In a 4-1 vote, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today approved $300 million in Zero Emission Certificates (ZECs) – to be funded via a surtax on ratepayers’ utility bills – for three existing Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) nuclear power plants in New Jersey.
The decision was the culmination of multiple debates over the past year, which included the impacts on businesses and ratepayers.
PSEG asserted that without the subsidies it would operate the plants at a financial loss, and several experts thought that PSEG would have shuttered the plants without the subsidies – a move that would have left perhaps 1,600 workers unemployed, as well as having additional, adverse economic effects.
BPU experts today said that the plant closures would have led to a 9.6 percent increase in greenhouse gases in New Jersey, and 11 percent for the broader region.
In a statement, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor said, “”The New Jersey Business & Industry Association is concerned about the impacts of the Board of Public Utilities’ action today approving the full allocation of Zero Emission Certificates to the state’s three nuclear generating plants.
“NJBIA does support our nuclear power industry, as well as the development of other energy sources – but not at any cost. And the cost to close the plants versus the expense of keeping them open should be fully recognized.
“Because there will be negative impacts on the cost of business, as acknowledged by several Board members, we call upon the Board and the Legislature to take further actions to reduce energy costs, as well as the overall tax burden and costs of doing business in New Jersey.”
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