Showing growth in all solar sectors, New Jersey had the sixth most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The state also maintained its Top 3 ranking in total installed capacity, finishing the year behind only California and Arizona.
Washington, DC March 17, 2015
Showing growth in all solar sectors, New Jersey had the sixth most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report. The state also maintained its Top 3 ranking in total installed capacity, finishing the year behind only California and Arizona.
In 2014, New Jersey added 240 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 1,451 MW. That's enough clean, affordable energy to power nearly 230,000 homes. The report went on to point out that New Jersey's biggest solar gains came in commercial installations, but residential installations were strong as well, setting a new record. Of the new capacity added, 102 MW were commercial, 60 MW were residential and 77 MW were utility scale. Together, these installations represented a $591 million investment across New Jersey.
"To put the state's remarkable progress in some context, the 1,451 MW of solar installed today in New Jersey is more than our entire country had installed by 2009. That's an amazing achievement," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "What's more, we expect 2015 to be New Jersey's second best year ever for new PV installations, with nearly 400 MW on new capacity projected to come online."
Today, there are 509 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New Jersey, employing more than 7,200 people. New Jersey's notable solar projects include:
The largest rooftop solar array in North America was installed in 2012 by Holt Logistics, on the roof of its Gloucester Marine Terminal warehouse facility. The 9 MW project features more than 27,000 panels spread out over 1.1 million square feet. The installation provides 80 percent of the facilities energy needs.
At 9.9 MW, Howell Solar Farm is among the largest solar installations in New Jersey. Completed in 2015 by NJR Clean Energy Ventures, this photovoltaic (PV) project has enough electric capacity to power more than 1,600 homes.
Several large retailers in New Jersey have also gone solar, including FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Toys 'R Us, and McGraw Hill.
U.S. Foods has installed one of the largest corporate PV systems in the state with 8,135 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity at its location in Perth Amboy.
In addition to a robust commercial sector, New Jersey's residential market also showed significant gains last year, with installed system prices dropping by 8 percent – and down a total of 49 percent since 2010. Nationwide, the U.S. residential market added 1.2 GW of installed capacity in 2014, marking the first time that this growing sector surpassed 1 GW of clean, affordable solar. Residential also continues to be the fastest-growing market segment in the U.S., with 2014 marking three consecutive years of greater than 50 percent annual growth.
From an environmental perspective, solar installations in New Jersey are helping to offset nearly 1.3 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing more than 270,000 cars off state roads and highways or saving 1.5 million gallons of gasoline.
"Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy," Resch added. "This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. and New Jersey economies, as well as for our environment."