The value of the U.S. solar power market soared last year as several states, including New Jersey, significantly boosted installed capacity, according to a recent study by the Solar Energy Industries Association and market research firm GTM Research. Federal, state and, in some cases, local incentive programs and funding initiatives helped raise total year-over-year market value 67%, to $6 billion, the study shows. Market news was healthy nationwide as 16 states each installed more than 10 MW of photovoltaics, up from four in 2007. New Jersey, however, already has surpassed that amount and ranks second nationwide, trailing only California in total PV installations last year (see table).
New Jersey has averaged 15 MW per month of newly installed solar capacity since September 2010, according to the N.J. Board of Public Utilities. The agency credits the growth to incentives including the state's Clean Energy Program, net metering and interconnection regulations, and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC), which can be sold to assist with project financing.