Author: Catherine Moorehouse
Originally Published: Utility Dive
Published: March 15, 2019
A Republican-sponsored bill passed in Arkansas this week is seen as a major boost for solar power as it will allow third-party financing and increase project size limits in the state.
The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the Senate 28-2 and the House 83-5, both of which hold large Republican majorities.
How did the state manage it?
There was a "very compelling business case" for the bill, driven in part by Walmart, which is headquartered in the state and has a renewables goal of 50% by 2025, according to Gary Moody, interim executive director of Audubon Arkansas who worked closely with stakeholders on the bill.
Net metering, frequently benefits all ratepayers when all costs and benefits are accounted for, which is a finding state public utility commissions, or PUCs, need to take seriously as the fight over net metering rages
This article from the Brookings Institute outlines the clear benefits that ratepayers both solar and non-solar enjoy from net metering rules.
Debbie Dooley, an early Tea Party organizer who backs President Trump, says embracing alternative energy is part of a consistent worldview.
By Ivan Penn
Sierra Club, GSREIA and Alliance for Affordable Energy are among those arguing against proposed changes that would move all exported power to avoided cost, open the door to discriminatory charges, and provide only five years of grandfathering for existing solar owners.
Summary: The state of Ohio recently changed their net metering rules for solar panels. Under these new rules in Ohio, customers would be compensated for any energy they produce on their own net metered systems only in credits toward future bills, and these credits would only cover the energy-only portion of the utility bills. This would then discourage customers from changing utility companies, as they would lose whatever credits they had with their previous company. Although the changes have not yet gone into effect, they are anticipated to disadvantage solar energy providers and bring decreased flexibility to the Ohio energy market. -Heidi Simpson (AAE)