A few days ago, New Jersey’s largest utility provider, PSE&G, unveiled a plan to install 120MW of solar in communities all across the state. This initiative, which will add significantly to New Jersey’s solar power capacity, will cost upwards of $773 million and focus not on large solar plants but an approach that distributes installations across consumers and town governments.
The Solar 4 All Program, as it’s being called, is part of the state’s effort to increase its renewable energy mix, and will go a full 7% towards that goal:
The initiative will expand New Jersey’s solar infrastructure and will satisfy nearly 7 percent of the state’s renewable portfolio standards requirements through 2020. The 120 megawatts of solar capacity will eliminate 1.7 million tons of CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent of removing nearly 310,000 cars from the road for one year.
PSE&G will take a four-pronged approach in rolling out this plan:
- Neighborhood Solar (40 MW): This portion will work with local contractors to install solar panels on light and utility poles around NJ communities.
- Local Government Solar (43 MW): By using the already available roof space on the state’s many local government buildings (like schools, police departments, etc) PSE&G will add 43 MW of solar capacity to the grid.
- Centralized Solar (35 MW): PSE&G will use it’s own properties and other underdeveloped building sites with which it has contracts to install roof-mounted solar arrays.
- Affordable Housing Solar (2 MW): While not high in capacity, PSE&G will work to help homeowners get financing for residential installations.