April 10, 2016

New Jersey Senate Passes Bill Requiring Utility Companies To Purchase 80% Renewable Electricity By 2050

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill that will require utility companies operating in the state to source at least 80% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2050, according to recent reports.

The new bill (Bill S1707) would require utility companies to source at least 11% of their electricity from renewable energy sources starting in 2017 — with this requirement growing roughly 10% every 5 years until the 80% target is achieved.

The bill is now headed to the New Jersey General Assembly for approval. It should be noted that a similar bill was passed by the state’s Senate last December, but didn’t make it to a vote in the General Assembly before the legislative session ended.

If the bill makes it into law, then New Jersey will end up possessing the fifth most stringent renewable energy portfolio standard in the US — behind only the states of New York, California, Vermont, and Hawaii. But still slightly ahead of the recently signed into law Oregon state renewable portfolio standard that will see utility companies there required to source 50% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040.

While it probably isn’t likely, there’s the possibility that Governor Chris Christie will veto the bill if the General Assembly approves it. If that were to happen the a two-thirds majority would be needed in both the Senate and the General Assembly in order to overturn the Governor’s veto.

As it stands, New Jersey possesses a renewable energy portfolio standard of 20% by 2020-2021 — with a provision included requiring utility companies to source at least 4.1% of their electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations by 2027-2028.

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