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Metropolitan King County
I’m running a bit behind in reporting some progress in the Metropolitan King County Council for solar energy. Allow me to explain -
Howard Lamb and I had the pleasure of meeting with KC Councilmember Larry Phillips’ staff last year, and I testified at a hearing in the Metro KC Council Transportation, Economy and Environment (TREE) Committee in favor of expanding community solar projects to King County sites, and to create solar access rights.
That motion passed unanimously in the full council on Sept. 26th, requesting the executive to review the renewable energy system cost recovery program and provide a report to the council on options for the county to participate in community solar projects as part of the renewable energy system cost recovery program under RCW 82.16.110, 82.16.120, 82.16.130 and 82.16.140; and requesting the executive develop options to protect solar access by January 15, 2012. (I need to follow up to see if Dow Constantine is on schedule).
In listing the top 12 priorities for 2012 for the TREE committee, Chairman Phillips has (6) items dealing with energy and climate change including community solar at #8 and solar access rights at #9. The list is in the next post.
Action on these things is expected in March.
My take on it is that this is an opportunity for us to get some language in the County statutes that raises the value of solar access in the law; this will be useful in making arguments for tempering the International Fire Code constraints to favor solar access whenever possible. It also is the thin end of the wedge toward creation of stronger and more widespread law protecting solar access.
-Jeremy Smithson, email@example.com