Category Archives: Solar

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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

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

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

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

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

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

North Carolina Considers Additional Statewide Permitting Requirement for Solar Farms

North Carolina has been a hotbed of activity for residential and utility scale solar developers. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, the Tar Heel State ranks fourth in the country in terms of installed solar capacity (1,088 MW). However, the North Carolina Energy Policy Council (EPC)—an advisory body within the state’s Department of Environment … Continue reading this entry

California Net Metering Ruling; Installations Greater than 1 MW Now Eligible

In a closely watched hearing, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 3-to-2 in favor of extending net metering in California. Eligible customers owning generation such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will continue to be able to net the electricity they produce against the electricity they consume. The decision establishes a successor program to the … Continue reading this entry

Just in Time for the Holidays: President Obama Signs ITC and PTC Extension Into Law

On Friday, President Obama signed into law the bipartisan $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 and the $680 billion Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, better known as the omnibus and tax reform bill and the tax-extenders bill, respectively. As we discussed in detail in our prior blog post here, the … Continue reading this entry

Breaking News: Congress Set to Vote On Spending Bill Including 5 Year Extension of ITC and PTC

Congressional leaders reached a much anticipated bi-partisan agreement in an omnibus appropriations bill that includes an extension (with phasedowns) of the section 48 investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy property and section 45 renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) for wind. (The 2000+ page bill is available here.) A separate tax extenders bill (available … Continue reading this entry

FERC Clarifies that Certain Qualifying Facilities (QFs) are Exempt from FPA Section 203

FERC recently issued an order confirming that certain qualifying facilities (“QFs”) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) are exempt from section 203(a)(1) of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) pursuant to section 292.601(c) of its regulations even if the QF has a market-based rates (“MBR”) tariff and/or generator interconnection facilities. FERC’s order … Continue reading this entry

California Expands Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law SB 350, a landmark bill designed to promote greater implementation of renewable energy technologies over the next fifteen years. The new law will: (1) increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard to fifty percent by 2030; and (2) increase building energy efficiency in the state by fifty percent by … Continue reading this entry

IRS Releases Favorable Guidance for Individual Investors in Community Solar to Claim Section 25D Tax Credit

The IRS recently issued a Private Letter Ruling (PLR) clarifying that an individual investor in a net-meted community solar project may claim the federal residential Investment Tax Credit (ITC) under Section 25D of the Internal Revenue Code. (A copy of the PLR is available here.) The PLR is also significant because it appears to eliminate a … Continue reading this entry

Arizona Rooftop Solar Regulations Highlight Distributed Generation Debate

Sunny Arizona is again in the middle of a nationwide debate between solar companies and utilities. Legislation adopted in March 2015, and which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, mandate certain disclosures and formats for leases used by rooftop solar companies, such as disclosure of the total lifetime cost of the system and the … Continue reading this entry

White House Plan to Further Expand Renewable Energy Use

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 … Continue reading this entry

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 … Continue reading this entry

The Obama Administration’s New Climate Plan to Increase Renewables

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 … Continue reading this entry