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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 10, 2020 04:21 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Bonding of Solar and Wind Installations
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that charges the Environmental Quality Board with promulgating regulations which establish bonding requirements for project developers who seek to install or operate commercial wind or solar electric generation and other renewable energy facilities in Pennsylvania.
The amount of the bond shall be reasonably proportionate to the costs related to potential hazardous liabilities, site decommissioning and reclamation, and proper recycling or disposal of the wind and solar facilities.
This is not a new concept as coal, natural gas, solid waste and a host of other industries are required to post financial guarantees for their activities. This requirement would not apply to homes and businesses which host solar facilities that generate electricity for their own use.
While wind and solar may use renewable energy sources to generate electricity, the components they utilize to do so are not. Often, they include rare earth metals and other hazardous materials which pose environmental or public health hazard if not handled appropriately. Wind and solar facilities have a finite life span, and many across the United States are coming to the end of their useful life. Establishing reasonable bonding amounts will help to address challenges as to how to properly decommission a site or handle associated waste.