US: PSE&G to invest in more solar

PSE&G had initially requested in its proposal to increase the spending on renewable energy under the company’s Solar Loan and Solar 4 All investment programs up to US$883 million.

Now, with the agreement, PSE&G will invest up to $199 million on 97.5 MW of new solar capacity under the Solar Loan III program, and another $247 million in 42 MW of new solar capacity over landfills and brownfields. More investment will also flow into 3 MW of smaller pilot programs as part of the Solar 4 All extension program.

In total, the investments represent 50% of PSE&G’s original request. The capital investment is schedule to be carried out over a 3-year period as opposed to the 5-year period requested. A decision is expected to be made by the BPU by the end of May.

PSEG Energy Holdings/Enterprise which handles the diverse energy investments has also reported operating earnings of $4 million for the first quarter of 2013, at $0.01 per share. This is compared to the $39 million in operating earnings during the first quarter of 2012 ($0.07 per share). The company states that the first quarter operating earnings reflect the absence of $0.07 per share of tax benefits received in the first quarter of 2012 related to the settlement of IRS tax audits.

The forecast of PSEG Energy Holdings/Parent full year operating earnings for 2013 remains unchanged at $25 to $35 million. The results, as the company states, reflect the full year operation of the 40 MW total Milford and Queen Creek solar facilities that began operations in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the commercial operation of a 19 MW solar plant located in Arizona expected to enter in service in the fourth quarter at a cost of approximately $50 million.