It may be better known for smokestack industries, but New Jersey is fast becoming a green haven for a number of Sacramento-grown solar companies.
Lured by some of the most attractive incentives in the solar industry, SPI Solar of Roseville and Premier Power Renewable Energy of El Dorado Hills have lined up a significant amount of work in the Garden State.
Despite having far fewer sunny days, the Garden State has emerged as the nation's second largest solar market behind California. A big part of the reason: a state program under which companies that install solar systems can cash in by selling credits to utilities.
Unlike some of the vast, utility-scale solar farms being developed in remote parts of California's Mojave Desert, many of these industrial projects are being built in New Jersey's urban core and are providing energy directly to the big factories and warehouses on which they are built.
New Jersey waiting for tally on viable brown fields for solar
Jan 18, 2012
While the Office of Clean Energy at the Board of Public Utilities considers options to promote solar through long-term SREC contracting, a New Jersey environmentalist is wondering what land is viable for large systems.
“There’s about 20,000 contaminated sites in New Jersey,” said Jeff Tittle, Director of NJ Sierra Club. “Ten thousand are estimated to be brown fields. Which ones should be built on? This data needs to be sorted out.”
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection keeps an official tally on contaminated land. According to Tittle, 500 of the brown fields are especially dirty—prime for solar installations.
“We really need to start thinking about the best places to develop. Poor transmission systems, running lines in sensitive places—the BPU needs to work on a plan that keeps us out of boom or bust,” said Tittle.