Amendment Keeps Hotly-Debated Solar Bill Alive In Frankfort

Feb 15, 2019

A contentious solar energy-related bill won passage in the Kentucky House Friday, but not without an amendment that could erode support in the Senate. 

Credit AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Senate Bill 100 would put state regulators in charge of setting the reimbursement rates solar customers receive for the excess power they generate, in a process called net metering. The solar industry argues the bill paves the way for utilities to maintain a solid grip on their monopoly.

Friday, the House passed an amended version that would have regulators consider not just the black-and-white dollar effects of the current net metering system but also a wide range of potential solar benefits.

"The amendment that was passed today is probably not one that the utilities are ultimately going to be excited about," House Speaker David Osborne said. "So it'll go back down to the Senate and we'll just see how they handle it down there." 

Not all skeptics are sold on the changes, but Kentucky Solar Industries Association head Matt Partymiller said in a statement that he appreciates the “collaborative effort" and urged the Senate pass the new “very fair House compromise.”

The General Assembly gavels back in Tuesday.