Curtis Tate Published

Community Solar Supporters Nudge Lawmakers, But No Hearing Yet

Del. Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, speaks in committee while wearing a blue jacket, a tie and glasses.
Del. Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, is the lead sponsor of a community solar bill in the legislature.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Groups came to the Capitol on Tuesday to push for community solar legislation. It hasn’t gotten very far.

Solar United Neighbors, the West Virginia Environmental Council and the NAACP of West Virginia spoke in favor of community solar.

It enables individuals and organizations to share solar power without installing it on their rooftops. They receive a monthly credit on their electric bills for the share they purchased. Twenty-two states already have it. 

Supporters say it could save ratepayers potentially hundreds of dollars a year. House Bill 2159 would make community solar possible in West Virginia.

The bill is sponsored by Del. Evan Hansen, a Monongalia County Democrat. However, the bill was introduced in January and has yet to receive a hearing in the Energy and Manufacturing Committee.

A similar bill came before lawmakers last year but did not achieve passage.