The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) is tasked with converting its Community Solar Energy Pilot Program into a permanent program by February 2022. The organization announced it is organizing a stakeholder process to discuss the design of the permanent program after the award of the Pilot Program Year 2 applications. Staff is currently finalizing its review of PY2 applications and anticipates presenting recommendations to the board in October or November 2021.
The NJBPU anticipates that the permanent program stakeholder process will begin before the end of 2021 and that this process will build upon comments received in response to the Solar Successor Program Straw Proposal in April and May 2021.
In the first-ever community solar solicitation in New Jersey, the board received 252 applications and approved 45, representing 78 MW of solar energy capacity with 100% of the approved applications serving low- and moderate-income communities. The program grew significantly in the second solicitation, for which the board received a record 412 applications, representing over 800 MW of proposed community solar projects. All but one of those applications proposes to serve LMI communities.
In light of the timing for the development of the permanent program, the board has announced that it anticipates transitioning directly to the Permanent Program. As such, the board does not anticipate conducting a Program Year 3 solicitation under the existing framework of the Pilot Program.
Questions about the stakeholder process can be directed to communitysolar@NJCleanEnergy.com.