Markets & Policy

Locals suing for net metering, utility wants scale and energy storage

Jacksonville, Florida’s municipal utility has gotten rid of net metering and lowered the rate paid for excess solar produced electricity. Concurrently, the utility is pushing larger scale solar and energy storage programs.

American-Made Challenge gets five generals

NREL has chosen five companies to help administer the America-Made Solar Prize, a program whose stated goal is to develop U.S.-based solar manufacturing. These five companies receive contracts of $100,000 each for their services.

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Solar installation costs declined 5 to 11% in 2017, little so far in 2018

This year’s version of Berkeley Lab’s Tracking the Sun report saw residential installs fall 6% to $3.50 / W, small business fall 11% to $2.90 / W and large business fell 5% to $2.20 /W in 2017, with light changes in early 2018. However, these averages cover wide price variances in different markets.

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The solar sponge: shifting demand to soak up production

A new report by the Smart Electric Power Association argues that a process called reverse demand response can allow utilities to minimize curtailment of solar while simultaneously lowering power prices.

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SunPower’s back-contact technology excluded from Section 201 tariffs

The role of SunPower’s planned purchase of SolarWorld Americas in getting a rare reprieve from the Trump Administration’s bellicose trade actions is unclear.

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Agrovoltaics: a solar-powered safety net for Massachusetts farmers

The long-term, steady income of solar power complements the higher revenue, but harder work of traditional farming. The Massachusetts SMART program looks to increase this trend with “agrovoltaic” incentives for solar co-located with crops.

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25% tariffs on Chinese inverters to start on January 1

The final order from the U.S. Trade Representative includes an interim tariff rate of 10% set to start on September 24.

Devil in the details of Rhode Island’s 400 MW renewable energy RFP

The request for proposals issued last week by National Grid includes contract terms that are anything but favorable to renewable energy developers, and seeks projects so large that they will be difficult to site.

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Arizona utility pushes smarter energy use to maximize daytime solar power

Arizona Public Service has announced three new residential energy programs hoping to financially motivate customers to use cheaper daytime electricity via HVAC, energy storage and hot water heaters.

Lyft goes carbon-neutral and 100% renewable

The company has committed to buying carbon offsets and RECs to create an entirely carbon-neutral rideshare service.

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