State legislation would expand access to solar power

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Legislation recently reintroduced in the state Senate would expand access to solar power through a local voluntary program.

Senate Bill 1227 would create the PA Local Solar program. The program would allow electric utilities to establish subscriber programs that would allow residential and business customers to choose to purchase 100 percent local solar energy instead of the traditional grid mix. Customers would not be required to participate, and state funding would not be required to run the program.

The legislation also would ensure adequate ratepayer protection.

“The number of customers who would like to purchase solar energy is rising,” state Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie), who reintroduce the bill, said. “However, those who live in apartment buildings or in a location that is not conducive to solar energy production are currently unable to participate in Pennsylvania’s growing solar economy. Many others wish to participate, but lack the financial resources required for rooftop solar installations.

“This bill will allow those who truly believe in renewable energy, but live in settings that are not conducive to generating it, to put their money where it will back up their desire for a cleaner grid.”

Laughlin introduced a similar bill, Senate Bill 919, during the 2021-22 legislative session.