Monday, January 9, 2012

New Jersey Doubles Solar Capacity In 2011: When Will NJ Exceed 1,000 Solar Megawatts?

Some questions are shocking.  Consider this one.  When will New Jersey exceed 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity? Until 2011 asking this question would have been ridiculous.  No more.

Last year was the Garden State's biggest solar year ever, when it approximately doubled its solar capacity, something that also happened nationally.

Specifically, New Jersey installed 230 megawatts of solar during 2011,  nearly doubling the 259 megawatts that had been installed prior to 2011.  The average capacity size of a solar system in New Jersey doubled in 2011, compared to systems constructed during the previous decade.

During 2011, 4,348 systems were built to provide 230 megawatts of capacity or about 53 kilowatts per facility on average. By contrast, 8,351 solar systems were built prior to 2011 to install 259 megawatts.

Estimates are that New Jersey may reach 700 megawatts by June of 2012.  It also seems likely that New Jersey may cross the 1,000 megawatts of solar capacity sometime in 2013. See  One-thousand megawatts is an amazing milestone that would have been an unobtainable dream until 2011.

The explosive growth in solar systems in New Jersey has led to a significant decline in the price of solar credits and a bill to raise the solar requirement.  Currently New Jersey is the second largest solar market in America but huge solar farms under construction in states like Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona mean the competition to remain the second largest solar market is heating up.

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