[Report] Solar Energy Compensation Arguments Intensify as Utilities Aim to Recover Fixed Costs

The majority of U.S. states utilize retail energy rate-based compensation of net energy metering (NEM) for residential solar customers. The distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy industry is growing rapidly and disrupting the traditional one-way power flow utility model. As residential solar PV installation levels increase, utilities are pushing for new rate structures to cover system...

SolarCity Offers First Public Solar Bonds

SolarCity’s first registered public offering of solar bonds provides an opportunity for individuals to access clean energy investments that were previously reserved for large institutions. On October 15, 2014, SolarCity launched the nation’s first registered public offering of solar bonds through an online investment site to make solar bonds directly available to consumers.  SolarCity has...

[Report] State-Backed Green Bonds Emerge Following International Model

Massachusetts offered its first green bond sale in June 2013, and several additional states have offered green bonds over the last two years. Green bonds offer issuers access to capital to finance projects for water quality and infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, pollution cleanup, and other capital-intensive projects.. With the Green Bond Principles gaining marketplace...

Share of Imports in U.S. Energy Consumption Reaches Record-Low Levels

According to EIA, the share of imports in U.S. energy consumption for the first half of 2014 reached the lowest level in 29 years. On October 10, 2014, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report showing that net U.S. energy imports as a share of consumption for the January-June 2014 period reached the lowest...

[Report] New England’s Eighth Forward Capacity Auction Draws Market Design Concerns

ISO-NE’s eighth Forward Capacity Market Auction (FCA-8) rates became effective September 16, 2014, despite FERC being unable to reach agreement on whether the filing was “just and reasonable.” The final price for existing sources was set at the administrative price of $7.025/kW-month, a 123 percent increase from the FCA-7 clearing price. The Northeast Massachusetts (NEMA)/Boston...

Ohio State University Develops First Rechargeable Solar Battery Hybrid

An innovative solar cell-battery hybrid developed at OSU is expected to reach 100-percent efficiency and reduce costs by 25 percent. On October 3, 2014, Ohio State University (OSU) reported the invention of the world’s first solar battery – a patent-pending technology that combines a battery and solar cell into one hybrid device.  The new design...

Massachusetts Attorney General Seeks DPU Investigation to Mitigate Winter Rate Spikes

The Massachusetts Attorney General has sought DPU action to mitigate spikes in winter rates and extend the state’s Winter Moratorium by one month. On October 2, 2014, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley wrote to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) requesting an investigation into ways to mitigate National Grid’s winter rate spikes that will...

CAISO Opens Wholesale Electricity Market to PacifiCorp Service Areas

Starting October 1, CAISO will open its subhourly wholesale electricity market to PacifiCorp’s service areas, marking the first time that CAISO will dispatch electricity to regions outside its footprint. On September 30, 2014, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report on the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) effort to open subhourly wholesale electricity markets to...

Massachusetts Clean Energy Sector Report Highlights $10B Industry

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry has grown by 47 percent from 2010-2014 with significant growth in energy efficiency and solar deployment. On September 29, 2014, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released the 2014 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report.  The fourth annual report highlights that the Massachusetts clean energy sector has grown by 47 percent since...

[Report] Lawmakers Consider Energy Tax Reform as December Deadline Nears for Extending Expired Provisions

On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing entitled “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code.” Retroactively extending tax provisions has significant impact on financial accounting for multiple energy industries, including wind and solar, and also small and mid-sized businesses such as commercial building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and design-construction companies....