Solar panel companies and state regulators are facing a new competition: the fight against carbon pollution.
On March 5, 2017, SolarWorld Industries (NYSE:SY) filed a lawsuit against New Jersey regulators over the state’s $10 million in annual carbon pollution reimbursements for installing solar panels.
The lawsuit is based on an agreement signed in 2017 that SolarWorld signed with the state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The deal was in response to a request from the company to install solar panels in the state.
SolarWorld’s suit also cites New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency (NJDEP) regulations and the Clean Energy New Jersey (CEN) Program, a state program that awards $5 million per year to solar panels producers.
SolarWorld claims the NJDEP regulations were “unlawful, capricious, and inequitable” because they were designed to benefit solar panel producers.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring the NJDOE from granting any of the renewable energy credits that are the subject of the lawsuit.
The suit also claims that the NJ DEP and CEN are using the Clean Power Plan (CPP) as a “political football” to “stifle competition.”
The lawsuit also cites a report that Solar World’s CEO said “the CPP has been used to suppress competition, kill jobs, and force the state to accept costly credits that were never awarded in the first place.”
In an emailed statement, Solar World CEO Joe DiRocca called the lawsuit baseless and said he has “no confidence” in New Jersey officials and CEHPs claims.
He also said he had no comment on the lawsuit and referred questions to SolarWorld.