A new online tool allows NJ residents to search for community solar projects
🔴 The NJBPU will make a pilot community solar project finder permanent this year
🔴 Residents plug their zip code into an online tool to find nearby solar projects
🔴 The program benefits renters and those can't have or afford solar on their own
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities launched the New Jersey Community Solar Project Finder.
NJBPU has partnered with Sustainable New Jersey on this initiative.
The solar project finder is an online tool that allows New Jersey residents to search by zip code for community solar projects serving their community.
Community solar is for anyone who wants to benefit from solar energy without having to install the solar panels directly onto their roof.
So, this allows those who rent, lack control of their roof, live in an apartment or multi-family building, or cannot afford the cost of solar installation to benefit from the cost savings and reduced carbon footprint of solar power.
The New Jersey Community Solar Pilot Program, which started two years ago, has been extremely successful, said BPU President Joe Fiordaliso. So much so that he said a permanent program will be released in the first quarter of 2023.
In the first two years, the Board approved 150 applications for community solar projects representing 240 MW of solar energy capacity, more than half of which will serve low and moderate-income communities.
There are 5,500 subscribers no and the BPU is looking for another 30,000, he said.
When the BPU started the pilot, they had no idea it was going to gain such popularity, Fiordaliso said.
“But this provides everyone, regardless of the zip code they live in, the opportunity to participate in the clean energy revolution that’s occurring in New Jersey today,” Fiordaliso said.
He expects the permanent program to be even more successful than the pilot.
To date, there are 27 community solar projects that have come online and are in operation and the BPU is expecting 98 more this year, he said.
There are two benefits to using solar energy.
It certainly saves money on their energy bill, Fiordaliso said. That’s important because people think of clean energy as expensive but this saves people money. As more and more clean energy comes online, the cheaper it becomes.
The second benefit of solar is that reduces carbon emissions by not using fossil fuels.
“So, if I can get my energy from the sun, I’m being double-benefitted,” Fiordaliso said.
To search by ZIP code for community solar projects in your area, visit here.
Subscribers will receive a financial credit on their utility bill for the portion of power generated by the array on your behalf. Separately, a person would be responsible for paying a subscription fee to the community solar project.
A webinar will also be held on March 8 to learn about the New Jersey Community Solar Project Finder.
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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