Morning Brief: Fight over the value of solar continues in Utah, Kansas, Virginia and everywhere


Kansas’ largest utility Evergy pushes plans to charge solar panel users, or everyone. The largest utility in Kansas wants to charge customers with solar panels about $25 a month, even if their homes pull almost no electricity off the grid. If courts and regulators reject that idea, power-provider Evergy’s backup proposal would ensure all customers — not just those harvesting power on their roofs — pay a minimum of $35 a month just for plugging into its system. Evergy needed to make a plan because the Kansas Supreme Court shot down a previous solar rate. There is a virtual public hearing on the proposed rates on Nov. 5. Source: Flatland

Utah PSC decides to lower export rate, impacting a recovering rooftop solar industry: In a long-fought battle, Utah’s PSC just decided to lower the rooftop solar export credit rate from 9.2¢/kWh to about 5.8¢/kWh. Solar advocates and the utility are expected to be unhappy with the decision. The ruling declined to approve Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed application fee or metering fee. Source: pv magazine

Turning shared solar into no solar: What has emerged from the Virginia State Corporation Commission in the form of proposed community solar rules manages to be both incoherent and everything Dominion wants. The reason for that is clear: most of the rules are copied and pasted from proposals Dominion submitted in August. Source: Virginia Mercury (opinion)

The Texas comptroller has decided to approve millions of dollars in tax incentives for an EDF Renewables solar project southwest of Houston. The 300-MW solar farm in Wharton County, called Space City Solar, is looking to establish a tax abatement deal with Louise Independent School District under the auspices of Chapter 313 of the Texas Tax Code. Chapter 313 allows school districts to reach agreements with the companies behind certain industrial projects — including renewable power generation — limiting value of those projects on which the school district can levy property taxes. Source: Houston Business Journal

The Trump administration is burying dozens of studies detailing the promise of renewable energy, impeding a transition away from fossil fuels: The department has blocked reports for more than 40 clean energy studies. Source: Grist, in collaboration with InvestigateWest

Recycling of lithium-ion batteries from energy storage systems. For more information on second-life uses of EV batteries, see this blog and podcast episode. Challenges and opportunities for recycling of clean energy technologies: solar panels and wind turbines. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

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