August solar policy snapshots A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.

Chicago HOA members considering solar may have an easier path now thanks to new legislation.

Ohio governor gives local officials more say on solar project siting
Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill in July that gives local officials the ability to reject solar and wind projects early in their development, according to WTOL. The news outlet noted this ability does not extend to coal mines or gas wells.

Alabama Power faced with lawsuit for rooftop solar fees
Montgomery, Alabama

The Southern Environmental Law Center and Ragsdale have filed a lawsuit against Alabama Power on behalf of four rooftop solar customers and a renewable energy advocacy group, according to ABC News. The suit argues that the utility’s fixed solar customer fee of $5.41 per kilowatt are purposely discouraging solar adoption in the state.

Georgia net-metering program reaches cap, jeopardizing rooftop solar growth
Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Power’s pilot net-metering program reached its cap of 5,000 customers in July. Solar advocates are pushing for the Public Service Commission to extend the program to keep the state’s solar momentum going.

Wisconsin Republicans working on community solar-enabling legislation
Madison, Wisconsin

Republicans in Wisconsin’s statehouse announced plans to introduce legislation enabling the development of community solar in the state during this session. The lawmakers emphasized the benefits of energy choice for consumers and the advantages of local, renewable energy.

NAACP publishes set of Equitable Solar Policy Principles for advocates, lawmakers
Washington, D.C.

The NAACP’s Solar Equity working group released a set of policy principles to help lawmakers and advocates ensure that the benefits of solar power extend to historically underserved communities. SEIA, Vote Solar and other advocacy groups endorsed the initiative.

SEIA outlines infrastructure policy priorities in letter to House Committee on Ways and Means

As the infrastructure bill continues moving toward a vote, SEIA emphasized the solar policy priorities it believes should be included in it. In a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means, the group asked for an extension of the ITC, a direct pay option, a standalone energy storage ITC and more.

Biden Administration includes new energy storage funding in 2022 DOE budget proposal
Washington, D.C.

The Biden Administration is pushing for tools to develop more affordable long-duration energy storage in its latest budget request for the Department of Energy. The proposed additional research funding would help reach the administration’s goal of lowering grid-scale energy storage costs by 90% by 2030.

SolarAPP+ instant online solar permitting software now available nationwide
Washington, D.C.

The Department of Energy’s SolarAPP+ free instant online permitting software is now available to all localities nationwide after successful trials with select cities. SolarAPP+ allows cities to automatically check projects for code compliance, reducing soft costs and waiting time.

SolSmart brings in four new advisor organizations to help cities remove barriers to solar growth
Washington, D.C.

The SolSmart program has added four new advisor organizations to help encourage the growth of solar adoption in Ohio, Utah, Idaho and Puerto Rico. The DOE-funded program offers free technical assistance to localities to help remove barriers to rooftop solar deployment.

Michigan Municipal League backs state community solar legislation
Lansing, Michigan

An organization representing more than 520 cities across the state of Michigan has shown its support for community solar legislation by joining the Michigan Community Solar Alliance. The Michigan Municipal League joins over a dozen other supporters of the bill, including the Sierra Club Michigan and the Michigan chapter of The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America.

Oregon officially commits to 100% clean electricity by 2040
Salem, Oregon

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that commits electricity providers in the state to delivering 100% clean power to its customers by 2040. Oregon now ties New York for the fastest statewide timeline in the nation.

NJBPU approves Successor Solar Incentive Program, doubling state’s solar capacity
Trenton, New Jersey

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to implement a new solar incentive program that will double the state’s solar capacity by 2026. Under the new plan, all residential solar customers will receive a fixed incentive payment.

New Illinois law makes it easier for HOA community members to install rooftop solar
Springfield, Illinois

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill that will protect solar customer rights, especially when faced with discriminatory homeowners association (HOA) covenants. The law aims to expedite the HOA approval timeline for solar projects and guarantee homeowners’ rights to install solar on their roofs without major redesign requirements.

California state licensing board votes to allow only C-10 contractors to install solar and storage projects
Sacramento, California

California’s Contractor State Licensing Board ruled that in the future, only C-10 licensed electrical contractors will be permitted to install solar + storage projects in the state. Currently, contractors are allowed to install solar + storage as long as they carry a C-46 license.

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez introduces bill to increase and extend residential solar tax credit
Washington, D.C. 

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez along with two cosponsers introduced the Residential Solar Opportunity Act to give residential solar customers the same tax credits as corporate owners. The bill would increase the residential solar ITC to 30% for five years, then phase down to a 10% permanent credit after 2028.

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