Legislation finalizes $300 million to save New Jersey’s nuclear energy industry. The state’s largest utility company request for financial help.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy alongside lawmakers at a solar array in central New Jersey also signed a measure aimed at strengthening the state’s renewable energy goals.
The renewable energy legislation contains a number of requirements and changes, including a study for energy storage, an increase in renewable energy production and the establishment of energy efficiency programs.
The nuclear measure will be funded by ratepayers. The cost of the renewable energy legislation is unclear. The nuclear legislation stems from a request from Public Service Enterprise Group for financial assistance for its three nuclear plants, which supply about 40 percent of the state’s electricity.
PSEG says the plants might not be viable in two years given other cheaper fuels. The company’s president and CEO, Ralph Izzo, also points to the nearly 2,000 jobs that would be at stake if the plants shuttered.
Under the legislation, which survived under the new law, the company would have to show its data only to state regulators.
“Signing these measures represents a down payment to the people of New Jersey on the clean energy agenda I set forth at the beginning of my administration,” Murphy said. The legislation was opposed by some environmental groups as well as manufacturers and consumer advocates.
The nuclear legislation comes at a time of doubt for the industry at large, with six plants across the country shuttering permanently since 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and as other states consider rescue packages.
Theo O’Farrell was born and raised in Summerside. As a journalist Theo has contributed to CBC News Blog, The Calgary Herald and Buzz Feed. In regards to academics, Theo earned his sociology degree from Queens. Theor covers local news and culture stories here at Island Daily Tribune.