Trenton, NJ (STL.News) The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) Friday announced that the state has surpassed 3 GW of solar power and 116,000 solar installations statewide. New Jersey ranks in the top ten in the number of residential and business solar installations among all states with one of the most successful programs in the nation. In the past decade, the state’s solar program has grown significantly from just over 4,900 installations in 2009 to 116,000 installations today.
“When it comes to solar installations, New Jersey is rivaling sun-drenched states like Nevada, Arizona and Florida – that says a lot about our state’s enthusiasm for this increasingly affordable, renewable energy source,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “The state’s ongoing solar progress positions New Jersey as a solar leader and remains a key element in achieving Governor’s Murphy’s commitment to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”
As part of the state’s ongoing commitment to ensure that all residents are able to access the benefits of solar, the NJBPU recently launched a three-year community solar energy pilot program. With community solar, low and moderate income (LMI) households—who have had historically less access to solar energy due to cost or lack of roof control—will gain an opportunity to participate in a more equitable solar market through projects located within their electric public utility’s distribution territory. While the Pilot Program has a capacity limit of 75 MW for the first year, NJBPU anticipates awarding at least 75 MW during both the second and third years of the program. In total, the Pilot Program is estimated to cover the electricity usage of approximately 45,000 residential homes.
The NJBPU announced on September 26 that it received an overwhelming response, with 252 applications for the first year of Pilot Program. Of the applications received, 232 are for projects where at least 51 percent of capacity would benefit LMI.
The total capacity of solar currently installed in New Jersey can generate enough electricity to power 405,000 New Jersey homes annually.