Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has asked New Jersey regulators to approve a $773 million proposal to bring 120 MW of solar power directly to customers throughout its service territory.
In a filing with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, PSE&G proposed its Solar 4 All Program, whereby PSE&G will invest in, own and operate grid-connected solar energy systems and collaborate with solar developers, installers and manufacturers to develop projects.
‘We designed our program to ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of solar energy,’ says Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G. ‘By partnering with solar developers, we will bring solar projects online more quickly and cost-effectively. We will also make solar energy available to every neighborhood in our service area, ensuring universal access.’
The initiative will expand New Jersey's solar infrastructure and, in turn, satisfy nearly 7% percent of the state's renewable portfolio standard requirements through 2020. Each utility investment will be recovered over 15 to 20 years, but the rate impact will be offset by the value of the electricity and solar renewable energy certificates, as well as federal tax credits that will flow back to utility customers.
Installation costs are expected to be $6.44 per watt of installed solar capacity. The company is proposing to recover all direct program costs, including costs related to its invested capital. The impact on a typical residential customer is forecasted to be 10 cents per month in the first full year of the program and increase up to 35 cents per month in 2013.
The Solar 4 All Program includes four segments:
- Neighborhood Solar (40 MW, $264 million investment): PSE&G will contract with solar developers selected from a competitive bidding process to design, manufacture and procure solar devices for nearly 200,000 utility poles and street lights in neighborhoods throughout PSE&G's service territory.
- Local Government Solar (43 MW, $273 million investment): Working with solar developers, PSE&G will offer every municipality and public school district in its electric service territory the opportunity to install solar systems on their property. Solar developers will install roof-mounted systems on public schools, as well as on municipal and county-owned buildings.
- Centralized Solar (35 MW, $221 million investment): PSE&G will contract for the design and manufacture of 25 MW of ground- or roof-mounted solar systems on land or buildings it owns. In addition, the company will work with developers to install 10 MW of larger solar energy farms on brownfields, non-profit-owned real estate and underdeveloped real estate.
- HMFA/Affordable Housing Solar (2 MW, $15 million investment): PSE&G will invest in roof-mounted solar systems to provide electricity at New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA)-financed or other affordable housing communities.