New Jersey's solar boom: The battle between old and new energy

Last Friday, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine cut the ribbon on an 18-kilowatt solar installation at an apartment complex in Patterson, New Jersey. The event marked a state milestone: According to the governor, 4,000 solar installations, or 90 megawatts of solar power, have been installed in New Jersey. Corzine added that, seven years ago, there were only six solar installations.

When one thinks of the refineries, chemical companies, smoke stacks and toxic waste of the Garden State, it seems surprising that New Jersey has risen to national prominence as a leader in solar power. Even so, according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' Jeanne M. Fox, the state has more solar power installed per capita than California. Indeed, except for California, no other state has installed more solar power.