New Jersey to start designing permanent community solar program
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) is tasked with converting its Community Solar Energy Pilot Program into a permanent program by February 2022. The organization announced that it is organizing a stakeholder process to discuss the design of the permanent program after the award of the Year 2 Pilot Program applications. The staff is currently finalizing the review of PY2 applications and expects to present recommendations to the board in October or November 2021.
The NJBPU expects the ongoing program stakeholder process to begin before the end of 2021 and build on comments received in response to the Straw solar successor program proposal in April and May 2021.
In the first-ever New Jersey community solar application, the board received 252 applications and approved 45 applications, representing 78 MW of solar capacity, with 100% of approved applications serving low and middle income communities. . The program grew significantly in its second application, for which the board received a record 412 applications, representing more than 800 MW of proposed community solar projects. All but one of the applications are intended to serve LMI communities.
Given the timing for the development of the permanent program, the board has announced that it is anticipating a direct transition to the permanent program. As such, the board does not expect to execute a request for program year 3 in the existing framework of the pilot program.
Questions about the stakeholder process can be directed to communitysolar@NJCleanEnergy.com.