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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – May 30, 2016

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 31, 2016 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-may-30/
Energy Democracy Media Roundup - May 30

This week in Energy Democracy news:

Solar energy on the farm in Iowa.

Large-scale solar killing solar energy bill in Maine.

Recommendations to the Nevada state legislature.

New report shows that solar valuation remains a sticking point between utilities and everyone else.

Featured Stories

Report: Engaging members key for co-ops to meet energy challenges by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Utilities, greens still miles apart on solar valuation, new report shows by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads – Part 1: How we got to here by John Farrell, CleanTechnica [Part 2 & Part 3]

Solar power: On-farm energy operation by Nat Williams, Iowa Farmer Today

Big solar worked to kill Maine solar energy bill by Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald

The conflict between national solar companies and their Maine counterparts reflects deep divisions over how to credit the homeowners and small businesses for the power they generate on rooftops and in backyards.

Those credits are seen as essential to the expansion of solar power because they provide a payback for the upfront investments in solar equipment. A solar-electric system can cost $15,000 to $18,000 for a typical Maine home, with a payback period of up to 12 years after a 30 percent federal tax credit, depending on electricity prices.

Nevada task force recommends net metering grandfathering provision by Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive

A Nevada task force convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to promote renewable energy development rolled out a list of recommendations for the 2017 Legislative session, including a grandfathering provision for existing net metering customers and a boost to the state’s renewable portfolio standard.

Energy Democracy News in the States

Alaska

Despite winter darkness, solar power work better in rural Alaska than you’d expect by Annie Zak, Alaska Dispatch News

But sunlight actually might be a factor for remote areas trying to diversify their energy sources. Villages here, some with the help of the federal government, are looking to solar as an alternative to diesel fuel.

Sleek solar panels are already cropping up in small towns in the Arctic and elsewhere, and many more are on the way.

 

Arizona

Arizona begins hearings on co-op plan for higher fixed charges, lower net metering rates by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

California

No relief for east valley as Assembly kills solar bill by Sammy Roth, Desert Sun

 

Colorado

Boulder council supportive of city staff’s aggressive renewable electricity goal by Alex Burness, Boulder Daily Camera

 

Connecticut

Newtown poised to save with virtual net metering by John Vokey, Newtown Bee

 

Florida

Want solar panels? You still have to pay Florida utilities by WFTV-9

 

Illinois

ComEd jumps on the demand charge train with new Illinois proposal by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

Homer Township mulling solar farm by Michelle Mullins, Chicago Tribune

Exelon bill could black out solar industry, advocates say by Dan Petrella, Southern Illinoisan

 

Iowa

Solar power: On-farm energy operation by Nat Williams, Iowa Farmer Today

Iowa towns get push on energy efficiency from state program by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

 

Maine

PUC to decide fate of net solar metering by Fred Bever, MPBN

With Maine solar bill dead, industry waits on regulators for net metering reforms by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Big solar worked to kill Maine solar energy bill by Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald

The conflict between national solar companies and their Maine counterparts reflects deep divisions over how to credit the homeowners and small businesses for the power they generate on rooftops and in backyards.

Those credits are seen as essential to the expansion of solar power because they provide a payback for the upfront investments in solar equipment. A solar-electric system can cost $15,000 to $18,000 for a typical Maine home, with a payback period of up to 12 years after a 30 percent federal tax credit, depending on electricity prices.

Maine municipalities pull back on solar projects after veto kills bill by Peter McGuire, Portland Press Herald

Several Maine communities are reconsidering or shelving plans to build large-scale solar energy projects in the aftermath of a failed bid to reform Maine’s solar regulations.

A handful of cities and towns, including Falmouth, Portland, South Portland and Rockland, were planning to install photoelectric panels on top of capped landfills that otherwise have no use. The installations could provide renewable power to municipal buildings, schools and streetlights and reduce municipal electricity costs.

 

Maryland

It’s the economy: Maryland RPS debate illustrates national divide on clean energy policy by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Massachusetts

Legislature passes solar energy bill, lifts net metering cap by Leominster Champion

 

Michigan

Michigan’s capital city offers glimpses into utility planning future by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

Electric choice fuels Michigan energy overhaul fight by Jonathan Oosting, Detroit News

 

Minnesota

Minnesota Power interested only in self with solar proposal by Eric Enberg, Duluth News Tribune

True community solar is of, by and for the people with economic benefits such as less expensive electricity and jobs staying in the community. The 2013 law noted this local benefit by carving out a mandated percentage for distributed small systems of 20 kilowatts or less. Minnesota Power takes all of that in this proposal.

Proposal seeks to speed approvals for Minnesota solar projects by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

 

Montana

Net metering gaining popularity in Montana by Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette

 

Nevada

“We were booming and now we’re dead” – How Nevada’s solar industry bright spot turned dark by Larry Buhl, DeSmog Blog

Hope still possible for unhappy rooftop solar customers by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

The Technical Advisory Committee on Distributed Generation and Storage supported a measure Wednesday that would ask the Legislature in 2017 to grandfather in as many as 31,000 rooftop solar customers who are now in a less favorable rate class for 25 years.

The proposal will now be considered by the New Energy Industry Task Force, a panel re-established by Gov. Brian Sandoval to look at a variety of energy issues including rooftop solar.

Nevada governor’s task force committee recommends grandfathering rooftop solar customers by Gavin Bade, Utility Dive

Net metering benefits all ratepayers, two reports conclude by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

Nevada task force recommends net metering grandfathering provision by Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive

A Nevada task force convened by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to promote renewable energy development rolled out a list of recommendations for the 2017 Legislative session, including a grandfathering provision for existing net metering customers and a boost to the state’s renewable portfolio standard.

 

New York

N.Y. overhaul means new models for chasing utility profits by Saqib Rahim, E&E Publishing

 

Ohio

The moral, people-based case for reinstalling Ohio’s renewable energy standards by Christopher G. Kerr, Cleveland.com

 

Pennsylvania

State regulatory review board rejects PUC’s net-metering limits by Daniel Moore, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

 

Utah

Going solar: Salt Lake to purchase 3 megawatts of solar power by Ashley Stilson, Deseret News

Surrounded by solar panels on the rooftop of Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building, Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced Tuesday that the city has committed to purchasing three megawatts of solar power through Rocky Mountain Power.

The three megawatts of power, equivalent to 9,000 solar panels, will be purchased through the Rocky Mountain Power Subscriber Solar program, a project initiated to provide consumers with affordable solar energy.

 

Washington

Washington utilities reach solar incentive cap, foreshadowing net metering limits by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Wisconsin

Kickapoo Coffee roasting on solar power by Tianna Vanderhei, WXOW

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

Community solar systems popping up across rural America by Jonathan H. Harch, Agri-Pulse

Utilities, greens still miles apart on solar valuation, new report shows by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

The US is badly underinvesting in electricity infrastructure by David Roberts, Vox

Report: Engaging members key for co-ops to meet energy challenges by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Some state may be making a big mistake about rooftop solar by Associated Press