May 24, 2018 Read More →

New Jersey Props Up Nuclear, Expand Solar and Storage

RTO Insider:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Wednesday signed legislation to subsidize the state’s nuclear generating fleet, raise its renewable generation targets, boost storage and offshore wind, and revamp its solar program.

In a press conference staged in front of solar panels in South Brunswick, N.J., Murphy signed Senate Bill S2313, which will create zero-emission certificates for three of Public Service Enterprise Group’s nuclear generators, and Assembly Bill 3723, which will raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 35% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Murphy also signed an executive order to update the state’s Energy Master Plan with a goal of 100% “clean” energy by 2050. The bills were approved by the Legislature on April 12.

The ZECs, which are expected to cost up to $301 million annually, will be funded by a 0.4 cents/kWh tariff on retail distribution customers. The legislation requires the state Board of Public Utilities to issue an order implementing the ZEC program within 180 days. The BPU will award ZECs to nuclear plants licensed through at least 2030 that can demonstrate they are at risk of closure within three years.

The Assembly bill requires the BPU to adopt energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs and a community solar pilot program, and to revise the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program. By Jan. 1, 2020, 21% of the state’s electricity must come from Class I renewable sources. The bill requires the BPU to begin a proceeding to reach the 2025 and 2030 RPS goals and caps the cost of the RPS program — excluding the costs of the offshore wind — at 9% of total costs to consumers in 2019 and 7% afterward. This bill also requires the BPU, in consultation with PJM, to conduct an analysis determining the amount of energy storage to be added in the state over the next five years to provide the maximum benefit to ratepayers. The BPU must submit a report on the storage findings within one year; six months after that, it must initiate a proceeding to add 600 MW of storage by 2021 and 2,000 MW by 2030.

The bill also requires electric power suppliers and basic generation service providers to increase the share of solar power in their portfolios to 5.1% by energy year 2021 before gradually reducing the percentage through 2033. Electric customers would be able to participate in solar energy projects remotely located from their properties under   the “Community Solar Energy Pilot Program,” which is to be converted to a permanent program within 36 months.

More: Gov. Signs NJ Nuke Subsidy, Renewables Bills

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