The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has received more than 300 applications for the Community Solar Energy Program (CSEP), totaling more than 300 MW of new capacity.
The Board opened the application window for the State’s new, permanent community solar program on November 15, with a 225 MW capacity block available for development for EY 2024, representing the first opportunity for developers to participate since establishing the CSEP.
“I am thrilled at the amount of interest we have received in the first year of our permanent community solar energy program, a major achievement for advancing our equitable clean energy transition,” says NJBPU president Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “Community solar allows those who live in low- and moderate-income communities or cannot otherwise access solar due to their location, to reap the benefits of renewable energy and save money on their bills.”
New community solar projects will be sited in all four major utility service territories, with this year’s program capacity supporting enough community solar projects to enroll about 30,000 New Jersey subscribers.
Since the governor and legislature created the Community Solar Pilot Program in 2018, the board has approved 150 projects totaling 243 MW of capacity. To date, 88 of those projects, totaling 130 MW, have reached commercial operation.
The CSEP permits community solar projects of no greater than 5 MW on rooftops, carports and canopies over impervious surfaces, contaminated sites, landfills and certain bodies of water such as water treatment reservoirs and dredge ponds. The board anticipates opening a second application period for at least an additional 225 MW in EY 2025, which begins on June 1.