New Jersey is celebrating the completion of the first community solar project to be constructed on a closed landfill as part of the Board of Public Utilities’s (NJBPU’s) Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.
The 3.1 MW installation was built by New Jersey developer Soltage, and will power up to 700 households with clean energy, dedicating 55% of its capacity to low- and moderate-income (LMI) subscribers.
The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program is administered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. NJBPU is in the process of reviewing 410 applications submitted for Year 2 of the Pilot Program, with the expectation of awarding capacity later this year. Year 2 has allocated 150 MW of award capacity, including a 40% reservation for projects serving LMI households.
In the first year of the pilot, regulators awarded slightly more than the allocated 75 MW, with 78 MW across 45 projects being approved. The program also made strides in increasing community solar access to LMI customers: 100% of the approved projects reserved at least 51% of their capacity for those customers.
Changes to the program between years one and two mainly focus on easing enrollment; namely, simplifying the rules used to verify which customers qualify as low- and moderate-income residents. Developers no longer have to obtain potential subscribers’ two previous years of federal tax returns.
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