SCE Announces RAM 6 Program Forum


Southern California Edison (SCE) announced a Program Forum for SCE’s 2015 Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) Program. The Program Forum will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time).

The main purpose of the Program Forum is to discuss SCE’s upcoming RAM 6 Request for Offers (RFO) process. A significant portion of the Program Forum will be devoted to input from the participants, which may be taken into consideration when SCE submits an advice letter to the California Public Utilities Commission that proposes changes to the RAM standard power purchase agreement and the RFO instructions.

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IRS Releases Guidance on Performance and Quality Standards for Small Wind Energy Property


The IRS recently released Notice 2015-4 (the Notice), which provides performance and quality standards that small wind energy property (defined under section 48(c)(4) of the Code as property utilizing a “qualifying small wind turbine” with a nameplate capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts (kW)) must meet to qualify for the section 48 investment tax credit (ITC).

ITC eligible small wind energy property acquired or placed in service after January 26, 2015, must now meet the performance and quality standards set forth in either:

(1) American Wind Energy Association Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard 9.1-2009 (AWEA); or

(2) International Electrotechnical Commission 61400-1, 61400-12, and 61400-11 (IEC).  Continue reading this entry

Department of Commerce Proposes New Solar Tariff on Chinese Panels


On January 2, 2015, the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) announced its preliminary decision regarding crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules, from the People’s Republic of China (“Chinese solar cells”). The decision relates to an administrative review by the DOC of Chinese solar cells imported from May 25, 2012 through November 30, 2013. The original antidumping case was brought by SolarWorld Americas Inc., a German-owned, Oregon-based company, as well as various exporters and U.S. importers. This administrative review covers two mandatory respondents, Yingli Energy Company Limited (“Yingli”) and Wuxi Suntech Power Co., Ltd. (“Wuxi Suntech”).

In determining what rates would apply to Yingli and Wuxi Suntech, the DOC first preliminarily determined that while Yingli would be eligible for its own separate rate, Wuxi Suntech would not be eligible for its own separate rate, and thus would be given the “China-wide” rate, that is, the rate given to all Chinese companies who were not mandatory respondents and either failed to apply or unsuccessfully applied for a separate rate. The DOC based its Wuxi Suntech decision on its determination that Wuxi Suntech is sufficiently controlled by the Chinese government, such that the Chinese government either controls or has the potential to control Wuxi Suntech.    

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Department of Commerce Reaches Affirmative Determinations on Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from China and Taiwan


On December 16, 2014, the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) reached affirmative final antidumping determinations relating to certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic products from the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and Taiwan. The DOC also reached an affirmative final countervailing duty determination regarding the same product from China.

The ITC is scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about January 29, 2015. If the ITC makes affirmative final determinations that imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China and/or Taiwan materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the domestic industry, DOC will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders, as applicable. If the ITC makes negative determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated.

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Production Tax Credit Extended for Renewable Projects Beginning Construction in 2014


On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771).  H.R. 5771 includes a retroactive one-year extension of the section 45 renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) for wind and other renewable energy facilities including geothermal, biomass, landfill gas and certain hydropower and marine hydrokinetic energy projects. Taxpayers may alternatively elect to claim the section 48 investment tax credit (ITC) in lieu of the PTC.

Projects now have until December 31, 2014 to begin construction in order to claim the PTC. (See our prior blog post here summarizing recent IRS guidance (Notice 2014-46) explaining what it means to begin construction for purposes of the PTC and ITC.)

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