New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approves new emissions reduction program for nuclear power plants

Published on November 21, 2018 by Chris Galford

© Shutterstock

The Zero Emission Credit program (ZEC) and application process for nuclear power plants were approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) this week, in an effort to maintain the state’s nuclear energy supply and guarantee funding is properly allocated.

The program was made in response to a new law passed in May. With formal approval, it now immediately opens an application window for plants to try for ZECs, supposing they can demonstrate a clear need. Applicants will have their eligibility determined under a rank-ordered list established by the Board until Dec. 19. Only those plants with the highest need will be selected to receive credits.

“Nuclear power is an important part of the state’s carbon-free energy blueprint,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “As we review and rank applications we will carefully analyze all of the information presented to us by applicants to determine whether credits should be awarded.”

Plants must be licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission through 2030 to be eligible. They must also demonstrate significant and material contributions to New Jersey air quality that actively minimize emissions. Further, they need to show anticipated plant shutdowns within three years due to their current financial situation and guarantee they do not receive any subsidies from other entities.

Two teams will review applications: one to evaluate them under ZEC requirements and the other to rank, score and compare them.