Support PPAs in West Virginia

The development and use of renewable energy sources, those that use the natural forces of the earth to produce power (including solar, wind and hydro power) are booming across the nation and across the world. This new energy movement is creating jobs and wealth in local communities through financing, designing, manufacturing, distributing, installing, and maintaining these new sources of energy.

Unfortunately, due to its resistance to creating laws that will encourage renewable energy development, West Virginia is losing out on many of the local jobs and opportunities that these new technologies offer, and these opportunities are going to our neighbors in nearby states!

One law that would help encourage solar power generation on commercial buildings in WV is the recognition of the well-established Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). If you are a non-profit organization and cannot take advantages of the renewable energy tax credits or you are a small business that is not in a position to risk your valuable resources or credit on a renewable energy power system, you need to partner with a third party group who knows how to install and finance solar projects. Public schools are another group that cannot use the tax credits for solar projects but could certainly benefit from the reduced power costs that solar offers, and their communities would benefit from the local jobs that renewable energy projects would create.

The PPA is the agreement that most third-party partners use to fund solar projects. West Virginia currently does not specifically recognize solar PPAs, which provides a barrier for some solar developers to come partner with local businesses, schools and non-profit organizations to tap into this emerging renewable energy field.

PPAs provide benefits to the broader community as well. Solar PV installer is one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation (www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm). These are local jobs that will reinvest money back into West Virginia communities. In addition we are losing out on the development of local opportunities to design, finance and develop these projects.

Let your local legislators know that you are in favor of encouraging PPAs in West Virginia, which will help us get our share of the new technology funding, jobs, knowledge and wealth that this growing field offers. For more information and to contact your legislators, visit EnergyFreedomWV.org.

Charles Pickering



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