Client Alert
August 24, 2010
Regional Renewable Energy Bills Update


By Christopher P. Soper & Lane F. Kelman

Delaware

On July 28, 2010, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law four renewable energy bills designed to expand Delaware's wind and solar power industries.  The bills provide many incentives intended to attract companies in these industries to Delaware.  Great benefits are foreseen for solar designers, manufacturers and installers.  With both homes and businesses able to sell back 110% of their aggregate electrical consumption to the grid, and the ability to place ground-mounted solar energy systems on property zoned for residential use, there can be little doubt that demand for solar electric systems is about to increase. 

In addition, the bills also promote alternate sources of renewable energy, such as offshore wind infrastructure or a large wind park off the coast of Delaware.  Opportunities for metal fabricating contractors, electrical contractors and marine trade contractors are anticipated.  Job creation, less dependence on fossil fuels and rate stability are but some of the goals envisioned by the legislation which may be a template for clean energy bills for years to come.

For more information or to obtain a copy of the bills, please e-mail csoper@cohenseglias.com or call (215) 564-1700.

New Jersey

On August 19, 2010, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (Act). The purpose of the Act is to make New Jersey a leader in offshore wind power. In order to accomplish this purpose, the Act assigns responsibilities to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). 

The NJEDA is tasked with providing financial assistance to companies establishing offshore wind farms and companies making and assembling equipment for those wind farms. The NJBPU is responsible for designating the percentage of electricity sold in the state that must come from offshore wind farms. In addition, the NJBPU is responsible for creating a program that allows the operators of offshore wind farms to obtain revenue by selling offshore renewable-energy certificates. Certificates are earned based on the amount of electricity generated. Power suppliers in New Jersey are required to buy a certain number of the certificates each year to satisfy state renewable energy requirements.
 
The Act, through the use of the NJEDA and mandatory renewable energy requirements, attracts power suppliers to New Jersey by providing financial assistance and guarantying a steady revenue stream. This is similar to the method that New Jersey used to become second in the nation in solar power production.
 
 
 
Initiatives similar to the bills recently passed in Delaware and New Jersey are currently before the Pennsylvania legislature.  Cohen Seglias will continue to monitor any new developments and will keep you informed as the laws develop.
 
 
Christopher P. Soper is an associate in the firm's Philadelphia office and focuses his practice on construction law.  He is among the few attorneys in Philadelphia accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED® Accredited Professional (LEED AP).  Mr. Soper can be reached at (215) 564-1700 or csoper@cohenseglias.com.
 
Lane F. Kelman is a partner in the firm's Philadelphia office, where he concentrates his practice on construction law, with a focus on green building matters.  Mr. Kelman can be reached at (215) 564-1700 or lkelman@cohenseglias.com.
 
 
 
 
     
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