New Jersey mandates Solar Power in all new School Construction
Solar Power mandate in New Jersey schools to further implementation of solar in state with second highest solar capacity
The New Jersey state legislature recently approved A1084, which requires that solar panels be included in the construction of all new public school buildings in the state. The bill is currently waiting for approval by the Assembly Appropriations Committee who is waiting on an assurance from the Legislative Council that the bill does not violate any current state statutes.
Although passage of A1084 will be great for furthering the implementation of solar power in New Jersey, currently the state with the second highest capacity of installed solar power, it is not without opposition. New Jersey republicans are arguing that the law would not be feasible for New Jersey districts that are still having a hard time staying afloat during this recession. Further opposition comes from the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, who would prefer that the bill create incentives for schools to install solar power rather than a mandate.
New Jersey's school construction budget is one of the largest in the United States, and with the long term cost of electricity going up it seems like a wise choice for schools to incorporate solar power into their construction budget. The availability of power purchase agreements should make this a viable option even for school districts with more limited upfront funds. A1084 is an exciting indication that solar power is being accepted as a prime source of energy.