Solar wages a hot debate

A new law requires prevailing wage to be paid for private solar projects on a public building.

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House Bill 3651, passed during the Legislature’s recent special session and signed by the governor, is meant to close a loophole in the existing law.

Yet opponents of the law argue that its requirements are overreaching and can complicate solar energy installations.

Under the new law, if a private contractor installs and then manages a solar array on a public building, that contractor must pay its workers the prevailing wage rate required for public works projects. The law takes effect next January, after the Bureau of Labor and Industries writes clarifying rules.

John Killin, executive director of the Independent Electrical Contractors of Oregon, said the new law overreaches. “This is the first time a bill has specifically stated that there will be prevailing wage on a private project,” he said.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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