W.Va. House passes bill making it easier to use solar energy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — It could soon be easier for power companies to use solar energy under a bill passed Tuesday in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Lawmakers voted 75-23 to approve the measure after around an hour of debate that revolved around whether it’s better to focus on coal or renewable energy sources.

The state commerce department pushed for the bill, saying big companies want to know that they can use renewable energy sources before relocating to a state. The proposal would create a regulatory program for utilities to use a small amount of renewables.

The measure makes several nods to the coal business and said that nothing in the bill can “displace any current levels of coal-fired generation capacity.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for the chamber to approve some minor House amendments. Senators unanimously approved the measure last month.

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