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Greentech Media reports that New Jersey’s Senate and General Assembly have agreed to pass the solar resurrection bill (A-2966), voting to approve the substitutions and amendments. The legislation is said to potentially sustain a healthy rate of solar project development and job growth in the state.
The report notes that New Jersey’s solar status is heavily influenced by politics and renewable energy policy rather than solar resources pointing to the state’s solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market as providing a large amount of capacity installation. Shayle Kann, VP of GTM Research, said, "This bill will go a long way toward shoring up the New Jersey market beginning in Energy Year 2014. That said, it will not save the market from the increasingly drastic oversupply in the near term. We continue to expect a slowdown in installations in the second half of 2012, but this legislation means we could begin to see a resumption of growth in late 2013."
Bill A-2966 will speed up New Jersey’s solar electricity mandate while simultaneously preventing what some advised could be a collapse in new solar investments throughout the state. Further, the legislation could double the megawatts of solar installed in the Garden State over the next few years. To help fuel solar installations, the bill has incentives for solar power projects developed on closed garbage dumps and brownfields, as well as manufacturers and pharmaceutical firms while also deterring utility-scale solar projects on agricultural land.
"This legislation was critical for the sustainability and continued growth of New Jersey's solar industry and the job creation that it brings," said Jamie Hahn, managing director of N.J.-based Solis Partners, a provider of commercial solar power systems in New Jersey. "Perhaps the most crucial part of the bill is the acceleration of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard [RPS], which will help absorb the current oversupply of SRECs in the market and create a more modest demand for further solar development. This will help stabilize the solar industry and put more people to work."