Friday, March 2, 2012

Pro-Solar Power Bill Goes to Governor

My buddy Diana Christopulos sent the following release from the House of Delegates a little while ago, telling us all that solar is getting the state's blessing. Says Diana: "Good news for Virginians interested in placing solar panels on their property: this bill  allows homeowner associations to set rules for solar panels, they cannot outlaw them or sue people for installing solar panels.

"More good news: a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) showed that the price of solar energy has dropped about 30 percent since the middle of 2010. The main barrier to low prices is now the cost of installation rather than the cost of materials. NREL predicts that installation costs could drop very significantly as more companies enter the solar market."

Here's the press release:

Today, the House of Delegates, in a bipartisan vote, passed Senator Chap Petersen's bill (SB627) to allow homeowners the freedom to use solar panels to power their homes without the threat of litigation by homeowner associations.

Senator Petersen (D-Fairfax City) expressed satisfaction that finally, Virginians will be able to use solar panels regardless of where they live, or under what homeowner association rules they are subject to:"The passage of SB627 is the result of a multi-year effort to allow all Virginians to take advantage of clean solar energy. This is a bipartisan bill that will bring high-paying, skilled solar panel installation and manufacturing jobs to Virginia. I am pleased to have worked with a number of Senators and Delegates from both parties to pass this bill, and I am very pleased that we could all come together to pass this common sense bill."

Delegate David Ramadan (R-Loudoun) praised Senator Petersen's bill, and defended it on the House floor: "I commend Senator Petersen for bringing this bill through, and I was happy to present and defend it on the house floor. This is a private property issue for homeowners, and its a matter of choice so that people can pick what sources of energy are useful for them."

SB627 will allow Home Owner Associations (HOAs) to regulate placement and size of solar panels, but will not allow HOAs to have an outright ban on solar panels.

The House of Delegates voted 74-24 to pass the bill and the Senate voted 31-8 to pass the bill. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for consideration.

1 comment:

  1. Solar energy has gone from being the great white hope, to an impediment, to a reliable energy supply. Solar farm operators and homeowners with solar panels on their roofs collected more than €8 billion ($10.2 billion) in subsidies in 2011, but the electricity they generated made up only about 3 percent of the total power supply, and that at unpredictable times.

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