Pennsylvania State Rep. Lori Mizgorski, R-Allegheny, has introduced legislation that would create a new solar program called PA Local Solar.
The proposed program would allow electric utilities in Pennsylvania to establish subscriber programs, by which customers could elect to purchase 100% localized solar energy (i.e., community solar), rather than the traditional grid mix.
PA Local Solar provides citizens and businesses with the choice to participate in an off-site solar program, but it does not mandate participation nor require any state funding.
“I am excited to introduce H.B.970, which expands access to solar power in Pennsylvania,” says Mizgorski. “Solar energy is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available but is limited to the traditional grid mix. My legislation eliminates barriers and provides all customers with the opportunity to purchase solar energy from local solar projects, located right here in Pennsylvania. By providing all customers with the opportunity to choose solar power, we expand the reach of renewable energy into all communities.”
State Sen. Jay Costa Jr., D-Allegheny, has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“In my district, I have seen a huge spike in folks interested in reducing their carbon footprint and making their homes more energy efficient, but sometimes, cost gets in their way,” says Costa. “It is great to work on an issue collaboratively with the opposite party and chamber, as well as the utility sector and environmental advocates. That’s the kind of support that the PA Local Solar program has.”
Steve Malnight, president and CEO of Pennsylvania utility Duquesne Light Co., says, “Duquesne Light is proud to support the PA Local Solar program, which will provide our customers with the option to choose 100 percent localized renewable energy, even if they do not have access to rooftop solar. The program will allow us to better serve the growing number of customers who want solar energy and expand the reach of renewable energy in the greater Pittsburgh area.”