pvMB 1/15/19: Solar tax suit in Maine, coalition calls on Congress to ditch fossil fuels and Appalachian Power is set to sell 100% renewable energy


Brunswick families ask state’s top court to overturn solar panel tax – A group of families in Brunswick, Maine are petitioning for the state’s Supreme Court to overturn a solar panel tax. The families and their attorneys argue that the town placed an arbitrary taxable value on the panels and that there is no proof that solar panels add any resale value to a home. They also argue the tax is unconstitutional and will hold back the growth of solar power in town. The tax was instituted in 2017 and runs around $200 per panel, down from the insane initial mark of $500 per panel. Source – Portland Press Herald


Over 600 groups call for immediate Congressional action on renewables – 626 environmental groups have called on Congress to ditch fossil fuels and go 100% renewable by 2035. Furthermore, the group is petitioning for a complete decarbonization of the transportation system, use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a just transition to a new green economy and the adherence to treaties to prevent trespassing upon indigenous rights during the transition. The list of groups includes Greenpeace USA, GRID Alternatives, Environmental Protection Information Center and Climate Justice League. Source – Friends of the Earth


Hold the champagne: Appalachian Power is approved to sell 100% renewable energy to customers – Virginia regulators has approved Appalachian Power Company’s request to offer its 500,000 customers the opportunity to purchase power sourced entirely by renewables. At the moment these renewables are mainly wind and hydroelectric, but solar is represented and growing in presence in the state. Those customers who chose to opt in will face a premium of just under 4%, which works out to an additional $4.25 a month for a 1,000 KWh per month user. This is Appalachian Power Company’s second attempt at this program, with the previous iteration which featured an 18% premium was denied by state regulators in 2016. Source – Virgina Mercury


Standard Solar adds finance and energy storage expertise with Dan Dobbs, EVP of Structured Finance – Prior to joining Standard Solar, Dobbs was Vice President of Distributed Energy at Anbaric Development Partners, an early stage developer of large-scale electric transmission systems, transformative campus energy systems and storage-based microgrid solutions. Dobbs started his energy career at SunEdison, where he progressed through finance, marketing and product management roles, and also co-founded Solar Grid Storage, which was acquired by SunEdison in 2015.  Source – Standard Solar


100 MW Southern Colorado project preemptively kicks off the roaring ‘20’s –  Renewable energy company juwi AG has secured a contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association for the output of a 100 MW solar power plant it is developing in south-central Colorado. The project is anticipated to break ground in 2022, with an estimated on-line date sometime in 2023. The project is juwi’s second soiree into U.S. solar development, with the first being the 30 MW San Isabel Solar Project in Las Animas County, CO, which was completed in 2016. Tri-State is a 43 member electric cooperatives and public power district which supplies electricity to members in New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. I could be ugly and say that sounds like for states, but I won’t. Very kind of me. Source – Denver Post


Solar consumer protection law takes effect in California – First introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez in 2016, AB 1070 directs the California State License Board (CSLB) to create a one-page disclosure included with all contracts for solar systems, all for the goal of consumer protection. In addition, AB 1070 also gives the responsibility for resolving complaints against solar companies to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). With this, DCA will also oversee residential rooftop solar energy providers. This is not the only consumer protection measure taking place this in 2019. This later measure will require solar companies to upload a signed contract with every interconnection application for residential customers. Companies must also prove a valid CSLB license with each application. Speaking of CSLB licenses, solar customers can easily verify a solar company’s license through a search function on CSLB’s website. Source – Sullivan Solar Power


California 13-year-old wins $25,000 for dual-axis solar tracker design – Woodside, California’s own Georgia Hutchinson took over the 2019 Broadcom Masters nation-wide STEM competition for middle-schoolers with her innovative design of her self-described data-driven dual-axis solar tracker. The tracker uses publicly available real-time data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to track the sun and increase efficiency, rather than sensors. This ultimately cuts costs, an economic incentive that Hutchinson thinks people will be excited for. Not only did Hutchinson take the competition’s top prize, but she also pursued a patent for her design, though her application was ultimately rejected. Hutchinson says that she plans on using the prize money to further her education, which seems like a safe bet, considering she’s already accomplished more as a 13-year-old than I plan to in my life. Source – The Insider


3 MW Rhode Island community solar portfolio acquired by Nautilus Energy – Nautilus Solar has acquired from ISM Solar Development a 3 MW community solar project that is still currently under development. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of this year and qualifies for the newly-maturing Rhode Island community solar program. An affiliate of Virgo Investment Group, which is a minority shareholder of Nautilus, will own the project, while Nautilus will hold the responsibilities of project management, customer subscription, and long-term asset management and maintenance services. Source – Nautilus Solar Energy


PanelClaw introduces the clawFR flat roof mounting system platform – With an eye on cost reduction, PanelClaw has introduced the clawFR platform, a flat roof mounting system available in both a 10 degree single tilt option and a 10 degree dual tilt option. However this initial launch is not PanelClaw’s climactic release for 2019, as later in the year the company plans on releasing a 5 degree single tilt option. Pre-orders for both models begin in February, with shipments beginning in early April, and an initial capacity to fill one megawatt per day of orders. The platform features an estimated 40-50% improvement in install speed for the 10 degree options and the 5 degree option is 70% faster than PanelClaw’s Polar Bear III HD platform. Speaking of the Polar Bear III HD platform, it will still be made available in its 10 degree option for projects in development until mid-2019, while the 5 degree option will be available later into the year. Source – PanelClaw


Finally, we now know that Krypton was eons ahead of earth in the renewable energy revolution. Talk about distributed solar.



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