As the northeast states, including New Jersey, have some of the highest electrical rates in the nation, new sources of energy are becoming increasingly important. Due to the legislation, signed into law in January 2011, 34 proposed energy generating projects are now under consideration. NJ solar energy is also becoming more important. As of April 2011, Rutgers University Livingston Campus will install 32 acres of solar canopies (40,000 solar panels) over two large parking lots. Combined with existing solar canopies, over 60% of Rutgers’ electricity will now be from solar energy, reducing carbon emissions by 1,200 tons and electric costs by $220,000 annually. Paired with a solar company who will pay the upfront costs -$40.8 million- Rutgers will lease the system for 15 years before buying it. After 20 years of saving and selling energy credits, the project will result in an estimated net gain of $28 million!
Vital to solar development in New Jersey is access to capital. Right now, capital is limited for smaller property owners. The 30% federal tax credit for renewable projects was extended through 2016, which will assist in the continued development of solar installations throughout New Jersey and the country. Middlesex County took advantage of the stimulus funding and New Jersey solar incentives that only lasted through 2010 by directing a feasibility study for solar power grids that could power the North Brunswick jail and the Middlesex County college in Edison. In 2007, the county installed 12 large panels in North Brunswick, which provides 40% of the county cooperative extension service’s electricity. Middlesex County received an $115,000 New Jersey solar rebate from the Board of Public Utilities for that project- almost half of the $372,000 total cost.
When New Jersey deregulated their electric industry in 1999, customers were able to choose their electric supplier, which led to significant annual savings for many residents and businesses. In 2009, Middlesex County itself joined a cooperative energy purchase agreement that lowered electrical costs to $0.10 per kWh.
If you live in Middlesex County and are interested in residential solar or commercial solar, let us know and we’ll get you connected to a local installer right away!