Opinion: Making the switch to clean energy (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

Engineer Allan Tweddle cites several examples of why legalizing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) would be a “win” for West Virginia in an Op/Ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail (June 13, 2019). Here’s an excerpt:

With a PPA in place, homeowners, shopping centers, religious buildings and educational buildings could more rapidly be powered by roof- mounted solar power systems. The solar industry in West Virginia would grow faster, creating good-paying jobs for displaced coal miners.

Read the full Op/Ed here and leave a comment on the piece if you’re so inclined.

WV4EF fb header #PPAsWV.png

The West Virginia legislature will get another chance in 2020 to legalize PPAs for on-site renewable and alternative energy generation facilities in West Virginia. It’s pro-business, pro-jobs and good for the average resident. Sign up below to get occasional updates on our plans for the next session.

Lack of PPAs cited in CBS News report on green jobs in West Virginia

On May 10, CBS News featured a 24-minute CBS News Orginials report on the fight for green jobs in West Virginia.

About 9 minutes into the report, Doyle Tenney of DT Solar cites Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) as a way to increase the use of renewables in West Virginia.

DT Solar is a member of West Virginians For Energy Freedom coalition.

Join our #PPAs4WV campaign today!

PPAs get a plug in report on WV’s need for more diverse energy generation

In a recent WV News analysis of West Virginia’s power generation, a state Office of Energy official said legalizing power purchase agreements (PPAs) would encourage more diversity, especially in the solar sector.

Coal remains West Virginia’s primary source of energy, but experts agree generation must change to be competitive with other states and to meet the growing number of corporations moving to using only renewables such as solar.

Kelly Bragg, energy development specialist with the West Virginia Office of Energy, believes third-party PPAs are one way WV could diversify its power generation sector and attract new electricity users and economic investment. Here’s an excerpt from the April 13 WV News story:

Kelly Bragg

Kelly Bragg

Although coal still dominates the state’s energy generation interest in renewable sources of energy are increasing, Bragg said.

“I think we’re moving in a diverse direction. There’s a lot of support for new projects,” she said.

The state is particularly lacking in utility-scale solar energy projects, Bragg said. “We are the only one of 11 states in the northeast region that does not have a single utility-scale solar project,” she said. “That is a number that I would certainly like to see changed.”

There are several steps the state could take to encourage more solar activity, Bragg said.

One is called a Third-Party Power Purchase Agreement, which makes it more attractive for property owners to install solar panels on their homes or commercial buildings, Bragg said.

“Basically it allows people to pay a smaller monthly fee for their solar system, as opposed to coming up with the full amount up front,” she said. “It’s a contractual relationship between the building owner and the solar installer which currently is not allowed here.”

Read the full WV News report by Charles Young and leave a comment to show your support for PPAs.

West Virginians For Energy Freedom made headway during the last legislative session with the introduction of two bills that would legalize PPAs for on-site renewable and alternative energy generation facilities. While the bills stalled in committee, our campaign demonstrates that West Virginia homeowners, businesses, municipalities, schools, and nonprofits are eager to generate their own electricity and save money with renewable energy.

Want to get involved in our #PPAs4WV campaign? Here are three ways:

  1. Sign up today to join us and get occasional updates on our efforts.

  2. Email your legislators and ask them to support PPAs and energy freedom.

  3. Encourage your city, town, company, business, church, school/university or nonprofit to join our coalition.

Opinion: Solar needs to be allowed to compete

WVFLAG_uncropped.jpg

An Op/Ed in the Charleston Gazette/Mail (March 3) made the case for allowing power purchase agreements (PPAs) for on-site renewable and alternative energy generation facilities in West Virginia. Dan Conant, founder/CEO of Solar Holler, and Brandon Dennison, founder/CEO of Coalfield Development, co-wrote the piece. Solar Holler and Coalfield Development are among the 39 members of West Virginians For Energy Freedom’s coalition. Here’s an excerpt:

Distributed renewable energy resources like solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and biomass offer increasingly affordable alternatives to the outdated model of centralized utility monopolies. More West Virginia families, businesses, communities and institutions could benefit from these affordable energy options — if our elected officials create a policy environment that encourages choice, competition and diversification within our evolving energy system. …

[Legalizing PPAs] is one tangible step our elected officials can take to make West Virginia a more competitive and attractive place to live and do business.

Read the full Op/Ed here and leave a comment to show your support. We want to keep the conversation going about PPAs .

While PPAs didn't make it out of committee this year, the West Virginia legislature will get another chance in 2020 to pass the pro-business, pro-jobs law. Sign up below to get occasional updates on our plans for the next session.

West Virginians rise to support Power Purchase Agreements and set stage for future success

#PPAs4WV copy.jpg

West Virginia homeowners, businesses, municipalities, schools, and non-profits are eager to generate their own electricity and save money with renewable energy. Unfortunately, too few are able to do so because of the upfront cost. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are one solution to this problem. PPAs allow for third-party ownership of renewable and alternative energy generation projects such as solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, and combined heat and power (CHP) facilities. PPAs are not yet legal in West Virginia, but our state’s community of renewable energy supporters is working hard to change this.

Since launching a campaign to legalize PPAs in West Virginia less than six months ago, 39 organizations, municipalities, and businesses – from local to multinational – have formally joined the West Virginians for Energy Freedom coalition. Many more individual supporters and advocates stood up for energy freedom in the Mountain State by emailing, calling, or meeting in person with lawmakers to express their support for PPAs.

Thanks to these advocacy efforts by West Virginians for Energy Freedom and its affiliates, bipartisan groups of West Virginia lawmakers in both chambers introduced bills to legalize PPAs for on-site renewable and alternate energy generation facilities during the 2019 legislative session. While neither of these measures made it out of committee in time to move forward this year, it is rare for a bill to become law the first year it is introduced. So, let’s keep our chins up and start planning for success in 2020!

The progress we have made so far is thanks to every single one of you who took action on this issue. Special thanks are due to our dedicated team of mostly volunteer campaign leaders who continue to fight tirelessly for West Virginians’ energy rights. We are excited to continue this campaign, grow our coalition, engage new stakeholders, and bring the fight for energy freedom to lawmakers’ local districts during the legislative interim!

Be sure to sign up below for our mailing list to receive future campaign updates and action alerts. Thank you for supporting energy freedom in West Virginia!

Charleston Gazette-Mail Outlook: Solar developers see bright future

An article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s special Outlook section on Engineering & Energy (Feb. 17, 2019) featured an in-depth look at solar power and its growth in West Virginia. A section of the article focused on our campaign to support bills to make Power Purchase Agreements legal in West Virginia.

From the report:

Autumn Long of Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia said this is the first time a PPA bill has been introduced in the Legislature. “Everyone we’ve talked to, once they understand what this bill would do, is basically supportive of it. It appeals to both sides of the aisle, and gives the legislators an opportunity to come together and support something really positive.”

Read the full report here.