Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) have introduced legislation that would expand access to solar power through a local voluntary program, while ensuring adequate ratepayer protection.
Senate Bill 919, which would create the PA Local Solar program, seeks to allow electric utilities to establish subscriber programs, by which customers can choose to purchase 100% local solar energy, rather than the traditional grid mix. The legislation will give residential and business customers the option to participate in an off-site solar program, but does not mandate participation, nor require any state funding.
“The number of customers who would like to purchase solar energy is on the rise,” said Senator Laughlin. “However, those who live in apartment buildings or in a location that is not conducive to solar energy production are currently unable to participate in Pennsylvania’s growing solar economy. There are also many others who wish to participate, but lack the financial resources required for rooftop solar installations.”
“This bill will allow those who truly believe in renewable energy, but live in settings that are not conducive to generating it, to put their money where it will back up their desire for a cleaner grid,” Senator Laughlin said.
“Our bill provides customers with the opportunity to purchase solar energy from local solar projects,” said Senator Costa. “By providing all customers with the opportunity to choose solar power, we expand the reach of renewable energy into our communities, while creating jobs right here in Pennsylvania.”