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Congrats, New Jersey!

The state of New Jersey is getting creative in its efforts to promote renewable energy. A new project by the state’s largest utility company will make New Jersey no. 2 in the nation in solar energy production. – California being no. 1. 

Despite a lack of sunshine, high winds and open land, New Jersey has made strides to become a leader in renewable energy production. New Jersey Public Service Enterprise Group, the state’s largest utility, is in the process of installing around 200,000 utility poles with solar units, and the state is encouraging industrial solar installations. Postal giant, FedEx, says they will begin installing what will become the nation’s largest rooftop solar facility on the rooftops of its distribution hub in Woodbridge, NJ next month. 

A $514 million dollar state program along with a 30% tax credit from the federal government provides incentive for companies like FedEx to invest in alternative energy sources in New Jersey. New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program launched the Renewable Energy Incentive Program, providing incentives for renewable energy projects using solar, wind, and biopower technologies. These programs follow New Jersey’s 2008 Renewable Clean Energy Programs, including the Customer On-Site Renewable Energy (CORE) Program and the SREC-Only Pilot Program, which ended as of December 31, 2008.

The state has seen a great response to their clean energy initiative in the past. Due to the high volume of applicants for up-front solar rebates beginning in 2005, the project quickly exceeded its budget. Now there is a line-up of applicants – over 1,200 waiting to join the program.

The state also provides tools and resources to encourage more responsible consumption. NJCleanEnergy.com provides resources to stay on top of the renewable energy industry, including tools to calculate emissions; news of recent program changes; and a library of information sources. 

What a positive way to affect change. If New Jersey, a state of less than 7,500 square miles can come second in solar production to nearly 156,000 square-mile California, imagine the national impact if the next 48 states followed their lead.


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