On July 29, 2020, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (the “Board”) issued an order (“Order”) extending the Transitional Renewable Energy Certificate (“TREC”) program. Prior to the Order, all solar energy generating systems registered in the TREC program must achieve commercial operation by April 30, 2021 to qualify for the generation of TRECs. The Order extends the April 30, 2021 deadline to October 30, 2021. As such, all projects that have been registered in the TREC program have until October 30, 2021 to achieve commercial operation.
In addition, the Order clarifies that projects granted conditional certification under subsection (r) will retain the expiration date set forth in the Board order granting the conditional certification, and projects granted conditional certification under subsection (t) prior to April 30, 2020 will have an expiration date of the later of (i) the date set forth in the Board order granting the conditional certification, plus any extensions, or (ii) October 30, 2021.
Further, all projects that register in the TREC program between July 29, 2020 and October 30, 2020 will have an expiration date of October 30, 2021, and all projects registered in the TREC program after October 30, 2020 will have an expiration date that is one (1) year following the notice of conditional registration.
Finally, the Order indicates that the Board may address in a future order any possible extension for projects registering after October 30, 2020, evaluating both the public health crisis as well as the development of the much anticipated successor incentive program.
The Order is terrific news for investors and developers who were facing an upcoming deadline to complete their projects in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it gives much needed breathing room to the solar industry and the Board as they develop a long term successor incentive program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.