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Solar Energy Draws a Crowd

Solar Energy Stakeholder Meeting in Olympia.

Solar Energy Stakeholder Meeting in Olympia.

It may be summer but an extraordinary number of meetings continue focused on the Governor’s carbon emissions reduction Executive Order 14-04. On June 30 the Washington State University Energy Program held a meeting in Olympia on Solar Energy in Washington State. The WSU Energy Program Director, Rep. Jake Fey, was joined by around fifty interested parties, representing everyone from the major utilities to leading environmental groups.

Jake opened the meeting with a PowerPoint background presentation emphasizing the importance of expanding clean energy and the need to address incentives which are due to sunset. He asked interested parties to develop a list of critical issues that need to be incorporated in the process and submit the list by Thursday, July 3. Based on input from stakeholders, the Program team will finalize a framework, and work with topic-specific workgroups to develop specific recommendation.

During the 2014 Legislative Session negotiations broke down on these issues so progress will be difficult. For example, with the economic downturn of the Great Recession, many of the utilities already have more clean energy than they can use.

The next meeting will be scheduled in August. Jake acknowledged that sooner or later funding options will need to be part of the discussion, given the fiscal constraints that the Legislature is facing in 2015.



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