Bill Text: NJ A5442 | 2022-2023 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Directs BPU to conduct study to determine feasibility, marketability, and costs of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in State.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 6-1)

Status: (Passed) 2024-01-16 - Approved P.L.2023, c.328. [A5442 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2022-A5442-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5442

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 11, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ROBERT J. KARABINCHAK

District 18 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs BPU to conduct study to determine feasibility, marketability, and costs of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in State.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act directing the Board of Public Utilities to conduct a study on the feasibility, marketability, and costs of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in the State.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  As used in this section:

     "Geothermal energy" means energy derived from the earth, its surface, or natural geological features such as volcanos, fumaroles, hot springs, and geysers.

     "Geothermal heat pump system" means infrastructure that employs geothermal heat pumps and ground heat exchangers to use the constant temperatures in the ground or water near the surface of the earth to heat and cool buildings.

     "Geothermal heat pump" means a ground-source heat pump.

     "Ground heat exchanger" means a network of underground pipes, water wells, or other infrastructure used in a geothermal heat pump system to draw heat from the ground into a building for heating the building during cooler months and draw heat from a building into the ground for cooling the building during warmer months.

     "Ground-source heat pump" means a pump used to transfer heat to and from the ground or surface water and is a term commonly used for a geothermal heat pump that is part of a geothermal heat pump system.

     b.  The Board of Public Utilities shall conduct a study on the feasibility and benefits of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in the State.

     c.  In conducting the study, the board shall:

     (1)   assess the challenges and obstacles for the installation of large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in the State;

     (2)   consult with the United States Department of Energy concerning the department's assessment of the possibility of the large-scale use of geothermal energy in the State and whether the State's temperature resources can be tapped for ground-source heat pumps;

     (3)   consult with other states, including, but not limited to, Massachusetts and New York, concerning studies and pilot programs implemented or conducted in those states, and assess how other states' experiences with large-scale geothermal heat pump systems may be used to inform effective program implementation in New Jersey;

     (4)   consult with geothermal experts and public and private entities with experience in the installation of geothermal heat pump systems on any scale and obtain information to evaluate the potential use and implementation of large-scale geothermal heat pump systems in the State;

     (5)   consult with public utilities in the State and other states concerning feasibility, costs, and benefits of the use of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems;

     (6)   assess the energy efficiency measures that can be employed, and the costs of using geothermal energy and implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems, in new building construction;

     (7)   consider the feasibility and desirability of establishing a financial incentive system, or of using other available means and methods, such as public-private partnerships, financial investments, or university involvement, to encourage and incentivize the development and successful deployment of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems;

     (8) evaluate the marketability of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems, and consider methods to promote the use of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems to ratepayers, government entities, electric public utilities, and the builders of commercial and residential buildings;

     (9)   conduct an assessment to compare the energy efficiency and costs of common energy sources, such as, but not limited to, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil, to the energy efficiency and costs of geothermal energy, in commercial and residential buildings, while taking into consideration the following:  (a) the square footage of commercial buildings; and (b) the number of multi-family units and single family units in residential buildings;

     (10) evaluate the costs and savings to ratepayers, government entities, electric public utilities, and the State associated with the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the written report submitted pursuant to subsection d. of this section, including the use of financial incentives or other means to encourage replacement of current heating and cooling systems with large-scale geothermal heat pump systems, and incorporate into the written report any analysis or assessment thereof; and

     (11) provide a recommendation on the feasibility of, need for, and design of, a pilot program in the State for the installation of large-scale geothermal heat pump systems.

     d.  Within one year after the effective date of this section, the board shall prepare and submit a written report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature summarizing the findings from the study, and providing recommendations for the feasibility, need for, and design of a pilot program, and for legislative, executive, and other actions.

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to conduct a study of the feasibility, marketability, costs, and benefits of implementing large-scale geothermal heat pump systems (GHPs), as these systems are defined in the bill.  The bill requires the BPU, in conducting the study, to assess the challenges and obstacles for the installation of large-scale GHPs in the State, and to consult with the United States Department of Energy, other states, geothermal experts and public and private entities with experience installing GHPs, and public utilities concerning the feasibility, costs, and benefits of the use of geothermal energy and large-scale GHPs.

     The bill requires the BPU, as part of the study, to:  consider the feasibility and desirability of establishing a financial incentive system, or the use of other available means and methods, to encourage and incentivize the development and successful deployment of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems; evaluate the costs of using geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems;  conduct an assessment to compare the energy efficiency and costs of common energy sources to that of geothermal energy in commercial and residential buildings; and evaluate the marketability of geothermal energy and large-scale geothermal heat pump systems and consider methods to promote their use.  The bill also requires the BPU to evaluate the costs and savings to ratepayers, government entities, electric public utilities, and the State associated with the implementation of the study findings and recommendations, and provide a recommendation on the feasibility of, need for, and design of, a pilot program in the State for the installation of large-scale GHPs. 

     Finally, the bill requires the BPU, within one year after the bill is enacted into law, to prepare and submit a written report to the Governor and the Legislature summarizing the findings from the study, and providing recommendations for the feasibility, need for, and design of a pilot program, and for legislative, executive, and other actions.

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