Solar power in Kentucky is threatened. This is who’s behind the push to crush it

by | Feb 2, 2018 | Solar Energy | 0 comments

A national “consumer” group is working with Frankfort lawmakers, making phone calls to their constituents and urging Kentuckians to support a bill that would roll back incentives for solar power.

But who are they?

Not your typical, looking-out-for-the-little-guy consumer organization.

Think oil, gas, coal and trucking companies, for example. And electric utilities.

Claire Williams said she got one of those calls Monday and it sounded like the caller was super friendly to the kind of rooftop solar panels that provide electricity to her Louisville home.

“It was all about helping solar to grow,” Williams recalled. It sounded so green, she said she was “wondering if there was another bill I didn’t know about.”

But in fact, the caller was urging her to tell her Frankfort lawmaker to support Rep. Jim Gooch’s bill — the one that solar power advocates see as a potential death knell to Kentucky’s fledgling rooftop solar industry.

“It was misleading,” Williams said, adding that she’s actually urging lawmakers to reject House Bill 227, which would slash credits that utilities must pay solar panel owners for any extra electricity they produce.

It had its first hearing Wednesday afternoon. There was no vote taken, presumably because Gooch didn’t have the votes he needed to pass it

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