Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislation last May that boosts the state’s zero-emission energy generation portfolio including nuclear, solar, wind and storage, citing climate change at the top of the new bill. New bill SB 2500 creates a Zero Emission Certificate program and allows nuclear powered electricity plants to apply for a new zero-emission generator status.
The Governor’s new bills and executive orders layout the framework to transition the state to zero-emission electricity generation over the next few of decades, starting with a focus on creating an incentive program for nuclear plants. Much like the federal Renewable Energy Certificate program, New Jersey’s system will grant certificates to approved generators which can then be traded, sold or bartered.
The new legislation is the first step at restoring the progress the solar and offshore wind industries had just started to make before incentives died off. The specific target of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 is now written into the new legislation, bolstered by reinstated tax credits for offshore wind manufacturing that expired during his predecessor Chris Christie’s term.
Reactions to the new bills and executive orders have been mixed. Nuclear critics are upset that the new bills bolster failing nuclear plants, climate change activists see wins across the board in the overarching focus on slashing emissions.
As with any legislation, not everyone is happy, but it is clear that our governor is intent on changing the state’s near and long term energy mix for the better.