Legislation Secures MO Solar-Energy Future
Contact: Heidi Schoen
LEGISLATION SECURES MISSOURI SOLAR-ENERGY FUTURE
St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Legislature passed the Solar Protection Action (House Bill 142), and it awaits the Governor’s signature. The bill, among other things, steps down the $2 per watt solar rebate gradually through 2020, providing certainty to the growing solar industry. Missouri solar-industry officials said proactively reducing the rebate was the responsible thing to do.
The bill language was originally proposed by Senator Jason Holsman (D-KC) and Representative TJ Berry (R-Kearney) and was ultimately attached to HB142. The Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA) supported the bill throughout its time in both chambers. Industry officials believe the solar industry can be less reliant on incentive in the future due to the combination of solar-systems cost decreases and installation efficiency gains.
Additionally, the bill protects installers from investor-owned utilities using up the rebates on vertically integrated projects, like large solar farms. It also protects installers and solar customers from surprise discontinuation of the rebate program.
The Missouri solar industry began in 2007 with the passage of the Easy Connection Act sponsored by Senator Holsman. In 2008, the industry took another step forward with overwhelming (66 percent) statewide approval for Proposition C, the Missouri’s Clean Energy Initiative – making Missouri one of 38 states to pass renewable energy objectives.
Partial implementation of Prop C through the solar rebate program has created substantial economic benefits generating thousands of solar energy installations and related industry jobs.
“The initial boost to the industry provided by incentives has had the desired impact of bringing down costs, creating jobs and attracting entrepreneurs to our state,” said Heidi Schoen, Executive Director of MOSEIA. “Responsibly reducing the rebate gradually will lead to a sustainable industry over the long-term”
“I am proud to see the dramatic growth in the solar industry over this past six year,” said Senator Holsman. “The improved technology and falling costs have helped diversify our electric fuel resources, which is not only good for the economy but also is a top National Security priority. This legislation will provide market certainty for the industry, utilities and consumers.
The Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA) represents solar industry stakeholders supporting policy issues focused on solar job creation and sustainable economic growth in Missouri. MOSEIA also provides professional development opportunities throughout the year that aim to raise industry standards. MOSEAI is the official affiliated chapter of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) with a mission to strengthen and expand the Missouri solar industry and establish a sustainable energy future for all Missourians.