UPDATED MAY 2006:
Pursuant to the provisions of the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (P.L. 1999, chapter 23) each electric power supplier or basic generation service provider serving retail customers in the State shall include in its power portfolio electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
The orginal RPS directive has been modified several times since 1999. Prior to the changes made in 2006, New Jersey’s RPS required utilities to acquire 4 percent renewables.
In April 2006, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) issued new regulations that as a whole requires 22.5% renewable energy by 2021 –2.12% from solar, 17.88% from "Class I" renewables, and 2.5% from"Class II" and/or additional "Class I" renewables.
Thesolar electric set-aside percentage is an interesting policy that will result in about 1,500 megawatts (MW) of solar-electric power. Only six photovoltaic (PV) systems were installed in New Jersey in 2001; more than 1,200 projects had been installed by April 2006. The new RPS rule will ensure that New Jersey remain just behind California in terms of installed PV capacity in the coming years.
"Class I" renewables include wind, solar-electric generation, fuel cells powered by renewable fuels, geothermal technologies, wave and tidal action, methane gas from landfills, anaerobic digestion of food waste or sewage sludge at a biomass facility, and other biomass resources provided that the biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner.
"Class II" renewables include hydropower facilities 30 MW or less, electricity from resource-recovery facilities in New Jersey that are in compliance with all applicable environmental laws, and resource-recovery facilities outside New Jersey that meet certain conditions.
- Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) Rules Adoption N.J.A.C. 14:8-2 – issued by the NJ Board of Public Utilities, April 13, 2006 [official version will also be published in the NJ State Register, May 15, 2006]
- New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Home Page
- The Treatment of Renewable Energy Certificates, Emissions Allowances, and Green Power Programs in State Renewables Portfolio Standards – Edward Holt and Ryan Wiser, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, April 2007