An amendment that threw Delegate Sue Hecht's solar energy bill into doubt has been stripped, and the legislation looks set to pass this evening.
The measure builds on a 2004 law that mandates at least 7.5 percent of energy supplied by a power company be from renewable sources such as wind or solar by 2017.
Hecht's legislation would increase the minimum amount of renewable energy by 2 percent and require that addition be strictly solar.
Power companies would have until 2022 to comply.
Hecht's bill was similar to that of Sen. Rob Garagiola, a Montgomery County Democrat. His legislation is on its way to the governor's desk to be signed into law. A conference committee of lawmakers assigned to reconcile the two bills removed an amendment, clearing the way for the legislation to move ahead.
The Frederick Democrat's legislation is being printed, a formal step before the bill returns to the House, then crosses over to the Senate. Hecht is hopeful the legislation will pass before midnight — the close of the session.
Hecht's and Garagiola bills are "the same now, so we're just pushing to get both sides done."