Solar Landscape, New Jersey’s largest community solar provider, recently completed construction to power over 1,400 homes. It’s the first solar project approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) in Year 2 of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.

For the project, the solar provider installed panels on an Extra Space Storage facility in Neptune, New Jersey. The storage unit company partnered with Solar Landscape to host community solar projects at ten locations, including the one in Neptune. Extra Space Storage’s impressive 6.5-megawatt (MW) community solar reserve spans 800,000 square feet of rooftop solar.

“We are thrilled to be involved in this community solar project. At Extra Space Storage, we have been equipping our locations with solar for over a decade, and this new effort to bring solar power to the local community is an exciting development,” McKall Morris, Senior Manager of Communications and Sustainability, Extra Space Storage, said in a press release.

“Partnering with Solar Landscape on this project aligns perfectly with our commitments to be good corporate citizens and to participate in environmental initiatives that are positive for our communities, customers, employees, and shareholders,” she added.

Community solar projects allow residents to subscribe to a local solar grid on a commercial property. When residents sign up with a solar provider, they receive the electricity produced at a discount. Low- to middle-income households benefit from additional savings.

NJBPU’s Community Solar Energy Pilot Program approved 105 Year 2 community solar projects as part of Governor Murphy’s renewable energy initiative. The projects aim to make renewable energy more accessible to residents who can’t install rooftop solar panels. Due to income constraints, inadequate sunlight, or lack of roof control, many residents require a community solar provider for sustainable energy.

Solar Provider Powers 1400 NJ Homes With Community Solar Project

solar provider

“Community solar is a vital part of Governor Murphy’s clean energy initiative, which is aimed at reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud of our rapidly growing Community Solar program and special congratulations to Solar Landscape for becoming the first Year Two project in our program to go online. We are particularly excited that projects such as this enable us to provide access to solar energy for residents who have been unable to access solar energy, because of barriers like cost or where they live,” he added.

Solar Landscape partnered with many schools, community organizations, and nonprofits for the community solar program. These include Asbury Park’s Interfaith Neighbors and the Affordable Housing Alliance. The solar provider also has informed over 1,000 New Jersey residents and students about solar energy careers. In addition, the company granted $20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors through its Community Sustainability Challenge scholarships.

Communities That Will Benefit From This Solar Energy Project

The Neptune community solar installation will produce around 500 kilowatts of energy. The locations of the solar energy sites include the following towns:

  • Egg Harbor
  • Ho Ho Kus
  • Jersey City
  • Lawrence
  • Parlin
  • Old Bridge
  • Iselin
  • Neptune
  • Hazlet
  • Toms River

All of these towns have distinct features, showcasing the resourcefulness of New Jersey’s community solar project. The massive undertaking allows the commercial real estate industry to get involved in reducing greenhouse gases. Installing solar panels on their whole roof, rather than just the area required for the building’s energy, provides more clean energy for the community.

Plus, the program promotes energy equity by helping lower-income residents connect with a solar provider. Powering homes with clean energy will significantly impact climate change mitigation.

Company Aims to Make Solar Power More Accessible

“Community solar is a central piece of our state’s clean energy infrastructure. New Jersey has prioritized the development and deployment of community solar to improve access to clean energy for thousands of New Jersey families, reduce energy costs, and generate good-paying jobs and workforce development opportunities in the growing clean energy industry,” Jane Cohen, Director of the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy in a statement.

“We recognize this project as an important step forward in the expansion of Community Solar to our coastal communities and congratulate Solar Landscape for bringing this project online.”

The solar provider agreed to have 70 MW of clean energy available through the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. The company owns and operates over half of New Jersey’s community solar programs. It’s the nation’s most expansive renewable energy project that serves low- and middle-income (LMI) households.

So far, the community solar programs have produced over 22.63-gigawatt hours of clean electricity. This sustainable energy generation equals removing 9,790 tons of CO2 from the air.

In 2021, the solar provider completed its first community solar project in New Jersey. After finishing every project, the company’s 54 community solar locations will provide over 11,000 homes with renewable energy.

Solar Landscape CEO Shaun Keegan said this in a press release:

“Thanks to Governor Murphy, the NJBPU, community leaders across the state and our installers, New Jersey has become a national model for clean energy equity,”

“The promise of community solar in New Jersey has arrived, and it’s bringing guaranteed savings to residents at a time when many other costs are increasing. We’re proud to be partnering with Extra Space Storage on this project, which connects business leaders with the local community and saves residents money,” he concluded.

The solar provider estimates the projects will shave $20 million off energy bills for New Jersey residents. They will see the savings over the next two decades.


Final Thoughts on Largest Community Solar Project in Nation

The community solar project launched by Solar Landscape marks the largest in the nation to benefit low-income residents. So far, the company has provided clean energy to 1,400 New Jersey homes. The solar provider partnered with Extra Space Storage to host community solar projects at ten locations.

The other sites span seven counties throughout New Jersey, making it one of the most ambitious solar projects. Upon completion, the company hopes to power over 11,000 homes in New Jersey with sustainable energy.