New Jersey sets record for solar installations in 2019

Published on March 24, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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New Jersey set a record for solar installation in 2019, according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).

A new NJBPU report found that 447 megawatts (MWdc) of solar capacity commenced commercial operations in 2019 – a record for one year. Those installations bring the state’s total capacity up to 3,190 MWdc through the end of the year — up from 2,743 MWdc from the previous year. Solar now serves 5 percent of the state’s energy needs.

As part of its Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, NJBPU awarded nearly 80 MW of renewable energy capacity across 45 community solar projects for low- and moderate-income communities.

“In New Jersey, we are incredibly proud of our solar industry. From the standout year we had in 2019, and for many decades to come, one of our top priorities is to keep the industry thriving as we work to combat climate change and meet Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said. “Solar always has – and always will – have a major presence here in New Jersey, and will continue to create jobs, improve air quality and public health, and ease our reliance on more polluting fuel sources.”

The state’s previous record for installed solar capacity in a year was in 2011 when 446.8 MWdc commenced commercial operations.

New Jersey is currently ranked seventh in the nation in installed solar capacity and ninth overall in clean energy jobs. The state has nearly 9,000 solar industry jobs.

The state has a goal of build 17,000 MW of solar by 2035. Further, the state is seeking to have solar provide 34 percent of the state’s energy mix in 30 years. It’s part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal to have 100 percent clean energy in the state by 2050.