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New Jersey 2nd Most Solar State; Jerseyans Complain

New Jersey 2nd Most Solar State; Jerseyans Complain

Despite being called the Garden State, New Jersey is usually associated with Superfund sites (there are 112 here, the most of any US state). So I was pleased to discover that New Jersey is second in solar capacity in the US, only behind my native state of California.

But just to remind me that we’re not living in the Golden State, I also learned that a number of New Jerseyans in well-populated and well-endowed Bergen County are complaining about newly-installed solar panels because they’re “ugly” and (horrors) could lower their property values.

Reports the New York Times:

The solar installations, the first and most extensive of their kind in the country, are part of a $515 million investment in solar projects by PSE&G under a state mandate that by 2021 power providers get 23 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. If they were laid out in a solar farm, the 5-by-2.5-foot panels would blanket 170 acres.

Though nearly halfway finished, the company’s crews have encountered some fresh resistance in Bergen County, where cities, villages and boroughs are in varying stages of mortification. Local officials have forced a temporary halt in many towns as they seek assurances that they will not be liable in case of injury, but also to buy time for suggesting alternative sites — like dumps — to spare their tree-lined streets.

And here in Oradell, at least one panel has gone missing.

…In neighboring Ridgewood, Deputy Mayor Thomas M. Riche said constituents had called, sent e-mails and stopped him on the street demanding that he halt the encroaching blight. Ridgewood, an affluent village of about 24,000, got PSE&G to cease installations after only a few had been put up, over concerns that they would interfere with the emergency communications boxes on the poles.

New Jersey’s largest utility, the Public Service Electric and Gas Company, is mounting 200,000 individual panels in neighborhoods, in three-quarters of the state. But in a place as densely populated as New Jersey, it’s impossible to “dodge and weave dodge and weave residential areas” in putting up the panels.

Governor Chris Christie has asked for the panels to be re-evaluated. One of his spokesmen says that “the mandates that spawned the panel project [were] ‘extremely aggressive.’”

In other words, looks like New Jersey may not be #2 on that “most solar states” for long.


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Photo of solar panels (in Australia) by mikecogh

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2:02PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

People are strange.

12:19AM PDT on May 7, 2011

Thanks for the article.

3:00PM PDT on May 6, 2011

leave to the wealthy to be completely ignorant and we wonder why our politicians can't get it right!!!!!!!! because they all lack common sense that is MUST when creating laws and budgets

5:23PM PDT on May 4, 2011

Ugly as compared to what? The tiles on your roof? Are those attractive?

1:08PM PDT on May 4, 2011

i wish these uptight wasteful consumers with too much money would complain about the ugly McMansions the rich are building, the ugly strip malls the rich are investing in, and the ugly billboards advertising corporate interests which block our view.

Go New Jersey solar!

9:43AM PDT on May 4, 2011


8:18AM PDT on May 4, 2011


8:02AM PDT on May 4, 2011

i am honored to have solar panels in our area, we have a solar "farm" i was thrilled when i saw it for the first time

4:44AM PDT on May 4, 2011

I wish Connecticut would have solar panels on many if not most of its utility poles. A solar panel under a shade tree or on the north side of a hill won't work. And I would hesitate to sacrifice a tree for a solar panel. Solar panels over town dumps would be a good idea.

4:33AM PDT on May 4, 2011

Yes, I hope enough of the good.

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