Category Archives: Policy

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201 Trade Case Update: Trump Administration Imposes Tariff on Imported Solar Panels

201 Trade Case Update: Trump Administration Imposes Tariff on Imported Solar Panels After months of uncertainty, the Trump administration announced on Monday that it is imposing a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules, which will step down 5% each year thereafter for a duration of four years. In addition, the first 2.5 gigawatts … Continue reading this entry

President Trump Signs Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into Law

Today, President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) into law, marking the first major overhaul of the U.S. tax code in over 30 years. As we discussed in our prior blog post here, the TJCA is a mixed bag for the renewable energy industry. On one hand, it cuts the tax … Continue reading this entry

BREAKING NEWS: Congress Sends Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to President Trump’s Desk for Signing

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has been passed by both houses of Congress and is now set to be signed into law by President Trump. The vote was 224-201 in the House with all the Democrats joined by twelve Republicans voting “no” and 51-48 in the Senate along party lines. Although the TCJA … Continue reading this entry

House Passes Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Yesterday, the House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) along party lines. As we discussed in our prior blog post here, the TCJA extends the ITC with respect to certain “orphaned” technologies (e.g., fiber optic solar, fuel cell, small wind, micro turbine, CHP, and thermal energy) but it slashes the PTC down to … Continue reading this entry

Ways and Means Clarifies Wind Can Rely on Start of Construction Safe Harbors

Last week we wrote in our blog that the House Tax Cuts and Job’s Act (TCJA) appeared to override IRS guidance that wind developers relied on to show that they started construction on a wind farm in order to take advantage of the PTC. In response to industry groups, the Ways and Means Committee clarified … Continue reading this entry

Senate Tax Proposal Provides Encouraging News for Wind

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch recently released his Chairman’s Mark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Senate Proposal) in advance of the Senate Finance Committee markup scheduled to begin today. The Senate Proposal differs from the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (House Proposal), which we discussed in our blog post here. … Continue reading this entry

The GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Includes Changes Impacting the Renewable Energy Industry

On November 3rd, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R. Tex.) released the “chairman’s mark” to H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA). The TCJA represents the most extensive rewrite of the Internal Revenue Code in the last 30 years. The Ways and Means Committee is expected to begin reviewing the … Continue reading this entry

ITC Proposes Tariffs in Solar Trade Case

After hearing days of arguments and considering dozens of filings from solar companies both opposed to and in support of trade action, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today recommended tariffs on imported solar modules of as much as 35 percent. After unanimously voting on Sept. 22 that the U.S. domestic industry was seriously injured … Continue reading this entry

FERC Confirms that FPA Section 203 Approval is Not Required for Tax Equity Investment

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has issued a declaratory order confirming that no approval under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) is required in connection with the transfer or issuance of passive tax equity interests in public utilities or public utility holding companies. Under Section 203, FERC’s prior authorization is required “if a … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Trade Commission Finds Domestic Injury from Foreign Solar Imports

In a ruling highly anticipated and hotly debated in the solar industry, the U.S. International Trade Commission determined in a unanimous 4-0 decision today that foreign imports of solar modules caused “serious injury” to U.S. companies under Section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act. The determination concerns “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells (Whether or Not Partially … Continue reading this entry

N.C. Governor Signs H.B. 589

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed H.B. 589 into law. H.B. 589, otherwise known as the Competitive Energy Solutions Plan, adds the following features to the already robust North Carolina solar industry: competitive bidding process for solar developers, a statewide rooftop solar leasing program, and the Green Source Rider Program, which allows large utility … Continue reading this entry

Nevada Legislature Approves Bills to Encourage Distributed Generation and Community Solar Projects

The Nevada legislature took several actions in the last days of its 2017 legislative session to reopen the state to the development of and investment in distributed generation and community solar projects.  While Nevada has the fourth most solar capacity installed of any state, most of the recent development has been of utility-scale projects after … Continue reading this entry

From ESA to Keystone to EPA, Changes Coming Fast

Few things are certain leading up to Donald Trump’s presidency. But there is no question that environmental and energy policy will take center stage in the days – perhaps hours – following his inauguration. Much of President Obama’s environmental legacy, particularly the parts stemming from executive actions, will be rolled back – and, more broadly, … Continue reading this entry

MISO Updates Interconnection Rules

FERC approved MISO’s proposed changes to its generator interconnection procedure (“GIP”) and generator interconnection agreement (“GIA”), designed to streamline MISO’s interconnection queue process. These changes will affect all interconnection requests made after January 4, 2017 and all prior requests that have not yet completed a system impact study. The new provisions are largely designed to … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court of Illinois Says Courts Can Decide ARES Rate Disputes

Courts – not the ICC – have jurisdiction over rate cases involving an ARES, said the Supreme Court of Illinois.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Karmeier, the Court in December answered the Seventh Circuit’s certified question whether rate claims against ARESs are under the jurisdiction of the ICC or the courts under … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issus New Guidance on the Beginning of Construction Safe Harbor For Renewable Energy Projects

The IRS recently issued Notice 2017-4 (the “Notice”) which makes two important changes to its “beginning of construction” rules for taxpayers seeking to take advantage 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. Under prior IRS … Continue reading this entry

IRS Revokes Favorable PLR Concerning Ability of Tribe to Pass ITCs to Lessee in Master-Tenant Structure

In recently released Private Letter Ruling 2016-40-010 (the new ruling), the IRS prospectively revoked PLR 2013-10-001 (the original ruling), concluding that a Native American tribe may not elect to pass investment tax credits (ITC) associated with renewable energy assets on reservation lands to a taxable entity under Section 50(d)(5) of the Tax Code.  [Click here … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues Proposed Rules on Income Inclusion under Section 50(d)(5)

The IRS just published long-awaited temporary regulations under section 1.50-1T governing the section 50(d)(5) income inclusion rules. These rules apply to lessees of investment credit property when the lessor elects to treat the lessee as having acquired the property for its fair market value and pass through the investment tax credit available under section 46 … Continue reading this entry

New Hampshire Doubles Solar Net Metering Cap

New Hampshire has doubled the caps on energy that both residential and commercial customer-generators of rooftop solar can sell back to the grid, raising the cap from 50 MW to 100 MW. The governor signed H.B. 1116, which was introduced this past March, into law on May 2, 2016. Net metering programs allow homeowners and … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues New Notice Extending Beginning of Construction Safe Harbor

Yesterday, the IRS issued Notice 2016-31 (the “Notice”) which revises previous guidance on satisfying the “beginning of construction” test in order to take advantage 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. The … Continue reading this entry

Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) recently released Report 151: Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports (the Report). Foley partner David Bannard is a co-author of the Report, assisting lead investigators, Stephen Barrett and Philip DeVita of HMMH. The Report is a companion to ACRP Report 141: Renewable Energy as an Airport … Continue reading this entry

US Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Bill

The first broad energy bill passed in nearly a decade was passed by the Senate yesterday with an 85-12 vote margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, S. 2012, responds to major changes to the energy landscape spurred by the growth in renewable energy and domestic natural gas and oil production. The bill includes provisions … Continue reading this entry

Massachusetts Raises Caps on Solar Net Metering

Massachusetts has raised the caps on the Commonwealth’s net metering program. The governor’s signature was inked on April 11, 2016 on a bill approved by the legislature last week, after months of negotiation. Net metering programs allow homeowners and other solar customers to sell excess power they generate back to the electrical grid in exchange … Continue reading this entry