April 8, 2021 | Number of The Day
Record applications for second year of Community Solar Energy Pilot Program

The Murphy administration has prioritized the production of — and access to — clean energy. As part of that plan, the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is aimed at allowing residents and businesses to virtually connect to a solar installation within their electric distribution company’s service territory. The idea is that customers usually excluded from the solar market — due to factors like cost, shaded property, or lack of roof control — can participate in and benefit from the clean-energy economy. Once fully implemented, the pilot program is expected to generate enough solar energy to power more than 45,000 homes.

In January, Gov. Phil Murphy celebrated the first community solar projects completed in Year One of the pilot program — two installations in Perth Amboy.

On Monday, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced it received a record 410 applications to participate in the second year of the pilot program, with the applications representing more than 800 megawatts of total capacity and all but one committed to serving low- to moderate-income communities. A BPU press release on the announcement noted that, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, New Jersey has the most planned community solar capacity serving low- and moderate-income households, and that “with over 135,000 solar installations, the Garden State is No. 1 in the country for installed solar capacity per square mile.”