SENATE RESOLUTION No. 112

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 15, 2015

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Greenstein

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges BPU to expeditiously adopt regulations needed to facilitate construction of offshore wind energy projects and to establish energy efficiency portfolio standards.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


A Senate Resolution urging the Board of Public Utilities to expeditiously adopt regulations pursuant to the “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act” to implement an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program and pursuant to the “Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act” to establish energy efficiency portfolio standards.

 

Whereas, Offshore wind is a renewable energy resource, with no carbon output, and the development of offshore wind projects has the associated potential to develop a manufacturing and support industry in the State, resulting in both economic and environmental benefits; and

Whereas, The “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act,” P.L.2010, c.57 (C.48:3-87.1 et al.) (OWEDA), directed the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to develop an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program to require that a percentage of electricity sold in the State be from offshore wind energy; and

Whereas, OWEDA directs the BPU to develop a program designed to support at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from offshore wind projects, and to adopt regulations to implement the offshore wind renewable energy certificate program established by the act; and

Whereas, OWEDA directs the BPU to safeguard the economic interests of ratepayers throughout the State while promoting job creation and environmental benefits associated with this promising technology; and

Whereas, In the press release issued upon the signing of the act into law, Governor Christie was quoted as saying “The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act will provide New Jersey with an opportunity to leverage our vast resources and innovative technologies to allow businesses to engage in new and emerging sectors of the energy industry.  Developing New Jersey's renewable energy resources and industry is critical to our state's manufacturing and technology future”; and

Whereas, OWEDA authorized the BPU to approve, subject to the project obtaining the necessary permits, approvals, and authorizations from the Department of Environmental Protection, a qualified offshore wind project located offshore of a municipality in which casino gaming is authorized, and authorized offshore wind renewable energy certificates for that project; and

Whereas, It was anticipated that this authorization would essentially serve as a pilot project leading to larger offshore wind projects; and

Whereas, The delay in approval of this project, and any other offshore wind project, is directly attributable to a lack of regulations that must be adopted by the BPU which are crucial for the implementation of the offshore wind renewable energy certificate program; and

Whereas, Development of offshore wind projects would provide both economic and environmental benefits for the State and reduce our reliance on foreign oil; and

Whereas, The “Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act,” P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-49 et al.) (“EDECA”), among other things, authorized the BPU to establish electric and gas energy efficiency portfolio standards; and

Whereas, An energy efficiency portfolio standard is a requirement imposed upon an electric or gas public utility to procure a specified amount of energy efficiency or demand side management resources as a means of managing and reducing energy usage and demand by customers; and

Whereas, Specifically, EDECA authorized the BPU to establish an electric energy efficiency portfolio standard that may require each electric public utility to implement energy efficiency measures that reduce electricity usage in the State by 2020 to a level that is 20 percent below the usage projected by the BPU in the absence of such a standard; and

Whereas, Similarly, EDECA authorized the BPU to establish a gas energy efficiency portfolio standard that may require each gas public utility to implement energy efficiency measures that reduce natural gas usage for heating in the State by 2020 to a level that is 20 percent below the usage projected by the BPU in the absence of such a standard; and

Whereas, This authority under EDECA for the BPU to adopt energy efficiency portfolio standards was enacted into law in 2007 as part of the “Global Warming Response Act,” indicating the great importance of those portfolio standards as one of the key strategies the State would employ toward combating global warming at the State and local level; and

Whereas, It is well known that energy efficiency programs and efforts are among the most cost-effective and environmentally beneficial ways to conserve energy and reduce the need to seek and obtain new sources of energy; and

Whereas, Seeking and obtaining new sources of nonrenewable energy is often very costly, both economically and environmentally, and also often results in a dependence upon risky and unreliable foreign sources of energy, and capturing and utilizing sources of renewable energy can also be expensive even though environmentally beneficial; and

Whereas, Even though it has been more than seven years since the BPU was given the necessary authority, it still has yet to adopt electric and gas energy efficiency standards; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  The Board of Public Utilities is urged to expeditiously adopt regulations pursuant to the “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act” to implement an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program.

 

     2.  The Board of Public Utilities is further urged to expeditiously adopt regulations pursuant to the “Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act” to establish energy efficiency portfolio standards.

 

     3.  Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the President and each Commissioner of the Board of Public Utilities.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to expeditiously adopt regulations required pursuant to the “Offshore Wind Economic Development Act” (OWEDA) to implement the offshore wind renewable energy certificate program established by the act.  OWEDA was enacted into law more than four years ago and the BPU has still not fulfilled all of its duties and responsibilities under that law.

     Offshore wind is a renewable energy resource, with no carbon output, and the development of offshore wind projects has the associated potential to develop a manufacturing and support industry in the State, resulting in both economic and environmental benefits.

     This resolution further urges the BPU to expeditiously adopt regulations pursuant to the “Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act” (EDECA) to establish energy efficiency portfolio standards.  Even though it has been more than seven years since the BPU was given the necessary authority under the “Global Warming Response Act” (which in part amended EDECA), it still has yet to adopt electric and gas energy efficiency standards.

     It is well known that energy efficiency programs and efforts are among the most cost-effective and environmentally beneficial ways to conserve energy and reduce the need to seek and obtain new sources of energy.  Constantly relying on finding new sources of nonrenewable energy is often very costly, both economically and environmentally, and also often results in a dependence upon risky and unreliable foreign sources of energy; and capturing and utilizing sources of renewable energy can also be expensive even though environmentally beneficial.