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Va.Governor Inks Virginia Clean Economy Act (Reg. & Leg. Report)
Governor Ralph Northam
Date: 2020-04-13
Following up on our 11th March coverage, in the Old Dominion State, the Office of Governor Ralph Northam (D) reports the Governor has signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act into law. The legislation covers energy efficiency promotions and puts a timeline standard stating that coal-fired plants are to close by 2024, and Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power will be 100 pct carbon-free by 2045 and 2050, respectively. Under the Act:
  • Energy companies will pay penalties for not meeting the Act’s objectives and the revenue from the penalties will go towards job training and programs in disadvantaged communities.;

  • There will be a reduction of energy burned for low-income users and all energy-efficient standards and pilot programs are to be “in the public interest.”

  • 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind generation to harvest energy for generating electricity is "in the public interest." Distributed generation facilities including solar power, will have 16,100 megawatts of solar and onshore wind generation as it is also considered "in the public interest."

  • Net metering will be used, which credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid making it easier for the growth of rooftop solar power in the Commonwealth.

  • The state will establish a carbon cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions from power plants in compliance with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). (Source: Office of Governor Ralph Northam, Website, 12 April, 2020) Contact: Office of Governor Ralph Northam, 804-786-2211,,; RGGI,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  RGGI,  Carbon Emissions,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Efficiency,  

  • Mich. Renewable Energy Installations Up 57 pct 2018 (Ind. Report)
    Michigan Public Service Commission
    Date: 2019-12-09
    According to the Michigan Public Service Commission's annual report, participation in the state's legacy net metering program has grown every year since 2006. The 2018 Distributed Generation and Legacy Net Metering Programs Report found that the number of projects grew to 5,379 installations in 2018 from 3,427 in 2017. The number of customers participating in the program increased to 5,219 in 2018 -- up 59 pct from 3,277 in 2017. The total number of installations exceeds the number of customers because some participants have multiple installations.

    By the end of 2018, the total capacity of the installations was approximately 43,481 kilowatts (kW), an increase of 13,910 kW -- a 47 pct increase year over year. Even so, legacy net metering projects remain a small portion of Michigan's total retail electricity sales at .0048 pct. The legacy net metering program allows customers to generate their own electricity, mainly through solar and wind projects, to reduce their energy needs or electric bills. Michigan law allows utilities to limit participation in the program at 1 pct of their five-year average peak electricity sales, with half of this amount allocated to residential-sized systems, and the other half for larger projects. (Source: Michigan Public Service Commission, MITech News, Dec., 2019) Contact: Michigan Public Service Commission, 800-292-9555, 517-284-8100,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Net Meter,  

    South Windsor Connecticut Goes 100 pct Solar (Ind. Report)
    South Windsor Connecticut
    Date: 2019-09-20
    In Connecticut, the Town of South Windsor (pop. 25,00 +-) reports it is proposing a solar installation in neighboring East Windsor as a source of more than 80 pct of the power needs of 40 municipal buildings.

    100 pct of the 10-acre, NorCap South solar array's power will be delivered to the electric grid and distributed through a virtual net metering agreement to 10 municipal accounts in the town of South Windsor and other locations. (Source: South Windsor. CT Mirror, Sept., 2019) Contact: Town of South Windsor,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar,  

    SEIA Considers Mass. DOER Solar Expansion Proposal (Ind Report)
    Mass. DOER
    Date: 2019-09-18
    In the Bay State, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) reports it has released plans to reform and expand the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program which incentivizes cost effective solar and promises to double the amount of solar in the commonwealth.

    To meet increasing customer demand for solar energy, DOER proposes adding 800 MW to the SMART incentive program, bringing the total to 2.4 gigawatts. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) supports this expansion but, in comments to regulators, is calling for even more capacity to be added to the program. To that end, DOER has proposed the dollowing regulatory clarifications and fixes:

  • DOER proposes clarifying SMART metering configurations when projects are paired with storage. The clarification will impact residential and larger scale projects. These issues have drawn the ire of utilities, regulators and solar firms for the past year. DOER guidance on metering is critical.

  • DOER proposes an increase to the stepped-up incentive for municipal projects. A higher incentive would make it easier for cities, towns and school districts to go solar. In addition, DOER proposes more time for municipal projects to meet certain milestones for qualification, recognizing that public projects almost always have to go through a bidding process. SEIA agrees with the intent of this proposal.

