NEWARK, N.J., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced yesterday that Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) ranks third among U.S. utilities for the amount of solar capacity added within its electric service area in 2012. This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation's power grid, is part of SEPA's sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. This is the fourth consecutive year that PSE&G has ranked in the top three among U.S. utilities for solar integration. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120830/MM62627LOGO ) According to SEPA, there were 144.5 megawatts-ac of solar capacity installed in PSE&G's service area during 2012. PSE&G's Solar 4 All™ and Solar Loan programs built or helped finance about 39 megawatts-ac of solar capacity in 2012, or more than 25 percent of the total. PSE&G electric customers installed the remaining solar capacity independently and interconnected it to the PSE&G electric grid. Joe Forline, PSE&G's vice president - customer solutions, said that PSE&G's ranking illustrates the strong support for solar in New Jersey. "The fact that we have been in the top three of the SEPA rankings for four consecutive years shows that New Jersey businesses and homeowners continue to support clean energy solutions," he said. "Thanks to smart public policy and programs like our Solar 4 All and Solar Loan initiatives, New Jersey remains a center for solar power." "Aside from solar's well-recognized environmental benefits, it is also providing economic benefits," Forline added. " PSE&G's programs alone have created more than 1,000 direct jobs and our Solar 4 All program has provided 11 New Jersey-based companies with more than $300 million worth of work," Forline added. SEPA's Top 10 Utility Solar Integration report covers more than 260 of the most solar-active utilities, representing more than 96 percent of the national U.S. solar electric power market. Only Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison bested PSE&G in the SEPA rankings for total amount of solar capacity installed in their respective service areas in 2012.