The Garden State has been a leader in solar installations for years and now has more than 100,000 solar installations across the small mid-Atlantic state. While it’s a great achievement for the state, it’s also forcing the state to revaluate its solar incentives.
The state, which also was named the top state in the Solar Power Rocks’ annual State Solar Power Rankings Report this year, achieved the milestone through incentives that include Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), a renewable portfolio standard and net-metering. Now its SREC program is nearing its fulfillment and the government as well as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) are evaluating how it will continue to add in more solar in the future.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who has pushed for more clean energy in the state, celebrated the milestone. “New Jersey’s solar energy market has been among the biggest drivers toward a clean energy future and away from the state’s dependency on fossil fuels. We are committed to ensuring that that the solar market here can thrive and support our 21st century energy and environmental goals,” he said.
To help move the state’s solar industry into the future, Murphy has helped usher in new clean energy legislation, signing a landmark clean energy bill allowing NJBPU to transform the solar energy market. The legislation will help the state move past its current SREC program.
That program will end as 5.1 percent of the kilowatt hours sold in the state come from solar electric power generators connected to the state’s electric grid. The NJBPU will note that milestone when it happens with a board order by June 1, 2021 or before.
“When it comes to our clean energy future, the Murphy administration has captured the hearts and minds of the public and has shown, beyond abstractions, what the future can look like,” said NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso. “The board’s role is to devise the practical implementation of this vision. I look forward to building the strong ties we have with the solar industry, the environmental community, and with the environmental justice community to ensure that New Jersey’s solar energy future is sustainable, equitable, and serves the needs of all ratepayers.”
To move the state’s solar program into the future, the NJBPU is looking into whether it should modify or replace the state’s SREC program. It’s also developing a pilot community solar program for the state.
Thus far the board has held stockholder meetings to get input from industry representatives and the public. It’s also approved a consulting firm to help redesign the New Jersey’s solar program.Tweet