US-based power utility firm Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) has secured approval from its board to proceed with proposed $446m solar power production extension plan.

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) gave its consent for Solar Loan III and Solar 4 All Extension programs at a board meeting on 29 May 2013 held at Trenton, New Jersey.

BPU Commissioner Robert Hanna was quoted by as saying that the extension of these plans would facilitate state’s efforts to increase solar energy on brownfields and landfills in line with customer needs.

"These projects can be done and they can be successful," Hanna noted.

Meanwhile, first part of the proposal includes an investment of $247m to extend its Solar4All (S4A) program through 2016 seeking solar installations on unused landfills and former industrial sites.

Second phase of $200m comprises extension of a solar loan program through 2017 to provide benefit to residential and business customers.

Reacting to the BPU’s approval, Solar Energy Industries Association Mid-Atlantic States director Katie Bolcar Rever stated: "Today’s decision by the BPU will certainly help New Jersey reach the goals that Governor Christie laid out in his Energy Master Plan.

"First, it begins to address the volatility in the SREC market by providing for 97.5MW of long-term SREC financing – for about 13% of the additional market in the next three years," Rever.

"Secondly, by allowing PSE&G to invest directly in solar projects on brownfields and landfills, the BPU is placing a high priority on solar development on these lands. However, we should keep in mind that utility-direct investment is just one way in which regulators and policymakers can direct solar development in New Jersey."