solar energy

Indiana lawmakers prompted debate at the Statehouse Thursday over potential conflicts of interest for local officials who approve large wind energy projects.

County commissions and planning boards approve wind farm developments in Indiana. Rep. Dave Ober (R-Albion) says in some cases, those commissioners have also signed lease agreements with developers and would benefit from a project’s approval.

“I see a very large issue with that and I hope we can work on that issue next year,” Ober said to start the hearing.

A legislative study committee this week will examine how a controversial law passed earlier this year that changes the affordability of solar panels affects schools.

Senate Bill 309 made changes to the state’s so-called net metering rules. Starting next year, people with new solar panels will receive less money for selling energy back to the electric grid.

City of West Lafayette

It doesn’t take much driving around Greater Lafayette to learn the summer’s buzzword: construction.

West Lafayette has less than two weeks before college students begin returning in droves and there are still questions about whether State Street will be open to accommodate that, particularly after last month’s rains and two gas main strikes earlier this week.

 

A bill overhauling Indiana’s net metering policy is heading to Gov. Eric Holcomb for final approval.

Senate Bill 309 passed the House 56-43 on April 4 after a contentious floor debate where supporters and opponents of the bill both said they have the solar industry’s best interests in mind.

The bill garnered a remarkable amount of public testimony this session, more than 15 hours all together, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers filing dozens of amendments.

 

A bill that would change net metering for solar energy production got its first hearing before a House committee Wednesday, continuing to draw debate from a wide range of stakeholders.

The House Utilities committee worked through lunch to hear 6 hours of testimony from 60 individuals on Senate Bill 309.

Net Metering Bill Passes Senate

Feb 27, 2017

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.

Why This Indiana School District Is Going Completely Solar

Dec 12, 2016
Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting

Earlier this year, people across Indiana got word energy prices were going up - leading school districts to scramble to budget for the increase.

But, as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Peter Balonon-Rosen reports, the news led one rural district in the heart of central Indiana to a unique solution – become one of the state’s first completely solar powered school systems.

Sheridan Community Schools has taken a unique approach to managing energy costs. It's now one of the state’s first completely solar powered school systems.

Bill Shaw / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougiebeck/

House Speaker Brian Bosma Tuesday halted a bill opponents say significantly reduces incentives for Hoosiers to use alternative energy for their homes.

Proposed legislation made changes to the system by which utility companies purchase excess electricity from Hoosiers who produce energy through alternative means, such as solar panels.  Utilities would buy that energy at a lower price, and be able to charge alternative energy users fixed monthly fees for using the energy grid.

Michael Coghlan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

Indiana utility companies say customers who use alternative energy sources such as solar panels aren’t paying their fair share for using the state’s energy infrastructure.  A bill approved Wednesday in a House committee would allow utilities to charge future alternative energy customers a fee.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

High overhead CityBus’s Lafayette headquarters tower three wind turbines, which whir almost melodically on this blustery winter day.

They’re the most visible sign of the corporation’s push to be more environmentally friendly.

But on the ground, there’s a different whirring sound that foretells of the newest such effort -- a generator helps run power tools and a radio playing country music as half a dozen workmen install a natural gas pumping station.

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