Something momentous happened yesterday between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Solar-energy systems in New Jersey delivered about 20.4 percent of the state’s total electric load on average, and 21.6 percent at peak (12:30 p.m.), according to calculations made by the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association.
“When solar power contributes large proportions of the electric load during the middle of the day, when demand usually pushes wholesale prices up, it depresses those wholesale prices. Overall, that helps keep electric prices down,” said Dr. Richard Perez, an internationally known renewable-energy researcher at SUNY Albany. According to Dr. Perez, this effect is known as the merit-order effect.
A new clean-energy bill () recently passed by the state Legislature and awaiting the governor’s signature is intended to reinvigorate the state’s solar energy program and requires that the state achieve 50 percent renewable electricity by 2050.
MSEIA is a trade organization that has represented solar-energy companies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware since 1997. The organization has spearheaded efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region to make solar energy a major contributor to the region’s energy future.