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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I rise to speak about a bill that is born from the forward-thinking ideas of my constituents, a bill that will help spur our Nation's new energy economy and create jobs: the Solar Uniting Neighborhoods Act, or SUN Act.

Over the last three years, I have been travelling across Colorado as part of a work force tour to talk directly to Coloradans and hear their innovative policy ideas to create jobs. The SUN Act comes directly from visiting with Coloradans.

This bill will help bring commonsense to our tax code, get government out of the way of developing solar energy, and spur job growth in every community across the United States.

I installed solar panels on my own home several years ago to take advantage of the strong Colorado sun. However, I understand this option is not available for all American families who want to receive their home's energy needs from solar power. There can be difficulties attaching solar panels to your home, which is why more and more neighborhoods and towns are creating so called ``community solar'' projects.

Instead of affixing solar panels to every roof on the block, an increasing number of Americans have decided to place those same solar panels all together in one open and unobstructed sunny area near their homes. By grouping solar panels together, it reduces the cost by up to 30 percent compared to installing each panel on every roof separately. Whether used by neighbors living at the end of a cul-de-sac or developed by our rural energy cooperatives, creating these group solar projects to share energy is a great way to lower the cost of developing solar energy.

But there is a problem: our tax code is getting in the way. It discourages neighborhood solar projects by requiring that solar panels must actually be on your property instead of allowing neighbors and others to partner on community solar projects. This discourages innovation and slows the growth of solar power as an alternate energy source.

The SUN Act would make a small change to the tax code that would no longer constrain this innovative solar energy development. By eliminating the requirement that solar panels be on one individual's property, it allows Americans to work together on community projects where each individual can claim a tax credit. This simple solution makes it easier to adopt and use clean, renewable energy.

What excites me about this bill is that it will create jobs for Americans in every neighborhood where these community solar projects are developed. This bill reduces barriers that currently prevent Americans from adopting solar energy, opens up new markets, and creates a simple structure to allow people to utilize clean energy for their home.

Mr. Presdient, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.


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