Two major utility companies in New Jersey and California have announced their plans to increase their solar power production. This occurred right after Congress drew up legislations that free up credit for renewable energy companies. Although the plans are up for review from the corresponding state agencies, these are likely to be approved because of the increased amount of renewable energy that could be produced.
In California, Southern California Edison and BrightSource Energy Inc. have already signed contracts to make solar thermal plants that could produce 1,300 megawatts of electricity. That would be enough to power at least 845,000 homes. The first of seven planned plants would be built in Ivanpah, California. It is a 100-megawatt solar thermal plant that will be completed in 2013.
Once the seven plants are completed, they will bring 3.7 billion kilowatt-hours worth of clean energy and will result in the elimination of at least two million tons of carbon dioxide emission per year. That’s not the only positive impact of said projects. It is estimated that during the construction phase, at least 1,700 workers will be needed, to complete the plants. Once the solar thermal plants are fully functional, the facilities would require at least 3,500 full time employees.
In the State of New Jersey, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. announced that it would be installing 200,000 solar panels. The project is said to be worth $773 million. The project will be the biggest pole-attached installation in the United States. The program will cost the consumers 10 cents a month in the first year, and will be as high as 35 cents a month, in five years. New Jersey’s solar farm will translate into 120 megawatts of solar power, and the elimination of 1.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.