Summary: H.R.1598 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1598. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/15/2011)

Solar Opportunity and Local Access Rights Act - Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to require each state regulatory authority with ratemaking authority, and each nonregulated electric utility, to conduct a hearing, and on the basis of such hearing, adopt a net metering standard.

Requires retail electric suppliers to make net metering available to retail customers on a first-come-first-served basis.

Prescribes implementation requirements regarding: (1) net energy measurement, (2) billing practices, (3) ownership of credits, (4) safety and performance standards, and (5) determination of compliance.

Directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to publish model interconnection standards for the physical connection between local distribution systems and qualified generation units and qualified electric generation units that do not exceed 5 megawatts of capacity. Requires states to adopt such model standards, subject to FERC approval.

Prohibits a state or nonregulated utility from adopting or enforcing any standard or requirement concerning net metering or interconnection that restricts access to the electric power transmission or local distribution system by qualified generators beyond those established under this Act.

Allows states to adopt or enforce additional incentives or requirements to encourage qualified generation and net metering, including any that afford: (1) greater access to the electric power transmission and local distribution systems by qualified generators, or (2) greater compensation or credit for electricity generated by qualified generators.

Authorizes a contract for renewable energy for public buildings and properties for a maximum period of 30 years.

Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to condition receipt of certain community development block grant (CDBG) funds upon grantee certification that the cost of any permit or license, for construction or installation of any solar energy system for any structure, complies with certain requirements.

Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue regulations to prohibit any restriction impairing the ability of the owner or lessee of a one-family residential structure to install or use a solar energy system upon such property.

Instructs the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to establish a Center for Advanced Solar Research and Development.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations also requiring that the application for approval of such a system: (1) be processed and approved in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property, and (2) not be willfully avoided or delayed.