White House Plan to Further Expand Renewable Energy Use

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President Barack Obama announced on August 24, 2015, additional steps taken to increase the adoption of renewable energy.

Among other things, the set of executive actions announced on Monday include making $1 billion in additional loan guarantee authority available and announcing new guidelines for distributed energy projects utilizing innovative technology and states looking to access this financing. The additional loan guarantee authority supplements the Department of Energy’s current loan guarantee solicitations, which total more than $10 billion in loan guarantee authority, to invite applications for distributed energy projects.

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New Report on Renewable Energy as an Airport Revenue Source

U.S. Department of Commerce Sets Stage for New Countervailing Duties on Chinese Solar Panels

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has recently published a guidebook on Renewable Energy as an Airport Revenue Source. The link to the guidebook on the ACRP website is here. Foley partner David Bannard is a co-author of the guidebook, for which the lead authors were Stephen Barrett and Philip DeVita of HMMH.

Airports are exploring non-traditional revenue sources and cost-saving measures. Airports also present a unique and often accommodating environment for siting renewable energy facilities, from solar photovoltaics (PV) to thermal, geothermal, wind, biomass and other sources of renewable energy. Although the guidebook focuses on the financial benefits of renewable energy to airports, it also notes other business and public policy benefits that can accrue from use of renewable energy at airports.

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The Obama Administration’s New Climate Plan to Increase Renewables

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The Obama Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday unveiled the long-anticipated Clean Power Plan (the Plan), which is intended to reduce overall carbon output by, in part, promoting the installation and expansion of renewable energy resources.

In a process that has spanned multiple years and has included extensive outreach and public engagement, President Obama and the EPA announced a multifaceted approach to bolster the nation’s reliance on renewable power. Under the Plan, renewables –  such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power – are estimated to account for twenty-eight percent (28%) of the nation’s capacity by 2030, a marked increase from the twenty-two percent (22%) figure in the proposed rule.

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Southern California Edison Seeking Rooftop Solar Projects

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As part of its Solar Photovoltaic Program (SPVP) for Independent Power Producers, Southern California Edison (SCE) recently issued a request for offers (RFO) seeking up to 27 MW of independently-generated solar photovoltaic power. The minimum contract size for this RFO is 500 kW DC, and the maximum contract size is 10 MW DC. However, SCE has stated that the “Generating Facilities will be primarily rooftop facilities in the range of 1 to 2 MW DC.”

All power purchases will made over a 20-year term and will be made according to the terms and conditions set forth in the SPVP 5 PPAs. There are two SPVP 5 Power Purchase and Sale Agreements (each, a PPA, and collectively, the PPAs), the forms of which are posted on the documents page of the SCE RFO website (linked to below). The two forms of PPAs are referred to as “SPVP 5 PPA Not Greater than 5 MW DC” and “SPVP 5 PPA 5-10 MW DC.”

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Attack on Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard Law Denied

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A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court affirmed on July 13th that Colorado’s voter-approved renewable energy mandate does not violate the U.S. Constitution, ruling that the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) does not impose unlawful regulations on out-of-state commerce.

In 2004, Colorado voters passed Amendment 37, which required investor-owned utilities to obtain at least ten percent (10%) of the energy they sell from renewable energy sources by the year 2015 (this mandate has since been increased to thirty percent (30%) by the year 2020). That act made Colorado the first state to adopt an RES by a vote of the people.

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