Assemblyman Tim Eustace, D-Bergen/Passaic, N.J., recently introduced legislation that would establish a program to provide financial incentives to owners of solar systems and to help reduce electric grid congestion throughout New Jersey.
Under the bill, A.4643, the Board of Public Utilities, in consultation with electric public utilities, is directed to designate five strategic zones in the state that would benefit from reduced electric grid congestion through the installation of solar panel systems.
For solar panel systems installed in those zones after the bill's effective date, the board would reimburse an owner of a solar panel system 15% of the cost to install the system and $1.50/W of energy produced.
Eustace's Solar Panel Incentive Program would be limited to solar panel systems with an installed capacity equal to or fewer than 25 kW for residential systems and 200 kW for non-residential systems. The bill requires the board to use funds collected from the societal benefits charge that is imposed under current law to fund and administer the program.
‘The rolling blackouts residents have experienced during some of the severe weather events in recent years would be less likely to occur when more homes take advantage of solar energy resources,’ Eustace says. ‘With the Solar Panel Incentive Program, we can aim to reduce the potential for future outages due to electric grid congestion.’
The program would expire three years after the bill's effective date.