Friday, November 20, 2009

New Jersey boosts solar energy, green building

A new program providing rebates for solar panels and related equipment manufactured in New Jersey has been kicked off by the state's Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

Also making New Jersey environmental news is a bill scheduled for action on Monday in the state Legislature that would provide low-interest loans for building projects that meet green standards.

Rebates for solar equipment made in New Jersey
The BPU's new program offers consumers, businesses, and municipalities that purchase solar panels, inverters, and racking systems manufactured in New Jersey a rebate of up to 25 cents per watt for panels, and up to 15 cents per watt for inverters and racking systems. The program is expected to provide $1 million in incentives to the state’s consumers, businesses, and municipalities over the coming months.

BPU President Jeanne M. Fox said the program "supports our environmental, energy, and economic development goals and helps establish New Jersey as a hub for the growing green economy."

To qualify for the incentives, applicants must use products manufactured with at least 50 percent of the product cost – including the labor, overhead, components, and raw materials – from facilities located in New Jersey. Products must also comply with applicable Underwriters Laboratory standards and be commercially available to the public.

Yearly audits will be performed to ensure manufacturing compliance. Organizations awarded a grant under New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund (CEMF) are automatically certified as a New Jersey manufacturer.

Additional information about the program and all of the business and residential incentives offered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program can be found at or by calling 1-866-NJSMART (1-866-657-6278).

In the Legislature, a bill to encourage green buildings

The Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Monday will take up A-2065, which permits developers to qualify for low-interest loan from NJEDA when building a high performance green building.

Sponsored by Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden), the measure directs the Economic Development Authority to develop a program that makes low-interest loans available to

"a developer or redeveloper who constructs a new building or renovates an
existing building that, when completed, qualifies as a high performance green
building. "
The bill defines a "high performance green building" as one:

"having at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area that is designed and constructed in a manner that achieves at least a silver rating according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System as adopted by the United States Green Building Council.

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