Rice Measure To Promote Renewable Energy Production Becomes Law

Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee Chair, Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Essex, speaks at a meeting of his committee.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Ronald L. Rice to allow municipalities, school districts, and county colleges to enter into longer-term contracts for the purpose of producing renewable energy to offset their energy needs became law today.

“The rising energy prices we face today are creating challenges for our schools and communities,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “Rather than continuing to rely on oil or other fuels, we should be investing in our future by supporting the development of alternative energy sources that will strengthen our economy, create new jobs, and protect our environment. Renewable energy provides long term financial savings and if we allow others to invest in the future will see the saving in the long run.”

The enacted bill, S-299, would allow counties, municipalities and school districts to enter into contracts of up to 15 years for the necessary goods or services used to produce renewable energy. Under previous law, public entities could only enter into two-year contracts for producing renewable energy.

“With short-term contracts, it becomes difficult for people to make significant investments that are necessary for renewable energy systems,” said Senator Rice. “By extending the timeframe of energy contracts, these local entities can capitalize on long-term energy savings.”

The bill was approved by the full Assembly on May 19th and the full Senate on June 12th. ###