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Solar is the big wild card. There is growing consensus that the financial incentives for solar development are too lavish and need to be adjusted downward, but the House and Senate are far apart on how big the adjustments need to be.


Just before the close of last year’s session, the House and Senate stalemated over the issue of net metering, which is the way solar developers are compensated for the electricity they feed into the grid. The current net metering price is 18 cents a kilowatt hour. The House wanted to cut it to 5 cents and the Senate countered with tiered rates for various types of projects, with prices ranging from 9 to 12 to 18 cents a kilowatt hour.


A conference committee consisting of members from the House and Senate was appointed to resolve the different net metering approaches of the two branches, but there has been little progress. Many think net metering and the whole issue of solar incentives may be tossed into the omnibus pot.


By John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.

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