Baker to sign solar bill on Monday – Metro US

Baker to sign solar bill on Monday

Baker to sign solar bill on Monday
Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation

After a months-long debate among lawmakers, Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to sign a bill that would raise the cap on solar energy net metering in the state on Monday morning.

The compromise bill lifts the cap by 3 percent – from 4 to 7 percent of peak electrical usage for companies and from 5 to 8 percent for government-run solar – which will allow more public and private groups to sell power produced by solar panels back to utility companies.

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The legislation, which made its way through the House and Senate with just one opposing vote in either chamber this month, scales back the value of solar energy credits to about 11 or 12 cents per kilowatt hour, which is down from the prior rate of 17 to 21 cents.

It doesn’t apply to government-run projects or to homeowners, who would keep the higher reimbursement rates.

It comes after opposition, though. Among concerns, some solar advocates and business groups said they weren’t pleased with the bill’s credit value cuts and worried it would slow the growth of the solar industry.

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Others celebrated it as a way to stoke the market for renewable energy.

“The bill approved today by the House will put thousands of solar workers back on the job and ensure families and communities reap the clear economic, tax and income benefits of solar,” Sean Garren, Northeast regional manager for Vote Solar, said last week.

Additional reporting from the State House News Service