In New Jersey's gubernatorial race, solar power development has become a hot topic. Incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine has been at the wheel over the last few years as the state moved from one of the country's strongest cash-based solar incentives to an innovative, and slightly risky, solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) trading program. SREC sales have been part of the state's approach to incentivizing solar for years, but until recently, they were the support--not the foundation.
In a state that has long provided thought leadership on the government's role in deploying solar power, bids are now being solicited for solar projects on public buildings. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has set aside $20 million in stimulus funds--about 40 percent of the total stimulus funds for energy initiatives--to bankroll 16 new megawatts of solar capacity in the state. Earlier this year, the state created a buzz when it announced it was going to try for 30 new MW of solar power on public facilities.