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A-3918 (DeAngelo, Eustace)/ S-2276 (Smith, Bateman)- Establishes NJ Solar Energy Study Commission and modifies State’s solar renewable energy portfolio standards.

On behalf of the 20,000 members of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), we are seeking amendments to A-3918/ S-2276, which increases the solar renewable portfolio standards (RPS). Since business is the largest ratepayer, we have a vested interest in any changes to the cost of energy in New Jersey. NJBIA is seeking an amendment to lower the SACP threshold if the RPS is to be accelerated.

NJBIA is supportive of a diverse portfolio including renewable power, but we also weigh the cost of energy and our economic competitiveness. Currently the solar market is experiencing grid parity as prices have dropped over the years, projects are eligible for the federal tax credit, SREC’s are higher in New Jersey than other states, and with the potential implementation of the EPA Clean Power Plan Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) there could be additional incentives available for solar. This legislation would accelerate the rate at which solar power is required as part of the portfolio purchased.

NJBIA respectfully asks that if the RPS is accelerated that there is also an acceleration in the decrease of the Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP). Ratepayer risk must be mitigated and accounted for in any change in the RPS. NJBIA asks for your support of a reduction in the SACP by 2021 to $239, which would keep New Jersey competitive with surrounding states and still offer a viable incentive to the solar community. Dramatically ramping up the RPS to the existing 2027 level by 2021 without this decrease in the SACP could cost ratepayers over $275 million according to Rate Counsel. With some of the highest prices within P JM, we must make every attempt to possible to lower ratepayer cost while incentivizing the renewables market.

Without this amendment NJBIA is opposed to the legislation. NJBIA looks forward to further discussions with the committee on the costs of energy in New Jersey.

TO: Telecommunications Committee

FROM: Sara Bluhm, Vice President Energy & Environment

DATE: October 6, 2016


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