Monday, April 23, 2012

New Jersey SREC Market Trades Below $100!

New Jersey SREC Market Trades Below $100!

     The New Jersey SREC market traded below $100 for energy year 2012 SRECs on Thursday, April 19, 2012. The settlement price on the Flett Exchange was $88.94. The New Jersey 2012 SREC market has been plummeting since a peak of $282.50 on December 29, 2011. Last year at this time, the 2011 SRECs were trading $655.

     The SREC prices in New Jersey have collapsed because investors installed too much solar compared to this years’ NJ State mandates. Month after month new solar arrays are being turned on adding more of a surplus. The New Jersey Office of Clean Energy announced this week that there were 41 Mw installed state-wide in March. This brings the installed capacity to 729Mw. There will be enough solar to produce at least 900,000 SRECs for energy year 2013. The current State law mandates the purchase of only 596,000 for energy year 2013. This year there will most likely be a surplus of 200,000 SRECs.

     The NJ SREC market will most likely be oversupplied for years to come UNLESS there is new legislation requiring the energy companies to purchase more SRECs. There is a high possibility that this may happen in the next few months. The reason is because current State law mandating solar is outdated based upon the significantly lower cost to install solar today. When the law was put into place in January of 2010 it assumed that the cost to install solar would drop by 2.5% per year. Install costs have dropped 30% to 40% in the last 2 years. There is now an opportunity to adjust the law to take advantage of these positive developments. The adjustments that can be made would soak up the oversupply created in the last year, reduce ratepayer exposure by lowering the fine or SACP level, and accelerate the rate of solar installations. The States’ Renewable Portfolio Standard goals would be achieved sooner and cheaper then previously anticipated.

     One reason why the market is continually adding capacity when it is so grossly oversupplied is because solar facilities that were given fixed long term contracts at higher prices under the EDC financing continue to be built. The owners of those projects have no SREC price risk. The ratepayer makes up any losses for those fixed rate contracts, which last 10 years. Once those projects finish, the monthly build rates are expected to drop. This should happen this summer. 
     Pennsylvania, about the only state open to Virginia sites, is now trading SRECs at about $20.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Organic Food Depot - Green Power 2011

Since Jan. 2009, when the program started, we've used
100% Renewable Power
to run our lights, freezers and refrigerators through the 
Dominion Green Power Program (Learn More Here)
Our Report Card Through Winter 2011/2012 is 
We supported 543,331 KWHrof Renewable Energy
Which is the same as NOT DRIVING a typical car
860,860 miles
Or the same as PLANTING9825 Trees

Winter 2011/2012 figures for the Dominion Green Power program are out and once again, Organic Food Depot helps lead the way (see above from the OFD website:

Dominion claims that "All renewable facilities supported by the Dominion Green Power program feed green electricity into the same power grid that powers the homes and offices of Virginians, helping to offset the need for traditional energy sources over time."

According to Dominion, there are now:

13,679 Residential participants
186 Commercial participants

for a total of 207,639,406 KWHr, which is the same as

Removing 27,532 cars off the road for a year or
planting 3,671,051 trees

And the top performing city in VA:  Arlington

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dominion's Renewable Facilities

In case you've ever wondered, here's where Dominion's renewable resources are (as of January, 2012) according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

See  for the whole report.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dominion to Eliminate Net Metering

Okay maybe I am just overly concerned here and it is really nothing, but I came across the following SCC filing and request for comments today. The SCC post was from 29 Mar 2012 (so recent)

PUE-2011-00117 - Application of Dominion Virginia Power for approval of a Community Solar Power Program and for certification of proposed distributed solar generation facilities

To quote the specific text that worries me...

"In its application, Dominion Virginia Power proposed a
Program that consists of two separate components . First, the
Company anticipates that within the first six months of 2012, it
will file a tariff with the Commission for approval of the purchase
of up to 3 megawatts ("MW") of energy output from
customer-owned distributed solar generation installations as an
alternative to net energy metering. Before making this filing with
the Commission, the Company will evaluate several tariff options
and share those options with customers and stakeholders in

I would note that 3 MW is about how much residential solar is in existence in Virginia.

I am figuring Dominion will evaluate their tariff options and come up with less then $0.03 per kWh as the tariff amount or something equivalent. Given that Dominion keeps claiming that is how much electricity costs them when talking about Solar power. Ignoring of course that they can pay over $0.21 kWh during peak times, which is when solar produces the most power.

The rest of their SCC filing was about them buying roof top leases, so the Net Metering thing is buried in the text, where I am sure the SCC will miss it.

I am not sure how to fight this, but I just know we are going to get ******* by Dominion.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ray and Suzanne Dezern - Photovoltaic System

The 40 panel ground mount photovoltaic solar system is located in a field 210 feet from their rural residence in Middlesex County, Virginia, about 12 miles from Gloucester Courthouse.  It consists of 40 (four, 10 panel circuits) Sharp NU-Q235F2 watt solar panels installed with Enphase M215 240V micro-inverters, connected to their electrical service panel via #4 wire and two 50 amp circuit breakers. Their installation was completed in December, 2011. The installation included an Enphase “Envoy” communications gateway (power production reporting & recording system). 

Their contractor was Royer Technical Services, Inc. located in Hampton, VA (“Royer”).  Royer designed and fabricated in-house an impressive, strong ground mount system consisting of 3” and 2” stainless steel pipe and bolts anchoring the array.  A seasonal shading issue was identified following installation, but Royer has agreed to rectify that situation and has proposed a couple of different solutions. They have been pleased with the contractor. Dominion Virginia Power installed an Itron bidirectional net meter on January 12, 2012. They were fortunate to receive a rebate from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (“DMME”) funded pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed by Congress to stimulate the U.S. economy.

Following their installation, the DMME notified them that they qualified for additional rebate money. They were prepared to install either a solar hot water system or an additional 20 PV panels on a separately metered building, but they elected not to proceed because of the “Envoy”  reporting problems they were experiencing at the time. Their problems with the “Envoy” have been electronic, not electrical. They have been very satisfied with the performance of the PV panels and the micro-inverters. 

On most days they have had to resort to counting the pulse readout/display on Dominion’s Itron electrical service meter to ascertain their power production (i.e. 10 pulses/minute = 600 watts [120 pulses/minute or 12 x 600 watts = 7,200 watts]). Their peak power production on clear days has been in the7800 to 8700+ watt range. The “Envoy” has reported similar power levels, albeit sporadically.  The problem persists, notwithstanding the fact that almost all of the suggestions or protocols offered by Enphase customer service and materials on their website, have been tried.  They hope to have the problem resolved shortly.