Renewable Energy Update - January 2017

by Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Solar industry tackles financial barriers by merging two key organizations

Greentech Media - Jan 4 The alphabet soup of solar industry organizations just got a little bit less cluttered. The Solar Energy Finance Association (SEFA) has been working to break down barriers keeping solar companies away from the cheap capital they need to grow. That's also been an increasingly critical goal of the 42-year-old Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Instead of pursuing these goals separately, the two have decided to join forces. As of January 3, SEFA will convert into a committee-style body housed under SEIA's organizational umbrella and dubbed the Solar Energy Finance Advisory Council.

Tesla begins making battery cells at massive Nevada factory

ABC News - Jan 4 Tesla Motors says it has started producing lithium-ion battery cells at its $5 billion factory in Nevada. The massive Gigafactory outside Sparks is coming online in phases, with a goal of full operation in 2018. Officials say it could almost double the world's production of lithium-ion batteries, making them more affordable as the company looks beyond the luxury niche market. Nevada has promised Tesla $1.3 billion in state tax incentives based on projections that it'll employ 6,500 people at full production.

Arizona commission overhauls rules for net metering, distributed generation

Renewable Energy World - Jan 3 The Arizona Corporation Commission voted 4 to 1 on December 21 to restructure how distributed generation is compensated and paid for in Arizona. The commission said in a news release that the move to replace net metering is laying the foundation to invigorate renewable energy technologies while providing equity to all customers. The decision comes after a three-year investigation into the value and cost of solar, which included input from a broad coalition of solar, utility, consumer advocates and customers.

Over 128,000 California homes go solar in 2016

PV Magazine - Jan 5 New data from state California Solar Initiative program Go Solar California reports that over the first 10 months of 2016, a total of 128,485 Californian families went solar, according to California Citisuns, the solar consumer advocacy based in Sacramento. The total suggests a 2016 total of over 154,000 new solar homes in the state.

SunPower completes 20MW PV project in Arizona

PV-Tech - Dec 22

SunPower and Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) in late December dedicated a 20-megawatt PV project in Cochise County, Arizona, that will generate clean energy for customers in SSVEC’s service area. SSVEC will purchase the power produced by the plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement with SunPower. SSVEC is retaining the renewable energy credits associated with the solar plant. The plant is expected to generate enough electricity to provide the needs of approximately 2,800 households over the next 20 years.

Disclosure: Allen Matkins represented SunPower in connection with the SSVEC project discussed in this article.

Eolus creates JV in U.S., takes 60% stake in California wind project

SeeNews Renewables - Jan 4 Eolus Vind AB has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in a wind project in California from ZCF Wind Wall LLC, the Swedish wind developer said at the end of last week. Through subsidiary Eolus North America Inc., the Swedish company has created a joint venture with ZCF to develop and construct the wind farm near Tehachapi, California, as well as other projects in the western U.S. 

Spruce closes $105.4 million round of debt financing for residential solar PV

SolarServer - Dec 22 San Francisco-based Spruce Finance, a provider of consumer financing for residential solar and home efficiency improvements, has closed a $105.4 million round of debt financing with Investec and Silicon Valley Bank as the lead arrangers. The syndicated loan is financed against a Spruce portfolio of residential solar PV systems. Spruce will use the proceeds to finance additional systems in states around the U.S.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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