PES Supports Renewable-based Distributed Generation in West Virginia

PES Supports Renewable-based Distributed Generation in West Virginia

A new, first of its kind, solar policy white paper has been released by The Mountain Institute and Downstream Strategies entitled, Using Solar PV to Create Economic Opportunity and Energy Diversity: Five Policy Recommendations. The paper outlines the economic and energy diversity benefits a thriving solar industry would bring to the state of West Virginia.  In clear and easy to understand language the authors lay out five policy recommendations that would help make it happen.

While surrounding states have generated thousands of jobs in the solar industry, West Virginia’s solar policies hold the state back.  Increasing the use of solar energy in West Virginia would not only create local jobs, but would also protect project owners against rising fuel costs and help diversify the state’s energy economy.  “The solar industry employs more than 120,000 workers nationwide and is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy,” said Aaron Sutch, Energy Program Manager for the Mountain Institute and co-author of the report. “As the price of solar continues to drop, West Virginia has a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the technology.”

The report provides five specific recommendations that would help reduce up-front costs of solar PV equipment; improve market access for solar energy; and provide incentives to help residents, businesses and non-profits to utilize solar.

1.      Binding Renewable Portfolio Standard with a Solar Carve Out

2.      Tax Incentives for Individuals to Implement Solar Onsite

3.      Third Party Financing to Benefit Non-profit and Local Government Projects

4.      Expansion of Net Metering to Allow Virtual Net Metering For Offsite Solar Projects

5.      Other Policy Options Including a Feed in Tariff and Time of Use Pricing

Pickering Energy Solutions is interested in these and other policies that would help level the playing field for solar adoption and address barriers that prevent West Virginia from establishing an economically viable solar industry.

The report may be downloaded here.


Sutch, Aaron, Jeff Simcoe and Evan Hansen. 2014. Using Solar PV to Create Economic Opportunity and Energy Diversity in West Virginia: Five Policy Recommendations. The Mountain Institute and Downstream Strategies. January 28