Tag: Solar Energy

Update: Minnesota Senate Passes Energy Omnibus Bill

Today the Minnesota Senate passed its omnibus energy bill by a vote of 37-26.  This follows the Minnesota House of Representatives’ passage of its version of the bill on Tuesday.  The bills now move to a conference committee for consolidation.  After the conference committee completes its work, the consolidated bill will then return to each … Continue Reading

Minnesota RES Expansion Moves Forward

 The Minnesota State Legislature’s attempt to expand the amount of electricity that utility companies secure from renewable energy sources cleared a major hurdle recently, as H.F. 956 was included in the House omnibus energy bill.  H.F. 956 proposes to increase Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (“RES”) to 40% by 2030.  The current standard requires that Minnesota’s … Continue Reading

California Court Sides with Solar Project in Williamson Act Challenge

My California colleague Kristen Castaños has written an alert about a recent Fresno County Superior Court decision that denied a challenge to Fresno County’s cancellation of a Williamson Act contract to accommodate a solar generating project. The decision is the first time a court has considered the interplay between the Williamson Act, a California statute … Continue Reading

Renewables Account for All New U.S. Electricity Generating Capacity Added in September

In September 2012, all new electricity generation came from solar and wind projects, according to the Energy Infrastructure Update (PDF) issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects. Five wind projects totaling 300MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133MW came online during the month. The Energy Infrastructure Update also noted that nearly … Continue Reading

Utah PSC Approves 60 MW of New Distributed Solar PV in Utah

My colleagues Laura Suesser and Julia Pettit reported on a significant victory for solar development prospects in Utah. On October 1, 2012, the Public Service Commission of Utah approved Rocky Mountain Power’s Solar Incentive Program, which will support 60 MW of new distributed solar PV resources in Utah over the next five years (2013-2017). The … Continue Reading

PG&E Announces 2012 PV PPA RFO

Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) announced yesterday that it had issued its 2012 Photovoltaic Program Power Purchase Agreement Request for Offers (“PV PPA RFO”).  PG&E seeks to procure PPAs for 50 MW of new photovoltaic resources to be located in PG&E’s service territory.   Copies of the solicitation protocol and related information and materials are now available … Continue Reading

Substantial Increase in Solar Patent Activity in 2010

By Aaron Barker The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reported that the U.S. solar market grew 67% in value in 2010. We have also noticed that the amazing growth in the solar industry is reflected in U.S. patent activity. Because the solar industry covers a wide range of technologies, we looked at a simple example … Continue Reading

BLM Notices Interim and Proposed Rules Protecting Renewable Energy Development From Mining Claims

Stoel Rives attorney Heath Curtiss, one of the co-authors of "Federal Land Issues with Siting and Permitting" in our Law of Wind, describes a Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") plan to protect certain land suitable for renewables development from the location of mining claims : As many of our clients with right-of-way (“ROW”) applications pending before BLM know, … Continue Reading

FERC Seeks Comments on Regulatory Reforms for Merchant Transmission and Generator Interconnection Capacity

  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") is seeking comments from energy industry participants on regulatory reforms that address how FERC should regulate merchant transmission development and generator interconnection (or lead) lines. Specifically, FERC desires comments on how it should balance the requirements of open access transmission and the needs of project developers. Merchant transmission … Continue Reading

Oregon nears decision on sage-grouse rules that will impact energy siting

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (“ODFW”) posted the final draft rules and draft conservation strategy related to the greater sage-grouse. After years of negotiation and numerous public meetings on the ODFW’s approach, the final drafts are open for public comment. On April 22 they will be presented to the Fish and Wildlife Commission … Continue Reading

Smart Grid Oregon Announces Its First Policy Conference–November 9, 2010

Following on the heels of a September 2010 report by GTM Research forecasting that the smart grid market in the U.S. will grow more than 70%, from $5.6 billion in 2010 to $9.6 billion by 2015, Smart Grid Oregon today announced the new organization’s first conference to be held on November 9, 2010 at the … Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Publishes White Papers on Transmission Development

I am proud to announce the publication of two white papers that focus on the issues of transmission development and broader issues facing renewable energy.  These white papers were written by attorneys at Stoel Rives and were prepared at the request of the Energy Foundation, a partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy.  The … Continue Reading

SHOW ME THE MONEY: DOE Offers $1.85 Billion in Solar Loan Guarantees

Saturday was a great day for solar energy: the DOE offered two conditional loan guarantee commitments: $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar Inc. for the construction and start-up of a concentrating solar power (CSP) generating facility in Solana, Arizona and a $400 million loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing for the assembly of state-of-the-art … Continue Reading

California Solar Initiative Handbook Update: Warranty Requirements

Morten Lund reports: The California Solar Initiative Handbook was updated June 8, 2010. The new version can be found by clicking here. Of particular interest are changes to Section 2.4 (warranty requirements). These changes are not necessarily substantively significant, but may require some manufacturers and contractors/installers to conform their warranty language in order to ensure … Continue Reading

SHOW ME THE MONEY: $1.37 BILLION LOAN GUARANTEE FOR CSP

DOE announced a conditional commitment for more than $1.37 billion in loan guarantees to BrightSource Energy, Inc. in support of the construction and start-up of three utility-scale concentrated solar power plants (CSP) in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California. The loan guarantee is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is predicated on … Continue Reading

APS Announces Wind and Solar RFPs

On January 27, Arizona Public Service (APS) announced two requests for proposals (RFPs), one for new sources of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy and the other for Arizona-based wind.   The RFP for solar PV seeks proposals for projects that are between 15 and 50 megawatts and that employ commercially proven technology.  APS’s goal is to procure approximately 220,000 … Continue Reading

Show Me the Money: $12 million for Early Stage Solar Technologies

  The Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced today that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (“NREL”) will invest up to $12 million in total funding ($10 million from funds allocated to NREL under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”)) in four companies – three California and one North Carolina –  to take early stage PV … Continue Reading

DOE and NREL Announce Open PV Mapping Project

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of the Open PV Mapping Project. The Project is a collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public to develop a comprehensive database of photovoltaic (PV) installation data for the United States. The Project will provide a Web-based resource for … Continue Reading

Solar Power International ’09

Next week, the Anaheim Convention center hosts Solar Power International, which bills itself as ‘North America’s largest business to business solar industry event.’ With over 900 exhibitors (Stoel Rives included) and 25,000 attendees expected, there is no doubt that this conference will be one of the largest and most heavily attended solar industry events in … Continue Reading

Show Me the Money: $454 Million in Energy Efficiency Retrofits

  The Department of Energy (“DOE”) announced a new $390 million energy upgrade program under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (“EECBG”) Program that could save $100 million annually in utility bills. DOE is looking for community-scale retrofit projects that will have a significant, long-lasting impact on energy consumption and which can be replicated in … Continue Reading
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