Residential Solar Bill Passes Assembly – Heads to Gov’s Desk
Today the New Jersey State Assembly passed A4397 (Pinkin) Allows installation of residential solar energy systems prior to obtaining construction permit or interconnection approval during COVID-19 emergency. The bill was passed with a vote of 67-1-1.
“The Assembly has taken the next step to make sure that solar moves forward during the public health emergency. Our solar jobs were hit hard by the public health emergency, but these projects should be prioritized when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus impacts. For the first few months of the public health emergency, New Jersey wasn’t letting solar installations to continue. Meanwhile, projects like the NJ Turnpike widenings and other fossil fuel projects have been allowed to continue unhindered during the pandemic. The SRL pipeline was under construction while solar couldn’t be built,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
The bill would allow the residential solar energy projects to proceed prior to obtaining an electric utility’s approval for interconnection of the solar system to the electric grid during the COVID-19 emergency. Under the bill, both the construction permit and the approval for interconnection would be required prior to activating the residential solar energy system or connecting it to the electric grid.
“Moving forward with solar and other renewable energy projects is more important than ever. A recent Harvard study and other studies have found that coronavirus risk is linked to air pollution exposure, which makes this legislation critical. The Senate has already passed this bill. Now it heads to the Governor’s desk to sign. Governor Murphy needs to act quickly to help the sun shine on solar projects in New Jersey during the pandemic,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This legislation will help solar jobs continue during the pandemic to reduce pollution and climate impacts.”