The state’s Board of Public Utilities took in 252 applications over the past year from companies eyeing a move into the state’s growing solar energy market, emboldened by Gov. Phil Murphy’s efforts to make New Jersey completely reliant on clean, renewable energy by 2050.
Thursday’s applications are for year one of the BPU’s three-year Community Solar Energy Program, under which 40 percent of the energy generated would have to go to low-and-moderate income households.
The program would be able to cover electricity for 45,000 homes, though it has a capacity of only 75 MW for the first year.
LMI households “which have had historically less access to solar energy due to cost or lack of roof control” would have access to electricity from solar energy generated by local government-led projects, the BPU said.
“The Community Solar Pilot will not only provide clean energy to our state’s residents, but it will also expand access to renewable energy for low-and-moderate income communities who have been previously unable to enjoy the benefits of solar energy,” Murphy said in a prepared statement from the BPU.
The governor last year unveiled plans to generate 3,500 megawatts of offshore energy by 2035.
In June, the BPU approved a bid for Ørsted to construct facilities for 1,100 megawatts of wind energy off the coast of Atlantic City – a move expected to generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits and power 500,000 New Jersey homes.