FRANKFORT — A invoice that may restrict what Kentuckians can earn sooner or later from extra power produced by photo voltaic panels is again before the Basic Assembly.
Critics say the bill can be devastating to Kentucky’s fledgling photo voltaic business and immediately have an effect on house owners of houses and businesses who determine that they need to save power and dollars by installing solar techniques.
“We estimate that this invoice would scale back the value of photo voltaic by over 70 % …,” stated Matt Partymiller, president of the Kentucky Photo voltaic Business Affiliation. “It might destroy the present internet metering regulation, which not only provides Kentuckians the freedom to choose, however that each one shoppers benefit from.”
Utility corporations disagree, saying the measure is a commonsense strategy to assuring future solar clients pay their justifiable share of the costs to take care of Kentucky’s power grid.
“We encourage renewable power … however we don’t assume it’s truthful that we’ve to pay more (to solar clients) than it costs us to generate our own power,” stated Chris Whelan, spokeswoman for LG&E and KU Power.
The conflict is over the compensation utilities pay clients underneath the present apply often known as internet metering.
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A meter exhibits the number of kilowatt hours of electricity generated by the solar panels at First Presbyterian Church in Jeffersonville.
September 15, 2017 (Photograph: By Michael Clevenger, C-J)
When the photo voltaic power system of a home or enterprise generates extra energy than is required, the extra power goes back to the facility grid to be used by others, and the photo voltaic buyer is credited at a one-to-one fee for the facility despatched again to the utility.
The invoice was filed every of the last two years, however defeated. Last yr it narrowly handed the House however stalled in the Senate near the very end of the session.
On Monday, Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, filed Senate Bill 100, which is a slightly modified version of the bill that stalled last year. Smith did not return a phone message left at his office Tuesday morning.
The bill, like the one considered last year, allows those participating in the current net metering structure to see no change for 25 years. Those who choose to participate within the next year would also be covered for 25 years under the existing law.
But for those installing solar panels after that, the bill would direct the Kentucky Public Service Commission to set the value to be credited to customers for the electricity they feed into the system.
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But because the bill gives no guidance to the commission on how to do that, Partymiller said other parts of the bill and current law would mean the commission is bound to set rates favorable to utilities.