The ever shifting sands of the 50 States of Solar

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There are 51 unique beasts that make up the whole of the United States and, down at the tip of the tail of these political monsters, the solar power industry is trying to make its place. In an industry as involved and all-encompassing as solar is, one must be reminded that the $20-30 billion industry is between one tenth and two tenths of a percentage of the overall almost $20 trillion GDP.

North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center’s 50 States of Solar – Q2 2018 Quarterly Report (Executive Summary PDF) sees that 42 states and Washington DC committed to “actions” during the second quarter. At a high level, there were:

  • Significant changes to  state or utility net metering rules and laws
  • Changes to community solar or virtual net metering laws
  • Efforts to study the value of solar, distributed generated policy or net metering
  • Utility initiated rate request changes specifically for solar pv customers
  • Utility initiated fixed rate/minimum payment increases for all customers
  • Changes to third party ownership legality

The report’s top five noted policy developments were Connecticut moving away from net metering, New Jersey adopting a statewide community solar policy, the Florida Public Service Committee approving residential solar leasing, Idaho separating distributed generation customers into a unique group to study their unique rate structure requirements, and three states – Colorado, Connecticut and New York – reducing fixed charges.

Many states had multiple actions – including seven with six or more.

The report is aimed toward solar installation and manufacturing sales and marketing departments, investor owned and public utilities, investors and financial analysts, advocacy groups, and researchers and consultants.

The website DSIRE.org, managed and updated by NCCETC also gives access to much legislation across the nation.