NEWARK, N.J., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) had the second most solar capacity of any American utility added to its electric system last year, according to Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The designation came from SEPA's 2011 Utility Solar Rankings report released this week, which included more than 240 utilities. In addition, PSE&G ranked ninth in the amount of solar capacity installed last year per customer.
During 2011, 181 solar megawatts were added in PSE&G's service territory, a 142 percent increase from 2010. That total includes customer systems and solar projects that PSE&G developed. PSE&G's Solar 4 All™ and Solar Loan programs either installed or helped finance more than 20 percent of the 181-megawatt total. PSE&G has placed in the top five in SEPA's annual survey for four consecutive years.
Joe Forline, PSE&G's vice president of customer operations, said that utilities can efficiently develop solar while spreading the benefits throughout society.
"We are proud to be on a list with so many good companies," he said. "Utilities have been vehicles for deploying lower-cost capital to achieve important societal goals, such as universal access to electricity. We see our investments in solar as a modern outgrowth of our traditional mission, and very much in keeping with it.
"In addition to the environmental benefits, our programs have provided tangible economic benefits. They have created the equivalent of more than 1,300 new jobs and our Solar 4 All program has provided 11 New Jersey-based companies with $250 million of work."
The findings of SEPA's annual Utility Solar Rankings survey identify the most active utilities in the country based on the amount of new solar power they added to their systems, and on the amount of new solar power relative to the number of customers they serve.
"We congratulate PSE&G for being a solar power leader in the electric utility sector," said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. "PSE&G successfully adapted its business models and operations to allow for a significant amount of solar energy to be integrated into the grid last year, delivering the many benefits of clean solar energy to its customers. The impressive gains that solar energy made in the U.S. in 2011 can be largely attributed to PSE&G's leadership."
Overall, in 2011, American utilities interconnected more than 62,000 PV systems of all sizes, according to new findings by SEPA. These new systems resulted in nearly 1,500 megawatts of new utility solar capacity, more than twice as much as was added in 2010, which itself had been a record year. Both the number of systems and the percentage of growth make solar electricity the fastest growing electric source in the U.S. in 2011.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
Want to know what's new at PSEG? Go to www.pseg.com/getnews and sign up to have our press releases sent right to your inbox.
SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G)