US-based gas and electric utility Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has secured an approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) for the extension of its Solar 4 All programme.
With the approval, PSE&G will invest up to $80m for the construction of a 33 megawatts-dc (MW-DC) of landfill and brownfield solar over the next three years.
The Solar 4 All programme supplies solar power directly to the electric grid. PSE&G has invested more than $500m so far and this second extension will make it a 158MW-DC programme, allowing the use of rooftops, parking lots, utility poles, and landfills/brownfields for universal solar projects.
PSE&G's renewables and energy solutions vice-president Courtney McCormick said: “We have said all along that we wanted to do more through the Solar 4 All programme, so we are thankful that the BPU approved this extension and excited to continue our efforts to help New Jersey reach its renewable energy goals.
“Solar 4 All creates jobs, aligns with the New Jersey Energy Master Plan and helps the environment by directly increasing the amount of solar power in the state.
“And by building these universal solar projects and connecting them directly to the PSE&G electric grid, we are also ensuring that all of our electric customers truly share both the costs and the benefits of solar power.”
In 2009, the BPU gave approval to PSE&G to install 80MW-DC of solar capacity. The first extension was approved in 2013, where PSE&G was allowed to build an additional 42MW-DC of solar capacity on landfills, brownfields, and 3MW-DC in solar pilot programmes for storm hardening and grid resiliency.
McCormick further added: "Utilising landfills and brownfields for universal solar development makes sense for PSE&G customers and for New Jersey as a whole.
"We are taking land that would otherwise remain undeveloped and giving it a new life and new purpose, saving scarce open space in New Jersey and connecting all of those solar panels directly to the electric grid our customers use."
Currently, 115MW-DC is in service, with an additional 10MW-DC expected to be in service by the end of the year.