Michigan Regulators Clear DTE Energy’s Voluntary Renewable Power Program

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Jan. 18 approved DTE Electric Co.’s voluntary green pricing program tailored for large customers who choose to meet a portion of their electricity needs from renewable energy resources. The company said that the program will commence once the renewable energy projects required to support the program are in commercial operation...

Colorado State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Expand Community Solar Projects

Colorado House lawmaker Chris Hansen, a Democrat, introduced legislation on Jan. 4 that would increase the maximum size of community solar gardens to 10 megawatts, up from 2 megawatts permitted by current law. The bill would broaden access to community projects, which offers consumers the opportunity to participate in solar installations through subscriptions, by allowing...

Hawaiian Electric Proposes Largest Portfolio of Solar-Plus-Battery Projects at Record Low Prices

The Hawaiian Electric Companies submitted power purchase agreements for seven grid-scale, solar-plus-storage projects to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, according to a Jan. 3 press release. The projects total 262 megawatts of solar and 1,024 megawatt-hours of energy storage, with contract prices ranging from $0.08 to $0.12 per kilowatt-hour. The utilities said that the contracts...

Maine Regulator Exempts Medium, Large Solar Customers from Gross Metering

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Dec. 17 granted solar installer Insource Renewables LLC’s request to exclude solar generation produced by medium and large non-residential customers of Central Maine Power Company and Emera Maine from gross metering provisions due to excessive costs that are shifted onto other ratepayers. The commission agreed that the cost of...

Colorado Rule Paves Way for Utility Investment in Battery Projects

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission adopted rules to incorporate energy storage procurement into utilities’ long-term planning processes, taking an important step towards harnessing the emerging technology, according to a Dec. 12 decision. The move follows legislation enacted in June 2018 directing the commission to establish a process by February 2019 for electric utilities to evaluate...

New York Clean Energy Standard Enters Third Phase, Incorporates Offshore Wind Credits

The New York Public Service Commission on Dec. 14 approved phase III of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s plan to implement the Clean Energy Standard or CES, adopted in August 2016, to achieve the state’s goal of obtaining half its electricity from renewable resources by 2030. The program includes a renewable...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Virginia’s Renewable Capacity to Triple in Latest Shift from Fossil Fuels

Virginia is striding towards a clean energy future by paving the way for faster and larger deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 declares that 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy are in the public interest, making it easier for these projects get regulatory approval. The state’s 10-year energy plan emphasizes grid modernization and innovative technologies, setting goals for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Seek Demand Charges as States Tussle with Net Metering Policies

The proliferation of customer-sited generation has prompted utilities to push for demand charges – a fee based on a customer’s peak consumption during a billing period – to recover fixed costs and address cross-subsidies. Utilities face the conundrum of losing revenue as customers installing distributed generation, such as rooftop solar, rely less on the utility for power needs while also shifting costs to other customers. Solar advocates argue that these fees impact customers’ ability to control their bill, potentially wiping out the incentive to install solar.

The Renewable Green Wave Promised by Democratic Electoral Victories

The political puzzle pieces are falling into place for nearly a dozen states to strengthen targets for the deployment of renewable generation following the Midterm elections, in what could serve as the latest driver for growth in solar- and wind-powered electricity. Newly elected Democratic governors in six states, ranging from Maine to New Mexico, ran on campaigns to pursue more ambitious renewable energy goals. Their rise to power not only boosts the prospect for more aggressive environmental mandates and targets, but will also mark a progressive shift in energy policy from their respective Republican predecessors, which had blocked renewable-friendly measures.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Massachusetts Solar Credit Market Overhaul Signals Predictability, Revenue Certainty

All six states in New England have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that drive the market for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). Massachusetts installed 1.6 GW of solar as of December 2017, the most in the New England region, largely thanks to its SREC I and II programs. The state is currently implementing a long-term, sustainable solar incentive called the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, replacing the SREC II program set to conclude in 2018.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Illinois Gears up for Gigawatt-Scale Solar Market

The Illinois Power Agency finalized its first long-term renewable procurement plan, mapping an ambitious path to reach the goal of 25 percent by 2025, following structural changes to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to enable a reliable funding mechanism. The plan lays out a framework for a new adjustable block program, community solar generation, and a low-income solar program, outlining procurement of 666 megawatts of solar.