pvMB 1/24/19: New Mexico has a community solar bill, Berkshire Hathaway enters the lithium game and more…


NRG Community Solar now Clearway Community Solar – “NRG Renewables and its Community Solar division, NRG Community Solar, have formally become Clearway Community Solar under a new parent company, Clearway Energy Group… Clearway Community Solar builds and operates local solar farms, including some of the largest Community Solar farms in the United States… From 2015 to date, nearly 15,000 community solar customers in New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Colorado have signed up through Clearway and its predecessor.” Source:  Clearway Energy Group


SolView aims to reduce customer acquisition costs with data bundles – “This week SolView publicized its expanding service suite with client-centric data bundles geared to dramatically reduce customer acquisition costs in the solar industry. The company promotes its ability to develop and manage massive scale data analytics encompassing entire cities and states but now touts a solution that is scalable for any business size. SolView stated they have low-cost introductory bundles for both residential and commercial services.” Source: SolView


Fitch Ratings revises Solar Star outlook to negative – ”Fitch Ratings has affirmed Solar Star Funding, LLC’s (Solar Star) $1.325 billion senior secured notes at ‘BBB+’ and revised the Rating Outlook to Negative from Stable”. This is the rating body’s latest downgrade of a solar project, but this time it isn’t for a project whose output is being sold to PG&E; instead Southern California Edison is the off-taker. This follows downgrading of SCE’s rating, as a sign that the financial community is concerned about broader troubles among California investor-owned utilities. And it may not be over, as Fitch notes the “potential for further negative rating action on the off-taker”. Source: Fitch Ratings.


Here’s a little taste-breaker for you: a cool video about Colorado’s largest battery coming online:


New Mexico legislators introduce community solar bill – Community solar could be coming to the Land of Enchantment as earlier this week the Community Solar Act (HB210) was introduced to the state legislature by Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero and Senator Elizabeth Stefanics. If the bill passes, New Mexico will become the 20th state to allow community solar. Not to be forgotten, Washington, D.C. also allows community solar, but obviously is not a state. Poor little guy. Source – Vote Solar


Berkshire Hathaway enters the lithium extraction game – Berkshire Hathaway is now attempting to enter in the business of extracting lithium. The company is discussing an agreement which would allow for lithium extraction from its geothermal wells in California. The company has also been in talks with Tesla about supplying the car and battery brand with the essential metal. If all goes according to plan, the wells will produce 90,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate a year. This amount would be worth around $1.5 billion at current prices.  The project is also looking to reduce reliance on the world’s largest current lithium suppliers, Chile and Australia. Albemarlet’s Silver Peak mine in Nevada is currently the United States’ only lithium supply source. Source – Financial Times


Energy Policy Institute, at the University of Chicago releases new poll asking if the public is willing to pay to help fix climate change – Seven in 10 Americans say climate change is a reality, and most think human activity is primarily responsible. Nearly half of Americans say the science on climate change is more convincing than five years ago, with extreme weather driving their views.

Among those who have become more convinced by the science of climate change in the last five years, extreme weather events are most often cited as an influential factor in their views. To combat climate change, about half of Americans would support a modest monthly fee on their electricity bill. Fifty-seven percent of Americans are willing to pay a monthly fee of at least $1. Twenty-three percent are willing to pay a monthly fee of at least $40.” Source – EEnews. (pdf)


And now to end your Thursday, PV InfoLink has found that wafer prices have hit an uptick due to currency factor and tight supply.


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