Renewable energy company proposes $1B solar investment in N.J.

Dakota Power Partners, a renewable energy company with offices in Millville and Denver, Colorado, announced recently it has proposed a $1 billion utility-scale solar investment in the state.

The company has proposed to create a portfolio of low-cost, utility-scale solar and solar and battery storage projects in New Jersey. Collectively, the new solar projects will total more than 1,000 megawatts and will produce enough energy to power 175,000 homes, it said.

“Today, utility-scale solar is the lowest-cost source of renewable energy in the Mid-Atlantic” Tim Daniels, co-founder and principal, Dakota, said. “These projects can be built quickly and at a fraction of the cost of other renewable energy technologies. In fact, the cost will be at or below the price that NJ ratepayers currently pay for renewable power from out-of-state generators.”

Dakota Power said it is planning to call on state regulators to establish a goal in the 2019 State Energy Master Plan of 3,000 megawatts of in-state utility-scale solar by 2030.

“Achieving the State’s renewable energy goal for 2030 and beyond will require a broad-based approach that includes all clean energy technologies. It will be virtually impossible for the State to achieve its goals in a cost-effective manner without utility-scale solar being a central pillar of its plan,” Daniels said.

About 1,000 construction jobs would be created for the full 10-year build out, Dakota Power said. The solar initiative would also create numerous permanent operations and maintenance jobs, it said, generating approximately $180 million in New Jersey wages.

“If anyone doubts the potential economic benefits of utility-scale solar, I point them to the projects Dakota has announced in N.J.,” Daniels said.

Dakota Power is currently committed to three solar projects in Cumberland County and one in Salem County that will result in $390 million of direct investment and generate $60 million in property taxes for the local communities, it said. The projects will also create about 800 construction jobs and 20 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. Additional projects, it said, will be announced in the coming months.