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Public Service and Chris Christie Announce Solar Plan

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.’s New Jersey utility proposed investing as much as $883 million to raise the state’s solar-power capacity by 32 percent.

The spending, subject to approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, would fund solar projects capable of generating 233 megawatts, Governor Chris Christie and company chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo said today in a statement.

New Jersey has the most solar-power generating capacity after California, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association in Washington. The state has 730.3 megawatts of solar-power capacity, according to the association.

Legislation signed by Christie July 23 will require New Jersey utilities including Public Service Electric & Gas to get 2.05 percent of their electricity from solar projects in 2014, up from less than 0.5 percent now. The solar mandate will rise to 4.1 percent by 2028.

Public Service, based in Newark, New Jersey, proposes to expand its loan program to companies or individual customers building solar generators on landfills, idle industrial sites, warehouse roofs and parking lots, the company said in the statement. A megawatt can power 800 average U.S. homes, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Polson in New York at jpolson@bloomberg.net; Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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