New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) have launched the first community solar project to be constructed on a closed landfill as part of the NJBPU’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. 

NJBPU’s program supports Murphy’s commitment to achieving 100% clean energy by 2050 and ensures access to clean energy for communities previously unable to utilize solar energy. The 3.1 MW solar installation, constructed by Soltage, will dedicate 55% of its output to low- and moderate-income (LMI) subscribers.

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 Corp. to provide a job training workshop for local residents to learn about career paths in the solar industry.

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. This allows residential and commercial customers – who previously lacked access due to cost, shaded property or lack of roof control – to reap the benefits of a more equitable solar market without having to purchase, install or maintain solar panels.

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. 

For more information about New Jersey’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, click here.

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