Market Analysis of NJCEP Solar Rebate Application Queue for Private Sector Installations less than 10 kWp

In February 2006, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, (NJ BPU) directed the Office of Clean Energy to implement changes to the Customer On-site Renewable Energy (CORE) Program in order to prevent over commitment to projects versus the $273 million four-year funding level for 2005-2008, plus an additional $86.6 million in carryover commitments from 2004. As a result, all private sector CORE rebate applications are now held in a queue until the cancellation or expiration of existing commitments or as additional funds are released into the CORE Program budget.

The following is an analysis of the NJ Solar Rebate Application Queue for the Private Sector with system sizes less than or equal to 10 kW (0 to 10,000 Watts). While it is unclear what exact time period this NJCEP (New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, ) CORE Rebate Queue documents, the queue was last updated May 11, 2006. I tabulated the seventeen (17) pages of solar rebate applications in the CORE Queue by contractor, rebate amount, and system size in DC kWp.

There are a total of 782 solar rebate applications in the queue: 348 Approved, 427 under CEP Approval Review, and 7 Cancelled. Eliminating cancelled rebates, the total of Rebate Amounts is about $27.26 million for 5452 kWp of system capacity. The average system size per install is 7.0kWp, and the blended average rebate is a bit over $5.00 per Watt.

Almost all of the 348 approved rebate applications are for $5.10 per watt; about nine (9) are for $5.30 per watt, and eight (8) are for $4.35 per watt or less. The $5.10 per watt Approved rebates must have been filed before February 1, 2006, while the $4.35 per watt or less Approved rebates were probably filed after March 16, 2006.

A clear majority of the 427 solar rebate applications under CEP Approval Review are for $4.95 per watt. Although the data is a bit “sloppy” (perhaps there are some errors?), about 43 of the CEP Approval Review rebates are for $5.10 to $5.30 per Watt or higher, and 31 are for $4.35 per watt or less.

A total of 14 self installs are included in the queue, and these self installs receive rebates reduced by 15% versus third party contractor installations, accounting for some of the lower dollar per watt rebates.

The following top 11 contractor/installers have Approved and a backlog of CEP Approval Review solar rebate applications totaling more than $1 million. Anywhere from 39.4% to 60.3% of these top 11 contractor’s rebate applications were under CEP Approval Review except for Ecological Systems with a high of 88.9%.



Total Rebate

Total kWp
92 Trinity Heating and Air $3,657,957.95 735.2
63 The Solar Center, Inc. $1,877,496.15 382.4
48 NJ Solar Power, LLC $1,952,015.05 388.3
45 1st Light Energy, Inc. $1,546,908.50 305.5
42 Energy Enterprises $1,557,779.20 311.2
33 Absolutely Energized, LLC $1,100,236.25 219.2
33 Renewable Energy Concepts, Inc. $1,066,261.80 211.6
30 Advanced Solar Products, Inc. $1,172,639.90 233.1
30 GeoGenix, LLC $1,246,801.00 245.7
29 Sun Burn Solar $1,003,584.00 199.2
27 Ecological Systems $1,063,743.00 214.2

While 64 contractors have rebate applications in the queue, the top 18 contractors account for almost 80% of the approved or pending installations, capturing just over 81% of the system capacity in kWp and Total Rebate Amount dollars. The 42nd through 64th ranked contractors had only one (1) rebate application in the queue.

The CORE Queue should be updated “soon” per the Office of Clean Energy and as frequently as resources permit. I would expect to see an update at least every quarter. It will be interesting to track the rebate backlog of CEP Approval Review solar rebate applications and new applications to judge the health of the New Jersey solar photovoltaic market in the second quarter of 2006.

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