Ratepayer subsidies totaling up to $300 million a year will help keep three nuclear plants open in South Jersey now that Governor Phil Murphy has signed the controversial legislation.
Murphy says the legislation will protect the viability of the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear plants.
“To reach our clean energy goals we will need to keep these plants open and safely operational. They not only produce 40 percent of our power but as of today 90 percent of our clean energy.”
Public Service Enterprise Group says the subsides will keep its nuclear plants competitive with power generated from natural gas.
It’ll be funded by ratepayers and cost utility customers about $40 annually.
Environmental groups questioned whether the nuclear plant subsidies are needed.
Murphy says the legislation will protect ratepayers.
“I think there are a lot of safeguards in this bill that will prevent some of sort of general swirling around the money is going to go out of state, the ratepayer won’t have representation, they’ll get the subsidy even if they don’t need it. None of that is true.”
The Governor also signed another bill requiring that half of the energy sold in the state come from renewable sources by the year 2030.
“This goes much deeper than our previously stated goals for offshore wind and solar development, both of which are written into this legislation. Moreover importantly it sets these standards responsibly to protect ratepayers so that we don’t achieve all of this just at any cost.”