Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 13th May
Governor Phil Murphy’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) celebrated the launch of the first community solar project to be constructed on a closed landfill as part of the NJBPU’s historic Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. Community solar supports Governor Murphy’s commitment to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 and ensures access to clean energy for communities previously unable to use solar energy. The 3.1-MW solar installation, constructed by New Jersey developer Soltage at 900 Coopertown Road in Delanco Township, will power up to 700 households with clean energy and dedicate 55% of its output to low- and moderate-income (LMI) subscribers.
“We are very proud to see successful community solar development, especially projects sited on former landfills,” said NJBPU president Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Since these contaminated sites are often not suitable for other types of redevelopment, community solar is one of the best ways to utilize them in a way that promotes equity by making the benefits of clean energy more accessible to New Jersey residents.”
The union-built project received significant community support in its application for Year 1 of the Pilot Program, and identified guaranteed savings in the form of fixed bill credits as an economic benefit to subscribers. Soltage also partnered with the Ladies in Transit Holistic Community Development Corporation to provide a job training workshop for local residents to learn about career paths in the solar industry.
“It’s been a pleasure to be involved with both Soltage and Pro-Tech Energy during the construction of the Tri-County Solar Farm,” said Mark Miller, Operations Manager of Southern New Jersey at Huen Electric and member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 351. “The State’s renewable energy program has been supportive for not only union electricians but also our union civil operators. We look forward to continuing being an important part of the State’s renewable energy goals.”
The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is administered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program and provides access to solar energy by virtually connecting customers to a solar installation within their electric utility company’s service territory.
NJBPU is in the process of reviewing 410 applications submitted for Year 2 of the Pilot Program and expects to award capacity later this year. Year 2 has allocated 150 MW of award capacity, including a 40% carve-out for projects serving LMI households.
News item from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)