Home » Solar energy policy sees final passage

Solar energy policy sees final passage

By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Legislation seeking to update Kentucky’s private net metering policy saw final passage Thursday night in the state House after the legislative body receded from an amendment attached to the bill earlier this session.

Current law requires utility companies to credit private net metering energy customers, such as those with rooftop solar, for electricity they generate at a rate that’s higher than utilities pay for other energy sources.

Senate Bill 100, sponsored by Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chair Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, would continue to require the utility to take excess power generated by private net metering customers but would authorize the Public Service Commission (PSC) to determine the value of that excess electricity. The PSC regulates retail electric service throughout most of the state.

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the leading consumer energy advocate, released the following statement after the final passage of SB 100.

“CEA would like to thank the Kentucky House of Representatives for its bipartisan support on this important measure which will help modernize the commonwealth’s solar incentive program and expand the use of solar across Kentucky. It will also serve to protect existing customers and to expand the size of systems eligible to participate in the program by 50 percent,” said Brydon Ross, vice president of state affairs for CEA.

“CEA has long advocated for pro-solar, pro-grid and pro-consumer policies that will ensure the long-term viability and growth of solar deployment while also ensuring the costs to maintain our electric grid, which we all rely on, are fairly allocated.”

The amended version of Senate Bill 100 had passed out of the House earlier this session with provisions considered unfriendly by House Natural Resources and Energy Committee Chair Jim Gooch, R-Providence, based on the significant, negative changes to the bill.

After the House amended the bill, the Senate refused to concur and asked the House to recede from the changes. The House kept the bill in the orders for several days awaiting the final decision on whether to recede from the changes. It was finally taken up on day 29 of the 30-day session.

Gooch noted the PSC was opposed to the legislation in its amended form. And the House voted to recede from their amendment after discussion.

SB 100, in its original form, saw final passage with a 55-36 vote. The solar policy now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.