Oregon solar rebate bill awaits governor’s signature
A bill that would give Oregonians rebates for purchase, construction or installation of residential and some non-residential solar and solar-plus-storage systems has passed through the legislature and now awaits Governor Kate Brown’s signature. If signed, rebates will begin being issued in January of 2020.
Energy Future New Orleans proposes new resilient RPS for the city
New Orleans, Louisiana
A coalition of clean energy supporters came together to propose a new and potentially first of its kind “resilient RPS” in New Orleans after Hurricane Barry, a weather event that the state was bracing for but luckily did not cause the type of damage that was predicted. The proposal establishes a path for the City of New Orleans to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040 and includes a resilience goal of 10% of renewable energy being allocated to critical infrastructure and emergency services during times of need through microgrids and energy storage.
Sunrun solar-plus-storage systems will replace Oakland fossil fuel plant
The City of Oakland plans to retire a jet-fuel plant and replace the power with residential Sunrun solar-plus-storage installations on low-income housing in West Oakland and Alameda County. Sunrun will bundle solar energy stored in those home battery systems and send it back to the electric grid, forming a virtual power plant to help power the area.
House Committee votes to renew energy block grant program that supports renewables
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved the first step in the legislative process to renew and refund the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, a top legislative priority of The United States Conference of Mayors. The legislation would commit $3.5 billion annually to cities, counties, tribal governments and states to help with energy efficiency measures, including solar installation.
252 mayors representing every state call for more solar power
Bipartisan mayors from every state and one territory signed a letter through Environment America committing to making solar energy a key element of their communities’ energy plans. The mayors use various ways to increase solar procurement for their constituents, including group buy programs and SolSmart designations to help speed the permitting process. “Facing a lack of federal leadership on climate and energy, we’re seeing leaders at the community level step forward,” said Emma Searson, Go Solar campaign director with Environment America Research and Policy Center.
New York is officially 1 Million Solar Strong
Albany, New York
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that requires the state to get at least 70% of electricity from renewable sources. The law sets a goal of 6 GW of local distributed energy by 2025, which the Million Solar Strong Coalition has sought for the past two years. That’s enough to power one million homes throughout New York.
Ohio weakens renewable requirements to bail out nuclear plants
An Ohio bill to bail out two of bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear plants and subsidize coal plants has become law. The bailout added an extra surcharge to consumer bills for nuclear and coal subsidies but cut energy efficiency and utility RPS requirements so customers wouldn’t see a bill increase. “At a time when the nation is accelerating its transition to affordable, pollution-free renewable power, this legislation goes in precisely the wrong direction with a bailout of aging and uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, and a weakening of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
CALSSA organizes sixth annual solar-plus-storage lobby day
The California Solar & Storage Association is hoping to rally 400 solar workers for its sixth annual solar-plus-storage lobby day in Sacramento. In addition to talking to legislators about solar policy, CALSSA will hold an informational fair to teach California lawmakers about solar-plus-storage technology. The group will also hold technical workshops for installers between lobbying meetings.