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Cole Co. judge sets aside own ruling banning solar rebates in Mo.

Among the projects available for loans through GreenHELP is installing solar energy panels.
Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

A Cole County judge has set aside his earlier ruling that declared solar rebates in Missouri to be unconstitutional.

The rebates were part of a renewable energy ballot initiative passed by Missouri voters in 2008.

Circuit Judge Daniel Green’s initial ruling in June stated that the $2 per-watt solar rebate was essentially a seizure of private property from St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri.  But he has temporarily vacated that ruling to allow other interested parties to file briefs in the case.

Attorney Stephen Jeffery represents the Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association.

“In the interim period, it looks like the rebates will go back into effect, based on the conversation and the comments that Ameren made in court," Jeffery said.

When asked how long the the ban on solar rebates would remain lifted, Jeffrey replied, “Probably just ... a few weeks, at least at this point … it could be extended.”

The extra briefs must be filed by August 12th, after which Judge Green could reinstate the solar rebate ban.

Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says they’re neutral on the issue.

“We didn’t have a dog in this fight and continue to stand on the side," Wood said.  "But it has certainly created some problems in terms of the certainty of making repay payments or not, and if they’re permitted constitutionally or not.”

The Missouri Retailers Associationfiled the lawsuit.  So far, the group has not responded to our request for comments. 

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.