Thursday, June 25, 2015

Net metering bill lets solar owners sell back extra power

"The Legislature is poised today to pass legislation aimed at boosting the solar sector in New Jersey, but even its proponents concede it is only a temporary fix."
NJ Spotlight's Tom Johnson writes that, if approved and signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie, the measure would encourage increased investment in solar energy systems, particularly for residential and small business projects.
The legislation (A-3838) is important because New Jersey has ambitious targets to increase the use of cleaner ways of producing electricity for utility customers, hoping to have 22.5 percent of its power come from renewable sources of energy by 2020. It is unlikely to meet those goals if solar is not a big component of that mix.
The measure, which is expected to be voted on in both the Assembly and the Senate, would revamp the rules governing when owners of solar systems get paid for the power they produce but do not use. The electricity they do not need goes into the traditional power grid.
The system, known as net metering, is used by 44 states and is credited with helping to promote the rapid growth in solar not only in New Jersey but also in other states. New Jersey has more than 36,000 solar systems installed, making it one of the nation's leaders in the use of this technology.

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