Webert and clean power

In addition to the bills he describes [“Much to tackle in 46 days,” by Michael Webert, Jan. 17], I hope that Delegate Webert will also support HB 2329, the Solar Freedom bill.

For years Virginia’s General Assembly has actively restricted our opportunities to produce solar energy. This is bad for our health, bad for our economy, bad for our natural resources and bad for the liberty we cherish.

The Solar Freedom bill will remove the barriers deliberately put in place to restrict customer solar production. The legislation will: remove the limit on how much solar we produce on our homes, schools, businesses and local government buildings; remove the tax on larger home solar projects; and allow customers to buy solar from third party developers, enabling families to generate solar energy from their homes with no upfront cost.

Delegate Webert can stand up for his constituents by supporting their right to generate clean electricity. I hope he will.

Samantha Ahdoot, MD

Note: The letter writer is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Inova Campus; and Chair, Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action.

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  1. I agree with Dr. Adhoot. The Solar Freedom bill, rather than asking for government subsidies, instead asks state legislators to remove current barriers built into state laws that make it difficult for customers (including residents, businesses and local governments) to obtain solar facilities for their buildings.

  2. We should all rally around this opportunity to reduce government restrictions on our right to generate our own electricity if we so choose. Solar is so cheap now, I even installed panels on my roof. This bill will help others, including renters and local governments, to have a chance to go solar and save money on their bills. I hope Delegate Webert votes for the bill.

  3. Our legislators must remove laws designed to strangle distributed solar. These laws restrict the ability of municipalities to achieve energy savings for their tax payers. For example, it is illegal for Fairfax County cannot put a solar array on its landfill in Lorton and attribute the energy generated to other county buildings. In addition, Virginia law drastically restricts power purchase agreements (PPAs), the primary financing vehicle for municipalities and businesses to have solar structures installed on their buildings. Currently, PPAs are limited to 50 MW in Dominion’s territory. Once that arbitrary cap is reached – as early as the end of 2019 – municipalities cannot enter into contracts with solar developers. This is bad for green jobs and bad for municipalities and businesses that want access to cleaner, cheaper energy. It’s time for our legislators to take action that represent our interests and not those of the utility monopolies.

  4. Dr. Ahdoot has provided a compelling case to support HB2329, the Solar Freedom bill, sponsored by Del. Keam. Please urge your State Delegate and State Senator to do so in the House Committee on Commerce and Labor on Thurs. Jan. 31. Also urge them to support the companion Senate legislation, SB 1456, in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on Mon. Jan. 28.

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