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Changes to rooftop solar payments clear first hurdle


The Senate Corporations Committee narrowly passed a bill Thursday that could rework the payment structure for rooftop solar in Wyoming.

After hearing two hours of occasionally contentious public testimony, the committee voted three to two to send Senate File 92 — sponsored by its chairman, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander — on to consideration by the full Senate.

The bill would strike net metering, the standard way of tracking and paying for the surplus power rooftop solar users feed back into the electric grid, from state statute. It would hand decisions about their rates over to the Wyoming Public Service Commission (which may lower those rates), and would free up utilities to impose extra charges on solar users as they and regulators deem necessary.

t would also preserve net metering until 2039 for those who install rooftop solar by July 1, 2024.

According to Case, net metering not only artificially lowers electricity prices for solar users, but fails to fully account for the costs of maintaining the grid infrastructure those households still rely on when the panels’ output drops, including at night.


(Batteries could change the game, for solar users and for utilities, but they’re not included with most solar installations — yet.)

Case hopes the changes included in the bill will prevent ratepayers who don’t have rooftop solar from subsidizing the future electric bills of those who do. And he expects it to leave the state better able to accommodate whatever solar-related innovations, such as batteries, lie ahead.




Published on 1/31/2023 (50 days ago) Solar, Wind & EV's