New Jersey BPU Approves State’s First Community Solar Pilot Program Rules
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) on Jan. 17 approved the three-year Community Solar Energy Pilot Program Rules
In order to ensure that all New Jerseyans have access to solar, the Pilot will earmark 40 percent of the overall program capacity for low- and moderate-income projects.
The Pilot Program, which will generate crucial market information and implementation data, will ultimately inform the development of a permanent community solar program over the next three years, the BPU said.
In order to join, customers sign up for a community solar subscription, through which they either purchase an ownership share of the community solar system or sign up for a recurring monthly subscription. The benefit of participating is represented as a bill credit on each subscriber’s utility bill. The application for the pilot program is being developed in consultation with a broad group of stakeholders and will be considered by the Board at a meeting in the near future, the BPU said
The Community Solar Pilot has an annual capacity limit of 75 megawatts (MW) for the first year and at least 75 MW for the second and third years (roughly estimated enough to cover the electric usage of 45,000 residential homes).