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Lawmakers Aim To Standardize Laws For Wind, Solar Projects In Indiana

By Rebecca Thiele, IPB News | Published on in Business, Environment, Government, Politics
Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) said lawmakers have drafted legislation that sets state standards for renewable energy siting, but lets locals decide if a project meets those standards. (FILE PHOTO: Taylor Haggerty/WBAA)
Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) said lawmakers have drafted legislation that sets state standards for renewable energy siting, but lets locals decide if a project meets those standards. (FILE PHOTO: Taylor Haggerty/WBAA)

Indiana lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would make it easier for renewable energy companies to invest in Indiana. That involves standardizing the way things like wind and solar farms are sited and taxed.

At a legislative conference, Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) said some companies have spent millions of dollars to build a wind or solar farm in Indiana, only to have the project blocked by county laws that ban them or limit where they can be located.

Kelly Snyder works for EDP Renewables. She said that patchwork of local laws can be difficult to navigate.

“We really need that certainty in order to be sure that we can invest the capital within the state,” Snyder said.

Soliday said lawmakers have drafted legislation that sets state standards for renewable energy siting, but lets locals decide if a project meets those standards.

“And if they decided ‘no’ and the petitioner felt they were treated unjustly or capriciously, they could appeal to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission,” he said.

Soliday said lawmakers also hope to standardize how property taxes are assessed for renewable energy projects.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.