sustainability

First Community Solar Project Energized in NJ Completed

Project Marks Major Milestone in Environmental Justice by Expanding Access to Renewable Energy As Part of the Governor’s Commitment to 100 Percent Clean Energy by 2050

Gov. Phil Murphy celebrated the completion of the first community solar project energized in New Jersey, helping to build an equitable and clean energy future for all New Jerseyans. The project, constructed in Perth Amboy by New Jersey developer Solar Landscape, was developed as part of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. Established in 2019, as directed by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 28 (2018), the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program ensures underserved and overburdened communities can access the health and financial benefits of renewable energy. The completion of the project marks a monumental milestone in the Administration’s commitment to environmental justice by expanding access to renewable energy and is a key component of reaching the Governor’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

“Since day one, my Administration has been clear on our pursuit of an equitable and inclusive clean energy future for all New Jerseyans,” said Governor Murphy. “The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is a smart and sustainable component of our clean energy future that positions New Jersey as a world leader in the innovation economy, while investing in communities and ensuring environmental justice for all.”

“New Jersey is on the frontline of the climate crisis, and I’m proud that our state is leading the way on our path toward a clean, low-carbon future,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “These investments help ensure our state is ready to tackle the challenges of the climate crisis head on. Climate change is an opportunity to empower our workers with new, good paying jobs and to prioritize the needs and the voices of our environmental justice communities. Today it’s clear that when we invest in green technology, we don’t have to choose between fighting climate change and economic growth. I’d like to thank Governor Murphy, Mayor Caba, and BPU President Fiordaliso for helping get this project across the finish line.”

“We could not be more pleased with the progress of our first year of community solar projects, and are thrilled to recognize the first completed projects today,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president. “From the job-creation aspects of community solar to expanding access to renewable energy to more New Jerseyans, especially in historically underserved communities, we look forward to continuing this successful program with the program’s second round of awards later this year.”

In 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded nearly 78 megawatts (MW) to 45 projects based on their location, community engagement, and local benefits, particularly for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. All 45 projects will dedicate at least 51 percent of their capacity to LMI households. The second year of the Pilot Program, which opened in October 2020 with applications due February 5, 2021, has allotted 150 MW of community solar energy capacity – doubling the capacity of year one and ensuring at least 40 percent of awarded projects serve LMI communities.

The Pilot Program is administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean Energy Program and provides access to solar energy through a subscription-based model that virtually connects customers to a solar installation within their electric utility company’s territory. The resulting energy output is divided among multiple participants known as subscribers, which can be homes or businesses, and reflected as a credit on their utility bill. This allows households – who previously lacked access due to cost, shaded property, or lack of roof control – to participate in a more equitable solar market. Community solar makes “going solar” possible without having to purchase, install, or maintain solar panels. For more information about New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, click here.

“Clean energy is the wave of the future and we must embrace it as we seek to address climate change for the generations to come,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “I am proud that the first community solar project to come online is in my home county of Middlesex. Clean energy, like solar, is not only good for our environment, it also creates sustainable jobs for thousands of New Jersey residents. Now, Perth Amboy residents can elect to have their clean energy sourced right from their own backyard. I thank Governor Murphy for his commitment to reaching 100 percent clean energy.”

“Duke Realty is committed to sustainable development like our four-building community in Perth Amboy,” said Art Makris, senior vice president of the Northeast region for Duke Realty. “Partnering with Solar Landscape, the solar project covering one million square feet of rooftop generates 11.1 megawatts of clean electricity. In total, Duke Realty has helped generate 28.2 megawatts of clean electric power on roofs across the country annually.”

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