Udall, Heinrich Introduce Bill to Incentivize Renewable Energy, Localize Benefits

Date: October 24, 2019 Contact: Aaron Morales (202) 228-1578 WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2019) — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined Senators Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and James Risch (R-Idaho) to introduce bipartisan legislation to incentivize responsible renewable energy development on public lands and allow local communities to reap the economic benefits. The Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act (PLREDA) of 2019 would streamline the permitting process for renewable energy development on public lands and establish a revenue sharing mechanism to ensure local communities receive a percentage of the revenue created by these projects. “Public lands can and should be part of the solution to the climate crisis,” Udall said.“I’m proud to support this legislation, which will encourage the responsible development of renewable energy on public lands – supporting our economy and benefiting the environment in the

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Minnesota, New Mexico propose clean car rules as Trump attacks California standards

AUTHOR: Catherine Morehouse, @cmorehouse10 PUBLISHED UTILITY DIVE Sept. 26, 2019 Dive Brief: • States and cities across the country are fighting back against the Trump administration’s proposed rule for a singular vehicle emissions and fuel economy standard across the country. • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, D, on Wednesday and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham, D, on Tuesday announced their states would adopt clean car standards that exceed the proposed federal standards. And last Friday, attorneys general from 23 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Los Angeles and New York City filed a lawsuit against the administration’s actions. • The federal proposal, issued Sept. 19, would prohibit states from opting out of its fuel standard. State and city leaders, as well as local utilities worry this could impact electric vehicle rollout momentum. Dive Insight: Spurring the electric vehicle market has become a growing priority for state and local

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Fixed block solar and storage power solution

PUBLISHED Sept. 16, 2019 Utility Dive As the world shifts to a cleaner energy future, corporate entities are increasingly looking to cement the additionality and net impact of their power sourcing, with some leaders looking to more closely match renewable production with load consumption. At the same time, such leaders have become increasingly astute in electrical power pricing and commodity risk, including the understanding of market volatility risk; not only around peak and off-peak, but specific pricing hours. As solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage costs fall, one emerging solution is solar-plus-storage. The economic prospect of solar-plus-storage is particularly enticing in this moment as the Investment Tax Credit lowers the cost of both technologies and puts it on par with natural gas prices. “Clean energy portfolios (CEP), optimized combinations of WSS (wind, solar, storage) and demand-side management, are now similar in cost to new gas-fired power plants and can reliably meet

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SolarApp and local permitting

As summer winds down, we wanted to provide some updates and recent news related to SolarAPP and local permitting, and make sure you’re aware of key upcoming opportunities to continue engaging with this important program. First and foremost, there have been a number of funding announcements for this program: $500k from the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office to NREL and partners to perform research on permitting process trends, cycle times, and cancellations. $695k from the DOE Office of Technology Transitions Technology Commercialization Fund to NREL to begin work on the SolarAPP software platform. $695k of in-kind contributions from the solar industry to match the DOE OTT investment. These investments, totaling nearly $1.9 million, will be critical in beginning the foundational work to create a streamlined permitting process for solar nationwide. You can read more about the funding announcements and related news coverage here.  In addition to establishing key funding, a number of

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SOLAR MEANS BUSINESS

U.S. businesses are increasingly turning to solar energy as a cost-effective means of powering their operations. As of 2018, Apple leads the nation with the most solar capacity installed, followed closely by Amazon, Target, Walmart and Switch. SEIA’s Solar Means Business Report follows solar adoption by businesses across the U.S., ranging from some of the country’s largest and most recognizable brands to the small businesses that make up our communities. For the first time, the 2018 report captures large off-site installations, as well as data on solar systems located at the site of the businesses themselves. Both installation types have grown considerably in recent years. Through 2018, this report tracks more than 7,000 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity across 35,000 projects in 43 states, representing more than 70% of all commercial solar capacity installed in the U.S. See the full Report: https://solarmeansbusiness.com/

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Tesla restarts its solar-panel business, offers rental plans

US & WORLD Posted: Aug 18, 2019 / 04:56 PM EDT / Updated: Aug 18, 2019 / 07:21 PM EDT PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Tesla is trying to spark its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them. Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk announced the offering in a series of tweets Sunday. The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at $50 a month — or $65 a month in California — for a small set-up. Musk says consumers can cancel anytime, although Tesla’s website says there’s a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition. Besides California, rentals will be offered in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico. Electric car maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016 but installations have plunged in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems in Home Depot

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As Rooftop Solar Grows, What Should the Future of Net Metering Look Like?

Almost every state has been weighing changes to how homes with solar are compensated for electricity they send to the grid. The results will impact solar growth. Like solar installers across much of America, Mark Hagerty is adapting to drastic changes in the economics of his business. His state, Michigan, is one of many that are cutting the rates rooftop solar owners receive for selling excess power to the grid. “We’re going to do fewer jobs, and each job is going to be a smaller size,” said Hagerty, president of Michigan Solar Solutions, a solar installer based northwest of Detroit. His comments echo concerns now being voiced by solar installers in many states as new rules take effect. The changes are part of a flurry of activity across the country as regulators and legislatures in almost every state referee a showdown between powerful utilities and a rooftop solar industry offering

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New Solar Permit Software to Reduce Costs and Expand Residential Markets

Monday, Jul 01 2019 NREL receives funding to develop automated permit software with industry and  nonprofit partners SHAREPress Release WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation are joining the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), several national residential solar companies, and other nonprofit organizations to develop new automated permit software for distributed solar and storage, reducing the cost of solar installations and saving resources for local governments and taxpayers. \ REL was awarded $695,000 in new funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions, Technology Commercialization Fund to develop and deploy the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) software platform. The intent is to dramatically reduce the time and cost of the permitting application review and approval process, which in turn will decrease customer cancellation rates and expand solar energy development and solar job growth nationwide. The partners working with NREL on the SolarAPP software include installation companies as well as key nonprofit organizations and trade associations. Partners include the California Solar

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House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Thursday, Jul 25 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) today introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits. Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:  “These bills are clear, easy wins members of Congress can deliver to their constituents that create jobs, bolster the economy and address climate change. Polling shows that Americans across the political spectrum are concerned about our changing climate and they strongly support solar. “Since 2005, when the ITC was first passed by the Republican-led Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush, the ITC has created hundreds of thousands

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Berkeley becomes first US city to ban natural gas in new buildings

By Sarah Ravani San Francisco Chronicle Berkeley became the first city nationwide to ban the use of natural gas in new low-rise residential buildings in a unanimous vote Tuesday by the City Council. The ordinance, introduced by Councilwoman Kate Harrison, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020, and phases out the use of natural gas by requiring all new single-family homes, town homes and small apartment buildings to have electric infrastructure. After its passage, Harrison thanked the community and her colleagues “for making Berkeley the first city in California and the United States to prohibit natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.” The city will include commercial buildings and larger residential structures as the state moves to develop regulations for those, officials said. The ordinance allocates $273,341 per year for a two-year staff position in the Building and Safety Division within the city’s Department of Planning and Development. The employee will be

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