Energy freedom in W.Va. starts with power purchase agreements

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   January 11, 2019  /   Posted in solar, third party power purchase agreement (PPA)  /   No Comments

W Va Mayor

West Virginia Mayor Scott Rogers

Energy freedom in W.Va. starts with power purchase agreements

The increasing number of electricity rate hikes across West Virginia is a growing concern for our state’s economy. Just this year, Appalachian Power Co. requested a revenue increase that would raise its customer’s bills by a whopping 11 percent. The burdens of such rate hikes often fall hardest on hard-working West Virginians. Couple this with cyclical costs and the “boom and bust” cycles that influence energy commodities trading and you have a recipe for economic hardship throughout our community.

However, our energy system is going through significant technological change and the old model of centralized power is becoming outdated. The reality is, distributed renewable energy resources like solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and biomass offer increasingly affordable alternatives to traditional modes of power production. Solar Power Purchase Agreements are a powerful instrument for change in our energy markets and offer the promise of lower energy costs.

As a state we should encourage diversity in our energy markets by providing families, businesses, communities and institutions with affordable energy options through power purchase agreements. The time is now for the people to encourage and challenge their lawmakers to move forward with this innovative policy option. The benefits are many, including attracting large employers and investments, encouraging entrepreneurship, expanding our state and local tax bases, and creating well-paying jobs in expanding economic sectors.

Third-party financing models such as power purchase agreements have been extensively used by commercial businesses and tax-exempt institutions like schools, churches and municipalities, providing consumers access to affordable energy with little to zero upfront cost and immediate savings. Further, these agreements allow the developer to qualify for a 30 percent federal energy investment tax credit, allowing those savings to be passed on to the end user in the form of a lower energy bill. These agreements benefit the end user, the developer, our state, and maybe more importantly, our environment through the decreased reliance on carbon-based fuels.

The state of West Virginia by legalizing third party financing for distributed energy resources will allow our electric utility customers to insulate themselves from future rate hikes in an often uncertain world. Let’s use this policy option to create new jobs, encourage innovative investment, and let the world know what a wonderful place West Virginia is to live work, and play. That’s why we (the city of Charles Town) have joined West Virginians for Energy Freedom, a coalition of your neighbors, organizations in your community, local businesses, and officials who believe West Virginians should have the right to take control of where their energy comes from. Visit to find out more and join the fight for energy freedom in West Virginia.

Scott Rogers is the Mayor of Charles Town and an advocate for renewable energy.

Scott Rogers is the Mayor of Charles Town and an advocate for renewable energy.

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