New Jersey legislation to modify the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in order to increase demand to soak up existing excess supply failed to pass the NJ Legislature yesterday. In fact, the bill (S-2371) never even came to a vote because of disagreements among solar advocates, who were not in lockstep over issues such as the mix between distributed net-metered and larger utility scale projects.
Although Governor Christie signaled broad agreement with the majority of the bill in his Energy Master Plan, released in December, several last-minute changes were made in the final 2 days of the session. The complexity of these changes was apparently too great to digest given the limited time available. The view of the new legislature on this issue should not change appreciably with the start of the next session and the Governor’s support is clear.
At this point it is a matter of priority and the ability to put together a new bill and get it scheduled for a vote early in the new session. Although a setback for the solar industry in New Jersey for now, hopefully increased time to craft and debate the new bill will allow for more transparency and a lead to a better quality piece of legislation.