Morning Brief: Trump thwarted in latest bid to kill solar-tariff loophole, plus pallets for PV modules


A U.S. trade court on Saturday issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the Trump administration’s latest bid to end a loophole it had granted on bifacial solar panels. The order comes weeks after President Donald Trump moved to eliminate a tariff exemption for bifacial panels. Prior to that proclamation, the government tried for more than a year to revoke the exemption, only to get repeatedly thwarted by the trade court. In early 2018, Trump approved four years of tariffs on solar panel imports, starting at 30% and reduced by 5 percentage points each subsequent year. The tariffs were part of a campaign promise to get tough on China, which dominates solar-panel manufacturing. But his administration surprised many in the sector when it granted an exclusion for bifacial panels in 2019. Source: Bloomberg

Spain’s Iberdrola announced a deal worth $8.3 billion including debt on Wednesday, adding PNM Resources to its Avangrid business to create the third-largest U.S. renewable energy operator. Absorbing PNM into Avangrid will create an operator present in 24 states, Iberdrola said, and bring together firms with a combined market value topping $20 billion. Source: Reuters

The value of energy storage: Two case studies on military resilience, grid reliability and customer savings. Fort Carson, Colorado, is home to the 4th Infantry Division and 10th Special Forces Group. It requires an around-the-clock resilient power supply. Last year, the installation opened the defense department’s largest commercially contracted, behind-the-meter battery energy storage system. Designed for 20 years of operation, it provides grid services such as demand response, frequency and voltage support, and microgrid backup, as well as adding flexibility to the installation’s 2-MW solar system.


In order to keep the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kaua’i operating through island outages and to meet the power and reliability needs of the local utility, the Navy leased land to AES Distributed Energy to develop a solar-plus-storage project that serves both the military and the public. At 11 cents per kWh, the contracted price is well below the cost of diesel, which averaged 15 cents per kWh for KIUC in 2018. Source: T&D World

Emotional ownership is the key to delivering community solar, Stanford students find: While community solar is a growing idea in the energy industry, it can appeal and be accessible to more communities, especially low-income ones, if the residents have not only financial ownership of the project but also emotional ownership. A report outlines recommendations for providing community members with this sense of emotional ownership. The students worked with Shake Energy Collaborative. Source: Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy

PVpallet claims to improve efficiencies and reduce costs across the solar supply chain — from manufacturing, distribution, and installation to storage and waste disposal.

Source: PVpallet

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