Solar Shore: Jersey Hits 10,000 Installations

It’s no California, but New Jersey continues to do impressive work on the solar-power front: The Garden State this summer surged past the 10,000 mark in total installations. The state said that as of June 30, there were 10,086 solar energy projects up and running on its turf. Those projects totaled 380 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, putting Jersey second only to the California in the United States.

New Jersey credited its renewable energy certificates program for driving the solar installations, none of which are the giant utility-scale projects seen in the desert Southwest, but many of which are, nevertheless, very big indeed.

New Jersey solar, SunPower, Princeton

image via SunPower

At the top of the heap among new projects, the state said, was the Gloucester Marine Terminal, which when operational in the next few months will be the largest rooftop installation in the United States at 9 MW. Another recent installation in New Jersey, Avidan Management’s whopping 4.26 MW project, seems almost small in comparison. Oh, and don’t forget the 5.5 MW of SunPower photovoltaic modules going in at Princeton University.

According to a report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, at the end of 2010 New Jersey had 15 percent of the nation’s installed grid-connected photovoltaic capacity, just a little bit better than half of California’s 28 percent share. It’s worth pointing out, however, the United States is seriously lagging given its size and wealth, with just 6 percent of total world PV capacity. Germany leads the way with an astounding 44 percent share, according to the 2011 Global Renewable Status Report.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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