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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, info@ilsr.org, www.ilsr.org

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, www.hawaiianelectric.com

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 , info@cei.org, www.cei.org

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


WinnCompanies Completes DC Community Solar Project (Ind. Report)
WinnCompanies
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, info@winncompanies.com, www.winncompanies.com

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, www.riconvention.com; Green Development, LLC, Al Bucknam, CEO, (401) 295-4998, https://green-ri.com

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, www.mass.gov/org; Ampion, Nate Owen, CEO, (800) 277-3631, https://ampion.io

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, www.vivintsolar.com

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, puc.hawaii.gov

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, www.rockymountainpower.net; Utah Division of Public Utilities, (801) 530-7622, https://publicutilities.utah.gov

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, WBJournal.com, Aug 18, 2017) Contact: Ameresco, CarolAnn Hibbard, (508) 661-2264, www.ameresco.com; Blue Wave Solar, (844) 786-4100, www.bluewavesolar.com

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


Nevada Gov. Kills Renewable Energy, Community Solar Legislation (Reg & Leg)

Date: 2017-06-23
GTM reports that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has nixed Nevada legislation AB 206 which would have increased the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40 pct by 2030, up from 25 pct in 2025, and created new incentives for energy storage. A second bill, SB 392, which would have established a 200-MW community solar program by 2023, was also vetoed. Sandoval did, however, signed AB 405, a popular bill that restored net metering credits for rooftop solar customers in the Silver State, giving the distributed energy market an enormous boost. Following that win, supporters hoped the RPS and community solar bills would get approval too.

In his vetot, Sandoval said he was concerned about passing new energy legislation in light of the state's pending Energy Choice Initiative which, if adopted, could dramatically restructure the state's electric power market. The Governor tasked his Committee on Energy Choice to study and make recommendations on the ramifications of a higher renewable portfolio standard and the community solar program. (Source: Office of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, GTM, 19 June, 2017) Contact: Nev. Gov. Brian Sandoval, gov.nv.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Community Solar,  Solar,  Nevada Solar,  Solar Incentive,  


Renewables Net Metering Set for Newfoundland (Ind. Report)
Labrador Hydro, Newfoundland Power
Date: 2017-05-29
The Public Utilities Board of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province, is reporting approval of a net metering policy for renewable energy power generators with a capacity of up to 100 kW. The scheme, which comes into force July 1, 207, will be open to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power Inc. customers generating power from wind, photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass, tidal, or wave energy sources of 100 kW or less up to a system total limit of 5 MW.

Under the framework, the two utilities are responsible for developing and implementing net metering programs for their respective clients. The utilities will be updating their websites with additional information in the coming weeks and expect to be in a position to begin accepting customer net metering applications effective July 1, 2017. (Source: Newfoundland and Labrador PUB, PV Mag., 22 May, 2017) Contact: Labrador Hydro, www.nlhydro.com; Newfoundland Power, www.newfoundlandpower.com; Public Utilities Board of Newfoundland and Labrador, (709) 726-8600, www.pub.nf.ca

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


SimpliPhi Offers AccESS Energy Storage System (Ind. Report)
SimpliPhi Power
Date: 2017-03-03
Ojai, California-headquartered SimpliPhi Power reports it is now offering its versatile "AccESS" energy storage solutions to residential installers. The SimpliPhi AccESS all-in-one-box energy storage system (ESS), which was developed in partnership with solar and energy storage installers, is now available from CivicSolar as a fully integrated energy storage and management solution that is ideal for installers new to energy storage and interested in applying for Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) incentives for their residential projects. The SGIP program reserves incentives specifically for residential energy storage projects of 10kW or less, with incentive levels decreasing as demand grows.

The AccESS plug-and-play Energy Storage System (ESS) easily integrates power storage into new and existing solar installations, both on and off grid. The system includes award-winning battery technology combined with a Schneider Electric inverter charge controller, associated power electronics and overall system management as well as pre-programmed software settings and system performance monitoring for a variety of installations, including self-consumption or net metering. (Source: SimplPhipower, PR, 1 Mar., 2017) Contact: SimplPhipower, Catherine Von Burg, CEO, www.Simpliphipower.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  Solar,  


Blue Cross, Ameresco, BlueWave Supporting Massachusetts Community Solar (Ind. Report)
Ameresco,Solar,BlueWave Renewables
Date: 2017-02-01
In Boston, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) reports it has entered into a long-term PPA for 2.6 MW of net metering credits from five Massachusetts community solar projects owned by Framingham-headquartered energy efficiency and renewable energy specialist Ameresco, Inc. The projects, which were co-developed by Ameresco and with BlueWave Capital, LLC of Boston, will comprise a total of approximately 6.9 MW of renewable power and increase the amount of power generated by community solar projects in Massachusetts by an estimated 13 pct while cutting carbon emissions by approximately 6,300 metric tpy, the equivalent of taking 1,328 cars off the road.

As the anchor off-taker of these projects, Blue Cross is also supporting BlueWave's "Solar for the 100%" mission by giving nearly 200 local residents and small businesses the opportunity to reduce their electric power costs and choose local, clean energy in the National Grid territory of Southeastern Massachusetts. In addition to co-developing these projects, BlueWave is also partnering with Ameresco to provide community solar customer management services for these projects through their Community Solar Share program and Solar Management Platform (SMP). (Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, PR, PharmaWeb, 26 Jan., 2017) Contact: Ameresco, Michael T. Bakas, Snr. VP, CarolAnn Hibbard, (508) 661-2264, www.ameresco.com; BlueWave Renewables, (617) 209-3122, bluewaverenewables.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News BlueWave Renewables,  Ameresco,  Solar,  Community Solar,  


NV Energy Seeking Solar Net Metering Ruling Reversal (Ind. Report)
NV Energy
Date: 2017-01-16
In Carson City, NV Energy -- dba Nevada Power -- reports it is asking the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reconsider a decision that restored more favorable net metering rates for up to 1,250 future residential rooftop solar customers in Northern Nevada. The PUC's decision last month redirected energy savings originally intended for many of NV Energy Sierra Pacific customers to a limited number of new rooftop solar customers, according to the utility. The PUC order established rates for a three-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2017 for NV Energy's Northern Nevada customers.

In October 2016, NV Energy said it worked with a broad coalition of customers and participants in the rate case to lower annual electricity rates for residential and small general service customers by approximately $2.92 million annually, or a total of $8.77 million over the three-year period. The cost savings would be shared across a broad base of Northern Nevada electric customers. NV Energy argues that the December order directed the savings to a limited number of customers who install rooftop solar systems and get a retail rate credit from the utility for the excess electricity the systems generate. (Source: NV Energy, Review Journal, 12 Jan., 2017) Contact: Nevada PUC, (775) 684-6101, http://puc.nv.gov; NV Energy, www.nvenergy.com

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


Provo Council OKs Residential Solar Fees (Ind. Report)
Provo Power,
Date: 2016-10-17
In Utah, the city of Provo Municipal Council is reporting approval of Provo City Power's new fees for customers with residential solar panel installations. The fees are intended to ensure that those approximately 215 customers with solat installation pay their "fair share of grid upkeep."

A monthly fee of $3/kW will be charged to net metering customers, though existing solar customers are given a credit for up to 2 kW of installed solar. Provo Power claimed the fees are necessary because about 11 pct of the utility's revenues goes back into the city's general fund to pay for essential services. (Source: Provo Power, Desert News, ABC4 UTAH, 11 Oct., 2016) Contact: Provo Power, (801) 852-6000, www.provopower.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Provo Power,  Solar,  

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