New Jersey ran out of solar rebates in one day because Gov. Chris Christie shifted $158 million from the Clean Energy Fund to help close an $11 billion state budget gap, reducing solar rebate funds to $20.5 million, reports NJ.com.
Due to a shortage of rebates, more than 1,000 people lined up to claim $7.5 million in one-time payments when the Office of Clean Energy opened May 3, running out of funds in a single day, according to the articles. A distribution period for rebates typically runs for four months.
The Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group that represents hundreds of solar contractors, filed a lawsuit against the state on May 3.
Dolores Phillips, spokeswoman for the association told the newspaper that many small and medium business owners would be hurt by this because they had planned for these rebates.
However, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) told the newspaper that solar rebates aren’t driving demand it’s the federal grants and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).
New Jersey funded 1,300 projects with $19.6 million in rebates last year, according to the Board of Public Utilities. The state rebate is $1.35 per kilowatt, which is about $10,800 per home.
Last year, high demand for solar rebates resulted in shortages in several states including New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia.