Senate Bill 2, a bill that would provide the legal framework for Delmarva Power customers to take advantage of solar power without needing to install solar panels on their properties, passed the Senate 21-0 and the House almost unanimously, by a vote of 38-1-2. Jesse Vanderwende hates the sun and wants to live in oil fueled carbon darkness, so he voted no. Steve Smyk and Shannon Morris were absent for the vote. The bill now goes to Governor Carney for his signature.
Under this bill, Delmarva customers could receive credit on their electric bills by participating in a local community solar project, which could be developed under a variety of ownership, management, and contract models.
Delaware law has allowed for community-owned solar generation facilities since 2010, when the shared solar concept was still being tested throughout most of the country. Today, at least 40 states and the District of Columbia host at least one community solar project with most located in Maine, Minnesota, New York and Colorado.
The legislation also would require that all community solar projects in Delaware serve a diverse customer base that includes low-income and middle-class households, an environmental justice component that will ensure solar energy is available to Delawareans from a wide cross-section of income levels.
Under SB 2, a community solar project would be required to obtain a certificate to operate from the Delaware Public Service Commission, which also would be tasked with developing the rules and regulations around customer participation in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Unit.
|Senate Bill 2 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Hansen, Ennis, Gay, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend||Senate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson||None|
|Baumbach, Bush, Heffernan, Lambert, Carson, Griffith, K.Johnson, Morrison, Osienski, Wilson-Anton||House Passed 38-1-2. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Postles Ramone Shupe Spiegelman Yearick||Morris (Absent), Smyk (Absent), Vanderwende|
|Current Status —||Sent to the Governor.|
Senator Stephanie Hansen: “Solar power is clean, reliable and less expensive than the electricity produced by fossil-fuel burning power plants, and yet so many of our neighbors are excluded from this proven technology simply because they don’t have a roof to house solar panels or the means to pay for their installation. “
“Community solar is one of the fastest-growing segments of the solar industry specifically because it allows neighbors, organizations, businesses and municipalities to overcome those hurdles and share in the benefits.”
Delaware Sierra Club: “What a glorious day for renewable energy in Delaware!!! With one vote shy of a unanimous vote in the House and a unanimous vote in all committees and in the Senate, this is by far the largest vote margin on any renewable energy legislation in recent state history! Thank you Sen. Stephanie Hansen for your hard work and dedication to the most open, transparent, and inclusive process for creating equitable energy policy. It has been an honor to be a part of this effort! If you are wondering what all is in the historic bill that just passed, check out our fact sheets.”