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Smith, McKeon Bill to Establish Guidelines for the Recycling of Solar Energy Generation Facilities Advances

TRENTON – The Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Bob Smith and John McKeon that would require the owners of solar and photovoltaic energy generation facilities and structures to remove and recycle the facility or structure after the termination of its use, in accordance with guidelines that are to be developed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“This legislation is forward looking, as the number of solar panels that will reach the end of their useful lives will exponentially increase over the next couple decades,” said the Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “Setting the statutory requirement for the DEP to adopt guidelines for the proper disposal of this equipment, and for owners of these facilities to comply, will ensure we are ready when that time comes.”

The bill, S-3399, would require the DEP to adopt rules and regulations concerning the proper disposal of solar and photovoltaic energy generation facilities and their equipment, as well as require the owners to comply with those rules and regulations. Violations of the adopted rules and regulations would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

“Though the majority of solar panels in New Jersey are not yet close to the end of their useful life, it is important to consider what will happen to them when they reach that point,” said Senator McKeon (D-Essex/Passaic). “This bill does exactly that, and will promote the addition of more solar recycling facilities here in New Jersey.”