The Kentucky Solar Energy Society
Legislation To Promote Clean Energy

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2012 Legislative Session renewable energy bills:

Clean Energy Opportunity Act - House Representatives Mary Lou Marzian, Rita Smart, Jim Wayne and Joni Jenkins sponsored the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, a/k/a House Bill 167. It was assigned to the Tourism Development and Energy Committee. There is more information about the bill hereThe Committee held a hearing on the bill on March 22, 2012, but the bill went no further.

Enhanced Net Metering
- House Representatives Jim Wayne,
Steve Riggs, Ron Crimm, Mary Lou Marzian, Kelly Flood, Reginald Meeks and Joni Jenkins sponsored and filed House Bill 187. The bill would have lifted the size limit ofnet metered systems from 30 kilowatts to 2 megawatts. This bill was assigned to the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee.  The Committee held a hearing on the bill on March 22, 2012, but the bill went no further

Enhanced net metering, HB 187

   Net-metering allows Kentuckians to connect renewable energy systems (i.e. biomass, solar, wind, or hydroelectric) to the electric grid. When a system generates power, some or all of it is used on-site. Any excess flows back to the grid and is credited to the customer's account. Customers do not get paid for producing excess power the customer.

   43 states have net metering. Net metering has existed in Kentucky since 2004. Present law allows systems up to 30 kilowatts in size to connect to all investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives. Municipal and TVA-served utilities are exempt from the law, although some municipal utilities have adopted net metering policies. TVA offers a similar program that pays a premium for renewable power.

   The 30 kilowatt limit on net metering restricts the ability of businesses, farms, schools, and local governments to produce their own power. For many commercial customers, a 30 kilowatt generator would produce only a small fraction of their power needs, thereby limiting their ability to become energy independent. 17 states allow net metering up to 2 megawatts or more. Scotty's Transportation in Bowling Green has two one megawatt PV arrays producing energy.

What HB 187 bill will do:

   The bill increases the size of eligible net-metered systems from 30 kilowatts to two megawatts (2 MW). This would give KentuckiansThe bill would also allow more flexibility in financing and constructing eligible systems.

This bill:

   -  Creates job opportunities in every county of Kentucky

   -  Lessens administartive burdens and paperwork

    -  Cuts energy costs for new schools using renewable energy (ie - Locust Trace
       Richardsville Elementary
and Turkey Foot Middle School

    -  Gives Kentucky's people, businesses, governments and schools more freedom to 
       produce their own energy

   -  Diversifies Kentucky's energy supply and increases security

   -  Protects Kentucky's environment

   -  Supports Kentucky's energy independence


We'd also like to see Kentucky join the majority of states that have enacted a renewable portfolio standard:

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)

   In 2009, KySES joined with like-minded organizations to form the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance ("KYSEA").  We presently seek a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) and other provisions to encourage efficiency and renewables. 

   The proposed RPS would have Kentucky obtain 12.5% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.  A majority of states have some sort of RPS. 

   What does it cost?  Other states' experience indicates no more than 2% or so on the monthly bill as a "renewables" surcharge.  Utilities pool the money and use it as incentives to customers to install renewable energy, or to themselves build large solar arrays, wind farms or other resource. 

   The pooled money lowers the high initial costs of systems.  Renewable power hits the grid.  
    An RPS is the foundation for a transition to renewable energy.

   Some Kentucky utilities claim "it's too hard" or "it's too expensive."  It's neither.  Other states are way ahead of us. Ohio, for instance, has an RPS and is busy building a cadre of trained solar professionals and scaled-up companies that now come to Kentucky and do work that Kentuckians should be doing.  

   Our nation's security, prosperity and health demand that we start transitioning to clean renewable energy.

    Large utilties in other states encourage renewables.  These utilties include (but are certainly not limited to) North Carolina-based Duke Energy and Minnesota-based Xcel Energy.

   Xcel has voluntarily set a "30% by 2020" RPS for itself in Minnesota.  Duke participates in and promotes large renewable projects in a number of states.

   It's neither too hard nor too expensive, and we can do it.

See Duke Energy's position on Renewable Portfolio Standards

See Xcel's position on renewable energy

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