Home > Uncategorized > Senate Leaders Urged To Amend Solar Incentive Legislation To Prohibit Siting On Farms and Forests

Senate Leaders Urged To Amend Solar Incentive Legislation To Prohibit Siting On Farms and Forests

Subsidies To Lower Cost Siting On Farms and Forests Is Undermining More Appropriate Solar on Old Landfills and Brownfields

NJ Spotlight ran an Op-Ed today by the solar industry, warning of impending economic problems for solar projects, see:

The Op-Ed does a good job of outlining the problem and closes by urging public support of a partial legislative solution.

But the legislative solution is merely a stop gap measure – which new FERC rules may have solved – and does not address core economic issues that threaten the solar industry, one of which is subsidies to develop at cheaper locations such as farms and forests.

That pending legislation provides an excellent opportunity to fix a related problem in current laws, which provide subsidies to inappropriate siting locations, such as NJ’s vanishing farms and forests. 

Here is my note to the Senate sponsors, who include leadership: Senate President Scutari and Environment Committee Chairman Smith – seeking amendments. I urge readers to contact the Senators and make similar requests:

Dear Senators Smith and Scutari:

I read in NJ Spotlight Op-Ed today that you are sponsoring solar legislation:

Thankfully, the Legislature has taken it upon itself to right this wrong. Bills (S-2732 and A-4089), sponsored by Sens. Nick Scutari and Bob Smith and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, will give deadline extensions to pending “subsection t” projects that are held up by the delays at PJM.”

As you know, is it cheaper to site grid scale solar projects on farms and in forests.

The lower costs of these inappropriate locations is part of the economic problems that undermine more appropriate siting on old landfills and brownfields. Mere deadline extension will not address these economic issues and will continue requirements for more public subsidies.

Accordingly, I urge you to amend this legislation to repeal current law and prohibit the siting of grid scale solar on farms or in forests. That will protect NJ’s vanishing open spaces and provide zero cost incentives to appropriate solar siting.


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