Grid Modernization Bill Passes Creating More Solar Jobs in Missouri

On a 125-20 vote May 16, the Missouri House passed a bill that had cleared the Missouri Senate after a filibuster in February.  It now heads to the governor’s desk.

The bill, termed ‘grid modernization’, overhauls the rate setting process. But it does more than that for the solar industry, by directing utilities to offer solar rebates and invest in utility-owned solar projects. For utility-owned solar projects, utilities with more than 1 million customers will need to spend $14 million; utilities with 200,000 up to a million customers will need to invest $4 million; and utilities with less than 200,000 customers will invest $3 million over the next 5 years.

Beginning next year, the law requires utilities to make solar rebates available for new or expanded electric systems up to 25 kW for residential customers, and up to 150 kW for nonresidential customers. Rebates for the largest utilities are capped at $5.6 million per year or $28 million over five years. The rebate starts at $.50/w for systems that become operational January 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019 and then drops to $.25/w from June 30, 2019 – December 31, 2023.

The law also provides investment opportunities for advancing technology pilot programs like solar + storage with real-time and TOU pricing. These investments will help build a smarter, cleaner, stronger, and more resilient energy grid. Customers also will have a greater understanding and control over their energy bills in the future.

$64 million dollars in solar investments will spur economic development, creating good jobs for the industry and enhance quality of life for citizens in many cities and communities in Missouri.

The Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA) will be working with the utilities, the public service commission, and its members over the next few months on the implementation details and communication plan. Once the Governor signs the bill into law, MOSEIA will hold several regional workshops to provide clarity to its members ensuring a smooth roll-out of the solar rebate process and advancing technologies pilot opportunities.

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