Tag Archive: EMP

#Science Policy Friday: Small Step for Solar Paves Way for Greener Grid

Promoted by Bill Orr

SciPoliFri_Box.gifThis week’s column is on an important piece of legislation that will ensure that residential and small-business solar continues to grow with the full support of state policy.  As always, thanks to my science and environment intern Arcadia Lee for research and drafting this article. Thank you to NJ Spotlight and NJ.com for their continued coverage of these important issues to the state of New Jersey. Cross-posted at DanBenson.com


You or maybe a neighbor in town has installed solar, and you’ve seen or heard about how the power company’s meter “runs backward” when the solar panels are powering the home.  That means that the homeowner is receiving a retail rate for the power they are generating, making the payback for solar much quicker for the homeowner.  The technical term for this is “Net Metering.”

Net metering is the system that allows people who generate their own electricity using solar panels to feed excess energy back into the grid, sometimes referred to as “nega-watt” energy.  Net metering encourages residential and commercial solar growth and may allow a utility company to avoid costly investments in new transmission and distribution of grid electricity.

Under the current New Jersey law, utilities do not have to offer net metering when generating capacity by net-metered customers equals 2.5% of the state’s peak demand for electricity, and as NJ Spotlight reports, a threshold we are already above. But on August 10th, the governor signed legislation (A-3838/S-2420) sponsored by Assemblymen John F. McKeon, Tim Eustace, Reed Gusciora and myself.  The new law expands the state’s net-metering capacity threshold to 2.9% of total annual kilowatt-hours sold in state. More importantly, this means that the crucial pro-consumer pro-environment and pro-renewable energy job policy of net metering will continue unabated as solar continues its growth in the Garden State.

#SciencePolicyFriday: New Jersey Science Policy Roundup

SciPoliFri_Box.gifThis week’s column is a collection of interesting articles from across various science and technology policy spectrums, from state-wide energy system changes to environmental sustainability designs and more! Stay informed and let us know what topics you’d like us to cover in our next few columns.  Perhaps you’d like to hear about autonomous vehicles, bio pharmaceuticals, climate change adaptation along the Jersey Shore? Let us know and have a great weekend! 

Thanks to my science and environment intern Arcadia Lee for research and drafting this article. Thank you to NJ Spotlight and NJ.com for their continued coverage of these important issues to the state of New Jersey. Cross-posted at www.DanBenson.com

NJ Energy Policy

Critics of Energy Master Plan Make Opinions Heard at Public Hearing – NJ Spotlight

The NJ Board of Public Utilities hosts the first of three public hearings on the Energy Master Plan

Bill Could Mean More Money to Small Businesses, Residents with Solar Panels – NJ Spotlight

“Christie signs law that increases cap on net metering, letting New Jersey residents earn more for electricity their solar panels produce.”

Power-Grid Operator PJM Hands Off High-Speed Transmission Project – NJ Spotlight

PJM moves to strengthen the reliability of southern NJ’s energy system with a project assigned to PSE&G, Pepco Holdings, Inc. and LS Power.

Power-Grid Operator Pledges to Work Closely With Natural-Gas Sector – NJ Spotlight

“PJM agreement seeks to ensure reliability as coal-fired plants are phased out and more gas-fired units are built.”

More on Tech Policy and Environmental Policy below.

Planning New Jersey’s Energy Future

This is the third in a series of articles or news gathering of science and technology policy issues facing New Jersey or the nation. Thanks to my science and environment intern Arcadia Lee for research and drafting this article.  Cross-posted at DanBenson.com

Energy touches the lives of every New Jersey resident – every day. Our quality of life, our security, our prosperity, the land and water around us, and how we work and play all depend on energy. Energy master planning is an important aspect of proactive facilities management, providing an expertly defined and practical road-map to a sustainable future environment.

New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities Office of Clean Energy will be holding hearings this month to update the state’s Energy Master Plan.  

Adding to the Energy Master Plan’s importance is its relationship to the federal Clean Power Plan announced this week by President Obama.  The EPA is giving each state an individual goal for cutting power plant emissions. States can then decide for themselves how to get there.