June 19th, 2013
The city of Palo Alto (CA) has set a goal of 100% carbon-free power for its municipal utility. To achieve this goal, they are going solar in a big way…and with some mindblowing results.
The utility just signed 80 MW worth of contracts with 3 solar plants (40 MW, 20 MW, and 20 MW) at a great price: 6.9 cents/kWh over a 30 year term. Try building a new nuke or coal plant at that price. » Read the rest of this entry «
November 21st, 2012
Both Grist and AWEA cover the recent Michigan ballot initiative to raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 25%. It was a promising, important measure…and despite seeing similar renewable energy ballot measures pass in Colorado, Missouri, and Washington, this one failed. The question is, why? » Read the rest of this entry «
July 23rd, 2012
While once indifferent to solar, New Jersey Governor Christie turned solar champion today by signing legislation that will ensure that the state is able to sustain its impressive solar growth over the coming years.
And while many solar supporters in Pennsylvania have looked to Harrisburg to address this issue with a similar approach to that of Governor Christie, Pennsylvania’s policymakers have failed to act before taking their summer recess.
» Read the rest of this entry «
March 29th, 2012
Yesterday afternoon in front of a packed house of renewable energy supporters and those opposing clean energy, the Delaware House Energy Committee shot down a bill intended to stop the development of renewable energy. Specially, the legislation (HB 247) called for an immediate freeze to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
The bill’s supporters claimed that Delaware’s policy-makers need a chance to reassess the state’s energy strategy in light of many “changes” that have occurred over the past several years. They must not be referring to those job-creating and clean air producing changes.
After hearing testimony and deliberating the bill, it was clear that Delaware’s elected officials have no desire to reflect upon the decisions that have propelled the state forward as a clean energy leader. A motion to table the legislation, which would have kept HB 247 on life support, was voted down and stopped the bill dead in its tracks – in other words, opponents of Delaware’s clean energy future were sent packing.
Delaware’s elected officials clearly understand the economic, job-creating and environmental benefits that renewable energy brings to the First State. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Delaware’s renewable and solar champions take a step or two further towards making state an undisputed renewable energy leader for generation to come.
September 27th, 2011
With all kinds of new data out there demonstrating U.S. solar growth (here, here and here), we wanted to offer our insights into how these successes are playing out in one of our key campaign states: Pennsylvania.
Over the past couple years, Pennsylvania has become a real solar powerplayer. Having developed over 100 MW of solar PV, PA is a leader in terms of installed solar and the jobs it creates. In fact, last year’s Solar Jobs Census ranked the state second in the nation behind California for number of solar jobs. We eagerly await the 2011 results.
» Read the rest of this entry «
September 15th, 2011
The solar company Solyndra recently filed for bankruptcy, which media reports have depicted as the end of solar power in the U.S. This is like saying there is no future for the internet because Netscape went out of business.
The molar-grinding irony of it all is that Solyndra was the victim of a big success – the price of solar power has fallen rapidly, making more expensive technologies like theirs uncompetitive, but more importantly making solar power a real player in the U.S. energy economy. » Read the rest of this entry «
August 25th, 2011
OK, so not exactly the Northeast but close enough. More importantly, Ohio’s solar market is very similar to those of neighboring states in that it is premised upon a RPS solar carve-out. 0.5% of Ohio’s total electricity supply by 2024, that is; half of which must be derived from in-state solar resources.
As we reported on back in March, there has been some solar trouble in Ohio. At that time, First Energy Corp had filed force majeure claiming they were unable to locate and secure a sufficient number of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to satisfy its 2010 solar obligation. Remarkably, this was the second year in a row First Energy filed for force majeure despite *good-faith* efforts. Two years of force majeure? Seems like there’d need to be a whole lot of good-faith going on. We’re not buying it. Again, our previous reporting details our doubts. » Read the rest of this entry «
July 21st, 2011
Following last week’s posting on the recent developments in Connecticut, this week we head south to explore the latest and greatest coming out of the State of Maryland. Other than summer crab feasts on the Chesapeake Bay, that is.
Maryland – Building strong market fundamentals
Requiring all electricity suppliers to secure at least 2.0% of their retail sales from solar facilities by 2022, Maryland is positioned to develop more than 1,250 MW of solar capacity over the coming decade. Importantly, beginning in 2012 solar facilities must be connected to the distribution grid serving Maryland in order to satisfy compliance with the state’s RPS requirements. As such, the state’s solar policy will truly stimulate local opportunities for Marylanders.
And while Maryland has established and maintained important foundations to stimulate growth in the solar energy economy (e.g., see here), the absence of some critical market fundamentals has the potential to frustrate new solar development.
» Read the rest of this entry «
July 13th, 2011
Resulting from an over-saturated solar renewable energy credit (SREC) market, over the past several months DC has experienced rapidly declining SREC values. To help stabilize the market and ensure continued development of solar resources, diverse stakeholders have rallied around the Distributed Generation Act of 2011. On July 12th, the calls of local residents and businesses were answered with the unanimous passage of this legislation.
Importantly, this Act will both increase the solar requirements beneath DC’s RPS and will require that compliance with these objectives is achieved through the development of local solar facilities. Not only do these provisions send a clear message that DC is serious about harnessing the rapidly growing solar energy economy, but will help to balance the market and offer long-term stability for solar businesses and those looking to go solar.
Whereas DC’s previous solar requirements called for roughly 50 MW of solar capacity located anywhere in PJM by 2020, the DG Act of 2011 will stimulate a DC-specific market that is over 300 MW in size by 2023. Significant indeed.
DC Councilmembers should be commended for their leadership and for listening to the thousands of DC residents and businesses that spoke up in favor of making the District a solar leader. With increased talk about expanding solar opportunities even more by enabling innovative arrangements such as community solar, there is no doubting that DC is eager to tap the power of the sun.
March 29th, 2011
55-19 was the unofficial tally. Now the bill goes to Governor Brown’s desk for signature, and advocates take a hot sec to celebrate. More on the run-up to today’s vote here.