NJEDA invests $10.5M as part of $80M Clean Energy Loans Program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority recently closed on two loans totaling $10.5 million through the New Jersey Clean Energy Loans Program to support expanded solar energy across the state.

Amergy Solar Inc., based in Monmouth Junction, was the first company approved under the NJ CELs Program. The company, which is known as a leading provider of solar development and installation services, received a $500,000 loan from the NJ CELs Program in January, alongside a $500,000 loan from Columbia Bank. As a New Jersey-certified minority-owned company, Amergy Solar qualified for a supplemental interest-rate reduction on the NJEDA’s loan. To date, Amergy Solar has successfully installed solar systems for thousands of homes and various commercial projects in the New Jersey area, including ice rinks, wholesale companies and sports facilities.

The recipient of a $10 million loan, Asbury Park-based Solar Landscape, will use the funding to create 185 new field and office jobs in New Jersey over the next five years — in both direct and indirect hires — allowing the company to expand access to clean energy and bring more community solar and energy savings to residents. Solar Landscape will also receive $10 million in funds from M&T Bank, for a total financing amount of $20 million. Solar Landscape develops and operates community solar projects, which are hosted on rooftops of buildings owned by the nation’s largest commercial real estate companies. The energy generated by these projects is then distributed to nearby communities, where members of underserved and emerging areas can subscribe to save on their energy bills and aid in the fight against climate change.

The two loans were approved by the NJEDA earlier this year.

“The NJ CELs Program was developed with the purpose of supporting small businesses and furthering Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision for a cleaner, greener Garden State,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “With support from this program, businesses such as Solar Landscape can continue to invest in transformative clean energy projects, which will lead to job creation, expanded access to solar energy and savings for New Jersey residents.”

NJ CELs was created by NJEDA for small businesses seeking to finance clean energy projects, and for the formation or expansion of clean energy businesses that create jobs in the state. NJ CELs funding comes from the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was part of the federally funded American Rescue Plan. President Joe Biden’s administration recently highlighted New Jersey’s efforts to support climate-focused initiatives through the $80 million NJ CELs Program.

“The support for New Jersey’s clean energy economy has grown exponentially under Gov. Murphy’s tenure,” Chief Economic Transformation Officer Kathleen Coviello said. “The NJ CELs program will support major clean energy projects and initiatives that will transform communities, boosting our economy and improving our environment across the entire state.”

NJ CELs offers loans of $250,000 to $10 million with a term of one to 25 years. NJEDA loans must be matched at least dollar for dollar with capital from a financial institution.

“This is a great example of how investment in community solar creates jobs, reduces energy costs and fights climate change,” Solar Landscape CEO and co-founder Shaun Keegan said. “We’re grateful for this collaboration with the Murphy administration, NJEDA and federal government. By leveraging federal resources in New Jersey, we’re driving the economy forward, improving the lives of residents and advancing clean energy.”