May solar policy snapshots

Washington state is working to make community solar more accessible to low-income populations with new grant funding.

gov. Inslee signs bill to fund $100 million of community solar in Washington
Olympia, Washington

gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bill creating a new low-income community solar program in Washington state starting in 2023. The state will provide grants to cover up to 100% of community solar project costs to help close the equity gap.

DC attorney general files complaint against utility for overcharging community solar customers
Washington, DC

The DC Office of the People’s Counsel and Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia jointly filed a complaint and petition asking the Public Service Commission to investigate utility Pepco for allegedly overcharging community solar customers. The two entities have received numerous complaints from subscribers who aren’t receiving timely and accurate bill credits.

Massachusetts bill would increase solar project net-metering cap from 10 to 25 kW
Boston, Massachusetts

Massachusetts senators introduced a climate roadmap bill that includes an increase in the state’s solar project net-metering cap from 10 to 25 kW. The bill also requires the state’s Department of Energy Resources to consider the full scope of value that solar brings to the grid when designing a new compensation structure.

Virginia governor signs solar property tax exemption into law
Richmond, Virginia

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a new law that creates a property tax exemption for residential and mixed-use solar projects up to 25 kW in Virginia. The solar industry said this law will increase home values ​​and encourage more people to go solar.

Maryland sets goal of net-zero economy-wide emissions by 2045
Annapolis, Maryland

Maryland’s legislature passed the Climate Solutions Now Act, which sets an early goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 60% by 2031 and includes provisions to make it easier for schools to go solar. The bill officially became law when the governor declined to take action on it.

DOE to develop digital platform to connect low-income households with community solar projects
Washington, DC

The Biden Administration recently announced a new multi-agency partnership to pilot a digital platform connecting low-income households with community solar developers. The new initiative aims to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and give more people a chance to save with clean energy.

FERC unveils proposed changes to regional transmission planning
Washington, DC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its proposed rulemaking to improve transmission planning and make the country’s energy infrastructure more resilient and reliable. SEIA applauded the initial proposal, saying it’s the next step toward bringing more renewable energy projects online.

gov. DeSantis vetoes Florida bill that jeopardized solar net metering
Tallahassee, Florida

On April 27, Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed House Bill 741, which would have phased down net metering and allowed utilities to charge potentially unlimited fees on solar customers. Solar advocates pushed back against the bill from the start, organizing protests at the state capitol and other efforts.

California bill would boost low-income community solar + storage projects
Sacramento, California

California’s State Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy passed a bill that would establish a new state program to expand access to renewables. The bill would require at least 51% of the power generated by each community solar + storage project in the program to benefit low-income customers or service organizations.

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