California may be the America’s reigning Little Germany for PVinstallations, but states with Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC)markets may be where new solar dreams are made. Results from theinaugural SEIA/GTM Research U.S. SolarInsight™ (to be launched at Solar Power International in mid-October) show that the seven states with SREC markets haveinstalled a combined 110 MWdc in the first half of 2010. If second half installations continue at a similar pace, year-on-year growth will beover 148% in these states, dwarfing a 28% year-on-year growth for theoverall U.S. market’s pace. In actuality, growth rates for all marketswill be higher, as SEIA/GTM Research forecasts nearly 870 MWdc of U.S.PV installations in 2010, owing to uniformly strong second half surges.
New Jersey clearly leads SREC states with a phenomenal 59.4 MWdcinstalled in the first half of 2010 — already surpassing last year’stotal installed capacity. However, the remaining SREC states ofDelaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania are also rocketing off with a combined 33.6 MW installed in the secondquarter alone. As covered in PVNews’ October issue, Pennsylvania installations this year have reached a stellar 14.4 MW –despite the lack of any new utility solar projects — in the first halfof 2010 from just 3.9 MW in 2009.
SRECs are specialized tradable renewable/alternative energy credits(measured in MWh) created by generation portfolio standards that require a certain percentage of the utilities’ electricity to be generated from solar. Due to this PV “carve-out,” SRECs have a built-in premium incomparison to RECs from other sources. The price of SRECs is determined by the supply of solar generation and the demand to meet state RPSrequirements, with a price ceiling created by the Solar AlternativeCompliance Payment (SACP) — the penalty that electricity suppliers must pay if they fail to acquire the requisite SRECs. In some states, likeMassachusetts, a price floor is created to lessen the risk offluctuating SREC prices.
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