Communities are coming together to plant Solar Gardens — and visionary new laws are making it possible. Here you will find information on federal and state legislation plus tax-related news.
You can find more at these sources:
- Community Solar: Power and Ownership for You and Me
- IREC Releases Community Solar Energy Guidelines | GetSolar.com Blog
- The Wikipedia Community solar farm entry
- Vote Solar
- The SUN Act: Introduced by Senator Mark Udall, this act makes a tiny change to the tax code allowing federal tax rebates for solar panels hosted off-property.
- The Treasury Grant Program: Awards selected commercial solar project developers an upfront grant totaling 30% of the project cost.
Legislation by state
SB 843, before the State Legislature in 2012, would allow virtual net metering in California.
- Bill text from 3/24/11 (being amended now): http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/339224
- Information about the bill: http://e2.org/jsp/controller?docName=campaignDisplay&activityName=SB843
- Preliminary analysis of the bill by the Local Clean Energy Alliance: http://www.localcleanenergy.org/files/SB%20843%20PreliminaryAnalysis4.pdf.
In 2010, Governor Ritter signed the Community Solar Gardens Act. See the full text of this bill here.
District of Columbia
DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN) has been working hard to make solar affordable and accesible to every resident of DC. CMs Cheh and Alexander introduced the Community Renewables Act of 2012 in early March. A summary and the full text of the bill is available online at http://www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/legislation/community-renewables-energy-act-of-2012
Solar Gardens Institute core team member David Brosch has led the effort to introduce a solar gardens bill in Maryland, working closely with Vote Solar. The bill is the first statewide effort to use the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) community renewables model program rules. The bill has been introduced in both the House of Delegates and Senate under different bill numbers and with identical text. HB864 is sponsored by Dana Stein, and SB595 is sponsored by Paul Pinsky. No hearing has yet been scheduled in either chamber. Full text of bill
In 2008, State Representative Matt Patrick authored the Green Communities Act, which authorized “neighborhood net-meterin,” allowing a group of residents in a neighborhood or town to pool resources to cover the capital cost of a renewable energy installation. Two community solar gardens are already in place in the state.
Northern Marianas Islands
The Washington state legislature recently approved the Community Solar Enabling Act, allowing co-ops to host solar panels for subscribers anywhere in the state.