The company handling Knoxville’s public solar power projects says if a bill concerning solar power in the state is passed as is, then it wouldn’t impact the ones currently in progress…but if there are changes made, it could be costly to taxpayers.
The bill would allow utility companies to charge a fee to solar power users; the Senate has passed that version, and the House is still considering it.
Red Lion Renewables is coordinating the solar projects for Knoxville City Hall and the Knoxville Public Library, as well as one for the school district. Red Lion CEO Terry Dvorak tells KNIA/KRLS News the current version of the bill would exempt projects already in progress.
“The way they have written, those two projects would be grandfathered in, so unless there’s some unforeseen delay, or our permitting process is denied with MidAmerican Energy, then there shouldn’t be one on that,” Dvorak says.
“Now, it would affect any of the other projects that would be similar to that, that haven’t been applied for yet; and there’s a lot of those across the state.”
But Dvorak warns if the bill is rewritten to eliminate the grandfather clause, then the city would lose out on $380,000, and the school district on $1 million, over the next 30 years.