Morning Brief: Duke Energy reaches deal with Sunrun, Vote Solar to modernize rooftop PV in South Carolina


Duke Energy reached a deal with Vote Solar, Sunrun, and renewable energy advocates to modernize rooftop solar in South Carolina: Duke’s  agreement with solar installers, environmental groups and renewable energy advocates, if approved by regulators, will create stability for the residential solar industry in South Carolina. The proposed plan – Solar Choice Net Metering – could be the next generation of net energy metering for the Carolinas, a billing process that credits small customers with rooftop solar arrays for excess electricity they generate and provide to Duke Energy via the grid. Solar Choice Net Metering will include time-of-use retail rates.”This first-of-a-kind package completely modernizes the rooftop solar transaction,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s VP for rate design and strategic solutions. Vote Solar’s statement here. Source: Duke Energy

The 67-MWdc Lotus Solar Farm in Madera County, California, developed by 8minute Solar Energy, is now fully operational with a 20-year PPA with Southern California Edison. Allianz Global Investors acquired the project from 8minute late last year. 8minute and AllianzGI secured tax equity investment from IPP and developer Tenaska. 8minute and AllianzGI secured additional financing in a $140 million construction debt package, letter of credit and term loan facility from CIT and NORD/LB, with participation from Siemens and Commerzbank. Signal Energy provided the EPC services, Nextracker supplied trackers and TMEIC supplied 14 Ninja 4200 central inverters. Source: 8minute

First Solar announced an underwritten registered secondary offering of approximately 8.2% of the company’s outstanding common stock. All of the shares sold in the offering will be sold by Lukas T. Walton. Walton intends to use the proceeds from the sale of shares in the offering to provide funds for new impact investments across a variety of environmental and social causes. Mr. Walton’s father, John T. Walton, was an early backer and investor in First Solar. Source: First Solar

The U.S. DOE announced $19.8 million in funding for sodium-ion battery developer Natron Energy as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s SCALEUP program to further its commercialization efforts. The project aims to scale up production of Natron’s Prussian blue electrode sodium-ion batteries by 30x and fully de-risk the resulting supply chain and products. The primary product is an 8 kw, 50 V battery tray for use in data centers. In July, Natron raised $35 million in series D funding led by ABB Technology Ventures, NanoDimension Capital and Volta Energy Technologies. Return backers Chevron, Khosla Ventures, Fluxus Ventures and Prelude Ventures also participated. Information on the DOE program can be found here.

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