Cost and prices

The solar industry and consumers both lose with federal ‘MOPR’ rule

Electricity consumers would pay at least $1.1 billion more per year in the 13-state PJM grid region, says a new report, while 8.5 GW of capacity sales from new solar developments would be excluded from the capacity market, and corporate solar purchase agreements could cost 50% more — if courts uphold a federal regulation known as “MOPR.”

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It’s getting harder to develop solar on US federal lands

Now that the two-year tax holiday enjoyed by solar and wind projects operating on federally-owned lands is over, project owners and developers are facing back rent with more expensive leasing costs looming in 2021. With federal land being critical to a renewable future, what can be done?

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Morning Brief: the North Carolina solar industry has weathered Covid well, Vistra announces battery expansion

Also in the brief: Consumers Energy is providing 100,000 Google Nest thermostats to Michigan households, Tesla has quietly made Model 3 ready for bidirectional charging, SolSmart adds new partners.

Sunny places could see average solar prices of $0.01 or $0.02 per kilowatt-hour within 15 years

New research models that the price of solar will continue to drop faster than previous predictions. This would mean that building new solar would be routinely cheaper than operating already-built fossil fuel plants, even in today’s world of ultra-cheap natural gas.

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Distributed storage could save Texas $344 million per year by deferring transmission and distribution costs

Adding enough distributed storage to reduce peak demand by 20% could defer up to one-fifth of the transmission and distribution expenditures in Texas for about 10 years, a study found. Other states may find the study’s analytical insights to be useful.

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Analysis: California’s report on RPS costs and savings needs an update

A new report from the California PUC documents the uneven workings of the state’s 100% renewable portfolio standard — and the need for better data on cost savings.

The financial and social struggles of getting large solar projects financed

The pre-life of the Spotsylvania solar energy project has been riddled with financial and societal difficulties. As much as these issues have made a quagmire of development, it also provides a case study on the logistics of getting such a large project built.

Vivint beats on revenue — but losses widen in Q1 as residential solar hunkers down

Vivint beat estimates with $91.2 million in revenue in Q1, though, like with most other third-party solar companies, that was outweighed by $51.9 million in losses from operations. Installation figures fell during the quarter and are only expected to fall further, as Covid-19 runs its course on residential solar.

Morning Brief: Renewable prices reach record low in California, rural Georgia meets big solar and jobs

Also in the brief: DOE to invest more than $5 million in tribal energy infrastructure

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SunPower accesses $1 billion in residential solar and storage loan capital from Tech CU

Despite the pandemic, capital is still pouring into solar.

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