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Chivukula-Sponsored Law to Protect Clean Energy Jobs

A-2966 accelerates the amount of solar-generated electricity that power companies are required to produce or purchase.

Legislation signed into law last Monday by Gov. Christie and sponsored by Assembly Utilities Chairman Upendra J. Chivukula and other Assembly members, will help stabilize the state's solar industry and protect thousands of clean energy jobs, according to proponents.

Chivukula, who lives in Franklin Township, Somerset County, has represented the 17th district in the NJ Assembly since 2002. Chivukula is challenging incumbent , a Republican, for the 7th Congressional district seat.

The 7th district has recently been redistricting and now covers large portions of Union, Morris, Hunterdon and Somerset counties, parts of Warren County, and Millburn in Essex County.

In Union County, the 7th Congressional district includes Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Garwood, Kenilworth, Mountainside, New Providence, a portion of Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit, a portion of Union, Westfield and Winfield.

The Assembly measure signed last Monday (A-2966) accelerates the amount of solar-generated electricity that power companies are required to produce or purchase, in order to absorb the overproduction that had led to a fall in the price of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates — or SRECS — and jeopardized the state's solar industry.

An SREC is a certificate for the production of every 1,000 kilowatt hours of solar energy that is subsequently delivered to the multi-state power grid. New Jersey is part of the PJM (Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland) grid comprised of 13-states. The solar RECs can be traded to entities that need to purchase a minimum amount of energy from renewable sources to be in compliance with state law.

A-2966 almost doubles the requirement for solar. It also changes the solar requirement to a percentage, instead of calculating it in gigawatt hours.

The legislation also directs the Board of Public Utilities — with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority — to establish a program to provide SRECs to owners of solar power electric generation facility projects on brownfields or landfills.

"New Jersey's burgeoning solar industry has experienced a robust growth, installing more solar systems in the first quarter of this year than any other state in the nation, and accounting for 34 percent of all U.S. installations," Chivukula (Somerset\Middlesex) said.

"The measure we sponsored is a comprehensive approach to stabilizing the market and maintaining New Jersey's national leaderhip in solar, which has been an economic driver during the recession and supported thousands of clean jobs," added Chivukula. "Accelerating the production schedule to almost double in the next few years, will help absorb the overproduction and ensure the continued growth of the solar industry."

Westfield Taxpayers July 30, 2012 at 06:06 PM
How much will this increase our electricity costs???
GeoPeak Energy July 30, 2012 at 09:14 PM
This will actually not increase your electricity costs. The SREC program is a state funded program. It is part of the societal benefit section on your monthly utility bill. However all this is doing is trying to stabilize the market by taking SRECs that would be purchased in the future and have them be purchased now. It should not increase any cost to you.
Westfield Taxpayers July 30, 2012 at 09:37 PM
GeoPeak - This is nonsense. Where does state funding come from? Us! Who pays for the "Societal benefit"?? We, the ratepayers! Who pays for "SRECS" Everybody who turns on a light! None of this is "Free money"!!!
GeoPeak Energy July 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Yes but it does not increase the amount you pay for societal benefits. No one is denying that we pay for this, but this bill does not increase what you pay. There is no increase on your bill for it.
Monk July 31, 2012 at 05:11 PM
"Green energy charges, also called societal benefits charges, are required by the state to pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects ... like solar panel rebates and insulated window upgrades." Can we ever know the true costs of anything after the government sticks its nose into it?
John Smythe July 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Solar subsidizes the top 20-25% of earners. Who typically puts solar on their roofs or businesses. The top earners, which I am one. I still feel a little guilty though, having the poor subsidize the solar on my house an business. Thank you all.
Monk July 31, 2012 at 07:27 PM
More redistributionist government at work. At least you have the courtesy to say, "Thank you." You're welcome, John. I think I've grown more cynical today.
Westfield Taxpayers August 03, 2012 at 04:33 PM
The end result is that we are paying much higher rates for electricity because of the "Societal Benefits" tax. Those solar panels bolted on to telephone poles cost about FOUR TIMES the cost of any other solar project. They are a HUGE waste of money.
firedup49 August 05, 2012 at 07:18 PM
geopeak.... you have to be kidding wake up...SREC "state funded", = your tax dollars. your electricity will increase either way////
firedup49 August 05, 2012 at 07:26 PM
107 degrees in Texas, while driving around, notice not one solar panel to be seen in Fort Worth of Dallas Texas. But New Jersey is second behind California to be taken in by the Global Warming/now Climate Change... An environmentalist, who wants to get rid of the stupid senseless laws, and the get rich money schemes by these people Follow the money
GeoPeak Energy August 06, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Firedup49, again this bill does not increase the production of SRECs, it just means utilities will have to buy more SRECs to fulfill their RPS obligations. Your electricity costs do not increase because of this. Besides electricity costs rise 5% every year. Solar is just an option that provides people with a steady, and lower electric bill. If anything you should send your complaints to your utility company and tell them to stop increasing their prices.
GeoPeak Energy August 06, 2012 at 04:58 PM
No, you are paying higher rates for electricity because rates increase 5% every year.
Dr. Dover August 20, 2012 at 08:31 AM
more solar jobs to be saved? solyndra went bust that was obomas pals. wasted tax dollars that is our hard earned money. send this guy back to india commy county. these so called energy jobs costs $$$$ for one job, when many more people could have had jobs. the liberals have to be voted out in 2012 or this country will be done! the nail in the coffin will have taken place. spend the money and see the movive '2016' it's time to wake up America! oboma is telling you what you want to hear and doing another. he talks out both sides of his mouth. 6 TRILLION in four years! that is un American! well he is from kenya and muslim! he wants America to be like europe, all middle and lower class. you take from the rich to give to the poor an the poor stay that way and the rich become middle class or they leave the country. America was the last place. ask people that have come here from other countries and now they see the same thing!
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