Just yesterday I covered the groundbreaking of the largest northeastern U.S. solar farm, which is being built in the
Sunshine Garden State, New Jersey. Now, I’ve got even more great solar news coming out of New Jersey. The State Legislature recently approved A1084, which would require that solar panels be incorporated into the design and construction of all new public school facilities in New Jersey.
A1084 “is currently before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which is waiting on technical review by the Legislative Council to insure that such legislation does not violate previous state statutes,” Matt Montagne of CalFinder Solar writes.
Sponsored by Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, (D-Mercer), Peter J. Barnes, III (D-Middlesex), and Albert Coutinho (D-Camden), the bill places the onus to insure the solar law before approving school construction on the New Jersey Commissioner of Education…. Gusciora says the mandate meshes nicely with $12.5 billion funded for schools in 2000 as a bond issue, of which $7.9 billion has been spent.
While this would be a great boost for clean energy jobs in New Jersey, the state with the second-most installed solar energy caacity (only trailing California), you will always find your opponents. Some state Republicans are, of course, less than enthusiastic about the bill, and the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association supports the general idea of the bill but would like to see one significant change. They would prefer an “incentive-based approach rather than a mandate.”
Hopefully, New Jersey will move forward with this legislation as is expected and as I said yesterday, hopefully other states and the U.S. as a whole are taking note of New Jersey’s progressive clean energy policies.
Photo Credit: mjmonty via flickr (CC license)