The sun continues to shine on solar energy in New Jersey as installations and projects grow by leaps and bounds.

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso says solar energy has taken hold in a big way in New Jersey, with more than 90,000 solar installations up and running.

Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of homes and businesses. Even so-called brownfields — contaminated land that might otherwise go unused — are being turned into solar farms.

 

And those 90,000 solar installations produce more than 2.4 gigawatts of electricity.

"To put this in perspective, back in 2000, we had something like six solar installations in the state of New Jersey," he said. "And the economic growth and the jobs that it has produced have been really a remarkable feat for a state that gets only about 1,500 hours of prime sunlight a year."

Prime sunlight is the time of day when solar is at is maximum benefit, according to the BPU.

Fiordaliso says the Murphy administration continues its commitment to all forms of renewable energy, so solar's future seems ... sunny.

"I think that we are accelerating a little bit and we keep an eye on the market. I think that we are going to see our renewable portfolio broadened. And as you know, offshore wind is taking a front seat and we are busily trying to get that off the ground. We are working toward a goal of 100 percent renewable generation energy by 2050."

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5