Morning Brief: Senators propose a nationwide halt on utility shutoffs, Hawaiian Electric wants to “self-build” a 160 MWh battery system

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Eight Senators have introduced a resolution that would institute a nationwide moratorium on electricity and gas shutoffs during the coronavirus crisis. The bill also calls for the reconnection of any customer that has lost service since the onset of the pandemic. The legislation was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and cosponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Kamala Harris(D-CA). Similar to the legislation, 575 organizations sent a letter urging state governors, mayors and utility regulators to put a moratorium on electricity and water-utility shutoffs during the pandemic, organized by the Center for Biological Diversity. Source: Center for Biological Diversity

Hawaiian Electric is proposing to “self-build” a 40 MW/160 MWh battery storage system at its Waena power station that will lead to the closure of the 37.6 MW, 72-year-old Kahului Power Plant at Kahului Harbor. The battery storage system will consist of 48 battery modules, each about the size of a shipping container, built by a Nevada manufacturer, the utility’s preliminary environmental assessment said. There is an urgency to retire the old power plant by 2024 to comply with mandatory National Pollution Discharge Elimination System requirements, PUC filings said. Source: The Maui News

Minnesota will today begin new safety restrictions that will restrict residential solar installation size in the state. Under the new restrictions, solar companies cannot place panels within three feet of the edge of roofs and must create pathways of that same width between arrays to provide access for firefighters and emergency personnel. The rules are expected by the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association to reduce the size of residential installations by 20%. Source: Energy News Network

NABCEP (The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) will soon offer all Board Certification and Associate level exams through live online proctoring. Live online proctoring allows applicants to take NABCEP exams from any location on a personal computer.

JinkoSolar has donated 1,000,000 face masks and other protective equipment items to countries severely affected by Covid-19. While all 1,000,000 have yet to be sent out, the company did announce the first shipments of 50,000. Those 19 countries include Italy, Spain, South Korea, Germany, France, Britain, Switzerland and Portugal. The move comes one week after Jinko donated 12 million RMD to the China Red Cross to support medical and health care workers working the front lines of the pandemic. Source: JinkoSolar