Assemblyman UPENDRA J. CHIVUKULA
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Provides exception from BPU standards for construction and installation of certain solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment on utility poles by electric public utilities.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning certain solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment constructed and installed by electric public utilities, and amending P.L.1999, c.23.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 57 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-96) is amended to read as follows:
57. a. The Board of Public Utilities shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), standards for the inspection, maintenance, repair and replacement of the distribution equipment and facilities of electric public utilities. The standards may be prescriptive standards, performance standards, or both, and shall provide for high quality, safe and reliable service. The board shall also adopt standards for the operation, reliability and safety of such equipment and facilities during periods of emergency or disaster. The board shall adopt a schedule of penalties for violations of these standards.
b. In adopting standards pursuant to this section, the board shall consider cost, local geography and weather, applicable industry codes, national electric industry practices, sound engineering judgment, and past experience.
c. The board shall require each electric public utility to report annually on its compliance with the standards adopted pursuant to this section, and the utility shall make these reports available to the public.
d. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule, regulation, or order to the contrary, the construction and installation of solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment by electric public utilities on utility poles shall be permitted directly between the lowest electric public utility facilities located in the utility poles’ supply space and the highest telecommunications facilities located in the utility poles’ communications space, consistent with the provisions of Rules 235C and 238 of the National Electric Safety Code, as published by the IEEE - Standards Association, and shall be subject to the same clearance requirements as are provided for luminaires and traffic signals in Rule 238C and Table 238-2 of the National Electric Safety Code, provided that such solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment is constructed, installed, inspected, maintained, and replaced pursuant to a program approved by the board.
(cf: P.L.1999, c.23, s.57)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends current law concerning electric public utility equipment standards, adopted by the Board of Public Utilities (the “board”), to provide for an exception from such standards for the construction and installation of solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment by electric public utilities on utility poles.
The exception would allow for electric public utilities to construct and install solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment in the zone between the lowest electric public utility facilities in the utility pole’s supply space and the highest telecommunications facilities in the utility pole’s communications space, consistent with Rules 235C and 238 of the National Electric Safety Code, as published by the IEEE - Standards Association, a leading technology standards development organization that publishes product interoperability standards to promote international market expansion and help protect health and public safety.