Encourage the West Virginia Legislature to support Power Purchase Agreements

Would you like for your church and members of your community to have lower and more sustainable energy bills, and more diverse job opportunities? If so, support the current legislative efforts to allow Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in the West Virginia Legislature. Senate Bill 611 was introduced in the Senate and was assigned to the Economic Development Committee. The bill would enable West Virginia to allow Power Purchase Agreements.

If you support his effort, contact Senator Swope (304-357-7843 or chandler.swope@wvsenate.gov), Chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee, and ask him to place SB 611 on the committee’s calendar for a hearing and consideration. Other committee members include Senator Mann, the Vice Chair; and Senators Azinger, Baldwin, Cline, Hamilton, Ihlenfeld, Jeffries, Pitsenbarger, Roberts, Romano, Stollings, Tarr, and Woelfel. You can also contact them in support of the bill; find their contact information here.

Power Purchase Agreements are a way to energize economic growth and reduce residents’ utility bills. According to Solar United Neighbors, “States that legalize Power Purchase Agreements control energy costs, create jobs, and save millions, without tax increases or government funding. PPAs allow property owners to reduce their electricity bills without making large up-front investments. A PPA is a long-term contract with an energy developer, who installs, owns, and maintains an energy generation facility — such as a solar array or landfill biodigester — on a customer’s home or business. The electricity generated by the facility is sold to the property owner using a long-term, fixed-rate contract, usually at a price below that charged by the customer’s electric utility provider.

“Electricity purchased from the grid has been increasing in cost. With a PPA, property owners can lock in their electricity rates for decades, saving money each month. These savings will increase as grid-based electricity continues to rise in price.

“Federal tax credits — and in some places, state and local tax credits — help make solar energy more affordable; however, nonprofit and government organizations cannot use these tax credits because they do not pay income taxes. PPAs allow a solar developer to take advantage of the tax credits and pass those savings along to the end user, making solar energy more affordable and reducing energy costs.”

“And solar jobs can be substantial when PPAs are fully available.

One key factor to success Solar United Neighbors’ report linked above states is “An act of the legislature is necessary to clarify that third-party PPAs are legal, with or without additional limitations, and will provide certainty for project developers and customers to move forward.” Find out more at www.solarunitedneighbors.org/westvirginia.

Faithful Climate Action Fellowship deadline is Feb. 14

Creation Justice Ministries is one of four co-sponsoring organizations of the Faithful Climate Action Fellowship. This fellowship is an opportunity for young adults to exercise and develop their faithful climate justice leadership skills. This includes preaching/speaking, getting published, asset mapping faith communities interested in becoming active in the climate movement, and attending webinars with guest speakers who are also young adult leaders.

Creation Justice Ministries has opened up the application process and would be grateful for help with outreach. If you know a young adult leader from your community who would be a good candidate, please pass along the link to the fellowship website and application. Deadline is Feb. 14.

Presbyterians for Earth Care’s Lent devotional now available

This year’s theme is God Provides Enough for All and was coordinated by Dr. Patricia Tull, Professor Emerita of Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. It can be found here.