Solar empires: The pv magazine USA weekly news roundup


It’s been a big week in solar in the United States. Topping the list, this week Elon Musk moved closer to his goal of world domination as the boards of Tesla and SolarCity approved an agreement to merge the two companies. Before you get too excited, remember that shareholders of both companies still have to approve this deal, and Mercom Capital’s Raj Prabhu notes that there is still a lot of skepticism in the investor community.

The momentum of this deal has brought out announcements from both companies, with SolarCity reporting strong Q2 installation figures, and Tesla reporting that its battery gigafactory in Nevada is “on schedule” in quarterly results – but giving few details.

Also this week, pv magazine brings you an exclusive interview with SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck, who continues to project confidence despite a recent court finding that one of SolarWorld’s subsidiaries owes Helmock Semiconductor around $850 million.

Asbeck says that he is still expecting a settlement, and assured pv magazine that the ruling will not affect the company’s U.S. subsidiary and its manufacturing in Oregon.

Some big policy news came this week from the East Coast, with a new energy bill in Massachusetts making it the third state to mandate that utilities procure energy storage. Also New York regulators approved the state’s 50% by 2030 renewable energy mandate, in pretty much the same form has been laid out to date.

But while policy remains important, corporations are in some cases taking the lead in the energy transition. This week FERC granted Apple permission to become an independent power producer, and to sell electricity from its multiple solar holdings across the nation into the wholesale market.

That’s all for this week, but be sure to check back in next week as we bring you more quarterly results from leading companies, and perhaps more news on the Tesla/SolarCity merger.

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