Ohio State Representatives James M. Hoops (R-Napoleon) and Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth) on June 6 introduced HB 197, a bill that would allow for the development of community solar facilities under a statewide pilot program that would benefit all Ohioans. HB 197 and other solar initiatives have momentum throughout Ohio in part due to the DeWine Administration’s strong encouragement of the economic benefits Ohio-made solar panel manufacturing can bring the state.
“Our state is primed for community solar and all its economic benefits,” said Representative Hoops. “This new bill will ensure that projects across the state can generate clean energy, ratepayer savings and local jobs in a fast-growing solar manufacturing industry right here in Ohio.”
HB 197 will advance the state’s energy security goals all while increasing economic revenue. First, the bill establishes a pilot program that will consist of 1,500 MW of community solar, enough energy to power almost 300,000 homes. Subscribers to any community solar program will be eligible for a bill credit, usually equal to 10 to 20% savings, from their utility provider for their proportional amount of energy generated from the community solar facility. Second, the bill would make any community solar facilities built on brownfields eligible to receive grants to help cover costs associated with site preparation and construction. A working group will bring electric distribution utilities, consumers and community solar industry representatives together to engage in proactive conversation to ensure the pilot program operates smoothly.
“Ohio has the potential to lead the region in community solar, but past legislation did not create ample opportunities. This bill, in its establishment of a pilot program, would generate energy across the entire state — bringing residents bill savings and the state billions in economic development and millions in local tax revenue.” said Carlo Cavallaro, Midwest regional director at the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA).
News item from CCSA