New Jersey Renewable Energy Generation


New Jersey has one of the more aggressive renewable portfolio standards, or RPS, of any state. It requires that a certain percentage of electricity used by state of New Jersey be produced by renewable energy sources. As part of its RPS, New Jersey has a solar carve-out which requires that a certain amount of solar electricity be generated within the state of New Jersey. Here are the yearly targets for the RPS as defined by A.B. 3520 and S.B. 1925:

Year Solar Class I Class II
EY 2012 442 GWh 6.320% 2.5%
EY 2013 586 GWh 7.143% 2.5%
EY 2014 772 GWh 7.977% 2.5%

Under the statute, Class I renewable energy is defined as electricity derived from solar energy, wind energy, wave or tidal action, geothermal energy, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, fuel cells using renewable fuels, and certain other forms of sustainable biomass. Class II renewables are defined as electricity generated by hydropower facilities larger than 3 megawatts and less than 30 megawatts, and resource-recovery facilities (i.e., municipal solar waste or MSW) located in New Jersey approved by the DEP.

Additionally, the solar carve-out for the RPS requires a certain amount of electricity to be generated from solar PV systems located within the state of New Jersey. The EIA data indicated below only shows production from solar power plants on the utility side of the meter, and not the production from solar PV systems located on the customer side of the meter. Thus, the amount of solar production indicated below is less than what is actually occurring.

Regardless of how the policy supporting solar operates, it is clearly effective in getting more solar power installed in New Jersey as is evidenced by the momentous growth in electricity produced by solar between January and May of 2013. (January saw 0 MWh produced, while May saw 39 MWh of solar electricity produced.)

Renewable Energy Mix for November 2012

Source MWh % of total
Biomass 67 62 %
Solar 23 21.3 %
Wind 0 0 %

Renewable Energy Mix for November 2012 vs November 2011

Source 2012 MWh 2011 MWh % Change
Biomass 67 67 0 %
Solar 23 4 443 %
Wind 0 1 -100 %