Legislation Senator Fred Madden sponsored to promote New Jersey’s nascent green energy manufacturing sector by strongly encouraging publicly financed solar and wind energy projects to use components made in-state was today released by a Senate committee.

“To create the green jobs New Jersey will need to power our future economy, we need to give businesses a reason to move here, and a contracting preference can be a very big carrot,” said Madden (DGloucester/ Camden). “We already have one of the nation’s best solar energy installation programs. But it’s not enough for us to be a leading user of solar and wind power, we need to also be a leader in manufacturing that technology. By implementing a contracting preference for technology produced instate, we can be a forceful agent for heading that charge.”

Madden noted that New Jersey already is home to a handful of solar energy manufacturing companies. And, with the recent enactment of law creating incentives for offshore wind energy, the state is poised to become home to the nation’s only production facility of offshore wind turbines and components.

“Solar and wind energy have lost their novelty appeal and are now planted firmly in the energy mainstream,” said Madden. “As the state moves to implement its energy master plan, more and more solar and wind energy systems will need to come online. Where public money is involved, it’s not enough that the investment is made in green energy – the investment must also be made in New Jersey and its workforce.”

The Senate Environment and Energy Committee released the bill (S-793) 4-0. It now is poised for a Senate floor vote.