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Solar Power Compensation Bill Passes Senate

solar panels

Photo: Bill Shaw

The solar panels are expected to generate enough energy to power 1,800 homes per year.

Senate Bill 309, a controversial bill that alters Indiana’s net metering policy, passed the Senate 39-9 on Monday evening.

Net metering is a practice that allows people with solar panels, or other alternate energy generation sources, to sell excess energy back to utilities at the retail rate.

Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), the bill’s author, says, despite some public confusion, the bill is actually good for the solar industry.

“It expands the ability of people to generate power for their own needs and to sell the excess back to the grid,” Hershman says.

But many disagree. The bill would slowly lower the amount Hoosiers receive for selling excess energy back to the grid. By 2047, Hoosiers would receive a little more than the wholesale rate — rather than the current, higher, retail rate.

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) argues SB 309 lessens the incentive for renewable energy generation.

“And we, as a state, should be encouraging homeowners to install these systems,” Stoops says.

Stoops offered two amendments last week to send the bill to a study committee. Both failed.

The bill now advances to the House, where Reps. David Ober (R-Albion) and Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) will sponsor it.

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