NJ Releases Draft Energy Master Plan

May 16, 2008
by BRETT SLENSKY
Client Alert Newsletter May 2008

On April 17, 2008, Governor Corzine's office unveiled its long-awaited draft Energy Master Plan ("EMP"), which outlines New Jersey's long-term strategy to meet its growing electricity and heating fuel needs through 2020. (The transportation section of the plan will be released separately.) The draft EMP sets forth the following five broad goals which, in general, are intended to create an energy infrastructure that is competitively priced, reliable, and responsive to the state's pressing energy challenges: (1) maximize energy conservation and efficiency to reduce consumption by 20%; (2) reduce peak demand for electricity by 5,700 MW; (3) meet 22.5% of the state's electricity needs from renewable sources; (4) develop new low-carbon-emitting, efficient power plants and close the gap between the supply and demand for electricity; and (5) invest in innovative clean energy technologies and businesses to stimulate the industry's growth in New Jersey. The plan's proposed action items to meet these objectives include the development of statewide building codes that will require new construction to be least 30% more energy efficient than required under the current state code, use of smart meters to cut overall energy usage, evaluation of a tariff system to reduce residential usage during peak demand, completion of the state's solar transition under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, development of 1,500 MW of additional cogeneration capacity, and evaluation of the state's need for another nuclear plant.

The draft EMP is scheduled for discussions among involved participants, stakeholders, and the public at roundtable meetings and public hearings to occur this summer. The final EMP is expected to be submitted to Governor Corzine in September.