The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has made a number of updates to the community solar section of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program website. We have briefly noted each of these changes below, and you can head over to the website for full details of these updates to the NJ Community Solar Pilot Program.
Community Solar Subscribers Organization Page
This newly-added page lists all community solar subscriber organizations which are currently registered with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. You can access the page at this link.
Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ page has been updated to reflect new questions and information relating to Year 2 of the New Jersey Community Solar Pilot Program. If you have a question about the Pilot Program which has not been answered in the FAQ, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query. Additionally, if you have already submitted a question and you do not see it answered in the FAQ, it will likely be added in a future update.
Project Completion Extension Request Form
A new Project Completion Extension Request Form is now available for Year 1 projects. The deadline for Year 1 projects submitting a Project Completion Extension Request Form is December 30, 2020. The form is available at this link.
Start of Construction Extension Request Form
The Start of Construction Extension Request Form for Year 1 projects has also been updated. This updated form, available here, should be used for any future extension requests.
Top 3 Lease Terms to Consider With a Solar Roof Lease
Renting your roof for solar is a fantastic way to generate additional income from your vacant, unused roof space. Although a conventional rooftop solar installation is probably the best bet for most residential customers, a solar roof lease could be the ideal fit for businesses and owners of larger, commercial properties. An experienced solar developer like YSG will be able to tell you how much you could earn by renting your roof for solar, and guide you through the entire process from your first inquiry through to the end of the lease term.
Rental Payment Rate: This is likely the first question any property owner will have—how much can I make by leasing my roof space for solar? Make sure you are satisfied with the payment rate established in the contract, as well as the frequency and method of payment.
Length of the Lease: A solar roof lease is generally a long-term commitment, in the region of 15 - 25 years, so be certain that you are happy with all lease terms before going ahead with the project. YSG offers a sample roof lease agreement so you can get an idea of what a solar roof lease entails, well in advance of signing anything.
Roof Maintenance & Repair Provisions: The lease should also establish which party is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the rooftop site, both before the installation process begins, and after the solar panels have been installed.
TREC vs SREC Differences
The New Jersey TREC Program and its predecessor, the New Jersey SREC Program, are very similar in many ways, with both offering incentives for solar energy generation on a MWh (megawatt hour basis). Of course, they are not entirely the same and there are some key differences between the TREC and SREC programs. In the SREC Program, pricing is variable, with value dependent on market supply & demand. Alternatively, with the TREC Program, pricing is fixed for the duration of the program. Program length also differs, the SREC was a ten-year program, and the TREC is a fifteen-year program.
Factorization is another key difference between the two incentive programs. For SRECs, certificate value is not determined by the type of solar PV system installed (residential, commercial, community, etc.), but for TRECs, system owners receive a price which is dependent on the type of solar system they have installed. Full factorization details, including which factors are assigned to which solar project types, are available from the NJBPU.
Why New Jersey Solar Farms Must be on Industrial Zoned Land
Currently, New Jersey solar farms must be located on industrial, zoned land. As of August 2020, New Jersey was considering a bill to open up more agricultural land to solar farm projects. However, this bill has faced opposition in some quarters. Opponents have argued that non-farmland sites (large rooftops, parking lots, etc.) should be exhausted before New Jersey turns to agricultural land to house its solar PV projects. In its current form, the bill does include restrictions on the usage of land in the Pinelands and the Highlands, as well as preserved farmland and freshwater wetlands.
It’s clear that farmers and developers throughout the United States see huge opportunities in solar farm developments. In particular, a solar farm land lease allows landowners to retain ownership of their land, which would not be the case if they were forced to sell for other purposes. Many other states have simplified the solar farm process by relaxing zoning requirements, or even offering tax rebates. These states include the likes of:
New Jersey Solar Land Lease Rates & Per Acre Prices
As is the case in every state, New Jersey solar farm lease rates are variable depending on a number of key factors. The solar farm land lease rate will be determined through evaluation of the property in question, and the lease negotiation process between the developer and the landowner. Across the country, solar farm lease rates generally range from $250 to $2,000 per acre, per year.
These are just ballpark estimates, however, and the amount will vary depending on the specifics of the project in question, but you can see that New Jersey landowners stand to make a considerable profit from a solar land lease. This is particularly true of larger sites, given that more acreage generally means a greater rental payment from the project developer to the landowner. For more in-depth information concerning New Jersey solar farm lease rates, please consult our recent article at this link.
Want to lease your New Jersey land for a solar farm? Get in touch with YSG Solar today. YSG has been operating in the solar sector for over a decade and is vastly experienced in all aspects of the industry. To get started, send us an email or call at 212.389.9215 today.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.