New Jersey-based utility Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) has filed a request with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to extend its Solar 4 All program.
If approved, the extension would allow PSE&G to invest approximately $275 million to design and construct 10 more grid-connected projects totaling 100 MW on landfills and brownfields in its electric service territory by the end of 2021.
Solar 4 All is a 125 MW universal solar program that utilizes rooftops, parking lots, utility poles and landfills/brownfields for large-scale, grid-connected solar projects. The NJBPU initially approved the program in 2009 for 80 MW and extended it in 2013 for an additional 45 MW of solar capacity. The program currently has 115 MW in service through 174,000 pole-attached solar units and 28 centralized solar projects. The remaining 10 MW of the currently approved 125 MW total will be in service by the end of 2016.
According to the utility, Solar 4 All has already utilized 170 acres of landfill and brownfield space by installing more than 150,000 solar panels at eight landfill and brownfield solar farms. By the end of this year, there will be nine of these solar farms in service generating more than 53 MW, and the program extension would nearly triple PSE&G’s amount of landfill/brownfield solar to 153 MW. The utility also expects the extension would create approximately 575 direct jobs in New Jersey during construction time.
“PSE&G is already a national leader in landfill and brownfield solar development,” says Courtney McCormick, the utility’s vice president of renewables and energy solutions. “We have identified dozens of landfills in our electric service territory that would be prime candidates for solar development, so the approval of the requested Solar 4 All extension would allow us to return even more of these sites to good use by building grid-connected solar farms on land that would otherwise have very limited development options.”
In addition to reclaiming and reusing brownfield and landfill sites as viable solar resources, landfill solar projects are also about 40% less expensive than typical residential net-metered solar projects, the utility claims.