Legislation will Increase Solar Development and Facilitate Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure throughout the State
July 9, 2021
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN) – Governor Phil Murphy today signed a package of bills aimed at advancing New Jersey’s transition to a clean energy future to further the Administration’s goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The legislation will increase solar development and facilitate installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state.
“Three and a half years ago we put forth one of the most aggressive plans in the nation to move New Jersey away from fossil fuels and towards a future based on clean and renewable energy technologies,” said Governor Murphy. “From wind-turbine component manufacturing, to solar energy installation, to electric vehicles, the modernization of our energy sector will not only aid us in addressing climate change, but also drive significant economic growth and create good-paying, union jobs across the state. By signing these bills today, we are marking another milestone on our path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and fueling our clean innovation economy.”
“In order to combat climate change and its devastating consequences, we must do all we can to make it easier for people and families to use and charge electric vehicles whether they live in a single-family home or in a multi-family dwelling. Electric vehicles are the future and everyone should have access to the environmental and economic benefits they provide,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “The legislation that Governor Murphy signed today will go a long way to supporting electric vehicle adoption across New Jersey. In fact, DCA is already at work crafting model ordinances to provide local governments with the ability to safely and efficiently approve the installation of electric vehicle service equipment and parking spaces that are pre-wired for electric vehicle infrastructure. DCA looks forward to continuing to do its part on electric vehicles and the broader effort to protect our environment.”
The Governor signed the following four bills into law:
S3223 (Smith, Bateman/Swain, Benson, Lopez, Verrelli, Karabinchak, Zwicker) – Establishes numerical requirements and zoning standards for installation of electric vehicle supply equipment and Make-Ready parking spaces
A1653 (Quijano, Karabinchak, Holley/Smith, Bateman) – Encourages development of zero-emission vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure in redevelopment projects.
A4554 (Karabinchak, Burzichelli, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes successor program to solar renewable energy certificate program in BPU, including solicitation process for certain solar power generation facilities.
A5434 (Dancer, Armato, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes dual-use solar project pilot program for unpreserved farmland; allows land used for dual-use solar project to be eligible for farmland assessment under certain conditions.
“I often talk about how significant these past few years have been for greatly expanding and growing renewable energy and electric vehicle capacity in New Jersey to combat climate change,” said Senator Smith. “With the dual-use solar project and utility-scale solar program laws now established, we can significantly increase our renewable energy footprint in a way that both preserves farmland and open-space. This clean energy can then go into the electrical grid to help power the electric vehicles via charging stations installed around the state.”
“In the not-so-distant future, we’ll see the day when most cars on the road are electric. By 2040, over half of all passenger vehicles sold are projected to be electric,” said Assemblymembers Lisa Swain, Daniel Benson, Yvonne Lopez, Anthony Verrelli, Robert Karabinchak, and Andrew Zwicker in a joint statement. “For the sake of our climate future, that day cannot come soon enough. If we want to encourage consumers to shift from buying gasoline-powered cars that emit dangerous fossil fuels into the air and erode our climate, to environmentally conscious electric vehicles that will reduce our dependence on oil and support clean air initiatives, we must invest in EV charging infrastructure in every community. The standards outlined in this law will remove roadblocks faced when installing EV supply equipment and parking spaces, which will expand our EV infrastructure and help New Jersey meet its climate goals.”
“More people are using zero-emission vehicles now than ever before. This is due in part to the hundreds of dollars ZEV drivers save each year on gas,” said Assemblymembers Annette Quijano, Robert Karabinchak, and Jamel Holley in a joint statement. “These vehicles are also better for our planet than gasoline cars because they don’t create byproducts that can harm the environment. The Assembly passed quite a few bills last session to encourage the purchase of ZEVs, and we must continue our efforts of finding ways to make these cars more convenient for both current and prospective owners. This law will encourage municipalities to incorporate charging and refueling stations in their redevelopment plans to increase the number of stations throughout our state. The more places our residents can go to recharge or refuel their ZEV, the more practical and appealing these vehicles will be.”
“Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that can reliably power homes and businesses throughout our state,” said Assemblymen Robert Karabinchak, John Burzichelli, and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “The Solar Successor Program will incentivize the generation of more solar power to help New Jersey reach our energy goals over the next five years and beyond. This program will not only create new jobs, but help protect our environment as well – ultimately benefitting everyone in our state.”
“This law will allow large-scale solar energy projects to be used as a tool for farmland preservation, and improve long-term viability of New Jersey family-farming operations,” said Assemblymen John Armato and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “Studies have shown that agriculture production and solar generation can coexist on the same land. With a dual-use solar project pilot program, crops would flourish while the State continues its ambition toward 100% clean energy by 2050.”
“A very good balance was struck between maintaining our best agricultural lands while at the same time advancing the state’s Energy Master Plan,” said New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher. “The Department of Agriculture is working closely with BPU as well as with Rutgers University to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved. Thank you to Governor Murphy and the Legislature for continuing to make clean energy a priority that will allow solar interests to be developed while advancing agriculture in the Garden State.”
“Governor Murphy’s actions on these bills today will expand solar energy and electric vehicle infrastructure and continue to advance our efforts to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We are building on the success of New Jersey’s solar industry, which is going strong with over 142,000 installations in the state, as well developing the critical EV infrastructure necessary to help drivers make the switch. The new legislation complements our efforts at the Board and will help deliver on the Governor’s vision of a clean energy future.”
“Increasing the use of solar energy and zero-emission vehicles is not only essential for addressing the threat of climate change, but also creates important opportunities for long-term, sustainable economic growth,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Around the world, clean energy is a major job creator, and Governor Murphy’s strong leadership in signing these bills is a critical step forward that will establish New Jersey as a leader in the fight against climate change while building a stronger, fairer economy.”
“I am proud to stand with Governor Murphy today as he signs legislation that will make it easier for New Jersey’s municipalities to create electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their communities and further advance the state’s clean energy goals,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “Driving electric has numerous benefits for public health, air quality and the environment. We encourage the public to review the many incentives New Jersey offers for purchasing and driving electric vehicles and consider doing so an investment in the state’s clean energy future.”
“Governor Murphy understands that the aggressive and thoughtful pursuit of clean energy and the economy of New Jersey will be the rising tide that lifts all boats,” said Pam Frank, CEO, ChargEVC-NJ. “And importantly, in the name of fairness and in the name of decency, the governor recognizes that for so many generations, so many of our boats, never even left the shore. Putting his vision together with the leadership of these two men, Senator Smith and Assemblyman Benson means a lot is happening.”