  • Fixing compensation for solar projects serving on-site energy needs. Based on the current regulatory framework, some projects without a net metering allocation get reduced values. DOER proposes expanding the use of certain credits and changing the way energy compensation is calculated.

    According to SEIA, the most troubling aspects of DOER's plans involve the treatment of community solar projects, including a proposed five-fold increase in penalties for larger scale solar projects on certain lands. DOER calls for the new penalties to apply to a broader swath of community solar projects and for changes to apply to projects already in development. These proposals would have a negative impact on the community solar market. Increased penalties will halt solar development, with penalties ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to many millions, according to SEIA. (Source: Mass. DOER, Solar Energy Industries Assoc., 16 Sept., 2019)Contact: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, (617) 626-7300,,; SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Mass. DOER,  Solar,  SEIA,  

  • Four States Top Energy Democracy Ratings (Ind. Report)
    Institute for Local Self-Reliance
    Date: 2019-03-22
    The Minnesota-headquartered not-for-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance's second annual Community Power Scorecard reports it has ranked Massachusetts, California, New York and Illinois as the top states for energy democracy. The ranking is based on the states' commitment to boosting community-level renewable energy.

    The rankings are based on the organization's analysis of nine policies that promote citizen's use of renewable energy and other distributed resources. Policies recommended in the report card are customer-friendly net metering policies and simplified utility interconnection rules for distributed energy producers. The report authors also want to see an emphasis on energy efficiency, more community renewable energy, feed-in tariffs, energy supply diversity and financing programs, such on-bill financing and property assessed clean energy (PACE).

    The report card didn't consider cap-and-trade programs or renewable portfolio standards but focused on how state policies encourage consumers and businesses to generate their own power or participate in community solar programs. (Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, MicroGrid Knowledge, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 612-276-3456,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Renewable Energy,  Community Energy,  Institute for Local Self-Reliance,  

    HECO Increases Hawaii-wide Solar Energy Access (Ind. Report)
    Hawaiian Electric Companies
    Date: 2019-01-02
    Reporting from Honolulu, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) -- Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light -- notes that in 10 years since the creation of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the companies have reduced fossil fuel use by 26 pct, or 48 million fewer gpy of imported oil for electric power generation.

    HECO also reports nearly 3,000 new private rooftop solar systems came online in 2018 for a total of about 77,000 systems -- one of every three single-family homes on Oahu has rooftop solar, the highest percentage in the U.S.

    In 2018, the HECO companies also laid the foundation for the largest surge in renewable energy in Hawaii history with solar-plus-storage projects and a major wind project that together, pending regulatory approval, will add 325 MW of clean electric generation across the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii. Two solar-plus-storage projects on Maui and two on Hawaii Island will be the largest grid-scale solar facilities on those islands and are in addition to nearly 200 MW of new renewable generation planned or presently under construction.

    Many Hawaii residents hope to join the 77,000-plus customers using private rooftop solar and the HECO continue working to make that choice available to more families. New programs launched in 2018 made it possible for customers to: receive credit on electric bills for electricity sent to the grid only during peak demand hours; get credit for sending electricity to the grid while allowing utilities to limit it, if necessary, for grid stability; and for present net metering customers to add capacity and energy storage if new equipment does not send electricity to the grid.

    To integrate existing and new customer-sited and grid-scale renewable energy, HECO is modernizing the electric grid for the 21st century. In 2018, the utilities received approval to start a $205-million, strategic, grid modernization plan, developed with the greatest stakeholder input ever. HECO also launched the Community-Based Renewable Energy solar program allowing customers on all islands who cannot take advantage of private rooftop solar. (Source: Hawaiian Electric, PR, 30 Dec., 2018) Contact: Hawaiian Electric,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaiian Electric Companies,  HECO,  Wind,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  

    Mass. Legislating 100 pct Renewables by 2047 (Reg. & Leg.)
    Massachussets ,Renewable Energy
    Date: 2018-06-18
    In Boston, the Bay State senate is reporting the passage of legislation enabling Massachusetts to run on 100-pct renewable energy by 2047 by tripling the state's 1 pct per year renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 3 pct per year.

