The bill empowers historically underserved and disadvantaged Washingtonians with access to the state’s new community solar program
(Olympia, WA) — Washington Representative David Hackney (D-King County) and State Senator John Lovick (D-Mill Creek) pre-filed both HB 2253 and SB 6113, respectively, which would expand equitable access to the benefits of clean, reliable, affordable, and locally sited solar power to all Washingtonians. The legislation, dubbed the Fair Access to Community Solar Act, will build upon previous legislative victories to help Washington meet its energy goals, create jobs, and grow a more sustainable economy.
“As soon as constituents and my colleagues learn how community solar works, they realize the immense benefits it can bring,” said Representative Hackney. “Our state is long overdue for this type of legislation to implement a competitive community solar program in order to bring energy justice and economic growth for all Washingtonians.”
State community solar programs empower ratepayers with the choice to enroll as subscribers to a community solar project, which enables them to receive credits on their electricity bills based on their share of the project’s energy generation. Community solar projects are medium-sized solar arrays sited on landfills, former industrial sites, private lands, and other preferred areas in proximity to the utility customers they’re intended to serve, including households, small businesses, and public service organizations. While Washington state was home to the country’s first community solar project, the state currently ranks 31st in deployment.
“I am proud to work with Representative Hackney, fellow legislators, and our Washingtonian business community to introduce this community solar legislation,” said State Senator Lovick. “By prioritizing a program structure that benefits as many Washingtonians as possible, The Fair Access to Community Solar bill will help ensure our state can lead on community solar adoption.”
The Fair Access to Community Solar Act establishes a community solar bill crediting program to ensure subscribers earn a proportionate credit on their monthly utility bill. The new policy will allow community solar developers to leverage state and federal incentives to bring energy savings to Washingtonians.
“The national momentum for community solar continues to build. Getting a comprehensive program bill across the finish line here in Washington will allow for the state to reap all the benefits numerous states across the country already see from community solar,” said Derek Chernow, Western Director at Coalition for Community Solar (CCSA).
“A new legislative session brings hope for community solar in Washington,” said Mason Rolph, President of Olympia Community Solar. “This legislation will help reduce many Washingtonians’ stubbornly high energy costs and ensure that the grid of the future is affordable, equitable, and reliable.”
With supporters across the state, Representative Hackney and coalition members have worked tirelessly to ensure the bill reflects the needs and realities of Washington state. By bringing more access to clean energy for disadvantaged communities and opportunities for sustainable jobs, The Fair Access to Community Solar Act will bring immense benefits to the state.
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The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) is a national trade association representing over 125 community solar developers, businesses, and nonprofits. Together, we are building the electric grid of the future where every customer has the freedom to support the generation of clean, local solar energy to power their lives. Through legislative and regulatory advocacy, and the support of a diverse coalition — including advocates for competition, clean energy, ratepayers, landowners, farmers, and environmental justice — we enable policies that unlock the potential of distributed energy resources, starting with community solar. For more information, visit https://www.communitysolaraccess.org and follow the group on Twitter (X), LinkedIn, and YouTube.