New Jersey Solar Initiative Illuminates PV Costs

Public Service Electric and Gas announced a five-year plan this week to outfit utility poles, subsidized housing, schools, and sundry other public buildings with solar cells. The total amount of photovoltaic cells will come to 120 megawatts and cost an estimated $773 million. That's equivalent to about 6.5 dollars per watt, which is in line with recent historical costs, worldwide, and consistent with a statement Secretary of Energy Chu made yesterday. The generally accepted breakeven point for photovoltaics is $1/W. Chu said that PV needed to improve by a factor of five.

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