At its December 16, 2015 meeting, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (Board) issued an order approving a revised incentive program for renewable electric storage to be installed in Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16), which began July 1, 2015. The renewable electric storage incentive program was initially established as a competitive solicitation in FY15 with a $3 million budget. That program resulted in 13 projects being approved by the Board, but there were insufficient funds to support all of the proposed applications. Based on comments received from interested parties following the results of the FY15 incentive program, the Board’s staff recommended revisions to the program, which have now been adopted by the Board.
The new program supplants the competitive bid program with an open enrollment program that will offer a rebate of $300 per kWh. The Board approved an increase in the budget from $3 million to $6 million, with half ($3 million) allocated to the open enrollment program, and the balance to be allocated to a program that will be developed by Rutgers’ Laboratory of Energy Smart Systems (LESS). Applications for the open enrollment program will be accepted starting at 9:00 a.m. on March 1, 2016. Maximum incentive levels are set at $300,000 per project and $500,000 per entity, available on a first come, first served basis until the budget has been exhausted. An “entity” is defined as either the site host or the project developer, if the developer proposes to own the system. To be eligible for a rebate, payable after the project commences commercial operation, the proposed electric storage system must be integrated with either a new or existing net metered, behind the meter Class I renewable energy installation that is interconnected with the New Jersey electric distribution system at a site served under a non-residential tariff. “Class I” renewable energy is defined as electricity derived from solar energy, wind energy, wave or tidal action, geothermal energy, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, fuel cells using renewable fuels and, with written permission of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), certain other forms of sustainable biomass.