U.S. solar industry week in review


CPUC lowers proposed fixed rate charge from $128 to $24.15

After initially saying that Californians could be assessed up to $128 on their electric bills, the commission now proposes a rate of $24.15. regardless of any energy conservation efforts or solar production at home. Along with the fixed charge, electricity rates for generation will be reduced by about 5 to 7 cents per kilowatt hour. CPUC said the move was motivated in part to decouple energy use and grid maintenance costs.

IRS releases updated guidance on energy communities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department announced additional guidance for determining what a qualified energy community is. Projects in energy communities can qualify for the production and investment tax credit bonuses available within the Inflation Reduction Act, and those bonuses are offered for projects within brownfield, coal and other communities that will face challenges in the transition away from fossil fuels.

A solar installation on a capped landfill in New Jersey.

Image PSEG

The five states with the least amount of solar installed  

PV Intel identifies the solar laggards–North Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alaska, and South Dakota–and examines that factors to led to the low rate of solar adoption including policies, electric rates and availability of alternative emission-free electricity from wind, hydro, and nuclear.

Pole pilot at Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota.

Image: Rute Foundation

Solar and storage to replace coal in New England

In a big win for Sierra Club, The Conservation Law Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the last two remaining coal-fired plants will be shut down. Both plants are in New Hampshire, and owner Granite Shore Power has committed to using the properties for solar and battery storage.

Hurry up and wait– staggering amount of solar projects queued up for interconnection

By year-end 2023, 1086 GW of solar projects awaited transmission interconnection, along with 503 GW of standalone storage, according to preliminary data from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The amount of storage in hybrid projects, such as solar-plus-storage projects, awaiting interconnection at year-end was estimated at 525 GW.

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