FRANKFORT — Over the protests of Kentucky’s fledgling solar industry and the state’s leading environmentalist, the Kentucky Senate gave quick passage Wednesday to the bill long-sought by utility companies to change how they credit customers with rooftop solar panels.
The Senate voted 23-12 to pass Senate Bill 100. It now goes to the House which, like the Senate, has put it on the fast track so it can be considered in committee as soon as Thursday morning.
On Wednesday afternoon, most of the Senate’s Republican majority was satisfied with the explanation of the sponsor, Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard. Smith said that under the bill the Kentucky Public Service Commission would be trusted to set a value for the credits given to solar customers for any excess power they return to the power grid.
Some senators were not buying that.
“The PSC (Public Service Commission) didn’t write this bill. The utility companies did,” said Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.
McGarvey and Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, complained that the bill did not allow the commission to consider the benefits as well as costs to the utilities in their transactions with solar customers. [full article]