New Federal Regulation Could Revitalize Solar Energy Development in New Jersey

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Solar power installations continue to rise in New Jersey.

When it comes to development of solar, New Jersey is second only to California. Advancement of renewable energy seems to have stalled out lately, partially due to lack of access to transmission lines. But a new federal energy regulation called Order 1000 is in place; and it will no doubt give further solar energy growth a boost in New Jersey, not to mention potentially throughout the United States.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is responsible for enforcing Order 1000, which accomplishes a huge change in the big picture of energy in the U.S. This new federal regulation, in essence, revamps the planning process for the electrical grid and along the way gives our nation perhaps the biggest electricity market transformation in several decades and opens the door much wider for further advancement of clean energy.

Transmission lines are targeted in Order 1000, and they are an essential component in linking the grid. And most importantly for the earth-conscious, transmission lines are now a catalyst for further development of clean energy.

One factor which has hindered the progress of renewable energy is the matter of who is going to pay for the transmission lines needed to link the energy with the larger electrical grid. Order 1000 proposes to even the playing field among energy resources. Whereas plants which burn fossil fuel can be placed virtually anywhere and at whatever location is most convenient and cost-effective, renewable energy sources typically have greater transmission demands. In other words, in order for renewable energy sources to be reliable, a much broader dispersal of renewables is needed. More transmission lines are required in order to carry the renewable energy where it’s needed and to link it with the larger electrical grid.

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Order 1000 will help create new jobs and help the electrical grids provide clean energy throughout New Jersey.

Until now, there was no economic incentive for centralized fossil fuel electricity sources to bear some of the cost for transmission lines which bring renewable energy across state boundaries. Order 1000 provides incentive by changing both the planning and the valuation process for transmission lines. Transmission needs driven by state and/or federal regulations and laws must now be considered in the planning processes for local and regional transmission lines. Public policy requirements must be met, which means procedures to identify transmission needs will be altered. Reliability and efficiency will no longer be the only considerations; instead, state and federal regulations must be taken into account.

One example of a state law which will affect transmission lines is a mandate concerning a certain percentage of electricity which must be provided by solar energy or some other renewable energy source. Regions will need to work together to get more renewable energy sources connected to the grid, and there’s no time to waste.

When Order 1000 is enforced, it will ensure that electrical grids will make progress in providing clean energy. Economic development should also be spurred as new jobs are created.

Progress toward providing clean energy in New Jersey has been remarkable. It would be remiss not to mention that New Jersey has been profoundly affected by mega-storm Hurricane Sandy, but Order 1000 will help to ensure that progress in advancing clean energy is as sure as the rebuilding process of areas hardest hit by the storm.

Contact the NASS Solar Store in Hamilton, NJ for Solar Panels, Solar PV and Solar Thermal in New Jersey.

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