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SB 93 - Impose excessive decommissioning and bonding requirements on large-scale solar

Sponsored by Sen. Tom Richmond, R-Billings

This bill would create decommissioning requirements including bonding for large solar projects, similar to what exists for wind.  In theory, this is a good idea–it would provide the surety to protect taxpayers and landowners from having to clean up solar developments when they reach the end of their lives. As written, however, SB 93 doesn’t take into account that solar companies often already engage in this sort of bonding with landowners on whose land these projects are developed. More importantly, it doesn’t require the same decommissioning requirements for other forms of energy production including natural gas and coal. Consistent bonding policy is desperately needed and this bill puts renewables at a competitive disadvantage compared to other forms of generation.

SB 93 passed out of Conference committee on April 15 and was heard by the full Senate on April 18.

 

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