SolarConn Week Ahead 190312 (tariffs, apprenticeship bill)

Updated: Apr 22, 2019

  • Review of March 5 Public Hearing on Tariffs/VNM Bill

  • WED, Mar13 Press Conference on ET Committee Bill

  • Apprenticeship Mandate and other Bill Status

  • PURA Makes Final Decision on SolarConn Voltage Variation Change

March 5 Hearing - Long day in Hartford last Tuesday as the Energy Committee held a public hearing on the major solar bill of the year HB 7251. I asked for SolarConn members to turn out for this event and many did. Thanks to CED, EcoSolar, and Trinity Solar who sent workers to join me in signing our public hearing speakers to the first-come, first-served unofficial sign up list at 6:15am in the LOB garage.

Thanks to lobbyists working for member companies Verogy, Greenskies and SunPower as well as lobbyists from Environment Connecticut and Acadia Center for standing with me outside the Energy committee room a couple hours later to sign our speakers to the official public hearing testimony list.

And thanks to Trinity Solar, Entersolar, Ecosolar, Northeast Smart Energy, EcoSmart, SHR, PurePoint, JD Solar, Verogy, Ross Solar, SunPower, C-TEC (and any others I might have missed) who sent workers to the hearing. You presence impressed ET committee members.

To view the entire public hearing click here:

Important time stamps below:

1:56:30 - DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes testimony starts

2:21:25   Commissioner Dykes takes 35mins of questions from lawmakers on 2018's SB9, ending NEM, battery storage, why transitioning away from NEM makes sense now, importance of transitional polices be written so that customer prospects can understand.

4:49:30    Testimony from Trahan (SolarConn), Noel Lafayette (SHR), Ed Merrick (Trinity Solar), Stephan Hartmann (Ross Solar)

The Energy Committee wraps up its work on March 21. Before then, the Committee will vote out some version of HB 7251 bill. We are pushing to see that the Committee takes into consideration the views we expressed at the hearing on VRN, tariffs, and community solar. If you or your workers live or work in a District represented by an Energy Committee lawmakers, and you've not taken steps to contact that lawmakers on why good solar legislation needs to pass this year, I'm not certain what you're waiting for. You have a week. Don't know if your lawmakers sits on the Energy Committee? See here:   Don't know what to say? Call me.

WED. Mar13 10:30am State CAP Press Conference (Connecticut State Capitol, Room 105, First Floor) - SolarConn and its solar/enviro partners are bringing pro-solar lawmakers together to speak on our behalf about the importance of overturning portions of last year's SB 9 bill that will kill net metering and replace RSIP/ZREC programs with tariffs. See press conference advisory below. SolarConn members are encouraged to attend and stand with lawmakers. In the building by 10am, out the door by 12pm. Reply to this email if you plan to attend. See attached "nsmail-7." If your company is listed, and you DO NOT wish to have your company name associated with this an other of SolarConn's continued efforts to improve solar legislation, reply to this email. Not listed but want to be? Reply to this email.

Bill Tracker - Outside of the virtual net metering and ZREC/RSIP extension bills, there are a few others that will impact solar in Connecticut is passed. The Labor Committee is considering House Bill 6630 that would require your workers who install solar energy systems to complete an electrician apprenticeship. This bill has legs. Tell the apprenticeship mandate bill sponsor, state Rep. Mary Mushinsky (D-Wallingford) to withdraw House Bill 6630 because it will hurt your business:

If you live/work in a district represented by a Labor Committee member email or call them and tell them to oppose House Bill 6630:

PURA Makes Final Voltage Variation Ruling - See attached. We got the change we wanted.

Protect your workers and you business. Get involved! Get your subs to join SolarConn.

Michael Trahan Executive Director SolarConnecticut "Connecticut's Solar Industry Group Since 2007" P.O. Box 515 Higganum, CT 06441 860-256-1698

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