Solar companies, utilities lobby on permitting overhaul

By Kelsey Brugger | 04/17/2024 06:15 AM EDT

Industry leaders want legislation passed before the elections.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va., left) and ranking member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) have been working on permitting and grid legislation. Groups are urging passage before the elections. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Hundreds of utilities and solar companies are urging congressional leaders to get serious about permitting and transmission legislation before the November election — partly by appealing to the Republican principle of “energy security.”

“Permitting reform at the federal level and significant transmission system investment are essential to our national energy security,” said Amanda Smith, vice president for external affairs for the renewables arm of utility and power generation company AES Clean Energy.

The firm, along with the Solar Energy Industries Association, helped pen a letter to congressional leaders — Republicans and Democrats — in recent days about the importance of policies to ramp up renewable energy production and transmission.


“There are hundreds of billions of investment dollars that depend on our ability to get clean energy projects sited, permitted and efficiently connected to a modern transmission system,” said SEIA CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Lawmakers in both parties understand the importance of getting new energy infrastructure built quickly and efficiently.”