Keeping close track of new regulations shaping the wind and solar industry in Indiana

With all this winter weather we’ve been having, it has once again driven home the importance of investing in renewable energy. At Green Alternatives, our thoughts have been with Texans who grappled with massive, lengthy power outages two weeks ago as cold and snow gripped the region. This tragic situation stemmed from a long list of terrible decisions and mismanagement and an over-reliance on fossil fuel plants (a thorough article can be found here.)

At Green Alternatives, we send our deepest sympathy to those Texans who have lost savings, property, and in some cases, their loved ones. 

It can be difficult to take unpopular or expensive measures for the public good.  It is likely that this disaster is finally enough to force regulatory changes in Texas.  But while the eyes of the country will be glued to those issues, there are significant changes to energy policy happening right here in Indiana without much fanfare.  Here are some topics we are watching, and we encourage you to do so as well:

  • In Tippecanoe County, we’ve read with interest new regulations by county leaders requiring solar farms to be at least 50 feet from property lines and also include pollinator-friendly and native plants around the installations. Like the WLFI article notes, the regulations seem to affect mostly larger solar farm projects but would apply to residential and smaller, community-scale projects as well.  Will this affect your ability to put solar panels in your yard in Tippecanoe County?
  • Legislation making its way through the Indiana General Assembly also would require wind and solar farms to be a certain length away from neighboring properties. However, state Rep. Ed Soliday’s bill also is proposing that local governments couldn’t make stricter regulations than the guidelines outlined in his legislation. This proposal is good news for renewable energy projects that cross county lines and could have to meet multiple sets of rules!
  • The Hoosier state is still in line to see a major shift in its renewable energy policy, with Net Metering scheduled to end with systems installed after July 1, 2022. (A great reason to book your project today!) There were three separate bills introduced in this session that would extend Net Metering for some amount of time, but as of this writing none were scheduled to be heard by their committee. (This is a method of passively killing an issue without forcing a vote).

Rep. Soliday says it best in this Indiana Public Radio report: “Our 22 largest manufacturers — they all want renewable energy and they’re going to get it. They’re going to get it either through buying it from other folks and paying the transmission costs, or we’re going to generate some of it.” Will Indiana be just as responsive with policy that addresses residential desire to purchase renewable energy?

As always, Green Alternatives is keeping our pulse on the latest news and trends shaping renewable energy for our customers and industry partners! Make sure to visit our blog regularly, and if you’re interested in investing in solar or expanding your current investment, call our trained team today at 765-480-2423.

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