Climate groups take legal action against Arizona utility for raising rooftop solar customer rates
Arizona climate and environmental groups filed a brief asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at Salt River Power Company’s discriminatory charges against rooftop solar customers. The public power utility raised electricity rates for rooftop-solar customers by 60%.
Yale poll finds most New Jerseyans support proposals included in Clean Energy Equity Act
Trenton, New Jersey
A poll from Yale University found at least seven in 10 New Jersey residents support the proposals included in the New Jersey Clean Energy Equity Act being considered by the New Jersey Senate Environment Committee. The bill is meant to help low-income families in the state have access to solar + storage as well as energy efficiency.
Senator Mitch McConnell does not include clean energy COVID-relief in initial proposal
Although hundreds of solar companies from all sectors signed a letter asking Congress to support COVID-19 recovery legislation for solar power and seven Republican lawmakers separately sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also urging him to support the legislation, it’s still unclear whether the solar industry will get the relief it’s asking for to cope with COVID-19. McConnell introduced a narrow proposal regarding the next COVID relief package that does not include any clean energy provisions.
New report finds Texas utility-scale solar growth may push remaining coal plants into retirement
New utility-scale solar growth in Texas could push much of the remaining coal-fired fossil fuel industry into early retirement in the next few years, according to a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The report also highlights the importance of the rise in battery storage technology to bring more stability to an increasingly renewable grid.
North Central Texas Council of Governments receives regional SolSmart designation
North Central Texas
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) received a Bronze designation from SolSmart for its role in helping local governments make it easier for customers to go solar. The Council has provided solar training sessions and online resources to localities to facilitate the growth of solar in the region.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden commits to 100% clean electricity by 2035 in new plan
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a new clean energy plan in July to transition to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and spend $2 trillion over four years on clean energy projects, according to CNN. The new roadmap based on the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations sets a goal of installing 500 million solar panels within five years, including eight million rooftop and community energy systems.
Final Massachusetts SMART program regulations protect already-planned solar projects
Massachusetts published its final regulations for the SMART renewable incentive program. The final version expands the incentive target and protects many community solar projects that were in development prior to the issuance of the new land use restrictions.
FERC dismisses petition to federalize solar net metering
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed the controversial petition by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) to place solar net metering under federal control. Solar and clean energy advocates celebrated the dismissal.
New York PSC extends net metering for solar customers through January 2022
Albany, New York
The New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) extended net metering through January 2022 for current customers to mitigate the effects COVID-19 has had on the solar industry. NYSEIA said this move will help the residential solar industry begin its recovery in the state.
Indiana county adopts its first-ever solar energy ordinance requiring pollinator-friendly groundcover
Randolph County, Indiana
Commissioners in Randolph County, Indiana, recently adopted the area’s first solar energy ordinance requiring pollinator-friendly groundcover on project sites. The requirement will apply to the construction of the state’s largest solar farm, developed by EDP Renewables.
DOE seeks information on “national security threats” to power grid
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order in May aimed at “securing the nation’s bulk-power system” from “equipment with foreign interest” and charged Department of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette with executing it. The Department of Energy is now creating a task force and requesting information from energy companies to help identify any “vulnerabilities in the bulk-power system.”