Solar Capacity in New Jersey Doubled in 2006

The installation of a 454-kilowatt (kW) solar installation is completed at Monmouth University in Long Branch, New Jersey, one of more than 1,840 solar installations across the state. At the event, more than 60 leading solar market participants and community representatives gathered to discuss the future of New Jersey’s solar market.

The reported third quarter 2006 results announced at the event by the New Jersey (NJBPU) show that New Jersey has more than doubled its solar capacity in the first nine months of 2006, with more than 26 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity. The rapid growth in solar installations across the Garden State is due to New Jersey’s Solar Financing Model, which helps drive investment in solar technologies by combining state financial incentives with net metering benefits, electric cost savings, federal tax credits and clean energy credits. Based on its financing model, New Jersey has reduced the payback period for solar installation down to ten years or less. Both business and residential customers have taken advantage of the state’s Customer Onsite Renewable Energy (CORE) rebates, which reduce the upfront costs for the installation of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind and biomass by as much as 50%. During the first nine months in 2006, New Jersey reports over $46 million dollars in rebates to NJ ratepayers for the installation of over 10 MW of solar photovoltaics. An additional $56 million in CORE rebate commitments were made available by the Board in September bringing the final 2006 budget for the rebate program to $147 million. The Office of Clean Energy estimates that an additional 200 installations representing an additional 5 MW of solar capacity will be completed within the fourth quarter. In comparison, New Jersey installed a total of 9.9 MW of solar capacity from 2001 through 2005, representing a total of $43.9 million in rebates.
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