State by state, government offices are constantly updating their requirements and regulations to help push solar forward for both commercial and residential solutions. New construction is now proactively taking solar into account as an integral part of the energy solution for the building as opposed to adding solar as an afterthought which was the norm up until a few years ago. By taking the lead, state and local governments have provided construction companies, building owners and solar companies the framework with which to move towards a more sustainable energy solution.
New Jersey, a champion for both commercial and residential solar, has passed a bill, (A-3352/S-3504), requiring newly constructed warehouses of over 100K square feet of space to have a minimum of 40% of roof space available for a solar solution. The bill, expected to be signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, applies to any warehouse not completed by July 1, 2022.
NJ already has a Master Energy Plan with a goal of 100% carbon neutral energy consumption 2050. This includes solar to account for 34% of energy use by 2050. Currently, New Jersey stands at 5% of energy derived from solar.
How will this help NJ both short term and in the future? It’s all about jobs. The Northeast has seen a large number of people fleeing the region due to taxes, weather and an expensive cost of living. Now, with the rise of remote employment, the exodus will gain momentum.
While nothing can be done about the weather, Bill A-3352/S-3504 will help address taxes and cost of living; critical points for people leaving the state.
NJ sees itself as a warehouse hub for the northeast and the solar incentive will help companies add back to the bottom line and to their workforce. Lower energy bills, more jobs, a more affordable place to live leads to happier people who will be less inclined to move out of the state. Of course, it’s not this simple but it is a solid step in the right direction. Energy must be an integral part of any plan to further the development of the community.
New Jersey is not the only state to be in the northeast, however. Other states have revamped their programs and they will be covered in the next blog.