Texas Governor Signs Series of Pro Solar Bills into Law
Wednesday, Jun 16 2021
AUSTIN, TX and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier this week Texas Governor Abbott signed a series of bills into law that will benefit the Texas solar industry, including SB 398, SB 63, and SB 760. These bills will help to clarify rules around decommissioning solar sites and strengthen consumer protection.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) also helped to defeat provisions in SB 3 which would have required solar assets on the grid to also pay for ancillary services and other grid reliability costs which would have unfairly and wrongly targeted solar as the cause of the Texas grid outages in February 2021.
The bills that passed will go into effect on September 1, 2021.
Following is a statement from Nakhia Crossley, counsel and central region director for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
“SEIA is thrilled to deliver a successful legislative session to the Texas solar industry. SEIA led on SB 398 which offers a variety of consumer protections while also underscoring the importance of the competitive market. This legislation will make sure solar customers have information they need to make informed decisions and will prohibit municipalities in addition to homeowner association boards from unreasonably restricting energy independence. These protections are hugely important for the rooftop solar market and will help to bring even more jobs and solar to Texas.
“SEIA also worked to ensure that new rules around decommissioning will not stifle the growing utility-scale solar market. These new rules will ensure responsible decommissioning of solar projects when they reach the end of their useful life.
“In addition, SEIA was also able to help defeat discriminatory provisions in SB 3 and insulate the industry from harmful, off-base narratives that emerged after the winter storm in February 2021. For the record, solar and energy storage are the most reliable, secure, and predictable technologies on the grid today. Grid operators understand how solar generation works and ‘back up’ power isn’t necessary and will only increase costs for solar customers, to the benefit of incumbent generators which actually caused the outages.
“While unfounded attacks against solar were defeated, we’re not out of the woods yet. We will continue to engage with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to ensure they are accurately characterizing the benefits of clean, reliable, and affordable solar energy.
“Taken together, these bills are a positive step forward for the Texas solar industry and will ultimately help the Lone Star State secure its status as one of the best places for solar in the country.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Jen Bristol, SEIA's Director of Communications, [email protected] (202) 556-2886