The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has announced that the state has surpassed 3 GW of solar power through 116,000 solar installations statewide.
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, according to the NJBPU.
“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,” says Joseph L. Fiordaliso, NJBPU president.
The NJBPU recently launched a three-year community solar energy pilot program. With community solar, low- and moderate-income (LMI) households will have 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, the NJBPU anticipates awarding at least 75 MW during both the second and third years of the program. In total, the pilot is estimated to cover the electricity usage of approximately 45,000 residential homes.
Last month, the NJBPU announced that it had received an overwhelming response for the pilot program, with 252 applications for the first year. Of the applications received, 232 are for projects where at least 51% of capacity would benefit LMI households.
The total capacity of solar currently installed in New Jersey can generate enough electricity to power 405,000 homes annually, notes the NJBPU.