Morning brief: Safe harbor for ITC extended, Dems push FERC to reject anti-net metering petition

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Democrats press FERC to reject anti-net metering petition: Twenty-one Democratic senators and House members  wrote to FERC asking the agency to reject a petition that would effectively end the practice of solar net metering, which pays rooftop solar owners for the power they send back to the grid. The lawmakers wrote that Congress expressly gave states — not FERC — authority over net metering, and that approving the petition would give FERC the authority to set “rates, terms and conditions” for net metering programs active in 45 states. The lawmakers also pressed FERC to order the New England Ratepayers Association, the group that filed the petition, to disclose its twelve anonymous donors. Source: Politico

New guidance from the Treasury Department confirms that the safe harbor provisions for the solar Investment Tax Credit will be extended until Oct. 15 as a result of the pandemic, giving solar companies more time to qualify for the credit. Erin Duncan, VP of congressional affairs for industry group SEIA said, “We appreciate the additional layer of clarity the Treasury Department has provided with respect to solar projects started in 2019. Today’s action shows that solar energy is an economic driver with bipartisan appeal.” Source: SEIA

Virginia agency aims to make solar ‘faster, easier and more affordable’: A pressing decarbonization timeline has prompted a state agency that oversees energy and mining development to help local governments knock down barriers to solar — which now provides just 1% of the state’s electricity. The goal is “to make solar development faster, easier and more affordable.” Source: ENN

Community Choice Energy providers Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) announced the execution of a 20-year solar PV and battery storage contract with NextEra Energy Yellow Pine Energy Center. MBCP will be contracting for 75 MW of solar capacity and 39 MW of energy storage, serving 5% of its annual retail load. SVCE will contract for 50 MW of solar capacity and 26 MW of energy storage, serving 4% of its annual retail load. Source: SVCE

Energy won’t be the same when this is over: The coronavirus is rewriting the future of fossil fuels and renewables. With planes grounded, cars parked, factories shuttered and offices dark, the coronavirus has carved a big hole in the energy economy and redirected its future in ways that could hardly have been imagined four months ago. Even once the world picks up again, the basics of the business will reflect the legacy of the 2020 pandemic. Coal, already staggering, has taken yet another serious blow. Some analysts wonder whether we have now passed peak oil — whether we will ever again burn 100 million barrels a day.  Source: Washington Post