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The Texas Senate has passed S.B.545, a measure aimed at moving Texas to the forefront of solar energy generation in the U.S.

Over the next five years, the bill would create a $500 million incentive fund to offset the capital costs of distributed solar power - mostly for residential rooftop panels, as well as for utility-grade solar power. Funds would be raised through monthly surcharges on electric bills - $0.20 for residential users, $2.00 for commercial users and $20.00 for industrial users.

The money will go toward rebates for homeowners who wish to install panels on their houses, and the Public Utility Commission will use the fund to incentivize the construction of large-scale solar complexes. Other provisions in the bill would prohibit homeowners associations from banning solar installations in most cases, and would require that homebuilders offer solar as an option to their customers.

SOURCE: Texas Senate

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