Governor’s Solar Stance Brightens Industry Expectations

Governor James McGreevey has created some ripples throughout the solar energy industry as he recently became the first Governor in New Jersey to announce initiatives to spur the growth of solar energy.

Trenton, New Jersey – June 6, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] McGreevey announced at a state-wide Governor’s “Business and Energy Conference” a US$60 million package of initiatives to encourage both small and large business owners to install renewable energy equipment and make energy efficiency modifications. “New Jersey is in line to become the leader in solar energy installations and production in the U.S. with this package of incentives for business”, said Lyle Rawlings, President of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association based in Hopewell, Mercer County. “New Jersey needs renewable energy to help stabilize energy costs that are going to rise. With more R&D in N.J. and a requirement that a certain percentage of New Jersey’s electricity will come from renewable energy, New Jersey will undoubtedly be the leader”. Dolores Phillips, Policy Director for the association and with Energy Photovoltaics, a solar manufacturer in Lawrenceville, NJ, noted that “Governor McGreevey is the first Governor to take real steps to grow solar energy in New Jersey. Every MW of solar energy produced results in 37 new jobs. This is the pinnacle for truly bringing the environment and the economy together – solar works and creates work”. Tom Leyden, Vice President of PowerLight Corporation, a national solar energy company with offices in New Jersey, recently completed the largest solar energy installation in the Mid-Atlantic — a 500 kW PV system at Janssen Pharmaceutica’s headquarters in Titusville, NJ. “The cost of solar energy continues to decline and today’s announcements will mean that the state sees the value in lowering costs further and wants to help businesses invest in solar energy on their buildings,” Leyden said. “Businesses lower operating costs while helping utilities meet system-wide summer peak demand, new jobs are created, and air pollution is reduced. This is great news, and a strong message to New Jersey businesses to invest in solar energy and energy efficiency.” McGreevey announced US$45 million for long-term loans through the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJ EDA) to encourage the development of large-scale renewable energy production that will feed directly into the grid; US$10 million for low interest loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to encourage businesses to install renewable energy by providing the up front capital costs; and US$5 million for a innovations fund to enable renewable energy companies to bring their products and technologies to market. The funding is to be provided by the current Clean Energy Program of the Board of Public Utilities and the NJ EDA.
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