June 8th, 2012
Massachusetts is one of our nation’s great success stories, due in no small part to their first-rate net metering program. This program has enabled thousands of Massachusetts homes, businesses, and public agencies to go solar, save on their energy bills, and invest in a healthier, more sustainable power grid for us all. But now, a cap on the state’s net metering program threatens to prevent new customers from getting fair credit on their utility bills for the valuable clean power they put back on the grid for other to use.
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May 18th, 2012
Introduction: Vote Solar’s Annie Carmichael recently sat down with Stan Greschner, Director of the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program (SASH) at GRID Alternatives. We learned some surprising facts about who’s going solar in California. » Read the rest of this entry «
April 5th, 2012
Yesterday Philadelphia’s International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98 gathered with city officials, solar business leaders and Vote Solar to urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to get solar power investment and job creation back on track by passing HB 1580 already. IBEW’s own solar powered facility served as the backdrop. It was a nice sunny day for a solar press conference. Kudos to Local 98 Business Manager John D. Dougherty for sneaking an “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” reference into his remarks. Well played sir.
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March 27th, 2012
State Pledges Long Term Commitment to Solar
In the two weeks following the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s March 2 approval of the first stages of the state’s new Residential Solar Investment Program, homeowners have submitted applications for about 425kW of new PV. According to the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), 66 applications had been received as of March 15, and 57% of the $1.25 million budget allocated for the first step of the incentive program had been reserved. CEFIA has allocated another $5 million for Step 2. In other words, Connecticut homeowners think solar is hot stuff! » Read the rest of this entry «
January 25th, 2012
Credit: Environment CA
This morning our friends at Environment California released a new report ranking California cities by the amount of solar they’ve installed. The good news?
“From Fresno to San Francisco and Clovis to Culver City, solar power is becoming a mainstream technology throughout California,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center and co-author of the report. “Solar power is booming in California and with the right leadership we can continue to benefit from the cleaner air and local jobs that this industry inevitably brings.” » Read the rest of this entry «
January 9th, 2012
It may not sound all that snazzy, but electricity rate design is one of the hottest topics in the solar industry right now. Because so much of a solar energy system’s value comes from the bill payments it is offsetting, exactly how utilities charge a customer for power can mean the difference between a good return on that solar investment – or not. As a result, this rather arcane and hugely complicated rate design process is critical to the continued success of customer solar adoption. So you can bet Vote Solar is working hard to establish and defend solar-friendly electricity rates in states from coast to coast.
Recently that’s meant protecting solar energy users from unfair fees on their electricity bills in San Diego, California.
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November 21st, 2011
11/25 – Update!!!! The NY solar industry’s open letter got through to Mr. O’Reilly – he’s now working with a “legitimate guy” to go solar on his Long Island home. How’s that for proof that Americans, regardless of political orientation, love them some local solar power?
No surprise that Fox News isn’t exactly presenting spin-free rhetoric when it comes to talking about our nation’s growing solar industry. Take the case of just last week when Bill O’Reilly of the eponymous Fox Business show made a claim that he’d go solar if only he could find somewhere it was available . . . » Read the rest of this entry «
October 20th, 2011
Never a slow moment in U.S. solar policy news these days. Just this morning we released Freeing the Grid 2011, our fifth annual report card on state net metering and interconnection policies. Together these two policies empower Americans to generate their own electricity from solar and other renewables. And the good news is states of all shapes, colors and political persuasions continue to embrace these fundamentals of a strong distributed renewable market. We’re also particularly pleased to note that the report methodology was used by the U.S. DOE in scoring Sunshot, their exciting initiative to lower the cost of going solar in the U.S. by 75% by 2020 – further recognition of the important role that these wonky-but-critical state policies play in making solar cost effective for energy consumers. » Read the rest of this entry «
September 19th, 2011
Our friends at the Solar Foundation released a sneak peek at the results of their 2011 National Solar Jobs Census. It comes as no surprise to any of us working in solar that this fast growing industry continues to brighten the American economy . . .
The census data shows that 100,237 Americans are now working in the U.S. solar industry. That’s more than U.S. coal mining. That’s more than U.S. steel and iron production. That’s wayyyyyy more than U.S. crude oil and natural gas pipeline transportation. That’s real. » 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 «