Keeping up to date and tracking solar energy-related news is important to us at Green Alternatives. Since the start of the 2022, we’ve been keeping tabs of the activities going on at the Statehouse, and we wanted to update you now that the legislative session has ended. It’s all part of keeping our customers and friends in the know of everything going on in the solar industry.
There were several pieces of legislation relating to solar and clean energy projects and initiatives. A whole lot is going on and lots to be hopeful about concerning a cleaner future.
Here are a few of the latest clean energy-related bills and projects that were discussed during the Indiana Statehouse session:
State Sens. Mark Messmer and Eric Koch authored Senate Bill 411, which aims to incentivize the spread of commercial renewable energy systems in Indiana. The great news is that the bill has become law. However, the plan lacks incentives.
The bill passed the Indiana Senate with outpouring support from business groups, environmental organizations, and electric utility trade organizations. From there, the bill also garnered unanimous approval from the House Committee on Utilities, Energy, and Communications.
Though there is opposition, the main obstacle is the bill’s vague mention of the money for incentives.
Due to the lack of information on funding, Rep. Ed Soliday introduced an amendment removing the incentivization portion of the bill during a hearing of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
With the removal of incentivization, the bill establishes the minimum statewide standards for commercial renewable energy system siting for communities. The bill was signed into law on March 11.
Wabash Valley Resources has sought approval from state legislators to grant it the ability to inject carbon dioxide underground near West Terre Haute, which would lack liability lawsuits or need to compensate property owners.
The defeat of these two bills is excellent news for those of us supporting clean and renewable energy.
Both bills sought to prevent a person from making a lawsuit claim against Wabash Valley Resources unless the complainant could prove “actual interference with the reasonable use of the person’s property; or direct physical injury to a person, an animal, or tangible property.”
Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, said he was happy to see the bill go down. It would have provided Wabash Valley Resources with immunity from any potential consequences of storing carbon dioxide.
There are plans to create solar farms in Northern Delaware County and Albany, but they have been postponed until further notice.
Due to intense local opposition to the Meadow Forge solar energy project, on February 22, Delaware County commissioners ordered a one-year moratorium on the solar farm development plans.
Meadow Forge is a project created by Ivenergy, a global energy company based in Chicago. The same company partnered up with county officials in 2019, the year the county passed a solar ordinance.
The company’s Indianapolis attorney told commissioners that the company would reassess its situation but plans on remaining in Delaware County to participate in the study committee.
He then urged commissioners the look into the financial benefits of Meadow Forge during the ordered moratorium. The company would pay the county up to $200,000 annually for the first 10 years of the project’s operation in addition to its abated property tax bill through “economic development” payments.