Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), Newark, N.J., recently received approval from the State of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), Trenton, N.J., to expand its solar loan program by approximately $143 million to finance the installation of an additional 51MW of solar energy systems on homes, businesses, and municipal buildings throughout its electric service area. Since the utility's initial Solar Loan Program was approved by the New Jersey BPU in April 2008, customers have applied for loans totaling $105 million, equaling 30MW of installed solar capacity. Under the new initiative, $248 million will become available for loans — a total of 81MW of solar power for New Jersey.

“There's no question that providing a source of stable, secure capital — especially in our tough economy — has helped boost the number of solar energy systems in New Jersey,” says Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of PSE&G. “With the recent BPU approval, this expanded program will support the development of another 51MW of solar energy to help our state meet its aggressive renewable goals and reduce carbon emissions. We're pleased to do our part to make New Jersey a leader in solar energy installations, second only to California.”

In addition to the loan program, PSE&G has begun to implement its Solar 4 All program, investing $515 million in 80MW of solar projects that will help double the state's solar capacity. The utility is installing solar panels on 200,000 utility poles and street lights in about 300 communities.

Contractors interested in learning more about PSE&G's Solar Loan Program should visit the company's Web site at http://www.pseg.com/solarloan.