Proactive Legislation Promotes Sustainability
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Environmental and Energy Committee Chair Bob Smith and Vice Chair Linda R. Greenstein that would require the owners of solar and photovoltaic energy generation facilities and structures to remove and recycle the facility, structures and any related equipment or infrastructure after the termination of their use was approved today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“New Jersey has had a very successful solar energy program for the past two decades,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “Looking ahead, we know that solar panels have only about 30 years of useful life and that we’ll begin to see the retirement of some of this equipment in the next decade. This bill would ensure that the solar energy equipment is recycled or properly disposed of.”
“By putting regulations in place now, we are taking proactive measures to ensure end-of-life recycling of equipment in accordance with our state’s commitment to sustainability,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “It wouldn’t make sense to support sustainable energy but then not reclaim and reuse parts that can be repurposed to continue their service in some way.”
The bill, S-601, would require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations to establish standards for the required removal and recycling. Any person found to have violated the provisions of this bill, or any rules or regulations adopted, would be subject to a civil penalty up to $1000.
The bill would take effect 12 months after enactment, but the DEP can take administrative action sooner than that to facilitate implementation.
With today’s 5-0 vote, the bill advances to the full Senate for further consideration.