Monday, March 31, 2014

Oregon Governor Signs Community Solar Bill (repost)

(I am reposting due to formatting issues last week).

Kudos for our friends at Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress (OREP) http:// !  This new law addresses the securities aspect of community renewables, one of the thorniest issues.

Oregon neighbors can now invest together in clean energy projects without the expense and complexity of securities registration.
SB 1520, which passed the Oregon House and Senate with bipartisan support, has been signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber.  The bill allows renewable energy cooperative corporations to be created and capitalized without the requirement of securities registration.
Prior to the law's passage, people who wanted to invest in local clean energy projects, but lacked a sunny location or enough capital, were unable to pool their funds without registering the investment as a security.  This complex, detailed process involved costly legal and accounting fees and effectively stymied many community projects.  SB 1520 exempts renewable energy cooperative cooperations from this requirement and removes a significant barrier to community-owned renewable energy projects. All renewable technologies eligible under Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard are included under the new law.
Our Legislators Heard You
OREP put forward the law to enable broad participation by community members in local renewable energy projects. Support for the bill was overwhelming. Supporters and local governments from across the State sent letters of support to the Legislature and their voices were heard.  These letters of support and the sponsorship of Senator Bruce Starr and Representative Kim Thatcher were key to the bill's passage.
The bill will now go to the Department of Consumer and Business Services for rulemaking, which will determine what disclosures aspiring projects must make in order to protect consumers and may set limits on community projects.  Rulemaking is expected to begin in April.  Interested parties may participate in the rulemaking and broad participation is important to ensure that the rules are effective, yet simple and inexpensive.

You can view the history of SB 1520 here…

Mark Pengilly

Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress

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