Solar tax exemption passes in California – On September 5, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law AB 1208. Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), extends a prohibition on cities and counties taxing the energy generated by rooftop solar panels for use by homeowners and businesses. This was a no-brainer, as the bill previously passed both chambers of the state legislature unanimously. This is because the energy generated by rooftop solar panels has been explicitly exempt from what is called the “Utility Users Tax” or “UUT” since 2013. That pre-existing exemption was set to expire December 31, 2019. AB 1208 extended it another 7 years. Cities and counties generally speaking have the ability to tax utility services, such as electricity, as one potential source of local revenues, which is why there is need for the bill. Source: California Solar & Storage Association
POWERHOME Solar hiring 100 people, expands to South Carolina – “POWERHOME Solar is no stranger to the Palmetto State, having installed solar panels for customers there since 2016. Today, the company announced the opening of an office in the Columbia, S.C., area, located at 2109 Landmark Drive in Cayce, S.C. To expand its South Carolina workforce, POWERHOME plans to hire up to 100 people in the coming months in the areas of sales, installation and administrative functions. Walk-in interviews for sales representatives are planned for Sept. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cayce office, and interviews for installers will take place throughout the week starting in the afternoon on Sept. 9. Those interested should send an email firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can apply for jobs at: http://powerhome.com/solar-jobs.” Source: POWERHOME Solar
Connecticut Governor pushing 100% CO2 free by 2040 – Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is serious about pursuing increased renewable energy measures in the Constitution state, as on Friday he signed an executive order directing state regulators to lay out a plan to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. The directive does, however include a commitment to building a new natural gas plant, the Killingly Energy Center, a 650 MW plant expected to begin commercial operation in 2022. Source: Utility Dive
CPS issues tariff response plan – “The USA has increased import tariffs from 10% to 25% (now) and to 30% October 1st. Trade negotiations have been stubbornly protracted and unpredictable. USA determination may continue to expand beyond China and include alternative supply chains from other countries such at India, Vietnam and elsewhere. There are concerns this status might endure deep into 2020. Over the last year, CPS anticipated the risk of tariff increases so we took action to mitigate the cost exposure for our customers. Here are actions we took to protect you;
- Accelerated inventory ahead of the 10% and 25% duty. This effectively delayed the burden on CPS customers.
- We created a USA production capability in Texas (pilot run successful, now is UL approved manufacturing site) – a hedge, an option – but components from China now equally face high tariffs.
- We drove efficiency and supply chain cost reductions with our existing operations – this enabled CPS to absorb most of the tariff costs temporarily.
- We have been reviewing alternative operations within Chint Group and with partners, but we biased toward no change in our robust, high quality supply chain. We decided, thus far, to avoid operational changes so that we can assure reliable, high quality supply with low risk of disruptions to our customers.
We will institute a “Tariff Surcharge” on inverters as follows;
- 8.8% for new orders placed after September 20th
- This surcharge will be reviewed month to month
- Surcharge magnitude depends on Tariff rules and CPS cost mitigation progress
- The surcharge will be eliminated as soon as possible
- Existing orders and those placed by September 20th for shipments by CPS America in 2019 will have no surcharge (ship from CPS America by December 31st)”
SC clean energy group recruits candidates to police SC Public Service Commission – Under concerns that the state Public Service Commission will remain “too utility-friendly” uPowerSC is building an “army” of residents who care about the future of energy in South Carolina, providing them with the tools, information, and resources to let the Public Service Commission and the General Assembly know that citizens who care about their state are watching the Commission. “uPowerSC seeks to make your voice heard in the debate about South Carolina’s clean energy future. If you care about solar energy growth, clean energy jobs, or lower energy rates for all South Carolinians, you have a stake in the decisions made by the Public Service Commission.” Source: uPowerSC
Sunpower solar design studio – “Following the introduction of Instant Design at Google Cloud Next ’19, SunPower today launched its Design Studio, a web application that combines Instant Design technology, Google Cloud, and Google Sunroof data to deliver customizable home solar designs in seconds… Starting today, SunPower Design Studio gives U.S. homeowners the power to create their own solar system design automatically. In less than 30 seconds, SunPower Design Studio provides a panel layout based on the home’s unique roof, shading, and energy potential. Homeowners can modify their design based on their energy needs, resulting in more accurate predictions of electricity bill and energy savings.” Source: SunPower