April 16th, 2013
With spring in full swing, things are looking mighty sunny in Sacramento! California lawmakers are considering a number of solar-friendly policies this year — first out of the gate is AB 217, a bill that will help more low-income Californians go solar. We’re working with our friends at Grid Alternatives to support the bill – we hope you will too!
Over the past 5 years, California’s MASH and SASH – two programs dedicated to putting solar on affordable housing – have proven hugely successful in delivering utility bill savings and solar job opportunities to disadvantaged communities. But funding for these rebates is nearly exhausted. AB 217 will provide more funding for the programs – and ensure that the benefits of solar continue to reach low-income families that need them most. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 15th, 2013
New York’s NY-Sun Initiative is quickly delivering on its promise of solar energy growth and local job creation – but just as it’s really getting started, this solar program is set to sunset. Well, here’s some sunny news: lawmakers in Albany are currently considering extending the successful program for 10 more years with the New York Solar Bill (A.5060/S.2522).
Extending NY-Sun is exactly what New York needs to establish a world-class local solar industry, create new jobs across the state, build a more resilient power grid, and tackle climate change head-on. This long-term commitment would fulfill the vision of a stronger, safer solar-powered New York. Shall we be more specific? Passing the New York Solar Bill would deliver:
- 2,200 MW of solar, enough clean, reliable electricity to power 400,000 New York homes.
- thousands of new local jobs in New York.
- billions of dollars in savings for New Yorkers by reducing the need to fire up its dirtiest and most expensive fossil power plants.
- millions of dollars of private investment in the state’s emerging clean energy economy.
Let’s do this. Do you live in the Empire State or know someone who does? Help us urge lawmakers in Albany to support the New York Solar Bill – we’ve made it easy to send a quick message of support here.
April 12th, 2013
NV Energy unveiled its new NVision Plan last week, a policy initiative that proposes shutting down coal plants and investing in new renewable energy and natural gas generation. On the surface, that sounds great – shuttering coal plants, reducing carbon emissions, increasing investment in renewable energy and creating jobs. All good things, right?
But as the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The company’s NVision plan is no exception – dig a little deeper, and it doesn’t look so good.
First, and most troubling, NV Energy is attempting to bypass the Public Utilities Commission by going straight to the legislature with this plan. NV Energy’s plan doesn’t even give the PUC the authority to override it. This is bad policy and would set a very, very dangerous precedent. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 9th, 2013
Just a week after Governor Cuomo announced the first round of awards under the NY-Sun Competitive PV program, the Governor is back at it announcing that $13.5 million will be made available to help reduce the overall cost of installing solar, specifically non-module costs. The combination of these announcements represents a one-two punch for taking on market barriers to solar development. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 28th, 2013
Governor Cuomo just announced the first round of awards for the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program – and boy is it looking bright! The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $46 million for 76 large-scale projects totaling 52 megawatts (MW) of new solar capacity, enough to power nearly 9,000 New York homes. We’re excited about the early results of the program and the state’s continued commitment to bringing reliable clean power and local solar jobs to New York.
For those who are new to the program: The NY-Sun Competitive PV Program is designed to make solar power an affordable option for larger energy consumers: businesses, public buildings, and factories. The $46 million from New York State will leverage another $100 million in private investment. It is the first of three Competitive PV Program award rounds planned this year. It’s all part of the Governor’s NY-Sun Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to drive growth in the state’s solar industry and lower solar costs for all New Yorkers. NY-Sun will quadruple the amount of customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity added between 2011 and 2013. In this year’s State of the State address, Governor Cuomo committed to extending the NY-Sun Initiative through 2023. Thank Gov Cuomo for his leadership and make sure he knows you support his vision of another decade of NY-Sun. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 27th, 2013
Last night, the City of Lancaster in Northern Los Angeles County made history, becoming the first city in the nation to ensure all new homes will feature solar. The City Council unanimously adopted a new ordinance so that all residential units built in Lancaster starting January 2014 will provide an average of 1 kilowatt of solar-generated electricity per housing unit. (Solar is not required to be located on each home within a subdivision, but builders must meet the aggregate energy generation requirement within the subdivision.)
This is exactly the kind of leadership we hope to see in more and more cities, as demand for solar continues to grow among Americans of all income brackets and costs keep dropping. As long as we can protect and extend California’s net metering policy, the occupants of those new solar homes will receive fair value for the clean energy they feed back onto the grid on their utility bills, and all of us will gain from the clean air, environmental and job benefits that the new solar will bring to the state. Bravo, Lancaster! Who’s next?
March 27th, 2013
Solar is already a huge California success story. The Golden State is leading the nation in new installations, helping to drive costs down and reaping economic and environmental benefits as more and more of our power comes from the sun. Now momentum is building in Sacramento for a new approach that will let the state shine even brighter: shared solar. » Read the rest of this entry «
March 21st, 2013
Renewable energy is the fastest growing sector of our national energy mix, yet a significant portion of Americans – including millions of residential and commercial tenants – are unable to generate their own power on-site from solar, wind, and other renewables. New shared renewables arrangements change that by allowing virtually any energy customer to subscribe to an off-site renewable energy project and get utility bill credit for their portion of the power produced. By connecting more Americans with the clean energy they want, shared renewable energy programs can unleash significant new investment in clean energy, which in turn delivers job creation, public health and environmental benefits.
It’s an exciting vision for clean energy access, and one that’s quickly gaining traction across the country. This morning we launched a new website to help keep tabs on that progress – check it out! www.sharedrenewables.org » Read the rest of this entry «
January 15th, 2013
For years, we’ve been making the case that in addition to the environmental benefits, solar also adds value to the grid.
How much value? Today, we released a report that we commissioned to look at both the costs and benefits of net metering in California. The study was done by Tom Beach of Crossborder Energy, who used actual data from 10,000 solar systems and analytic models from the CPUC. The report found that when California reaches its current net metering cap of 5% of non-coincident peak load (at about 5.2 GW of solar), the benefits of net-metered projects will exceed the costs by about $92 million annually, across the three large investor-owned utility territories in the state. That’s a great deal for ratepayers, and good news for the planet.
Take a look. Here it is, in all its wonky glory (along with a snazzy summary fact sheet): Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of Net Energy Metering in California, Crossborder Energy, January 2013
» Read the rest of this entry «
January 11th, 2013
Following on yesterday’s announcement from Governor Cuomo for a 10-year, $1.5 billion expansion of the NY-Sun program, we wanted to offer some additional color on what exactly this means for NY’s rapidly growing solar market.
As we reported on Wednesday, we’ve spent the past several years calling upon the Governor and New York’s policy makers to establish a long-term solar program supported by prudent incentives and solar friendly regulations. The conception and rollout of the NY-Sun program in 2012 was without question a tremendous step in the right direction and responsible for deploying solar throughout NY today. We are therefore extremely pleased that the Governor is stepping forward with leadership and embracing the vision for a world-class solar market and success in the clean-tech race.
On your mark… » Read the rest of this entry «