New Jersey has 203 MW of solar power installed via 6,800 projects statewide, according to the NJ Board of Public Utilities, which says that makes it number two in terms of grid-connected solar capacity in the country.
While the solar rebate program, which gives homeowners rebates on installation costs, was responsible for the early growth of the program, according to the BPU, it is the new Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) that have been the catalyst for more than doubling solar capacity since they were created in 2009. NJ was the first state to issue SRECs, which allow owners of solar installations to earn certificates for the electricity they generate. They can then trade SRECs on the open market. Utilities can and do buy SRECs in order to meet the clean energy goals specified by the state.
In 2002, NJ had only six solar installations.