Updated: Apr 22, 2019
SEND WORKERS TO HARTFORD TOMORROW FOR TUES. MAR 5 ENERGY COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING
RSVP FOR WED. MAR 6 MEETING WITH DEEP COMMISSIONER AND KEY DEEP STAFF
TUES. MARCH 5 HEARING IN HARTFORD - We're making final preparations for tomorrow's critical Tuesday March 5 Energy and Technology Committee (ET) public hearing. It's the most important public hearing this year that will impact the solar industry. ET committee lawmakers are deciding the basic makeup of programs that will replace RSIP/ZREC both of which expire later this year. Whatever bill gets passed by the ET Committee will go to the state House for a full vote and later the state Senate for a vote there. The ET committee-approved bill may be amended in either the House or Senate.
Please, like I've written already, we need a good showing of solar workers in the building tomorrow (TUES.) to demonstrate that the industry needs better solar policy here. I'm asking our members to send as many workers to the Legislative Office Building tomorrow as you can. Not a member? Come anyway. No earlier than 12 noon. Good cafeteria and free Wi-Fi in the building. Free parking in the above ground and below ground lots behind the the LOB may be difficult to secure. Lot/street parking in the general area is available. A good showing from our industry will tell lawmakers we're serious. A poor showing will have the opposite affect.
I need 4 individuals to sign up our public hearing speakers at 6:15am tomorrow in the Legislative Office Building Garage. After signing up a speaker your staffer may leave. I'll be there early. RSVP if you can have a worker be at the LOB at 6:15am for 15 minutes. Our speakers do not have to arrive until 10am. Earliest our speakers will go on is 11am. More likely after 12pm. It'll be a full day.
The two draft solar bills on the ET Committee public hearing agenda are below (proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined).
SolarConn and its partners have worked the ET committee leaders for a month really hard and submitted bill language that details what we want from RSIP/ZREC successor programs, community solar and VNM (see attached). Some of our bill language got into the two bills above. Much of it did not. We're going to the public hearing to tell members of the ET Committee to make their bill draft better. The basic talking points on these bills are below:
2-year (100WM) RSIP extension (already in the bill)
Maintain current net metering policy (retail NEM
Study the value of solar and use this date to create a RSIP successor program
2-year ZREC extension creating a Year 9 (2020) and Year 10 (2021) ZREC. The draft bill calls for 1 year extension
Lift cap on community solar
Lift cap on virtual net metering
Lift cap that limits solar system to be sized to a single meter rather than total aggregate load of the property
Study the value of solar and use this date to create a ZREC successor program
If you've already called or emailed your lawmakers on these issues you've done all you can to this point. If you have not, I'm not quite sure why. The bills under consideration in the ET committee will determine whether your business will be successful after the current RSIP/ZREC programs run out later this year.
I want to be proactive on your behalf. But unfortunately, only a handful of SolarConn members have responded to my repeated requests share the hometowns where your solar workers live. With this info I could have arranged meetings between ET Committee members and solar workers who live in their Districts before tomorrow's hearing. I did connect our Danbury area members with the state Representative and state Senator that represent Danbury area. I want to arrange another 10 meetings. But for SolarConn to throw its full weight at lawmakers on the ET committee I must hear from all of you by COB Wednesday on the towns where your workers live this week so I can arrange meetings next week BEFORE the ET Committee wraps up its work on HB 7115 and HB7 251.
Gear up and buckle up. Tomorrow is our day to shine in Hartford. Be a part of SolarConn's success.
DEEP MEETING - On Wednesday, March 6 at 1:30pm in Hartford, SolarConn has arranged a meeting between our members and CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes and key members of the DEEP staff. DEEP does not support 2-year ZREC/RSIP extensions. This meeting will be contentious. Come ready to educate them. Several SolarConn members have expressed an interest in attending. Please resend me an email that you remain interested. I have a few seats open for SolarConn members. RSVP now to email@example.com
Michael Trahan Executive Director SolarConnecticut "Connecticut's Solar Industry Group Since 2007" P.O. Box 515 Higganum, CT 06441 860-256-1698 firstname.lastname@example.org