January 9, 2011 ASSEMBLY BILL No.

3991 (First Reprint)

To the General Assembly: Pursuant to Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, I am returning Assembly Bill No. 3991 (First Reprint) with my recommendations for reconsideration. This bill creates a statutory exception from regulatory

standards adopted by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) regarding the use of utility of solar poles. panels The and exception would allow the

installation

related

photovoltaic

electric

generation equipment in the section of utility poles known as the “neutral” zone. Current BPU-adopted standards for the use of

utility poles mirror the National Electric Safety Code, which is published Engineers. by the Those Institute BPU-adopted of Electrical do and not Electronics permit the

standards

installation of equipment in the “neutral” zone based on, among other things, worker safety concerns. Although address some affected concerns public that utility have companies raised have worked to the

been

regarding

installation of equipment in this “neutral” zone of utility poles, remaining safety concerns regarding the impact of installing solar panels in this area have not been fully addressed. it would be premature to adopt exceptions from Accordingly, current BPU-

regulatory standards at this time.

In order to fully resolve

any remaining safety issues, I recommend that the bill be amended to remove the statutory exception from BPU-regulatory standards and instead direct the BPU to conduct a thorough review of safety issues implicated by the installation of solar panels in the

“neutral” zone of utility poles. Therefore, I herewith return Assembly Bill No. 3991 (First Reprint) and recommend that it be amended as follows:

2

Page 2, Title, Line 3: Page 2, Section 1, Line 8:

Delete “, and P.L.1999, c.23”

amending

Delete “Section 57 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-96) is amended to read” and insert “The Board of Public Utilities shall conduct a review of the safety implications of the installation and maintenance of solar and photovoltaic electric generation equipment by electric public utilities in the “neutral” zone on utility poles, defined as the space between the lowest electric public utility facilities located in the utility poles’ supply space and the higher of the highest telecommunications facilities located in the utility poles’ communications space or the reference gain at the bottom of the communications worker safety zone, and shall set forth its determinations no later than 90 days from the date of enactment of this act.” Delete Lines 9-42 in their entirety Delete Lines 1-3 in their entirety Respectfully,

Page 2, Section 1, Lines 9-42: Page 3, Section 1, Lines 1-3:

[seal]

/s/ Chris Christie Governor

Attest: /s/ Kevin M. O’Dowd Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor

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