By Mark Pengilly
Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress
Renewable Energy Cooperative Bill Passes
Signed by Governor Kitzhaber March 13
Oregon neighbors can now invest together in clean energy projects without the expense and complexity of securities registration.
1520, which passed the Oregon House and Senate with bipartisan support,
has been signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber. The bill allows
renewable energy cooperative corporations to be created and capitalized
without the requirement of securities registration.
to the law's passage, people who wanted to invest in local clean energy
projects, but lacked a sunny location or enough capital, were unable to
pool their funds without registering the investment as a security.
This complex, detailed process involved costly legal and accounting
fees and effectively stymied many community projects. SB 1520 exempts
renewable energy cooperative cooperations from this requirement and
removes a significant barrier to community-owned renewable energy
projects. All renewable technologies eligible under Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard are included under the new law.
Our Legislators Heard You
OREP put forward the law to enable broad participation by community
members in local renewable energy projects. Support for the bill was
overwhelming. Supporters and local governments from across the State
sent letters of support to the Legislature and their voices were heard.
These letters of support and the sponsorship of Senator Bruce Starr and
Representative Kim Thatcher were key to the bill's passage.
bill will now go to the Department of Consumer and Business Services
for rulemaking, which will determine what disclosures aspiring projects
must make in order to protect consumers and may set limits on community
projects. Rulemaking is expected to begin in April. Interested parties
may participate in the rulemaking and broad participation is important
to ensure that the rules are effective, yet simple and inexpensive.
You can view the history of SB 1520 here…