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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 21, 2022 10:19 AM
From: Representative Perry A. Stambaugh
To: All House members
Subject: PA Local Solar Program (Former HB 1161)
In the near future, I will reintroduce legislation (HB 1161 from last session, which passed the House) to authorize local solar energy development in Pennsylvania. My legislation expands access to solar power through a local and voluntary offering that has been competitively bid and ensures adequate ratepayer protection by not permitting any cross-subsidization.

Importantly, this bill would allow for-profit, rate-regulated electric distribution utilities in Pennsylvania to establish Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC)-approved solar subscriber programs, by which electric customers can choose to purchase 100 percent local solar energy. There is no mandated participation, nor any state funding required. In addition, it would provide an avenue for economic development in rural and urban areas not presently available. For example, a farmer with property in proximity of an electric distribution substation or tap point could lease a 20-acre swath of his land for a local solar array and earn sufficient additional income to keep the rest of his/her land in agricultural use and open space.

The PA Local Solar Program:
  • Ensures that the costs of projects are supported only by program subscribers and not by an electric distribution company’s entire customer base;
  • Does not require program subscription fees or cancellation fees;
  • Prohibits any electric distribution utility subsidiary or affiliate from developing a local, community solar project;
  • Provides customers with a long-term, fixed, secure “solar rate”;
  • Prevents costs pertaining to unsubscribed energy from being passed onto ratepayers;
  • Increases jobs through the installation of local solar farms, which will be 30 MW or less in size, promoting economic development in approved rural and urban areas;
  • Guarantees consumer protections, as the entire program is overseen by the PUC;
  • Reserves a defined percentage for low-income participation while allowing these customers to remain in the Customer Assistance Program (CAP); and
  • Ensures that customers receive high-quality customer service from their electric distribution companies and not third-party administrators.
The number of customers who would like to purchase solar energy keeps rising. However, those who live in apartment buildings, in a location not conducive to solar energy production, or who lack the necessary financial resources are currently not able to participate in solar by installing rooftop or backyard solar systems.

My bill eliminates these barriers and provides 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 while promoting economic development in the Commonwealth through the building of local solar arrays likely near existing electric transmission facilities.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.


Introduced as HB330