WV Passes Laws to Promote Solar Energy Development
April 19, 2021
West Virginia recently supported the solar industry by passing H.B. 3310 into law. This law exempts the Public Service Commission from jurisdiction over power rates for retail customers entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for on-site solar facilities under certain circumstances. This would allow more free enterprise for solar companies and purportedly increase the consumption of solar energy in West Virginia. To qualify to avoid PSC jurisdiction over a PPA, the total of all solar PPAs and energy produced therefrom cannot exceed 3% of the utilities total at the peak demand from the previous year. Additionally, there are individual site limits, being 25 kW for residential, 500 kW for commercial and 2,000 kW for industrial customers. The PPA and related solar facilities must only meet the needs of the retail customer for the premises where the solar facilities are located. Once a retail customer notifies an electric facility that it desires to enter into a PPA, the electric facility has 30 days to notify the customer whether the cap has been met. This law aims to encourage retail customer investment in solar energy and is a step by West Virginia to promote the utilization of solar energy.