    The Senate bill also removes caps on non-governmental solar net metering and sets new 2030 and 2040 emission targets under the Global Warming Solutions Act. The act creates the framework for a revenue-neutral, market-based carbon fee; sets a 2,000-MW energy storage target, and opens the door to large renewable energy procurements in the offshore wind sector. The legislation needs the state's House of Representatives approval. (Source: Various Media, pvbuzz, 17 June, 2018)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Net-Metering,  Solar,  Wind,  

    Incentivizing Solar Energy: An In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Solar Incentives, 2018 (Ind. Report)
    Consumer Energy Alliance,Competitive Enterprise Institute
    Date: 2018-06-18
    Incentivizing Solar Energy: An In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Solar Incentives, 2018, a new report by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) examines solar power incentive programs in 25 states. The report considers five categories of direct incentives: federal tax incentives, state tax credits, state rebates, utility programs (such as net metering), and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

    In eight states -- Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Minnesota -- incentives exceed 100 pct of the costs of installing solar PV systems. Massachusetts leads the pack, with incentives equaling 218 pct of installation costs. Subsidies equal or exceed 77 pct of costs in all but five of the states surveyed in the report.

    "Residential solar PV systems receive, on average, between 104 pct and 140 pct of total system costs in incentives while utility-scale solar installations receive about 45 pct of total system costs in incentives," the CEA report notes.

    Download the Consumer Energy Alliance Incentivizing Solar Energy: An In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Solar Incentives, 2018 report HERE. (Source: Consumer Energy Alliance, Competitive Enterprise Institute, ScottMadden, Inc., June , 2018) Contact: Consumer Energy Alliance, (202) 331-1010 ,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Consumer Energy Alliance,  Competitive Enterprise Institute,  Solar,  Solar Incentive,  

    WinnCompanies Completes DC Community Solar Project (Ind. Report)
    Date: 2018-03-12
    Boston-headquartered real estate and housing developer WinnCompanies is reporting completion of a 651-KW community roof-top solar project at its low-income Terrace Apartments complex in Washington, DC. The project was supported with $1.3 million in grant funding from the District's Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE's) Solar for All Program. Clean energy from the project will be fed into the DC utility grid through a net metering arrangement and the savings will be passed back to qualified low-income residents through credits reflected on their utility bills.

    The Solar for All program seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households in Washington and reduce their energy bills by 50 pct by 2032. WinnCompanies has invested more than $50 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across its affordable housing portfolio over the past decade. (Source: WinnCompanies, Affordable Housing Finance, 8 Mar., 2018) Contact: WinnCompanies, Gilbert Winn, CEO, Darien Crimmin, VP Energy and Sustainability, (617) 742-4500,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rooftop Solar,  Solar,  Community Solar,  

    RI Convention Center Authority To Invest In Renewable Energy
    Green Development LLC
    Date: 2018-03-02
    In Providence, the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority reports has inked a vertical net metering PPA with Green Development, LLC for 8.3 million kWh of wind energy per year at a discounted rate.

    The Convention Center Authority will purchase power generated by a new wind turbine under construction in Johnston, Rhode Island. It is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

    Since spring 2017, Rhode Island has more than doubled the amount of renewable energy in the state. Earlier this month, Governor Gina Raimondo announced that the Office of Energy Resources will collaborate with the state's utilities to procure another 400 MW of renewable energy by the end of this summer. (Source: Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, RI NPR, 23 Feb., 2018) Contact: Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, (401) 458-6000,; Green Development, LLC, Al Bucknam, CEO, (401) 295-4998,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rhode Island,  Renewable Energy,  Wind,  

    Mass. Sets New Solar Development Incentive (Ind. Report)
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
    Date: 2018-01-29
    The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) reports it has released, and Boston-based solar management and renewables software specialist Ampion has reviewed, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) procurement establishing incentive prices for new solar development in the Bay State.

    Under SMART, solar projects are assigned a value based subscriber class, location,storage compatibility and other variables. A portion of that value is determined by the contract of the project, whether it be the net metering, alternative on-bill crediting, qualifying facility, or behind-the-meter contract. Any remaining value is issued to the developer.

