End is nigh for Indiana net metering as Senate committee passes controversial bill

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Senator Brandt Hersham, the Republican senator who authored the measure. Source: TheStatehousefile

A bill that would end retail net metering in Indiana by significantly reducing the incentive available to invest in solar passed the Senate Utilities Committee in an 8-2 vote yesterday.

SB 309 would create three tiers of solar users: consumers who had installed panels up until the end of June would be grandfathered in at existing retail rates for the next 30 years, but those who install panels after June but before 2022 would be eligible for the retail rate until 2032. Anyone who installs panels after 2022 would receive a much lower rate of compensation, which critics feel would be the effective end of net metering in the state.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Bill amended after backlash

The bill was amended Thursday after it received significant backlash during a hearing last week. Originally, the bill would have required solar consumers to sell all the energy produced to the state utility at a lower wholesale rate of around US$0.03/kWh, and then purchase it back from the utility at the higher retail rate of around US$0.11/kWh.

Whilst the reworking of the bill means that there is less at stake for solar in Indiana, the current reading of the legislation still threatens to stifle residential solar.

Senator Jim Tomes voted in favour of the bill once the amendment was introduced.

“I was very clear that I was not going to vote for the bill in the way that it was,” he said. “That was the same position I had when I walked into the committee room at 9 o'clock this morning. At 9:05, I saw for the first time the amendment that senator Delph [who sponsored the amendment] had introduced which changed the entire bill dramatically.”

The measure was peddled by Republican state senator Brandt Hershman who sided with utilities in the argument that the current net metering set up requires them to compensate solar users for power at retail rates. Hershman said the bill is a measured approach toward balancing the interests of utilities, while still supporting alternative energy sources “which I don't think is a very radical change” from current policy.

“Right now, you get a subsidy of over 300%,” Hershman said during the hearing. “That’s unsustainable because all the other rate payers end up footing the bill for that.”

Still deterring of renewables

Despite the amendment, which renders the bill far more palatable than it was before, solar supporters still feel that the situation ultimately boils down to a choice between consumer and utility interests.

For now, the bill awaits approval in the Statehouse. 

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 25, 2024
The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved solicitations for onshore renewable energy projects and large-scale energy storage, to guide the state to its 2030 energy storage policy target.
June 25, 2024
Swiss-owned solar manufacturer Meyer Burger has started production at its heterojunction (HJT) module assembly plant in Goodyear, Arizona.
June 24, 2024
Solar frame producer Origami Solar has signed three deals with US steel manufacturers to produce its steel module frames in a move which it said “finalised a fully American supply chain.”
June 24, 2024
The US has yet again been named the most attractive market for renewables investment and deployment opportunities, according to EY.
June 21, 2024
Solar PV is expected to generate 20% of global power across midday peaks on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, up from 16% in 2023.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Upcoming Webinars
July 10, 2024
9am (BST) / 10am (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland