HECO Proposes Community Solar Pilot Project

Hawaiian Electric Co. announces upcoming community solar pilot project, designed to provide some of the same benefits of rooftop solar to homeowners or renters who don't have a roof of their own. This project will assist the company in developing larger initiatives through the Community-Based Renewable Energy Tariff. SEPA's President and CEO Julia Hamm weighs in on the project and the Hawaii market. 

  Read more  >>

Clean Power Finance and Kilowatt Financial to merge and form Elevate Power

Clean Power Finance and Kilowatt Financial plan to merge and form Elevate Power. The new entity provides renewable energy financing to consumers and businesses in the U.S. Elevate Power offers PPAs, leases, and loans for distributed energy technologies, including solar PV and energy efficiency improvements.

  Read more  >>

Administration Announces New Initiative to Increase Solar Access to All Americans

A new national initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans was announced. In particular this initiative impacts low-­ and moderate­- income communities, while expanding opportunities to work in solar. These intiiatives include a National Community Solar Partnership.

  Read more  >>

DTE Energy Issues Solar RFP for 50 MW

DTE Energy will accept bids for solar power projects ranging from 5-50 MW to be sited within the utility’s service territory and completed by the end of 2016. Notice of intent to bid is due July 22, 2015.

  Read more  >>

Sub-$40 Per MWh Bids For Austin Energy’s RFP

At a utility oversight meeting, Austin Energy disclosed that its most recent RFP for 600 MW of solar power yielded nearly 8,000 MW of applications with 1,295 MW priced below $40 per MWh. These are the lowest priced proposals for solar ever seen in the U.S. The utility also made similar news early last year with the announcement of a 150-MW project with Recurrent Energy below $50 per MWh.   Read more  >>

CAISO Proposes New Market Status for DER Providers

California Independent System Operator has proposed a new classification for aggregated distributed energy resources such as demand response, energy storage and distributed generation that would allow them to participate in the market by next year. The plan still requires final approval at CAISO and FERC oversight. The market expansion would be a significant reform with the potential to expand the value these assets bring to the grid.   Read more  >>

Green Power EMC in Georgia To Add Another 20 MW

Silicon Ranch, in partnership with Phoenix Solar, broke ground on a 20-MW solar project in Georgia for Green Power EMC — a renewable energy provider to 38 electric cooperatives in the state. Green Power EMC will be the offtaker under a 25-year PPA.

  Read more  >>

SunRun Files IPO

The second largest residential solar developer in the U.S. filed its Initial Public Offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 25, 2015. The firm plans to raise $100 million from the offering.

  Read more  >>

New Record Set for Largest Solar Power Plant in the World

At 579 MW, Solar Star has surpassed Desert Sunlight and Topaz Solar Farm--both 550 MW--as the largest solar power plant in the world. SunPower built the project in Rosamond, California. BHE Renewables owns the plant, and Southern California Edison is the offtaker under a 20-year PPA. 

  Read more  >>

Georgia Power Launches Distributed Solar Development Business

The Southern Company subsidiary entered the solar developer market on July 1 through an unregulated venture. The utility hopes to capitalize on its customer relationship as it competes directly with third-party solar developers. Georgia recently passed a law that opened the state to third-party solar leasing.

  Read more  >>

Minnesota Limits Size of Community Solar Projects

The state’s Public Utility Commission approved an agreement between Xcel Energy and developers in the state that limits the scale of community solar projects to five co-located 1-MW projects. The utility pushed for the 1-MW cap due to grid integration challenges for larger projects. Developer interest in this community solar program was very high with more than 900 MW submitted.

  Read more  >>

SolarCity Enters Community Solar Market

The largest residential solar developer announced it will begin building up to 100 MW of community solar projects in Minnesota. The new capacity would be available to customers of Xcel Energy’s community solar program.

  Read more  >>

US Community Solar Market to Grow Fivefold in 2015, Top 500MW in 2020

The U.S. community solar market is approaching a tipping point and California, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts are paving the way. GTM Research forecasts the market will grow fivefold this year, with 115 megawatts installed. By 2020, community solar in the United States will be an annual half-gigawatt opportunity.   Read more  >>

Maine Legislature Proposes New Net Metering Alternative

A new proposal from the Maine Legislature would create an alternative to the practice of net energy metering. It has been unanimously approved by a joint committee. The nascent proposal is currently being examined by stakeholders in order to fully understand the policy with concrete metrics.  Read more  >>

Co-ops Rank Highly on Solar Top 10 List (5/5/15)

Three co-ops rank among the top 10 among all co-ops, municipal and investor-owned utilities in solar watts per customers, the Solar Electric Power Association reported, while a fourth is a major contributor.  Read more  >>

Here Are the Top 10 Solar Utilities In America (5/5/15)

Last year was a record year for solar in the United States. The overall solar market grew 30 percent over 2013, and accounted for a third of all new generating capacity in the U.S., second only to natural gas.  Read more  >>

