New Jersey affirms commitment to developing renewable energy resources with new legislation

by Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Contact

Summary

On July 23, 2012, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill that is intended to both stabilize and reinvigorate the state's green energy market and support development for renewable sources of energy. In addition, the law is designed to spur economic growth and position the state as a national leader in the solar energy industry.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill intended to breath life back in to the New Jersey green energy market by providing economic incentives to both solar and off-shore wind initiatives.

The legislation is intended to stabilize the state's solar market, which has seen huge swings in the value of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECS), from highs near $700 to lows of $85. New Jersey's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards obligate energy companies to purchase SRECS, which represent electricity generated from a solar installation. As the supply of SRECs has increased, the price has plummeted. This new law will mitigate this free market impact by requiring energy companies to purchase more SRECS or develop their own solar installations, while placing a ceiling on the price of SRECs in order to protect rate payers. The ceiling will go in to effect in 2014 commencing at $339 per certificate.

Siting of solar installations will be anything but green under the new law. Incentives are built in to the legislation that encourage the use of closed landfills, brownfields and asphalt parking lots, and in turn discourage the conversion of farmland and greenfields into solar farms. No BPU approval is required for solar installations built on brownfield sites and landfills. Among the other economic enticements for development on environmentally challenged properties is an exemption from New Jersey Spill Act liability. Potential federal claims are not addressed.

Another key provision of the legislation is its implications for public entities. It allows state agencies, school districts, counties and municipalities to aggregate net metering. A net metered site refers to a location that generates electricity via solar equipment for its own use, while feeding surplus electricity into the electric grid. A non net metered site, such as a power station or large scale solar farm, produces electricity exclusively for distribution to the grid. By allowing for aggregation of net metering, public entities which historically were limited to producing energy for their own consumption at the building to which the panels were attached and then obtaining SRECs for any additional energy generated, will receive direct credit that can be applied to the cost of providing electricity to other non connected buildings under their jurisdiction.

In order to continue to receive SRECs, non net-metered sites will now be subject to an oversight provision in the law.

As a further economic inducement, the law provides that the first 80 megawatts of grid supplied solar projects to be installed during each of energy years 2014 to 2016 (June 2013 to May 2016) will avoid BPU oversight. Any non-metered projects over the first 80 megawatts or commencing in June 2016 will require BPU approval to be determined based on the project's effect on the statewide SREC market, the environmental impact of building and the benefit to electric rates and economic development.

Proponents of the legislation, state Senator Bob Smith and state Senate President Steve Sweeney, report that it will help sustain jobs and will assist local governments in reducing energy costs which will affect their overall budgets and potentially avert property tax increases.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Contact
more
less

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.