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West Virginia Senate passes solar bill with nods to coal

West Virginia

A rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in New York. ConEdison Solutions installed 3,152 solar panels on the roof of Building 293 in 2016. The new panels will generate 1.1 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, according to the mayor’s office. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided more than $600,000 in incentives for the project. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill encouraging power companies to use solar energy in a bid to lure businesses to the state.

But they’re making it clear that they don’t want the coal industry to feel left out. Lawmakers approved the bill Friday.

It would create a regulatory program for utilities to use a small amount of renewable energy. Many lawmakers were quick to note that it won’t hurt the fossil fuel industry.

The state commerce department pushed for the bill, saying big companies want to know that they can use renewable energy sources before relocating to a state.

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