It is time for West Virginia to embrace renewable energy – WV News

West Virginia Catholics for a Sustainable Economy echoes the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram’s editorial board: It is time for West Virginia to embrace renewable energy as an essential component of our economy.

As a group of Catholics collaborating across the state, we believe humans must care for our land, water and air prudently, while ensuring the basic needs of all people are met.

One straightforward way to grow our local economies and support those on fixed incomes is a West Virginia legislative bill legalizing on-site Power Purchase Agreements.

A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a financing tool that allows families, small businesses, nonprofits such as churches or government buildings to benefit from renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal, without the upfront financial investment. E.g.: A developer installs, owns and operates a solar array on a church property. The church contracts to buy the system’s generated electricity at a fixed rate (generally lower than the current utility rate).

PPAs are an easy way organizations that are not eligible for solar tax credits (such as churches and other nonprofits) can still benefit from them through savings passed on in lower fixed rates.

Solar PV installer is currently the fastest-growing occupation in our nation. We need good jobs in West Virginia. PPAs are a win-win-win: 1. Creating good local jobs and the resulting economic growth of our communities; 2. Reducing energy costs for fixed income residents, churches and other nonprofits, small businesses and even state and local governments; and 3. Protecting our water, air and land —keeping West Virginia “Wild and Wonderful.”

All of these benefits, at no cost to taxpayers. All that is required now is calling on our legislators to legalize PPAs, as our neighboring states have already done. Visit EnergyFreedomWV.org to learn more and contact your West Virginia lawmakers today!

Moira Reilly

W.Va. Catholics for a Sustainable Economy

Morgantown

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