PSE&G's $446 million solar plan that uses brownfields and landfills inches forward


Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) announced Tuesday that it has a preliminary agreement with New Jersey regulators on its $446 proposal to build solar power projects in New Jersey. The ambitious plan includes $247 million to plant solar farms atop brownfields and landfills, with remaining funds going to smaller solar projects and new systems.


The Star-Ledger notes that in a state "starving for open space," solar developers see the thousands of acres landfills and brownfields in New Jersey as a vast untapped resource.


The report also says that Ralph Izzo -- chairman of PSE&G parent company Public Service Enterprise Group -- explained in an earnings call that it was damage from Hurricane Sandy that highlighted the need for alternative energy sources to bolster grid resiliency. Sandy knocked out power to almost all of PSE&G's 2.1 million customers.


The solar investment would occur over a three-year period and be paid for by customers, according to The Star-Ledger, which also says the state Division of Rate Counsel will file a brief opposing the PSE&G solar plan due to inadequate safeguards on utility spending and that the rate of return is too high.

A decision by the state Board of Public Utilities is expected by the end of May.


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