On Monday, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed the Solar Energy Advancement Act into law. Supporters say the legislation reaffirms New Jersey’s commitment to solar power, creates greater security in the New Jersey solar market, and significantly expands the state’s long-term solar power requirements.
The bill codifies the state’s Energy Master Plan goal of generating 2,164 GWh of solar power by 2020, or about 3% of the state’s total electricity needs. In addition, it renews and expands New Jersey’s commitment to solar by requiring that, by the year 2026, 5,316 GWh of electricity come from solar power–about 7% of total consumption.
“Thanks to smart, forward-thinking policy like the Solar Advancement Act, New Jersey is a national leader on solar power–second only to California,” said Matt Elliott, Global Warming and Clean Energy Advocate for Environment New Jersey. “This legislation advances our position as a clean energy leader, promotes green jobs in New Jersey, and promises to bring more solar to the Garden State,” Elliott continued.
Members of New Jersey’s solar community also cheered the bill’s passage.
“This innovative framework builds on the progress of the last eight years, and creates the scale and certainty that will attract billions of dollars of investment to NJ. The foundation is now in place to provide the affordable clean energy that NJ citizens need, and the local green jobs that they deserve,” said Mark Warner, CEO and President of Sun Farm Network.
Elliott said there is still more work to be done to advance the Garden State’s commitment to solar power. Over the next four months, he said that Environment New Jersey will work with legislators and solar advocates to pass a bill that will further expand the solar market by allowing larger-scale community solar arrays.