A utility company in New Jersey with more than 2 million customers is asking approval for a $773 million project to implement a solar energy program to provide electricity to the communities and costumers it serves.
Public Service Electric and Gas Co., which is the largest utility in the state, released a plan Tuesday to add 120 megawatts of solar energy to meet nearly 7 percent of New Jersey's goals for renewable energy standard requirements for 2021. It will also create hundreds of green jobs in the solar industry with this project, the company noted.
New Jersey's standard requires that 22.5 percent of the energy must come from renewable sources by 2021, from which 2.1 percent must be from solar energy.
The company said that the 120 megawatts of solar capacity will eliminate 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of removing about 310,000 cars from the road for one year.
The project announcement comes a day after President Barack Obama urged for investment in new energy technology projects in order to create jobs to help the economy recover.
Obama has said renewable energy is the way the United States can win the economic competition of the future and his administration has included tens of billions of dollars in the economic stimulus package for the alternative energy industry.
PSE & G added that the impact of the project on a regular customer is forecasted to be of an additional 10 cents on their electricity bill in the first full year of the program, and up to 35 cents per month in 2013, the company said in a statement.
State regulators have 180 days to make a decision on this investment plan.
On Tuesday, PSE & G president, chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo, testified before the Senate Committee on energy and Natural Resources in Washington D.C. saying he favored a national renewable portfolio standard which would require that utilities companies receive a certain percentage of their power energy from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or hydrothermal.
President Obama also pushed this week for a renewable energy standard in which U.S. utilities may need to get 15 or 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources.