Energy bill pulled from committee agenda

Published March 22, 2017

WKU Herald – Monica Kast – 

Local business owners attend a presentation from Lightwave Solar about the benefits of solar power on March 8 at Stadium Park Plaza. Photo by Brook Joyner

A senate bill that would affect solar energy metering was pulled from the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee earlier this month, according to government sources.

According to the Kentucky Legislature website, SB 214 would amend Kentucky Revised Statutes 278.465 and 278.466. KRS 278.465 would be amended to “require that net metering customers use a single meter on their premises, that the customers use the electricity generated for all or part of their electricity requirements, and to increase the allowable size of eligible electric generating facilities from 30 kilowatts to 1000 kilowatts.”

Senate Bill 214, “an act related to net metering,” according to the Kentucky Legislature website, was introduced in the Kentucky Senate on Feb. 14 by Senator Jared Carpenter. From there, the bill went to the Natural Resources and Energy Committee for several readings, before being pulled from the agenda on March 1.

KRS 278.466 would be amended to “only apply to eligible customer-generators taking net metering service on July 15, 2017,” to allow “retail electric suppliers to recover” necessary costs to serve customer-generators after July 15, and would provide that “excess electricity credits are not transferable between meters.”

According to KRS 278.465, an “eligible electric generating facility” is one that uses solar energy, wind energy, biomass or biogas energy, or hydro energy, and has a “rated capacity” less than 30 kilowatts.

According to a Facebook post from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a statewide grassroots citizens’ organization, SB 214 is a “power grab by Kentucky’s electric companies that would kill local jobs and consumer choice for energy.”

Last week, LightWave Solar hosted a solar energy workshop for businesses in Bowling Green. LightWave Solar is a firm founded in Tennessee, focusing on promoting solar projects in “businesses, municipalities, and homes across the Mid-South,” according to its website.

According to the website, the workshop explained “the benefits of installing solar including the financial incentives for commercial solar projects,” aiming to promote increased use of solar projects.

SB 214 will not go forward in the Natural Resources and Energy Committee at this time, since being taken off the agenda.

Reporter Monica Kast can be reached at (270) 745-0655 or [email protected].