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Governor Murphy Signs Bill Advancing Renewable Energy Agenda

On May 23, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that boosts the Garden State’s renewable energy economy.  Directly impacting utilities as well as the renewable energy sector, the bill requires that by 2020, 21 percent of the energy sold in New Jersey must be from Class I renewable energy sources (i.e., solar, wind, wave/tidal, geothermal, landfill gas, anaerobic digestion, fuel cells powered by renewable fuels, and sustainable biomass).  That standard rises to 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, which will increase demand from utilities for renewable energy.

To facilitate compliance with the rising renewable energy standard, the bill reforms the State’s renewable energy economy in several ways.  First, the State’s solar program is being altered to ensure sustainability and to establish a community solar program whereby New Jerseyans who do not have their own solar panels can purchase solar energy from remote panels.  Second, electricity generation from wind power will be increased, as the bill seeks 3,500 MW of offshore wind generation by 2030 and renews a tax credit for offshore wind manufacturing activities.  Third, utilities will be required to increase energy efficiency such that electricity usage is reduced by 2 percent and natural gas usage reduced by .75 percent.  Finally, to ensure the increase in renewable energy is not wasted, the bill codifies a goal of 600 MW of energy storage by 2021 and 2,000 MW by 2030.

By increasing demand for renewable energy, the bill is expected to spur investment throughout the renewable energy industry.  The effects could also extend to other sectors, such as redevelopment of brownfields, which are ideal for solar panel installations.

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    As Chair of Connell Foley's Environmental Law practice group, Agnes Antonian draws on her engineering background to address a broad range of complex environmental litigation and land use matters. Her environmental litigation ...

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    Ryan Benson focuses on environmental and real estate and land use law. He assists clients on a wide range of related issues, including permitting (e.g., freshwater wetlands, flood hazard area and waterfront development), sewer ...

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