or all the New Jerseyans out there interested in photovoltaics, here is some great news: New Jersey is well-suited for solar. With an average of 206 sunny days annually, New Jersey provides great opportunities for homeowners to fully enjoy the benefits of a photovoltaic installation.
Photovoltaics in New Jersey
The solar industry is spreading across the United States, with the New Jersey photovoltaic market being a full-fledged part of the U.S. solar growth. As stated by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are already 4.270 MW of solar NJ installed, which puts the state in the 8th place of the U.S. ranking. Photovoltaic setups account for 6.7% of the state’s electricity, and New Jersey has more PV systems installed per square mile than any other state – enough to power 682.696 homes1.
To grasp the magnitude of the photovoltaic industry in New Jersey, it's worth noting some of the state's significant PV projects. The 28.9 MW Toms River project is its largest photovoltaic facility that produces enough electricity for 5,045 homes. Built on 117 acres of the BASF property, the PV farm was developed by EDF Renewables and has been operational since 2021. The 28 MW Ben Moreell Solar Farm is another key project for the current New Jersey’s renewable energy plan, which targets 50% of the state’s electricity needs to be provided by renewable energy by 2020 and 100% by 2050.
Cost of New Jersey solar panels
Solar prices in New Jersey fell by 52% over the last decade, making a photovoltaic system a cost-effective choice to consider. Taking advantage of solar energy when the prices for it are low will help keep the initial investment costs down. On average, an NJ photovoltaic system will cost $2.78 per watt, which is below the national average of $3.00 per watt. The total price for solar power in New Jersey largely depends on several factors, including system size, roof characteristics, location, and additional equipment. Furthermore, don’t forget that the cost of your PV system can be significantly reduced if you qualify for the 30% Federal Tax Credit (ITC). The table below will help you compare the solar pricing for different sizes of PV systems2.
New Jersey photovoltaic incentives
The enticing incentives offered by the state make New Jersey solar panels even more appealing. It’s been years since New Jersey started to actively support photovoltaics. The NJ Solar Act of 2012 was one of the top local regulations that boosted the PV industry in the state by incentivizing developers to build more PV installations. This Act stated that 4.1% of electricity must come from photovoltaics by 2028.
The Clean Energy Act of 2018 updated the photovoltaic requirement to 5.1% by 2021, which New Jersey achieved by April 2020. This resulted in the closure of the SREC program, the principal NJ incentive for photovoltaics for over a decade. But one year later, the Solar Act of 2021 ordered the implementation of the SuSI, or SREC-II program (the SREC’s successor).
Under the SREC-II program, you can generate one SREC-II for every megawatt-hour (MWh) your photovoltaic panels produce. The value of a SREC-II varies depending on your PV system type; for residential setups, with each SREC-II you generate, you earn a fixed $90 payment for 15 years. So, with an 8 KW system that generates 8 MWh per year, you can earn $720 annually by selling solar.
Another incentive that contributed to the state’s success in the adoption of photovoltaics is New Jersey’s net metering. This policy allows you to sell surplus energy produced by your photovoltaic system back to the electricity grid at the retail rate. Net metering programs vary by utility provider, so check with yours to see what is available for you. NJ top utility net metering programs are JCP&L, and PSE&G.
Furthermore, New Jersey offers some tax breaks for photovoltaic setups. If you buy a PV system, you will not have to pay any sales tax, thanks to the PV energy sales tax exemption. Thus, you will spend 7 percent less on your PV array. Also, New Jersey residents will be completely exempt from any additional property taxes related to the value that their photovoltaic systems add to their homes.
Top New Jersey PV installers
Choosing a PV installer is a challenging task requiring time and planning. With so many companies to pick from, try to get several quotes from local installers before making a final decision. As claimed by SEIA, about 450 PV companies currently offer their services in New Jersey, including 75 manufacturers and 205 installers. Here are some examples of popular NJ dealers you can trust:
- Solar Energy World;
- Venture Solar;
- Trinity Solar;
- Solar Me.
Is New Jersey a good place for a PV setup?
The benefits of New Jersey solar panels are clear, with the state ranking among the leading adopters of solar energy in the country. Photovoltaic equipment is valued for its environmental benefits and the savings associated with using the electric energy produced by a residential setup. New Jersey has enough sunshine for an efficient operation of a photovoltaic system, and plenty of New Jersey’s incentives will make your investment more affordable.