Gov. Murphy signs bill to increase New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard

Published on May 25, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed on Wednesday legislation that would increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent and take various measures to support renewable energy in the state.

The bill, A-3723, also increases the state’s solar target, establishes a community solar program, ends the current solar renewable energy credit trading program in an orderly way and lowers the Solar Alternative Compliance Payment.

“The solar industry appreciates Gov. Murphy’s leadership,” Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs, said. “By signing this bill into law, many more New Jersey residents, businesses, and communities will have access to solar energy. This is a huge win for customers, will support the thousands of solar jobs in the Garden State, and puts the state on track to meeting its ambitious clean energy goals.”

The legislation also commits the state to develop 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind, the largest offshore wind development commitment made by any state to date.

“Today Governor Murphy sent an unambiguous signal that New Jersey is ready for clean energy investment that will lead to good jobs and a more prosperous economy,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), said. “We thank the Governor and legislative champions like Senators Bob Smith, Stephen Sweeney, Paul Sarlo, and Jeff Van Drew, as well as Assembly Persons Wayne DeAngelo, John Burzichelli, John McKeon, and Nancy Pinkin, for their vision and swift action enacting this legislation.”

Additionally, A-3723 sets a target for 2,000 MW of energy storage capacity by 2030 and directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to conduct a study on the benefits and costs of energy storage and develop a plan to bring energy storage companies to the state.

“We look forward to working closely with the Board of Public Utilities and other stakeholders to implement a cost-benefit evaluation, and to develop effective policies, programs and mechanisms to reach the full potential of energy storage in New Jersey,” Energy Storage Association (ESA) Kelly Speakes-Backman said.

The bill also directs utilities to implement energy efficiency programs to decrease electricity usage by two percent and natural gas usage by 0.75 percent.

Also on Wednesday, Murphy signed a bill S-2313, which establishes a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program for nuclear power plants in the state. He also signed an executive order, which requires state agencies to develop an updated Energy Master Plan to establish a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.