House passes bill to facilitate alternative energy projects
January 17, 2012 | By Washington House Democrats
OLYMPIA: Representative Jeff Morris’ (D-Mount Vernon) bill to aide Washington residents looking to install alternative energy projects was passed by the House of Representatives this morning. The legislation will help people in the process of developing a project, as well as local governments with limited resources or experience in alternative-energy technology permitting.
“This legislation is yet another example of how our state can support clean and alternative energy projects,” said Rep Morris. “These projects will help power homes and businesses that would otherwise be dependent on traditional sources of power.”
Morris’ legislation, House Bill 1081, applies only to projects that generate 100 kw or less of electricity, and a person could only pursue this alternate siting process if a local government doesn’t have alternative energy siting policies, hasn’t updated their policies in over 10 years, or if an application hasn’t been processed in six months. Local governments could also arrange in advance to have the state’s siting council review and permit their projects.
Permitting through the state would go through the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, the state’s one-stop permitting shop for major energy projects. Their experience will ensure projects sited in a community have been reviewed for environmental and safety concerns.
“We can streamline the permitting process for taxpayers, while supporting one of our State’s growing industries,” said Rep. Morris. “Not only is it common sense, it’s a true win-win for taxpayers and the clean energy industry.”
The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, 80 to 10, and now moves to the Senate for their consideration.