A1084, a motion to make solar panels mandatory in the design and constructionof all new public school facilities, was recently approved by the NewJersey Legislature. Now, A1084 is before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which is waiting on technical review by the Legislative Council toinsure that such legislation does not violate previous state statutes.
The bill will make sure that new schools will uphold the solar law whenconsidering construction of new school buildings. The utilization ofrenewable energy technologies for new schools is a good optionconsidering New Jersey’s construction budget is one of the largest inthe United States. And, the mandate will help create jobs, anotherbenefit considering the recent economic downturn.
Some critics say that the bill may have a negative impact due to theeconomic downturn costing some school districts more. Also, some believe that making solar mandatory may not be the right approach, but rathershould be used as an incentive-based approach. However solar is used inthe construction of new schools, A1084 is another reminder thatrenewable energy technologies are being embraced as a prime form ofenergy.