LOS ANGELES, July 29 Public Service Enterprise
Group Inc (PEG.N) unit PSE&G can spend $515 million of
ratepayer money for 80 megawatts of solar power projects, New
Jersey utility regulators ruled on Wednesday.
Regulators reduced PSE&G's original proposal of $773
million for 120 megawatts of solar power. The state utility
regulating board killed plans for solar panels on government
Some 40 megawatts of power will be generated by placing
small solar units on 200,000 power poles in the PSE&G service
territory. PSE&G says this will be the largest pole-attached
solar project in the world.
The other 40 MW will come from solar panels on commercial
roofs and in "solar gardens" owned by PSE&G as well as third
The projects are to be installed by the end of 2013. By the
time they are up and generating, most PSE&G customers will be
paying between 10 cents to 35 cents per month for them.
At $515 million for 80 megawatts, the cost per megawatt for
the project is about $6.4 million, while it costs about
$500,000/MW for natural gas power plants, $2 million/MW for
coal plants and $4 million/MW for nuclear power plants.
When all units are up and generating, 80 MW can power about
640,000 New Jersey households.
PSE&G is allowed a 10 percent rate of return on the
PSE&G is the regulated gas and electric utility in New
Jersey for its parent, which is based in Newark, New Jersey.
"Our program will effectively double the size of New
Jersey's installed solar capacity," said Ralph LaRossa,
president and chief operating officer of PSE&G.
"That is more solar capacity than currently exists in any
state other than California," he said.
PSE&G also said it has awarded the contract for the
pole-positioned solar units to Petra Solar of South Plainfield,
Petra Solar chief executive Shihab Kuran said his company's
solar units will use "smart" technology and be connected to the
The portion of the plan to install solar panels on
commercial roofs and in "solar gardens" is similar to one
approved by California regulators for Southern California
Edison in June. SCE plans 500 MW of solar photovoltaic panels
on commercial roofs.
SCE is the biggest unit of Edison International (EIX.N).
PSEG owns and operates more than 16,500 MW of generating
capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and, in New
Jersey, distributes electricity to 2.1 million customers and
natural gas to 1.7 million customers. It also has another 2.9
million customers around the world.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Jim Marshall)