Kearny has a population of over 40,000 and is a suburb of Newark, the most populous city in New Jersey. The town was established in 1867 and was an important hub of the textile industry during the second half of the 19th century. Industrial activity eventually expanded to other sectors such as electrical equipment manufacturing and shipbuilding.
The Kearny Generating Station is one of the oldest power plant in the state of New Jersey, inaugurated by Thomas Edison in 1925. The power station, which is still operational, originally used coal to generate energy, but was eventually converted to use natural gas.
Like many municipalities in New Jersey, Kearny has experienced significant growth in renewable energy deployment in recent years. The city has seen substantial growth in the solar industry in particular. These are some of the largest solar projects deployed in Kearny:
Kearny is served by PSE&G, an investor-owned utility that charges around 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Their rates are higher than the national average and have steadily increased in recent years. For example, the average PSE&G power bill increased by 5% in 2016 alone. However, expensive electricity means that solar panel systems are an attractive alternative for home and business owners; the value of self-generated energy increases as utility electricity prices increase.
In addition to energy bill savings, solar panel owners in Kearny also earn a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean energy generated (1 MWh = 1,000 kWh). As of early 2017, each SREC sells for around $220, bringing the total value of one MWh to $370 (after adding the $150 saved on power bills).
There are also tax benefits that make solar panels even more affordable. Here are the tax incentives available to residents of Kearny:
Additionally, the state provides rebates for new homes that deploy energy efficiency measures or renewable generation. If you are building a new house, the NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions Program will provide you with a rebate for your solar panel system.
If you would like to avoid the upfront cost of a solar panel system, PSE&G offers homeowners an attractive financing option. PSE&G offers low-interest rate loans to customers and in return the customer must give them the SRECs accumulated by the solar panel system. While this is an attractive option, we recommend shopping around with other companies to get the best financing option available.