The New Jersey solar sector saw a 5.5% increase in development from 2020 to 2021, but the market is facing a turbulent path ahead.
2021 was a banner year for New Jersey’s solar industry. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) announced the Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) program, paving the way for up to 3,750 megawatts (MW) of additional solar generation by 2026. The SuSI program is projected to double the state’s current solar capacity of 3,826 MW.
In October 2021, due to the success of the community solar pilot program, Governor Phil Murphy announced that it will become permanent. Staff have been directed to plan a stakeholder input process for use by February 2022, which will be used to design the program.
However, the New Jersey solar industry faces potential barriers to success in the near future. A possible two-year lag in the PJM Interconnection process can delay front-of-the-meter (FTM) projects, which are often larger in capacity and essential to meet the state’s bold renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goals. In addition, there have been preliminary discussions within the NJBPU to reduce the value of the current solar incentives. These brief discussions do not guarantee that the agency will move forward with any drastic changes to the SuSI program, but highlight that there are still some political risks in New Jersey’s solar industry.
Nonetheless, New Jersey’s favorable solar incentive structure continues to attract major solar developers to the Garden State. At the end of Q4 2021, Vivint (acquired by SunRun) frontlined the residential behind-the-meter (BTM) solar leaderboard, with a 14.9% market share. Trinity Solar and Vision Solar closely followed, at 7.7% and 6.5% market share respectively. In the community solar sector, Solar Landscape leads the market with a whopping 36.5% of the market share, with Altus Power coming in second with 25.2%.
Solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices across all different system sizes continue to be extremely favorable in New Jersey. Retail electricity prices continue to be well above the national average, which makes it easier for BTM solar PPA prices to be competitive.
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New Jersey Solar Market Report
This DG+ New Jersey Solar Report provides an overview of the incentives that drive the New Jersey solar market, estimated PPA pricing, and market share data on solar installation leaders.