Georgia Gov. Deal signs solar third party ownership bill into law

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 57, recently passed unanimously by the state’s General Assembly, which will allow third party ownership (TPO) of solar. TPO is a finance plan allowing homes and businesses to host solar with no upfront costs or ownership responsibilities.  Read more  >>

Entergy Plans First Solar-Plus-Storage Project in New Orleans

Entergy New Orleans is planning to develop the city's first utility-scale solar project, a 1-MW array that will be paired with battery storage.  Read more  >>

Battery Storage Payback Takes Only a Few Years in PJM, S&C Finds

After four months, a battery pilot at S&C Electric Company’s Smart Grid Solutions Demonstration Center in Chicago has earned nearly $7,000. When extrapolated to a larger scale, that means the technology could pay for itself in as little as two to three years.  Read more  >>

Three Concepts Selected As Focus Of SEPA's 51st State Summit On April 27 (4/16/15)

The Solar Electric Power Association will focus discussion at its 51st State Summit on Monday April 27 in San Diego on three concepts selected from a dozen submitted by individuals and organizations from across the energy industry. A panel of five energy leaders chose the submissions as representative of some of the most creative and thought-provoking ideas put forward in response to SEPA's challenge to take a 'clean slate' approach to designing a 21st century energy system.  Read more  >>

51st State Goes Live with New Visions for Energy System Change (3/27/15)

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) launched its 51st State Initiative last year as a broad challenge to re-imagine a 21st-century energy system from the ground up, as if for a hypothetical 51st state that has no rules, regulations or market structures in place.  Read more  >>

GOP lawmakers submit bill to extend N.C. renewable-energy tax credits (3/26/15)

A Republican state senator from Mecklenburg and three colleagues have filed a bill to extend the renewable-energy tax credits scheduled to end this year until the end of 2020.  Read more  >>

EnerNOC and SunPower to partner on commercial solar with energy market intelligence (3/26/15)

EnerNOC and SunPower are teaming up to provide energy management software and solar solutions to commercial and industrial customers. SunPower’s existing commercial customers will receive EnerNOC’s software-as-a-service solution for energy management as part of the three-year exclusive agreement.  Read more  >>

SolarEdge goes public, begins trading as SEDG (3/26/15)

Israel’s SolarEdge – a specialist in power optimizer technology for solar modules – has today begun trading on the NASDAQ as SEDG.  Read more  >>

Maine's value of solar study: Is solar worth $0.33 per kWh? (3/20/15)

Solar’s real and whole value could be over $0.33 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), according to an extensive new study done for Maine’s legislature.  Read more  >>

Stanford study: California’s Urban Areas Can Generate Plenty Of Solar To Power State (3/20/15)

The population of California is approaching 40 million, and despite the state’s reputation for overpriced real estate and choking traffic, about 90% of the state’s people live only 10% of the land. For those who see the state as a bellwether of clean energy’s future, it is easy to point out vast empty swaths of land, such as the Mojave Desert. Installations such as the massive 250 MW concentrated solar power plant (CSP) outside of Hinkley, California, come to mind.  Read more  >>

SolarCity Combines Skills to Finance ‘Microgrids as Service’ (3/20/15)

SolarCity, the largest solar installer and financier in the U.S., is now offering "microgrids as a service" by integrating its existing expertise in distributed renewables, inverters, energy storage, and control software.  Read more  >>

All about the REV: How and why New York wants to develop distributed energy markets (3/4/15)

The REV — the industry shorthand for the New York Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding — sounds exactly like “rêve,” the French word for “dream.”  Read more  >>

AES Acquires Main Street Power and Enters Distributed Solar Market (3/4/15)

AES just acquired Main Street Power of Boulder, Colorado, a developer of distributed solar projects in the 300-kilowatt to 5-megawatt range. The acquisition follows the recent trend of utilities and financiers acquiring developers -- Duke's acquisition of REC and Coronal's acquisition of Heliosage are two more examples.  Read more  >>

SolarCity Lawsuit Alleges Arizona Utility’s Fee Hurts Solar (3/4/15)

SolarCity Corp., the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer sued Salt Ruver Project, alleging the Tempe, Arizona-based utility's new pricing policy will " punish customers who choose to go solar."  Read more  >>

Sonoma County Is Building the Largest Floating Solar Project in the US (3/13/15)

Sonoma Clean Power recently announced it has contracted to build the largest floating solar project in the United States, which will produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes when it comes on-line in 2016.  Read more  >>

Could SRP's demand charge unlock a huge opportunity for solar-plus-storage? (3/13/15)

The biggest solar installer in the U.S. is suing a small Arizona public utility for giving it what could be a big boost toward a new business model.  Read more  >>

The US Installed 6.2GW of Solar in 2014, Up 30% Over 2013 (3/13/15)

Applauding a record-breaking year, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report, the definitive source of installation data, forecasting and policy analysis for the U.S. solar market. Newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for year reached a record 6,201 megawatts* (MW), growing 30 percent over 2013’s total.  Read more  >>

