Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Play

Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before a June primary; Texas falls short on steps to prevent the next winter power outage.

Play

Democrats get voting rights legislation to Senate floor; Sec. of State Antony Blinken heads to Ukraine; a federal appeals court passes along a challenge to Texas' abortion ban.

Play

New website profiles missing and murdered Native Americans; more support for young, rural Minnesotans who've traded sex for food, shelter, drugs or alcohol; more communities step up to solve "period poverty;" and find your local gardener - Jan. 29 is National Seed Swap Day.

New Measure Aims to Expand Solar Energy in Arkansas

Play

Wednesday, March 27, 2019   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - As a rule, business interests and environmental advocates rarely agree, but a new solar-power access plan in Arkansas may be the exception.

Backed by support from conservationists such as the Audubon Society and industry groups such as the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, state lawmakers have approved a bill that makes it easier to access and deploy solar energy.

Gary Moody, interim executive director of Audubon Arkansas, said solar energy's low-carbon footprint, along with its ability to create jobs, brought everyone together.

"We stressed that this is a market-based solution, where we've got a product now, in clean energy - particularly with solar - that is cost effective, that can save people money and provide cleaner air and water," he said, "and so, we look at this as a big win-win."

The measure officially becomes law next week. Moody said it allows for third-party purchasing, which means a resident or business can lease a solar-energy system. It also will increase the solar size limit and adds grandfathering to protect customers from future rate increases.

Katie Niebaum, executive director of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, said solar energy has been growing in Arkansas, but until now, the state's regulatory structure has slowed it down.

"Arkansas currently is one of only a handful of states that does not allow third-party financing options or leasing," she said, "and that has inhibited Arkansas from realizing its full solar potential and solar job growth."

Moody said the new law will give Arkansans easier access to cheap, clean and environmentally friendly solar energy.

"Arkansas has the 11th best solar resource in the country - days and hours of sunshine falling on each square foot here in Arkansas," he said. "There's a tremendous potential, but Arkansas has lagged near the back of the pack in actual solar installation."

While the new bill overcame two major regulatory hurdles to solar expansion, Moody said, further negotiations are needed on other issues, including rooftop solar and net metering.

The text of Senate Bill 145 is online at arkleg.state.ar.us.


get more stories like this via email

According to the state, 4 million California students owe a total of $147 billion in student debt. A new state program aims to help new students reduce that debt through public service. (Pathdoc/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The State of California is launching a new program that will pay college students $10,000 to volunteer doing public service work for a year. …


Environment

A coalition of more than 100 local elected officials is pleading for action on the Public Lands Act, a bill that would add protections for more than …

Social Issues

It's been nearly a year since North Dakota began collecting racial data on people accused of committing crimes - a process that paves the way for a re…


In a September report from the Pew Research Center, about 40% of parents said they've become less strict about managing their kids' screen time since the pandemic began. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Excessive screen time can cause a host of negative side effects in kids, but as some Indiana schools go virtual because of the omicron variant…

Social Issues

The second year of the 134th Ohio General Assembly officially starts today, as both the state House and Senate convene. One of the most urgent tasks …

Even if someone in need receives brand new winter gear that was donated, humanitarian groups say there's a good chance some of those items can become lost or damaged over the course of a cold season and need to be replaced. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is seeing another round of below-freezing temperatures. As folks bundle up, Salvation Army chapters hope they'll consider donating …

Social Issues

Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before the state's primary in June. The …

Social Issues

Colorado and other states are hoarding more than $6 billion intended for struggling families, according to new analysis. In 2020, Colorado denied …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021