Hundreds of environmental groups request investigation of electric utility industry
More than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission asking the group to investigate the electric utility industry for “widespread abuses.” These alleged abuses include denying customers access to renewable energy, bribery and “dark-money” campaigns.
DOE creates working group to solve clean energy interconnection backlog
The U.S. Dept. of Energy has created a new partnership of grid operators, utilities, clean energy developers and others to try and solve the challenges to deploying more clean energy on the grid. The Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange is funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
19 bipartisan governors ask Commerce to speed solar panel investigation
As the uncertainty around the AD/CVD case continues, 19 bipartisan governors sent a letter to President Biden and Dept. of Commerce Sec. Gina Raimondo asking for an expedited review process. The governors wrote that the case is disrupting the solar markets in their states and hurting workers.
DOE offering $8 million for projects to advance agrivoltaics
The U.S. Dept. of Energy announced a new funding opportunity for projects that study how solar combined with agriculture, or agrivoltaics, can scale and provide new opportunities to farmers and rural communities. The $8 million will support up to six agrivoltaic projects.
CPUC reopens NEM 3.0 proceeding, seeks public input
The California Public Utilities Commission announced it has “reopened the record” on its NEM 3.0 proceedings to gather more information on key points of the proposed decision. The California Solar & Storage Association organized rallies in response to protest that a solar tax is still being considered.
Maryland legislation would incentivize low-income community solar, increase net-metering cap
Maryland legislators passed bills that would exempt community solar projects from property taxes if they serve a certain percentage of low-income customers or meet other criteria, and would increase the net-metering cap on such projects from 2 MW to 5 MW. Both bills await Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.
Missouri bill would reduce HOA solar restrictions
Jefferson City, Missouri
The Missouri legislature passed a bill that would reduce HOA solar restrictions, exempt some solar installations from sales taxes and more. Solar advocates worked to include those provisions in the bill and are urging Gov. Mike Parson to sign it as soon as possible.
New legislation could give New York Power Authority, utilities an advantage in solar development
Albany, New York
New bills in New York state would grant the New York Power Authority the unlimited ability to purchase, construct and operate renewable energy projects without any competitive cost controls, and allow regulated utilities to own and operate large renewable energy projects for the first time. Opponents say bills like these could make it difficult for private renewable energy developers to compete in the marketplace.