Proactive Legislation Promotes Sustainability
TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Environmental and Energy Committee Chairman Bob Smith and Vice Chairwoman 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 by the Senate today.
“New Jersey has embraced solar energy for the past 20 years,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “That shows our residents’ commitment to clean energy sources. But solar panels have a shelf life of only about 30 years, so soon some of that equipment is going to have to be retired. This legislation ensures that when that happens, the solar energy equipment is recycled or disposed in a proper way.”
“Solar energy is a future-forward source of energy,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “New Jersey’s embrace of it shows that our residents want a cleaner New Jersey – now and in the future. But it would make no sense for us to support sustainable energy without having a plan on how to recycle or repurpose solar equipment once it’s retired.”
The bill, S-601, would require the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations to establish standards for the required removal and recycling of solar energy equipment. Violators of the provisions of this bill, or of any rules or regulations adopted, would be subject to a civil penalty up to $1,000.
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 37-0 vote, the bill advances to the Assembly for further consideration.