Energy providers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are required to buy certain amounts of solar power each year. They pay a premium for that solar power in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, or SRECs, and pass this premium cost on to ratepayers. The study found that solar power delivers a total levelized value ranging from $256 to $318 per MWh (25.6 cents to 31.8 cents per kWh).
However, this includes a premium value in the range of $150 to $200 per MWh (15 cents to 20 cents per kWh), above the value of the solar electricity generated. The SRECs in New Jersey currently cost about $60/MWh (6 cents per KWh), and in Pennsylvania they cost about $20/MWh (2 cents per KWH).
“This indicates that electric ratepayers in the region are getting more than a two‐to‐one return on their investment in solar energy”, said Dennis Wilson, President of MSEIA. “Although the current SREC prices are unsustainably low, our analysis indicates that SRECs can increase in price , deliver net benefits and still support strong solar growth. Solar power has proven it can deliver value that exceeds its cost by 50% to over 100%. This net positive benefit will only increase as solar technology continues to drop in cost”.
The full report is available from the MSEIA website.