The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved an extension to Public Service Electric and Gas’s (PSE&G) Solar 4 All program, a unique program that’s installing solar power on rooftops, utility poles and brownfields like former landfills. Under the extension, the utility will invest up to $80 million to build 33 more megawatts of solar power on brownfields over the next three years.
“We have said all along that we wanted to do more through the Solar 4 All program, so we are thankful that the BPU approved this extension and excited to continue our efforts to help New Jersey reach its renewable energy goals,” said Courtney McCormick, vice president—renewables and energy solutions, PSE&G. “Solar 4 All creates jobs, aligns with the New Jersey Energy Master Plan and helps the environment by directly increasing the amount of solar power in the state. And by building these universal solar projects and connecting them directly to the PSE&G electric grid, we are also ensuring that all of our electric customers truly share both the costs and the benefits of solar power.”
With the new approval, Solar 4 All will grow to a 158-megawatt program across the state. When it was first approved in 2009 it was an 80-megawatt program. The utility board extended the program in 2013 allowing the utility to build 42 megawatts of solar power on landfills, brownfields and created a 3-megawatt solar pilot program for storm hardening and grid resiliency.
Already the utility has 115 megawatts of solar projects in operation and said it will have 10 more megawatts online by the end of 2016. Of that, about 53 megawatts are solar farms built on nine landfill and brownfield sites covering more than 190 acres of landfill and brownfield space. The new extension will give it 86 megawatts of solar farms on brownfields by the end of 2019.
“Utilizing landfills and brownfields for universal solar development makes sense for PSE&G customers and for New Jersey as a whole,” added McCormick. “We are taking land that would otherwise remain undeveloped and giving it a new life and new purpose, saving scarce open space in New Jersey and connecting all of those solar panels directly to the electric grid our customers use.”Tweet