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.4 (e). If you do not resubmit a revised SRP Registration packet within the required one year period from the date of the non-compliant SRP Acceptance letter, any SRECs based on electricity generated by your solar system cannot be used for compliance in the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standards for 12 months from the date of your EDC authorization to energize.
Once your Final As-Built packet has been submitted, you can no longer submit a revised SRP Registration packet seeking compliance with the provisions regarding timely registration submittal.
The Electric Distribution Companies (EDC) will be approving interconnection based upon the net metering and interconnection rules. (N.J.A.C. Title 14-Public Utilities, Chapter 8 - Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and Subchapter 4-Net Metering and Interconnection Standards for Class I Renewable Energy Systems). System owners are encouraged to apply for interconnection commensurate with submission of an SRP registration to ensure that the system built will be interconnected by the EDC or the Municipal Electric Provider, especially if the project involves new construction. Registrants are reminded that the SRP project acceptance letter does not constitute net metering and interconnection approval.
Once the registration is accepted, the registrant, site host contact, system owner, and contractor/solar developer will receive an SRP acceptance letter. This letter will certify that the project, as proposed, will be eligible to generate SRECs in accordance with the State’s RPS rules.
Once accepted, registrants will have 12 months from the date of the acceptance letter to satisfy all program requirements and submit a complete Final As-Built Packet to request a state inspection or inspection waiver.
Questions can be directed to 866-NJSMART (866-657-6278) or via e-mail to email@example.com.
Once the system is installed, has passed local electric code inspection, and has been interconnected by the local utility, registrants must submit a complete Final As-Built Packet as defined by the Final As-Built Checklist to schedule a program inspection or receive an inspection waiver. The Final As-Built Packet must be received by the Program Manager prior to the project expiration date. If your system will not be completed prior to the expiration date, you may be able to apply for an extension. Review the SRP project extension policy to see if you are eligible.
All solar projects, regardless of size, must have a revenue grade kilowatt-hour (kWh) production meter that has been certified to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C12.1-2008 standards. See Metering Requirements.
Projects participating in other programs, such as the EDC solar financing programs, may be subject to additional metering requirements.
Once the Final As-Built Packet is deemed complete, a random selection process determines if the installation will receive a waiver of inspection or if it will be a part of the Quality Control (QC/on-site inspection) process. If the inspection is waived, the registrant, installer, system owner, and the site host contact will receive a notification.
If the installation will be part of the QC process, residential customers will be contacted to schedule an inspection. Since Installers are expected to be present for the inspection of non-residential projects, the Program Manager will also contact the installer.
On-site inspections for PSE&G loan program projects will be handled by PSE&G program inspectors.
Questions about inspections may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail only.
Installers will be notified via e-mail of inspection results within two weeks after the project inspection. If the project passes inspection, the e-mail will include a passed inspection report.
If the project fails inspection, the e-mail notification will include a failed inspection report. The installer must correct the deficiencies or supply the missing information and request a program re-inspection.
Please wait two weeks following the inspection for questions regarding the results. Questions about inspection results can be directed to the specific program inspector that inspected your installation.
A letter containing a New Jersey certification number will be issued to the system owner once the project has received an inspection waiver letter or a passed inspection report, and once all requested paperwork has been submitted by the owner. This letter will include instructions on how to register with the SREC Tracking System.
Questions can be directed to email@example.com or 866-NJSMART.
Once the solar project is interconnected with the electric distribution system in New Jersey and is authorized to be energized by the EDC, the system is able to produce electricity and is eligible to begin earning SRECs. One SREC is earned each time a project generates 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. System owners report energy production to the SREC Tracking System, which determines the number of SRECs earned. SRECs are placed in the customer's electronic account, and can then be offered for sale via the GATS bulletin board and transferred on the PJM-GATS SREC Tracking System to buyers.
The SREC Tracking System enables account holders to track solar energy production from their installations. SRECs are issued to account holders based on recorded production of the solar energy system. All solar energy systems eligible to earn SRECs must report system production based upon readings from a revenue-grade meter that meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard C12.1-2008. This meter is in addition to the electric meter installed by the local utility to measure the home or business’ electric consumption. On May 1, 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) re-adopted Chapter 8 (renewable energy and energy efficiency) rules with amendments that became effective upon publication on June 4, 2012. In re-adopting N.J.A.C. 14:8-2.9(c), the Board eliminated the use of production estimates for systems with a capacity of less than 10 kW. The revenue-grade meter must be installed by November 30, 2012. Following that date, SRECs will be issued to systems based only upon readings obtained from a revenue-grade meter measuring the system output. See NJ Administrative Code.
See Metering Requirements.
The SREC Tracking System records the sale of SRECs from generators to purchasers, and is ultimately used by electric suppliers and providers to retire SRECs for New Jersey RPS compliance purposes.
These accounts are hosted by the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS) managed by PJM-Environmental Information Systems (PJM-EIS); which is the current SREC Administrator. New owners of a solar project with a New Jersey certification number can obtain and access SREC accounts.
In most cases, system owners will be responsible for establishing and monitoring their accounts, verifying generation inputs, and trading SRECs. In cases where system owners assign the rights to SRECs to a third party, such as their installer or a financier, system owners will not have access to SREC generation data. Questions or issues with the SREC platform should be directed to the GATS Administrator at 610-666-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.