pvMB 3/25/19: New Mexico’s clean electricity bill signed, a new solar charging pilot program in Hawaii… and more!


New Mexico governor Lujan signs landmark clean energy bill“The measure requires that investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives get at least half of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. That would jump to 80 percent by 2040. A 100 percent carbon-free mandate would kick in five years later for utilities. Electric co-ops would have until 2050 to meet that goal.”  Source – Sacramento Bee


New electric bus rate pilot program approved in Hawaii – In a move that is anticipated to save  bus operators up to 25% compared against the standard, Hawaiian regulators have passed a time-of-use rate pilot program for electric bus charging. Under the new program, bus operators will see lower charging prices midday, when generation is higher and demand is lower, with these prices rising as demand does towards 5 p.m. Regulators hope that the switch will encourage additional solar proliferation, in order to support the new demand period that will be created. Source: Energy Manager Today


South Carolina solar bill facing last test – With consensus support for the “South Carolina Energy Freedom Act,” there is but one hurdle that remains before the bill can be voted on. The issue at hand is whether the state should mandate contract lengths between utilities and solar providers. The provision would only be in place until generation capacity reaches 20% of demand, but opponents argue it would unnecessarily protect private companies from market fluctuation. This is the same issue that killed a similar bill last year. Source: Statehouse Report


Registration open for SOLAR 2019 – “Today the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is opening registration to their 48th Annual National Solar Conference, SOLAR 2019. This year’s conference is set to the theme of “Race to Renewables,” or the race against time to take urgent climate action through the use of renewable energy. SOLAR 2019 promises to cover the most important ways we need to decarbonize our economy by the middle of this century. The IPCC has determined that the earth’s temperature cannot increase more than 0.5-degree Celsius in order to avoid the most deleterious effects of climate change in the next five years… SOLAR 2019 will be held August 5-9, 2019 in one of the leading states taking climate action, Minnesota… Full three-day and single-day conference passes are available at ASES.org/conference.” Source: ASES


Regulations for large-scale solar in Waterloo proposed – In response to the rumors that NextEra Energy Resources is interested in buying between 125 and 500 acres in the town to develop a solar plant, officials in Waterloo, N.Y. have proposed two new regulations on large-scale solar projects. The first would require a 20-year performance bond to ensure that the project isn’t up and abandoned after 15, while the other would keep these projects off of prime farmland, relegating them to areas with marginal soil, which is legislation that has been seen elsewhere in the nation. However, as it stands, these are just proposals. Source: Finger Lakes Times


GenRenew becomes a SunPower Master Dealer, expands to Illinois – In a big week for the company, GenRenew has announced nearly simultaneously that it has achieved SunPower’s ‘Master Dealer’ status and has expanded its residential installation services to its second state, Illinois. Source: GenRenew


Correcting misinformation about greenhouse gases from electric vehicles“Using Ernst’s corrected numbers, a large EV becomes greener than a small gasoline car after 81 thousand km. If you compare like with like the EV becomes greener after about 35 thousand km. Using the best information I have available, I would put it at 19 thousand now and 7 thousand in the future.” A famous person went on TV and made an absolutely whack number, so a scientist did the math, and showed many levels of wrongness in the calculations. Source – Auke Hoekstra


As our intrepid pv magazine USA editor, Christian Roselund, braves the concrete canyons of New York City at the Bloomberg New Energy Summit, we are reminded of the massive growth of solar power since the turn of the millenia:


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