New Jersey adding 80 megawatts of solar power, one pole at a time

New Jersey is making a bid to become the second most solar powered state in the US, and they’re doing it a little differently than most. PSE&G is spending $515 million to generate 80 megawatts of solar power, and about half of it will be generated from small solar panels on about 200,000 of the companies power polls.  So if you live in New Jersey, you very well might see these solar panels when you look out your window.   These panels (generating about 200 watts each) will feed power directly into the electric grid.   The other half of the 80 megawatts will come from solar panels on commercial roofs and other “solar gardens” owned by PSE&G.     The original proposal called for 120 megawatts at a cost of $773 million, but New Jersey state regulators stopped the part of the plan that called for solar panels on government buildings.    The 80 megawatts of electricity that the project will produce will provide enough electricity for about 640,000 New Jersey households.

The solar panels are supposed to be installed and up and running by the end of 2012.  PSE&G calculates that residential customers will start out paying about 10 cents a month for them, which will slowly increase to 35 cents a month in 2028.

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