Renewable energy poised for growth as solar bill moves forward

| April 20, 2017

Now that committees in both the Indiana House and Senate have had a chance to hold public hearings on proposed changes to Indiana’s renewable energy policies, the Indiana Energy Association of investor-owned utilities will support the legislation – even though it has changed substantially from what was first introduced.

Many of the criticisms about this bill come from the language first introduced in the Senate.  Since then, senators and representatives have made significant changes to improve the legislation.

The bill now ensures that rooftop solar customers will continue receive a premium for the excess power they generate. Most importantly, it now “grandfathers” current customers for up to 30 years. This guarantees that those who have invested in rooftop solar can fully pay for that investment while also realizing beneficial treatment designed to offset initial expenses.  And those benefits remain with the property, no matter who owns it.

Over the last 12 years, the costs of installing a home system have plummeted while the subsidized benefits have stayed the same.  That will change if Senate Bill 309 becomes law.

Industries throughout the state will have new options to generate their own power.  We expect that more solar farms will sprout on Hoosier soil, giving apartment dwellers and other customers the benefits of solar energy production without the expense of installing panels.

The IEA and its membership supports all of these initiatives.  We need rooftop solar.  We need large solar arrays.  We need more wind, biomass, and local generation of power by industrial customers.  Our position is that we need “all of the above!”

And, of course, Indiana also needs to maintain an electric grid that can provide reliable power regardless of the weather or available light.  Rooftop solar customers need that grid to sell excess power back to the energy companies, and they need that connection at night or when the weather is inclement.

We urge our Senators and Representatives to approve this legislation, which ensures that Indiana will not fall behind in the effort to maintain a reliable electric grid and diversify its electricity generation options.

—Mark Maassel

President

Indiana Energy Association

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Category: Consumer, Government, Letters, Local, Opinion, Technology

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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