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NJBIA testified in support of legislation that would allow the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to use monies in the state Global Warming Solutions Fund to support projects to refurbish or upgrade existing electricity generation facilities. 

The bill A-4217, sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak (D-18), would expand the use of the fund to provide grants or other financial assistance to commercial, institutional, and industrial entities for projects to refurbish or upgrade existing electric generation facilities. Projects must include a measurable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or energy demand and may include hydrogen fuel cells or carbon capture technology.  

NJBIA Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer Ray Cantor told the Assembly State and Local Government Affairs Committee that the decarbonization of the energy sector is a decades-long process that will require both pragmatic solutions and innovation.  

“We should not preclude developing technologies from being implemented in the future,” Cantor told the committee, referring to fuel cells and carbon capture technology. “If we say no, they cannot be funded … we might be precluding a potential solution.”  

The Global Warming Solutions Fund contains monies received from power companies under a mandatory cap-and-trade program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a pact among 11 northeastern states, including New Jersey, that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity-generating sector.  

New Jersey currently invests its RGGI auction proceeds in programs that boost clean energy and create jobs, protect the health of residents in environmental justice communities, and increase the resiliency of coastal communities. According to the New Jersey RGGI Climate Investments Dashboard, the NJEDA has been allocated $98.5 million in RGGI funds for clean energy investments since 2021. 

In all, $204.4 million in RGGI funds have been awarded since 2021, including awards made by NJEDA, the Department of Environmental Protection and state Board of Public Utilities, according to the dashboard. 

The bill was released unanimously by the Assembly State and Local Government Affairs Committee.