The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has voted to approve a $447 million expansion on PV projects in the state of New Jersey. This landmark decision helps establish the goals Governor Christie laid out in his Energy Master Plan.
The vote assisted in expanding two solar programs set up by the Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G). The two existing programs are the Solar Loan III and Solar 4 All Extension, which will have long-term contracts now.
The programs also will use unused landfills and abandoned industrial sites to develop solar farms. Around $247 million will be used to extend 42 MW of solar farms that will be built on the unused landfills and abandoned industrial sites through the Solar 4 All program. An additional 3 MW of smaller projects are included in the program.
PSE&G will provide up to $193 million in 10-year loans for 97.5 MW of new solar projects throughout the service territory through the Solar Loan III program. This will carry through 2017 and becomes effective immediately.
According to Katie Bolcar Rever, director for Mid-Atlantic States at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)):
Today’s decision by the BPU will certainly help New Jersey reach the goals that Governor Christie laid out in his Energy Master Plan. First, it begins to address the volatility in the SREC market by providing for 97.5 MW of long-term SREC financing – for about 13 percent of the additional market in the next three years. Secondly, by allowing PSE&G to invest directly in solar projects on brownfields and landfills, the BPU is placing a high priority on solar development on these lands.
New Jersey has an annual installed PV capacity of 415 MW. This ranks New Jersey third among the top three solar producing states behind California and Arizona. There are currently around 20,000 installed solar projects enjoying the benefits of solar in the state of New Jersey.