New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy solidified his state’s commitment to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050 by signing an executive order and new renewable energy laws.

“Today, we’re taking another step forward in rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a leader in the development of clean energy sources while fulfilling a critical promise to foster our state’s energy future,” said Murphy. “Signing these measures represents a down payment to the people of New Jersey on the clean energy agenda I set forth at the beginning of my administration – a plan that will always consider the best interests of our residents and our environment while growing our economy.”

The Renewable Energy bill, A-3723, establishes ambitious renewable energy standards, including

  • A requirement that 21 percent of the state’s energy sold come from Class I renewable energy sources by 2020 – increasing that to 35 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030. As part of the legislation, each utility must implement energy efficiency measures to reduce electricity usage by two percent.
  • Codifies the governor’s goal of 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2030 and reinstates an expired program to provide tax credits for offshore wind manufacturing activities.
  • Establishes a community solar energy program to allow all New Jersey residents to benefit from solar energya community solar program that all New Jersey residents to participate.

“Advancing responsibly developed offshore wind projects will bring clean air, thousands of jobs and reliable, affordable power to New Jersey. We have no time to waste in building a clean energy future for both people and wildlife," noted National Wildlife Federation President & CEO Collin O'Mara: Gov. "Murphy’s bold leadership is exactly what’s needed to bring this critically needed climate solution online."

In addition, the bill directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to examine the benefits and costs of energy storage, and to develop a plan to attract energy storage companies to New Jersey – a move that Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said “will deliver significant economic, environmental and societal benefits to the state.”

Additionally, the governor signed Bill S-2313, making New Jersey the fourth state to grant zero emissions credits (ZECs) to nuclear plants. New York and Illinois implemented ZEC programs two years ago, with Connecticut coming into the fold in October. New Jersey’s ZEC program aims to preserve the state’s nuclear energy supply, which provides 40 percent of residents’ electrical capacity. The bill gives BPU broad latitude to adjust payments to meet a plant’s financial need, along with the ability to engage outside experts in applications’ evaluations. NEI President and Chief Executive Officer Maria Korsnick commended the governor for preserving “critical energy assets” such as the states Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants.

Also signed into law was Executive Order No. 28, which requires state agencies to develop an updated Energy Master Plan (EMP) that will facilitate New Jersey’s goal to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Those agencies have just over a year to submit plans to guide the state to its green power plan. EMPs are due June 1, 2019.