SEIA Urges Renewable Energy Extension Act Passage (Reg. & Leg.)
"As organizations representing citizens, consumers, and businesses in all 50 states, we write to ask you to cosponsor H.R. 3961 introduced by Congressman Thompson and Congressman Cook or S.2289 introduced by Senator Cortez-Masto. Both bills would continue the Section 48 and Section 25D Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at the 30 pct level for five years.
"The federal ITC has been a critical innovation policy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, lowering electricity prices for families and businesses, reducing carbon emissions, and maintaining America's competitive edge in emerging energy technologies. With the ITC set to begin ramping down in 2020, now is the time to continue this important policy."
Download the SEIA letter HERE. Join SEIA's campaign to extend the ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc. (Source: SEIA, 29 Oct., 2019) Contact: SEIA, www.seia.org
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SEIA Considers Mass. DOER Solar Expansion Proposal (Ind Report)
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mass.gov/doer; SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556, email@example.com, www.seia.org
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SEIA Encourages Solar-plus-Storage Partnership (Ind. Report)
The Washington, DC-based Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) reports it is adding divisions to focus more aggressively on solar-plus-storage and solar manufacturing. The organization is also launching committees on energy storage and community solar and establishing a working group to reduce the soft costs of going solar.
The new divisions are part of the solar industry group's broader governance plan to enter the 2020s as America's leading source of new electric power generation.
(Source: SEIA, May, 2019) Contact: SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.seia.org
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U.S. Solar Installations Exceed 2 million (Ind. Report)
The Washington, DC-based Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) reports there are now more than than 2 million solar installations in the United States producing sufficient electricity to power more than 12 million homes. The number of installations in the U.S. is forecast to double to 4 million in 2023, according to energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.
This year solar, which is now a $17 billion industry, and other renewables -- excluding hydropower -- are expected to provide 11 pct of U.S. electricity generation.
By 2024, there will be one solar energy system installed per minute in the United States, Wood Mackenzie said. (Source: SEIA Website, 9 May, 2019) Contact: SEIA, Abigail Ross-Hopper, CEO, (202) 682-0556, email@example.com, www.seia.org
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Solar Groups Move to Streamline Panel Installation Processes (Ind. Report)
Solar Energy Industries Association,Solar Foundation
A new initiative spearheaded by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and The Solar Foundation is taking steps to streamline the permitting process and cut the costs of solar panel installation. Presently, the permitting and inspection process adds about $7,000 in direct and indirect costs -- about $1.00 per watt -- to the average residential solar energy system, according to the groups.
The SolarAPP aims at lowering this cost through an automated, standardized installation process that would include:
A safety and skills training and certification program for installers;
An online platform, which would be provided to local governments at no cost, to register and automatically screen qualifying energy systems:
A list of equipment standards based on the new process;
The creation of system design standards;
A model for instantaneous permitting for home and small commercial solar and battery storage systems installed by certified installers and contractors.
The initiative would also include establishing a program administrator to oversee and implement the new standardized process.
(Source: Associations Now, Sept., 2018) Contact: SEIA, www.seia.org; Solar Foundation, www.thesolarfoundation.org; Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) initiative, www.thesolarfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/SolarAPP.pdf
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US Biodiesel Production Rising, says US EIA (Ind. Report)
US Energy Information Administration
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US biodiesel production for the month of May, 2017, was 136 million gallons in May 2017, 9 million gallons higher than April 2017, and higher than the years 2016 and 2016.
Biodiesel production came from 97 biodiesel plants with a combined capacity of 2.3 billion gpy. The Midwest region remained the heart of the US biodiesel industry, accounting for 69 pct of the US' total production.
1,054 million pounds of feedstocks were used to produce biodiesel in May 2017. Soybean oil remained the most widely used biodiesel fuel stock, with 546 million pounds consumed.
Texas remains the biggest biodiesel producing state in the US. Nine biodiesel producers have facilities in the Lone-Star state, with a combined total capacity of 474 million gpy, according to EIA figures. (Source: US EIA, Aug., 2017) Contact: US EIA, www.eia.gov
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