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Major Step Forward, Solar Access Act Passed the Full Senate, Audubon Arkansas Urges House to do the Same

Increased access to renewable energy is good for the economy, birds, and people.

Little Rock, Arkansas (March 6, 2019) – Today the full Senate passed the Solar Access Act, which now heads to the House for consideration. 

Opening up the market for solar energy benefits birds and people by preserving the quality of Arkansas’s natural resources, stimulating job creation and the economy, and providing consumers and businesses with more energy choices—Audubon Arkansas urges the House to pass the bill. 

“The Solar Access Act is a no-brainer for Arkansas,” said Gary Moody, Executive Director of Audubon Arkansas “Expanding solar adoption is the right thing to do for people and birds like the Yellow-throated Warbler, Eastern Whip-poor-will, and Scarlet Tanager”

“Advanced energy technologies including solar provide jobs and energy savings in states that deploy them,” said Katie Niebaum, AAEA Executive Director. “By enhancing access to these resources, Arkansas can continue to lead in the advanced energy economy. AAEA members thank Senator Wallace for his leadership recognizing the solar sector as an important economic driver, and appreciate the strong support from the Senate for this solar jobs bill.”

“It’s a great day for the Arkansas consumer,” said Senator Dave Wallace.   “They will have more choices in the market now.”  

The Solar Access Act (SB 145) was introduced by Senator Dave Wallace (R-Leachville) and Representative Aaron Pilkington (R-Clarksville). 

More information about the Solar Access Act can be found here.

The Solar Access Act will:

  • Allow for third-party purchasing which allows a resident or business to host a solar energy system owned by the solar company
  • Increase the solar size limit

Audubon supports pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to advance clean energy policies that help birds and people. In 2014, Audubon released its Birds and Climate Change Report, which showed more than half of the bird species in North America at risk of disappearing by 2080 due to shifting and shrinking ranges as a result of a changing climate. Included in the list of 314 were many found in Arkansas, including the Mallard, Merlin and Bald Eagle.

The bill is supported by Ouachita Electric Cooperative Corporation, Wal-Mart, Tyson, Pulaski County, Unilever, Arkansas General Contractors, County Judges Association, Arkansas Rice Producers, Arkansas Interfaith Power & Light among others. 

About Audubon Arkansas
Audubon Arkansas was established in 2000 as a state office of the National Audubon Society. 

Audubon Arkansas is engaged in:

  • the restoration and protection of watersheds and other habitats important to birds and other wildlife;
  • citizen involvement in science and habitat protection;
  • environmental education for young people;
  • public outreach and education related to targeted policy initiatives, including clean energy and water issues.

Media Contacts
Gary Moody: gmoody@audubon.org 501-246-1113

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