Community Solar Should be an Option for Black Families

The WV Legislature is considering HB2159

Our West Virginia legislature is considering HB2159, introduced by Delegate Hansen, to enable community solar in the state and SB 627 introduced by Senator Ruker, to e stablish a solar program for subscribers to gain credits against their utility bills

This Black History Month, I’m thinking not only about the history of Black communities but about our future, too. It’s clear that clean energy like solar power is the future—but it can be inaccessible and expensive, especially to overburdened communities like mine. For instance, community solar is currently not available for everyone in West Virginia!

This is a problem that we can change. Community solar provides access to clean and affordable energy to communities historically underserved by the traditional energy industry. This is particularly important for Black communities, which have been disproportionately affected by the negative health and environmental impacts of fossil fuels. Community solar can help to reduce these impacts and provide a more sustainable energy source for future generations.

Community solar can also provide economic benefits, helping lower bills and prevent blackouts. According to a recent report by the group “West Virginians for Energy Freedom,” enabling community solar in our state would create thousands of new jobs, save ratepayers millions of dollars per year on electricity bills, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new solar sales.

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