The Kentucky Solar Energy Society

Legislation To Promote Clean Energy

There are several websites that contain up to date information on sustainable energy legislative efforts underway in 2016.  Visit the Kentucky Sustainability Alliance and the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth for more information.

Enhanced Net Metering Background

Since 2012, KySES and other sustainable organizations have joined forces to create a bill that would have lifted the size limit of net metered systems from 30 kilowatts to 1 or 2 megawatts.  The Committee held a hearing on the bill on March 22, 2012, but the bill went no further   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.

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


Clean Energy Opportunity Act
Renewable and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (RPS) Background

Ever since 2009, KySES has remained joined with like-minded organizations to form the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance ("KYSEA").  As part of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, we continue to 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 over a 25 year period.  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 utilities in other states encourage renewables.  These utilities 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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