Linden has a population of over 40,000 and is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. The city is named after the linden tree, which was brought over from Germany. Despite its relatively small population, Linden is a hub of economic and industrial activity, and is home to the Bayway Refinery, which is the second largest on the entire east coast. Merck, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has been operating a manufacturing and research facility in Linden for more than a century.
In recent years, solar power has experienced significant growth in Linden. The Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) has carried out two large solar projects in the city:
The average electricity rate in PSE&G’s service territory is around 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is around 25% higher than the national average. PSE&G also tends to increase its rates every year; its customers experienced a power bill increase of around 5% between 2016 and 2017. However, expensive electricity makes solar power an attractive investment opportunity in Linden, NJ, as energy bills savings can be significant.
New Jersey also has a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program, where you are granted one credit for every 1,000 kWh generated with solar panel. And, this benefit applies even if you consume the energy your system generates. Generating 1,000 kWh with a solar panel system saves around $150 on power bills, and each SREC sells for around $220 (as of 2017). Therefore, the total economic benefit of producing electricity with a solar system is $0.37 per kWh!
In addition energy bill savings and SREC sales, there are great tax benefits available for solar panels owners in Linden:
An additional benefit applies for solar panels installed on new constructions. The NJ Clean Energy Residential New Constructions Program gives rebates to new residential constructions that deploy energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, including solar panel systems!
If you are unable to assume the upfront cost of a solar panel system, PSE&G has a loan program where they cover all initial costs as long as you agree to pay them back with the SRECs generated by your solar panels. This allows you to achieve savings from the very first month your solar panels go into operation without having to invest any money upfront.