New Jersey Launches Dual-Use Solar Program

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New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and Rutgers University launch Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program

The Rutgers University Agrivoltaics Program (RAP) and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) have entered into an agreement to establish a Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program for the next three years. It aims to demonstrate the compatibility of solar photovoltaic infrastructure and agricultural or horticultural production on the same land.

The NJBPU has approved the installation and operation of up to 200 MWDC of solar capacity over three years, with a potential extension to 300 MWDC over five years. The pilot program will inform the creation of a permanent program with construction and operation standards for dual-use solar energy projects.

This provides incentives to solar electric generation facilities located on farmland that will maintain active agricultural or horticultural use. Dual-use solar energy can offer farmers an additional revenue stream, supporting farm financial viability while increasing the production of clean energy.

The pilot program is expected to determine participants through a competitive process that considers price and non-price terms. The Board plans to release a straw proposal during Summer 2023 and engage in a public consultation process.

NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso praised the dual-use program for advancing the state’s solar industry and supporting working family farmers. Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Senior Associate Director of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, expressed confidence in the new technology’s potential to generate clean energy and improve farm sustainability.

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