NJ Finds Success in Solar

Thu, 2012-01-12 15:40

The Board of Public Utilities for the State of New Jersey released a memorandum on January 5 in which they analyzed the current solar programs in the state and provided recommendations for the next steps.

According to their report, there was 490.5 MW of solar installed throughout the state in 12,379 installations as of October 31, 2011. Of this capacity, 410.5 MW were net-metered systems either on customer’s roofs or ground-mounted installations and 81 MW were grid supply projects. The majority of the grid supply capacity was PSEG Solar for All projects.

For this calendar year, as of October 31, 2011 there were 4,348 systems installations for 230.8 MW. In the prior 10 years (2001-2010), there were 8,351 systems installations for 259.7 MW. The board will most likely install more solar this year than in the prior 10 years. The chart below further explains the solar market installed capacity over the last 10 years:


As you can see, the number of solar installation projects in New Jersey continues to grow each year. These numbers, along with the board’s predictions for additional growth in the coming year, should make solar installation professionals in New Jersey very happy.

The Renewable Energy Market manager projects that between 640.9 MW and 702.0 MW of solar will be installed by May 31, 2012. Ten to 30 MWs of solar systems are being installed each month. The board estimates that the number of solar installations in 2012 will be over the projected number by three percent. In order to achieve this requirement, approximately 496 MW of solar needs to be installed and operational on June 1, 2012.

The chart below provides more information on how the board expects to reach its 2012 requirements on solar capacity:

NJ Solar Installed Capacity by Year

As you can see, the amount of solar that has been installed is steadily increasing, and using these numbers, the board has predicted high and low forecasts to determine exactly how close they will be to achieving their goals in this calendar year. Either way, the number of solar installation projects in New Jersey is reaching record numbers. Achieving these goals means creating new jobs and enabling more individuals to become involved in the renewable energy field.

The board also noted that current solar installation costs are significantly lower than the costs that were assumed in 2009 when the Board of Public Utilities for the State of New Jersey started promoting its solar programs. Because costs have been lower than expected, the board is confident about continuing its solar program and planning for more projects.

By Lesley Cowie

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