New Jersey solar expansion takes next steps through state legislature

New Jersey Senate

Bills that will expand clean energy capacity in New Jersey continue to work their way through the legislature. N.J. Assemblyman John McKeon’s A3723 was passed in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senator Bob Smith’s S2314 was passed in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The companion bills will stabilize and expand New Jersey’s renewable economy and help extend the cost-saving benefits of solar to more families, communities and businesses in the state.

Vote Solar, Earthjustice, the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Sunrun applauded the legislation to grow New Jersey’s renewable development, maintain more than 7,100 solar industry jobs, and expand the benefits of clean energy to more residents. Additionally, nearly 50 solar companies and industry associations sent a letter to Governor Murphy and Senate and General Assembly leadership yesterday strongly recommending they pass and sign this legislation into law.

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What will this do?

The legislation will stabilize the solar market through 2021 by increasing the solar target, closing the current solar renewable energy credit trading program in an orderly way, reducing the overall cost of the current solar Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by lowering the Solar Alternative Compliance Payment, and setting in motion a process for considering the next generation of solar incentives in the Garden State. The bill also increases the overall RPS to 50 percent by 2030, and will enable a community solar program, which will ensure that all New Jerseyans have access to solar energy. The community solar program will give consideration to residential customers, especially in multifamily buildings, and low-to-moderate income customers.

“S.2314 has the potential to expand solar access to low and moderate income residents of New Jersey and we are encouraged by the committee’s vote to advance this legislation to the floor,” said Luis Torres, Senior Legislative Representative for Earthjustice. “As the process moves forward, we will continue to work with the legislature, where possible, and the BPU, to advocate for the inclusion of strong parameters for projects authorized under this act to ensure equity and access for low and moderate income families.”