Last year, New Jersey, in an attempt to improve the resiliency of their electricity infrastructure as well as for load shifting and frequency regulation, sought to incentivize behind the meter energy storage. The initial program, The Renewable Electric Storage Incentive, was aimed primarily at solar + storage installments and allotted $3 million to 13 separate projects throughout the state.
The program appeared successful, but because of some misunderstandings with PJM about the ability to combine PJM grid incentives with the New Jersey energy storage incentive, 9 of the 13 approved projects have pulled out. The good news with this, however, is that the unused funds will be recycled back into the program for future use.
Upcoming March 1st 2016 Application Deadline
Starting on March 1st, New Jersey will offer its second machination of its energy storage incentive and begin accepting applications. Round 2 has doubled the size of the program to $6 million and will distribute the funds in two separate allocations. The first $3 million will be offered in an open enrollment format, and the 2nd will come later in 2016 in a competitive solicitation dictated by research currently being conducted by the Rutgers Laboratory for Energy Smart Systems (LESS).
To be eligible, projects must be connected to a class 1 renewable resource and have a minimum capacity of 50kW, which can be aggregated over multiple sites. The incentive is set at $300 per kWh of energy capacity, with a per-project ceiling of $300,000 or 30% of the total project cost. A single owner or developer can qualify for multiple projects up to a per-entity incentive cap of $500,000. For full list of requirements or to apply click here.
What Does This Mean for Solar Developers?
Driven by the combination of incentives like the New Jersey rebate program and improving system economics, the distributed storage market is growing and creating real opportunities for developers.
The upcoming open enrollment for New Jersey presents a particularly attractive opportunity. Todd Olinsky-Paul of the Clean Energy group writes:
An open enrollment rebate is much more reliable, and bankable, than a competitive solicitation, which may or may not result in a grant; this also happens to be the first dedicated energy storage rebate program in the country, which means the results should be of great interest to energy agencies in other states.
To address this growing opportunity, Sol Systems is developing a solution to offer storage that can be paired with solar installations. For more information, contact Ben Margolis at email@example.com.
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