The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), Newark, N.J., recently announced that the state now has more than 100MW of solar capacity with more than 4,340 projects statewide. "This monumental achievement only serves to further strengthen New Jersey’s position as one of the fastest-growing solar energy markets in the United States," says Governor Jon Corzine. "Our leadership is credited to our commitment to environmentally responsible action and a competitive market-based initiative.”

Seven years ago, the state had only six solar installations. Since that time, New Jersey has established a program that incorporates both energy efficiency and renewable energy. New Jersey’s integrated approach to solar development includes a strong Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with a solar electric set aside, interconnection and net metering standards that have made it easier for systems to connect to the distribution system, a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) financing model that provides energy credits and additional long term financing for those who invest in solar.

"As we strive to meet Governor Corzine’s comprehensive Energy Master Plan goals, the NJBPU is continually looking to efficiently increase our renewable energy generation while reducing New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions.” says Jeanne M. Fox, president of NJBPU. “Today, our innovative SREC financing model combined with federal tax credits and New Jersey’s Renewable Energy Portfolio requirements, provide the incentives needed to continue to spur New Jersey’s solar growth."

New Jersey's Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) financing model is one of the state's newest initiatives to develop a solar market in the state. Representing all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from a solar electric system, one SREC is issued for each 1,000kWh generated. SRECs are then sold or traded, separately from the power, providing solar system owners a source of revenue to help offset the cost of installation. In most cases, SRECs replace state rebates, which fueled solar growth in the early years of the state's solar program. New Jersey is the first government to adopt the use of SRECs to help finance solar projects on a broad scale. Information about New Jersey's Clean Energy Program and utility financing programs can be found on the program's Web site or by calling (866) 657-6278.