Audubon Advisory

Audubon Arkansas's Campaign to Expand Solar Access

Last month, Audubon Arkansas kicked off a new solar campaign in Little Rock and Fayetteville. More than 100 participants attended the kickoff meetings including a few elected officials who stopped by to hear the concerns of Audubon members and local constituents. The campaign’s goal is to support legislation that would make it easier to expand solar energy in the state.

“Getting people to adopt solar is the right thing to do for people and birds,” says Interim Arkansas State Director Gary Moody. “As the 11th best state for available sun energy, Arkansas is well positioned to lead on home grown solar production and clean energy job growth."

The state legislature introduced new solar legislation S.B. 145 on January 22, 2019 by State Senator Dave Wallace (R-Leachville) and State Representative Aaron Pilkington (R-Clarksville).

The bill will:

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

A statement released by Sen. Pilkington noted “Expanding access to solar is common sense, and more competition in the market benefits consumers. This legislation accomplishes these goals and I’m proud to sponsor it.”

At a legislative breakfast followed by a press conference sponsored by Audubon Arkansas, Sen. Wallace told the crowd, “This legislation is a vital step forward,” Wallace said, adding that “solar is one of the fastest areas of job growth in the country and we don’t need to fall behind in Arkansas.” More than 50 legislators attended the breakfast and we got a number of media hits including one from Arkansas Business entitled “Solar Advocates, Audubon Trumpet Bill to Let Nonprofits Reap Savings.

Is a Bigger and Brighter Future on the Horizon?

Just over one month into the legislative session, Audubon campaign organizers and volunteers have collected more than 1,500 petition signatures, generated more than 200 calls to legislators, and secured over 20 business and 5 chapter sign-ons—with more on the way.

Learn more about how going solar in Arkansas can help birds by visiting: http://ar.audubon.org 

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