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  • NJ A2412
  • Allows installation of solar arrays by municipalities on preserved open space in certain circumstances.
Introduced
(2/4/2016)
In Committee
(2/4/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill would allow a local government unit that operates a municipal electric corporation or a municipal electric utility to install a solar array on preserved open space subject to certain conditions. The bill contains two parallel sections to supplement (1) the statutes concerning lands acquired for recreation and conservation purposes by a local unit with financial assistance from the State in the form of a grant or loan of Green Acres bond funds, and (2) the "Garden State Preservation Trust Act," P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et seq.). The bill provides that a local government unit that operates a municipal electric corporation or a municipal electric utility may install a solar array on lands preserved, prior to the date of enactment of this bill into law, for recreation and conservation purposes, provided that: (1) the topography of the land limits the use of the land for active recreation, and installation of a solar array will not limit the use of any opportunities for recreation, such as athletic courts or playing fields or walking or hiking trails, available on the land as of the date of enactment of this bill into law; (2) the installation of a solar array will not interfere significantly with the use of such land for recreation and conservation purposes, as determined by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection; (3) no constitutionally dedicated moneys or Green Acres bond act moneys are used for the purchase or installation of the solar array; (4) the local government unit demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection that there are no other available lands owned by the local government unit suitable for the installation of the solar array; (5) the solar installation is sited on land existing in a disturbed state on the date of enactment of this bill into law; (6) the energy generated from the solar array will be used to meet the energy needs of the local government unit and the annual generation capacity of the solar array will not exceed the previous calendar year's energy demand of the local government unit plus 10 percent; and (7) the local government unit agrees in writing to, at the end of the useful life of the solar array, remove the solar array and dispose of or recycle it, as appropriate, and either leave the land unimproved or install a new solar array. Prior to the installation of the solar array, the local government unit would be required to provide written notice to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of its intent to install a solar array and demonstrate compliance with the conditions of the bill. The local government unit would also be required to hold a public hearing in the municipality on the matter. If the Commissioner of Environmental Protection finds that the proposed installation of a solar array does not comply with the conditions set forth in the bill, the commissioner would notify the local government unit in writing of the reasoning for this finding, and the local government unit then could not proceed with the installation of the solar array until the concerns of the commissioner have been satisfied. The installation of a solar array pursuant to the bill would not be deemed to constitute a disposal or diversion of those lands requiring certain other approvals as well as compensation or reimbursement to the State as provided under various laws and regulations implementing the Green Acres bond program, nor be deemed a conveyance, disposal, or diversion pursuant to the provisions of the "Garden State Preservation Trust Act."
Environment and Solid Waste
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee  (on 2/4/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
2/4/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified