N.J. aims to reinvigorate solar energy development

Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation to encourage continued growth of New Jersey’s solar energy industry.

The measure increases the amount of solar-generated electricity the Garden State’s utilities are required to purchase.

It will stabilize the price of solar renewable energy credits, which have been falling because of increased demand for solar projects, says Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, one of the primary sponsors of the legislation.

“There are lots of jobs that are being created because of the solar industry and having a stable price will make it easier for people to obtain the financing,” said Chivukula, D-Somerset. “When you have the financing, they’ll be able to build the projects thereby creating the jobs.”

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Senate President Steve Sweeney, another primary sponsor, says it will boost the price of solar credits and help the industry.

“It gets us started again because the market was crashing and jobs were shutting down,” said Sweeney, D- Gloucester. “So you’re trying to find a sweet spot so you can continue to get these projects financed and continue to get these projects moving and put people back to work.”

New Jersey has built more solar projects than any state except California in the last few years.

Environmental groups say the state’s solar industry could have collapsed without the new law.

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