Category Archives: Policy

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CA Self-Generation Incentive Program Extension Signed Into Law

California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 700 into law on September 27, 2018, extending the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for an additional five years. As previously discussed in our blog post here, SGIP extends the current January 1, 2021 expiration date until January 1, 2026, and provides rebates for the installation of energy storage systems … Continue reading this entry

California Self-Generation Incentive Program on Verge of Five Year Extension

It has been a busy week for California State legislators on the clean energy front. Following closely on the heels of the California Senate’s approval of SB 100, the California Senate on Thursday by a vote of 25-13 passed SB 700, a bill that according to the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) could result … Continue reading this entry

CA Votes to Go 100% Carbon-Free by 2045

Earlier this week, the California Assembly took aggressive steps to limit greenhouse gas emissions as legislators voted to require that 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2045. If signed into law, California would become the most populous state to go completely green in terms of energy production. SB 100, authored … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues New Guidance on Beginning Construction Requirement For ITC

The IRS recently issued Notice 2018-59 (the “Notice”) which provides clarification to “beginning of construction” for taxpayers seeking to take advantage of the section 48 renewable electricity investment tax credit (ITC) for solar and other renewable energy facilities including qualified fuel cell, combined heat and power, qualified small wind and geothermal heat pump. The Notice largely follows … Continue reading this entry

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy Commit To Increase Renewable Portfolios

In an effort to stave off a grassroots movement to increase the State of Michigan’s renewable energy mandate, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy announced on May 19, 2018, that they have agreed to significantly increase their renewable energy portfolios. Both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, Michigan’s two largest investor-owned utilities, agreed to boost clean energy … Continue reading this entry

California Mandates Solar for Nearly All New Homes

In a historic move, California has become the first state in the country to require solar panels on nearly all new homes. On May 9, 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) unanimously approved standards that, among other things, mandate the installation of solar energy systems on all new residences and major home renovations on buildings … Continue reading this entry

IRS Releases 2018 PTC Amounts

The IRS just published its annual notice that provides the inflation adjustment factors and reference prices used in determining the amount of the section 45 production tax credit (PTC) for the production of renewable energy and refined coal. The credit for the production of renewable energy from wind, closed-loop biomass and geothermal facilities remains at … Continue reading this entry

Illinois Approves Long-Term Renewable Plan

On April 3, 2018, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved, with modifications recommended by solar advocates and consumer groups, the Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (Plan). The Plan was adopted under the Future Energy Jobs Act, which requires the ICC to establish a long-term plan for renewable resources procurement and lays … Continue reading this entry

Trump Administration Imposes Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

The international trade front has had some important developments over the last few weeks that will likely have significant impacts on the construction of domestic wind, solar, biomass and other types of renewable energy projects. One major development was the announcement of the section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, where President Trump has informally announced … Continue reading this entry

FERC Votes to Encourage Electric Storage

On February 15, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted to require all Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) to revise its tariffs to establish a participation model for electric storage resources that consist of market rules that properly recognize the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources. FERC’s goal … Continue reading this entry

Early Morning Budget Deal Brings the Return of Previously Expired Short-Term Tax Breaks

Early this morning, the House and Senate voted to pass a budget deal that included $17 billion in tax provisions, ending a short overnight government shutdown.  The bill (H.R. 1892) extends the investment tax credit (ITC)  to “orphaned” technologies that were not included in the extension of ITC for solar property in 2015. The bill makes … Continue reading this entry

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