Category Archives: Solar

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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

Southern California Edison Seeking Rooftop Solar Projects

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 … Continue reading this entry

Attack on Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard Law Denied

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 … Continue reading this entry

Southern California Edison (SCE) Launches RAM 6 RFO

SCE has launched its Sixth Renewable Auction Mechanism Request for Offers (“RAM 6 RFO”). SCE is seeking Eligible Renewable Resources (ERR) generating facilities between 3 megawatts (MW) and 20 MW. New for this RAM 6 RFO, SCE is also soliciting 50 MW of Solar ERR generating facilities for its Green Tariff Shared Renewables (“GTSR”) program. To qualify as … Continue reading this entry

PG&E RAM 6 Process Opens

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is now accepting applications for PG&E’s Sixth Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) Request for Offers (RFO), known as “RAM 6”. The RAM 6 RFO is available to renewable electric energy generating facilities between 3 MW and 20 MW. Additional Offer qualification criteria can be found in the PG&E Protocol for the RAM 6 … Continue reading this entry

White House Takes Aim at Solar for Low- and Middle-Income Americans

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday a plan to grant greater access to solar energy production for all Americans, in particular low- and middle- income communities. The White House announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will release information next month to provide building owners and business additional knowledge regarding incentives and … Continue reading this entry

DTE Energy Issues 5-50 MW RFP

DTE Energy (DTE) announced recently that it has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the construction of a 5-50 MW solar generating facility. While DTE is seeking proposals for projects in the city of Detroit as well as surrounding communities, ultimately, the project must only be within DTE’s service area.  Further, the project must … Continue reading this entry

Hawaii Sets 100% Renewable Energy Goal and Opens the Door to Community Solar

Electricity on the island state of Hawaii will come 100% from renewable resources by 2045, pursuant to new legislation. The plan will end Hawaii’s current reliance on imported fuel oil which Governor Ige has said currently costs $5 billion annually. Wind, solar, geothermal and storage technology and distribution improvements will all play important roles. Hawaii currently produces … Continue reading this entry

Edison International Using Rooftop Solar to Help Modernize It's Grid

SunEdison, Inc. has secured 20-year power purchase contracts with Southern California Edison to build 33 megawatts of rooftop arrays on industrial buildings in Southern California. Once the rooftop arrays are complete, SunEdison’s public traded yieldco unit TerraForm Power Inc. will purchase the systems.  The 17 systems are expected to be operational next year, and will … Continue reading this entry

FERC Issues Proposal to Ease Regulation of Gen-Tie Lines

FERC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would substantially reduce the regulatory burdens placed on energy project developers that construct generator lead lines (gen-tie lines) to interconnect their projects to the grid. Currently, developers that own, operate or control a gen-tie line (referred to in the NOPR as “Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities” … Continue reading this entry

IRS Issues Notice 2015-25 Extending Safe Harbor for Continuous Construction in Order to Take Advantage of Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Yesterday, the IRS issued Notice 2015-25, which updates the guidance in Notices 2013-29,  2013-60, and 2014-46. These Notices provide that a taxpayer can show that it has “begun construction” of its qualified renewable energy facility by December 31, 2014 for purposes of taking advantage of the section 45 renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) or the … Continue reading this entry

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. … 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. … Continue reading this entry

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 … Continue reading this entry