New Jersey Brings First Community Solar Project Online

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey’s first community solar project has been completed.

The project, constructed in Perth Amboy by Solar Landscape, was developed as part of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. Established in 2019, as directed by Murphy’s Executive Order No. 28 (2018), the program ensures underserved and overburdened communities can access the health and financial benefits of renewable energy. The completion of the project marks a milestone in the administration’s commitment to environmental justice by expanding access to renewable energy and is a key component of reaching Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

“Since day one, my administration has been clear on our pursuit of an equitable and inclusive clean energy future for all New Jerseyans,” says Murphy. “The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is a smart and sustainable component of our clean energy future that positions New Jersey in the innovation economy while investing in communities and ensuring environmental justice for all.”

In 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded nearly 78 MW to 45 projects based on their location, community engagement and local benefits – particularly for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. All 45 projects will dedicate at least 51% of their capacity to LMI households. The second year of the pilot program, which opened in October 2020 with applications due Feb. 5, has allotted 150 MW of community solar energy capacity –  doubling the capacity of year one and ensuring at least 40% of awarded projects serve LMI communities.

The program provides access to solar energy through a subscription-based model that virtually connects customers to a solar installation within their electric utility company’s territory. The resulting energy output is divided among multiple participants known as subscribers – which can be homes or businesses – and reflected as a credit on their utility bill. This allows households – who previously lacked access due to cost, shaded property or lack of roof control – to participate in a more equitable solar market. Community solar makes going solar possible without having to purchase, install or maintain solar panels. 

For more information about New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, click here.

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