The 2021 state legislative sessions are underway and multiple solar, renewable energy, and clean energy bills are being considered. pv magazine has put together a list of energy bills that deserve close attention, which included two Midwest bills.
SB 420 would require all Hoosier State electricity suppliers to offer net metering to all new distributed solar customers, either until the aggregate net metering project capacity equals at least 5% of the supplier’s most recent summer peak load, or July 1, 2027, whichever occurs earlier.
The state’s current net metering mandate has a 1.5% peak load cap, or July 1, 2022.
The bill would require all of the state’s net metering tariffs to be phased out by July 1, 2052, and would raise the maximum net-metered project size from 1 MW to 5 MW.
The importance of good net metering and distributed generation state policy can be seen through a comparision to Wisconsin where In the last four years, net metered customers in the state have grown by only 0.11%, well below the increases seen elsewhere in other states since 2015.
In June 2020 the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) convened an investigative docket” (5-EI-157) to identify regulatory barriers that effectively put a tight lid on Wisconsin’s DG market, especially customer-sited DG.
Ohio lawmakers are considering HB 20, which would prohibit condominium, homeowners, and neighborhood associations from imposing unreasonable limitations on solar system installations on the roof or exterior walls of dwellings.
The bill defines “unreasonable limitations” as something that significantly increases the cost, or significantly decreases the efficiency of a solar system.
A similar bill was introduced in Minnesota, HF 257, which would similarly check some of the powers that homeowner associations (HOAs) have over residential solar systems, by allowing HOAs to regulate, but not ban, the installation of solar systems.
These bills are important as Associations typically cite aesthetics and the dubious claim that solar panels lower property values. However, a 2019 Zillow report found that homes with residential solar systems sold for 4.1% more than their non-solar neighbors.
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