    Three investor-owned utilities are currently working with the Department of Public Utilities to finalize tariffs for the SMART program which is expected to come into force this June. (Source: Ampion, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources , SolarPower, 31 Jan., 2018) Contact: MDOER,; Ampion, Nate Owen, CEO, (800) 277-3631,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources,  Ampion,  Solar,  Solar Incentive,  Energy Storage,  

    Delaware Added to Vivent Solar's Installation Territory (Ind. Report)
    Vivant Solar
    Date: 2017-11-06
    Utah-based Vivint Solar, Inc. reports Delaware's renewables portfolio standard requiring one-quarter -- with 3.5 pct solar -- of the state's electric power to come from renewables by 2025. and net metering as significant factors in its expansion into the "First State". The company also noted the price of solar panels has dropped sharply, with installation costs a bigger part of the final bill.

    With its expansion into Delaware, state residents will be able to purchase a Vivint Solar sytem outright or finance the purchase with monthly payments through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with, or through their preferred lender, according to Vivant.

    To date Vivint Solar has installed 113,000 solar systems in 21 states including Maryland, and Pennsylvania, but not New Jersey. (Source: Vivant Solar, Delaware Business Now, 4 Nov., 2017) Contact: Vivant Solar, David Bywater, CEO, (877) 4040-4129,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Vivant Solar,  Solar,  Net Metering,  

    Hawaiian PUC Approves Solar Power Feed-In Programs (Ind. Report)
    Hawaii PUC
    Date: 2017-10-30
    In the Aloha State, the PUC reports it has approved two new rooftop solar programs that will allow customers to once again feed power to the grid and receive credits. The programs allow the sale of rooftop solar power to Hawaiian Electric Cos. -- including Maui Electric -- grids during peak nighttime periods only and during daytime hours with a system that allows the utilities, to control the flow of PV power to the grid.

    One of the difficulties utilities have had with past PV systems is that solar power flows at varying rates based on the sun into the grid unchecked, forcing the utility to curtail or increase generation of power to balance the system. Previously , residential PV systems owners could only set up battery storage systems while still receiving power from the utility. This new PUC ruling allows existing Net Metering customers to add "nonexport" systems, such as batteries, while retaining their favorable status and authorized activation of new "advanced inverter" functions in PV and storage systems that support the grid during grid disturbances. (Source: Hawaii PUC, Maui News, 25 Oct., 2017) Contact: Hawaii PUC,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Hawaii PUC,  Solar,  Solar Feed-in Tariff,  

    RMP Inks Alternative Solar Net-Metering Program (Ind. Report)
    Rocky Mountain Power,Utah Division of Public Utilities
    Date: 2017-09-01
    Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), Utah's largest power provider reports it has agreed with the Utah Division of Public Utilities to drop its bid to change the way customers with rooftop solar pay for their power and will instead grandfather in existing net-metering customers until the year 2035 and decrease the value of credits customers receive in exchange for the excess power their panels generate.

    Under the terms of the agreement, RMP will continue to accept new net-metering applications through Nov. 15 then cap that program to new customers. Existing and households with new rooftop solar installations will be treated more or less as any other residential customer after Nov. 15th. RMP also agreed to author a study on the costs and benefits of rooftop solar that will be used to establish a permanent rate for surplus power delivered to the utility when the transition period ends. Net-metering customers will continue to receive credits from Rocky Mountain Power for surplus power as they currently do, through the year 2035. The utility currently credits rooftop solar customers the equivalent of 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Rocky Mountain Power. The agreement is subject to the Utah Public Services Commission approval.

    (Source: Rocky Mountain Power, Salt Lake Tribune, Sept., 2017)Contact: Rocky Mountain Power, Rita Meyer, VP, (800) 222-4335,; Utah Division of Public Utilities, (801) 530-7622,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Rocky Mountain Power,  Solar,  Net Metering,  

    Ameresco, BlueWave Complete Mass. Solar Farms (Ind. Report)
    Ameresco,Blue Wave Solar
    Date: 2017-08-21
    Framingham, Mass.-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco, Inc., Boston-based Blue Wave and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts are reporting completion of five solar arrays in Hopedale and Mendon, Mass. next month. Blue Cross Blue Shield will purchase 2.6 megawatts of net metering credits from the five community solar projects which have a combined 6.9 MW of renewable energy.

    When fully operational, the five projects will increase the states community solar power by about 13 pct and cut carbon emissions by approximately 6,300 metric tpy. (Source: Ameresco,, Aug 18, 2017) Contact: Ameresco, CarolAnn Hibbard, (508) 661-2264,; Blue Wave Solar, (844) 786-4100,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ameresco,  Solar,  Community Solar,  Renewable Energy,  

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