Gov. Phil Murphy today signed several legislative initiatives to establish New Jersey’s leadership in the clean energy economy. Governor Murphy also signed an executive order directing the development of an updated Energy Master Plan (EMP) for the state to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
“Today, we’re taking another step forward in rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a leader in the development of clean energy sources while fulfilling a critical promise to foster our state’s energy future,” said Governor Murphy. “Signing these measures represents a down payment to the people of New Jersey on the clean energy agenda I set forth at the beginning of my administration – a plan that will always consider the best interests of our residents and our environment while growing our economy.”
A-3723 – the Renewable Energy bill – takes several critical steps to improve and expand New Jersey’s renewable energy programs. Programs include:
Renewable Energy Standard: This establishes one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country by requiring 21 percent of the energy sold in the state be from Class I renewable energy sources by 2020; 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030. A cap on costs provides additional protections for consumers.
Solar: This provision reforms the state’s solar program by making near-term structural changes to ensure that the program is sustainable over the long term.
Offshore Wind: The bill codifies the Governor’s goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030. It also reinstates an expired program to provide tax credits for offshore wind manufacturing activities.
Energy Efficiency: This requires each utility to implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity usage by 2 percent and natural gas usage by 0.75 percent.
Community Solar: The bill establishes a community solar energy program to allow all New Jersey residents to benefit from solar energy.
Energy Storage: This provision codifies the Governor’s goal of achieving 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2,000 MW by 2030.
Sponsors of the legislation are Assemblyman McKeon, Assemblywoman Pinkin, Assemblyman DeAngelo, Senate President Sweeney and Senators Smith and Van Drew.
Bill S-2313 establishes a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program to maintain New Jersey’s nuclear energy supply, which contributes close to 40 percent of the State’s electric capacity and is by far New Jersey’s largest source of carbon free energy. Plants seeking to participate in the program would be required, among other things, to demonstrate that they make a significant contribution to New Jersey air quality and that they are at risk of closure within three years.
The new law gives the Board of Public Utilities broad latitude to engage outside experts to analyze nuclear power plant financial information and applications, and to adjust ZEC payments as necessary to meet a plant’s actual financial need. A plant seeking to participate in the program would be required to certify that it is not receiving funding from any other federal, regional, or state source that would negate the need for the ZEC. Employees at plants participating in the ZEC program would further be protected from layoffs for reasons other than underperformance or misconduct.
Sponsors of S-2313 include Senate President Sweeney, Senators Smith and Van Drew, as well as Assemblymen McKeon, Burzichelli, DeAngelo and Egan.
In addition, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 28 directing state agencies to develop an updated Energy Master Plan (EMP) that provides a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The new EMP is to be completed and delivered by June 1, 2019 and will provide a blueprint for the total conversion of the State’s energy production profile to 100 percent clean energy sources by January 1, 2050. The EMP will integrate the programs established in these bills, and will facilitate the implementation of Executive Order No. 8, establishing the Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
Underscoring the economic benefits of clean energy programs, Governor Murphy also announced Atlantic City Electric’s (ACE) $6.5 million Workforce Development initiative, which will provide funds to expand clean energy job training and workforce development efforts to help improve employment in ACE’s Southern New Jersey service area. These programs will include Get Into Energy Math Test and Boot Camp; Women in Sustainable Employment (WISE)-Pathway; ACE Line School; High School Energy Career Academy, and County Driven Initiatives.
“Creating energy jobs of the future is critical to growing New Jersey’s economy,” added Governor Murphy. “I applaud Atlantic City Electric for their workforce development efforts to train the next generation to seize the opportunity of the clean energy economy. I thank Atlantic City Electric for its long-range view, and look forward to working alongside them to grow our energy economy together.”
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