Letter to the Editor: Urge WV Legislature to support measures on environment (Gazette Opinion)

"Twenty-six states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland, have passed legislation to make power purchase agreements legal, thus enabling third-party financing/development of distributed energy systems using solar panels or landfill bio-gas, for example. In fact, we will have the opportunity to support PPAs here, when bipartisan legislation is introduced in the Legislature very soon, writes Holly Cloonan of Charleston in a Letter to the Editor in the Jan. 25 issue of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Read the full letter.

Letter to the Editor: Lawmakers should legalize power agreements (Daily Mail Opinion)

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are one step that West Virginia lawmakers can take this session to encourage competition, growth, and development in our rapidly changing energy system, writes Tom Loehr, president of Collegiate Solar Energy, and Autumn Long, program director of Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia in a Letter to the Editor to the Daily Mail WV Opinion page of the Charleston Gazette-Mail on Jan. 15, 2019.

Read the full letter.

Charles Town mayor advocates for power purchase agreements

Solar Panels are installed on a Morgan County roof. Scott Rogers, Mayor of Charles Town, has come out in support of third-party power purchase agreements, and he is advocating for the 2019 state legislature to legalize their use. Journal file photo

Solar Panels are installed on a Morgan County roof. Scott Rogers, Mayor of Charles Town, has come out in support of third-party power purchase agreements, and he is advocating for the 2019 state legislature to legalize their use. Journal file photo

Jan. 15, 2019, The (Martinsburg) Journal

Calling them an “excellent opportunity for the state,” Scott Rogers, mayor of Charles Town, has come out in support of third-party power purchase agreements, and he is advocating for the 2019 state Legislature to legalize their use.

EnergyFreedomWV.org explains that PPAs allow a third-party developer to install, own and operate energy-generating equipment such as a windmill or solar panels on a customer’s property with the customer’s consent. The customer can then purchase the electric output at an agreed upon fixed rate for a predetermined period of time, usually 15-25 years.

Rogers said this system is a way to diversify state energy markets, and he said it would reduce the impact of what he calls “boom and bust” cycles associated with the current utility rates.

Read the full article.

Opinion: Energy freedom in W.Va. starts with power purchase agreements

Charles Town Mayor Scott Rogers makes the case in The (Martinsburg) Journal that Power Purchase Agreements are needed in West Virginia.

“The time is now for the people to encourage and challenge their lawmakers to move forward with this innovative policy option.”

Thanks, Mayor Rogers, for supporting the #PPAs4WV campaign and advocating for energy freedom in West Virginia.

Read the Opinion piece.

Solar Advocates Press for Rules to Boost WV Business Growth (Public News Service)

Published Dec. 21, 2018

By Dan Heyman of Public News Service-WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Clean-energy advocates are looking to the Legislature for solar-energy rules they say could reform West Virginia's grid for consumers, big and small.

Solar installer is the fastest-growing job in the country, but few of these positions are coming to West Virginia. (Pixabay)

Solar installer is the fastest-growing job in the country, but few of these positions are coming to West Virginia. (Pixabay)

West Virginia doesn't allow Power Purchase Agreements – where a third party invests the big up-front costs of installing solar power, then charges the customer for the electricity. Autumn Long, program director with Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia, says more than half the businesses and almost all the schools, churches and hospitals that have "gone solar" nationally have taken that route.

She says it would also help attract new businesses committed to renewables.

"Seeking to source 100 percent of their power from renewable sources,” says Long. “So, if West Virginia doesn't start building out that renewable infrastructure to offer these companies, we're going to get passed over."

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Shading Out Solar: State Policies In Ohio Valley Dim Future Of Energy Jobs (WOUB/PBS & NPR)

Published Nov. 16, 2018

Farmers Jennie and Brian Kahly found WV law made it hard to finance a solar array. (Brittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource)

Farmers Jennie and Brian Kahly found WV law made it hard to finance a solar array. (Brittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource)

News Report by Brittany Patterson of Ohio Valley ReSource on the lack of PPAs in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Excerpt:

There are two main policies that states can adopt that incentivize solar installation. Most states have one or both, but according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory West Virginia and Kentucky have neither.

The first is called a third-party power purchase agreement, or PPA. That allows a private, third-party developer to install a solar system on your property and then sell you the power that that array produces at a fixed rate for typically 15 to 20 years.

Tax-exempt entities such as schools, churches and local governments especially benefit from PPAs, because they aren’t eligible for the 30 percent federal income tax credit. Beginning in 2020, the federal solar tax credit will begin ramping down.

“A power purchase agreement allows them to install solar with zero up-front cost, potentially lower their energy bills from day one, and it’s also a really popular way for commercial businesses to go solar on a larger scale than that business is potentially going to be able to invest in with their own capital up front,” said Autumn Long, program director of the nonprofit West Virginia Solar United Neighbors.

READ OR LISTEN TO THE FULL REPORT