Missouri Co-op to Build State's First Community Solar Array (2/4/15)

Community solar is “a program through which individual members of a community have the opportunity to ‘buy in’ to a nearby solar installation…[and] receive a proportional share of the financial or energy output of the system,” according to the to the Solar Electric Power Association. “Community solar programs may be offered by electric utilities or through third-parties or community groups.”  Read more  >>

Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent (2/4/15)

President Obama just unveiled a $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 that asks Congress for a permanent extension of tax credits for the solar and wind industry.  Read more  >>

Apple is Building a Solar-Powered Data 'Command Center' (2/4/15)

Apple’s sapphire plant project in Arizona didn’t work out, so Apple is investing another $2 billion to convert the facility into a massive data center, the Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi reports  Read more  >>

Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent (2/4/15)

President Obama just unveiled a $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 that asks Congress for a permanent extension of tax credits for the solar and wind industry.  Read more  >>

Hawaiian Electric's Plan to Change Solar Net Metering, Explained (1/27/15)

Hawaiian Electric, the Aloha state's dominant electricity provider, has proposed to end retail net metering by April, replacing it with an alternative tariff structure. The much-watched utility says the changes are necessary to ensure grid reliability and a fair cost distribution for its customers, but solar advocates worry the new valuation scheme is an attempt to tamp down on the spread of distributed generation.  Read more  >>

What Utility Execs Think the Future Holds (1/27/15)

Despite the challenges facing the U.S. electric utility industry, most utility executives remain confident in the sector's future.  Read more  >>

Florida Power & Light to Add 225 MW of Solar in 2016 (1/27/15)

Florida Power & Light to Company (FPL) announced plans on Monday to add some 225 MW of PV to its power mix by the end of 2016, tripling its existing solar capacity of 110 MW.  Read more  >>

First Solar Launches Free Online Power Plant Assessment Tool (1/20/15)

U.S. thin film manufacturer and project developer First Solar has launched its free Energy Capacity Assessment Tool, which allows potential power plant developers or investors to plot out a PV power plant online to assess its feasibility.  Read more  >>

Where the Clean Energy Money Flowed Last Year (1/20/15)

New investments in clean energy — from project financing to government funding to VC — rebounded in 2014 to $310 billion invested globally, just shy of the annual global record for clean energy investments in 2011, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  Read more  >>

There are about as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs in the US (1/20/15)

Putting solar power on rooftops is pretty labor-intensive. You need people to design and manufacture the panels. Then people to market the panels to homes and businesses. Then people to come and install them.  Read more  >>

A Solar System Is Installed in America Every 2.5 Minutes (1/13/15)

In 2013, we reported that a solar installation was being completed every four minutes in America. Installation volumes have increased considerably since then.  Read more  >>

Canadian Utility Partners with Clean Power Finance for Solar Roll-Out in North America (1/13/15)

Toronto-based Just Energy has signed a long term agreement with Clean Power Finance (CPF) to roll out rooftop solar to its 1.6 million customers. The deal will provide a finance platform for Just Energy to provide solar leases, loans and PPAs to its established customer base.  Read more  >>

Michigan Study Shows ‘Modest’ Costs to Expand Renewables (1/13/15)

Michigan could expand its renewable energy portfolio standard to 25 percent over the next 10 years at a cost of $2.60 a month for the average household, according to a report released today by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute.  Read more  >>

California Governor Jerry Brown Calls for 50% Renewables by 2030 (1/6/15)

California Gov. Jerry Brown has upped the ante on the state’s green energy goals, calling for a big increase in renewable energy, alternative fuels and building efficiency over the next fifteen years -- along with the smart grid investments to put them to use.  Read more  >>

Xcel to double down on renewable energy in Minnesota (1/6/15)

Xcel Energy Inc. said Friday that it wants to more than double the amount of electricity it gets from wind and solar in the Upper Midwest.  Read more  >>

Predictions 2015 Part 1: 7 energy insiders envision the year to come (1/6/15)

In December, we asked you to predict what will happen in 2015, and we were overwhelmed by the response. In fact, we received so many predictions for the utility sector in the year to come, we just can't fit all the good ones in one post.  Read more  >>

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America (12/16/14)

Over the next two years, America will build roughly 13 gigawatts of utility-scale solar PV plants. When up and running, those projects will surpass the country's cumulative solar capacity across all sectors reached at the end of 2013.  Read more  >>

First Solar buys into CEC, the leading U.S. community solar developer (12/16/14)

Community solar projects are typically less than 5 megawatts and send their power directly to the grid. Individuals in high rises or in densely shaded homes purchase one or more of the array’s modules and earn credits from their utility that lower their electricity bills.  Read more  >>

Ivanpah Solar Power Plant Is PennWell’s Renewable Energy Project of the Year (12/16/14)

The winner was announced and recognized at the co-located Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo and Power-Gen International in Orlando, Florida during the Annual Awards Gala on Monday night.  Read more  >>