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Holcomb Signs Bill Curtailing Solar Panel Incentives

solar panels

Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Duke Energy is required to contract enough wind and solar energy to power about 15,000 homes.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill into law that will sharply curtail the benefit available to those who install solar panels.

Tuesday was the last day the Republican could veto or sign the bill, which critics contend is part of a broader nationwide push by utilities to seize control of the emerging solar market.

Holcomb says he understands those concerns, but signed the bill because the benefit will be phased out slowly.

“I support solar as an important part of Indiana’s comprehensive energy mix,” Holcomb said in a statement. “I understand the concerns some have expressed, but this legislation ensures that those who currently have interests in small solar operations will not be affected for decades.”

Indiana’s investor-owned utility companies lobbied for the measure during the legislative session. They say solar panel owners who feed excess power to the grid are compensated too generously, a rate that will be drastically lowered under the measure.

Critics say Indiana’s approach is too Draconian and will muscle out smaller companies, like solar panel installers.

“SB 309 is counterproductive in our quest to retain and attract solar energy jobs, which are growing 12 times faster than the U.S. private sector, in that it imposes five needless roadblocks to investment,” said Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda in a statement.

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  • lastcamp2

    This should be no surprise to anyone. This is what happens when what is supposed to be the people’s government is actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Business, in this case the utility companies.
    You know, they used to be “public utilities.” No more. The are just another bunch of profiteers picking the pockets of the consumer to expand the wealth of the 1%.
    This has been going on for decades, but no one seems to notice, and no one seems to care.

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