Renewable Energy Update - July 2015 #3

Allen Matkins

Renewable Energy Focus

Senate committee backs PTC extension

ReNews - Jul 22

A U.S. Senate committee has voted to extend more than 50 tax policies, including production and investment tax credits that incentivize wind farm construction. In a strong show of bipartisan support, the finance committee voted 23-3 to extend the tax breaks through 2016. Wind projects would qualify if they start construction before the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) incentives expire.

Renewables account for 70 percent of generation adds in first 6 months of 2015

Utility Dive - Jul 23

According to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) data, a single coal facility added 3 megawatts of capacity this year. By comparison, wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and geothermal accounted for more than 2,700 megawatts of capacity. New solar capacity actually registered a decline compared with the same period last year, when developers added more than 1,400 megawatts in the first half of the year.

New California ISO rules would bring rooftop solar to wholesale energy market

Solar Industry Magazine - Jul 16

The California Independent System Operator Corp. (ISO) board of governors has approved rules and processes that, for the first time, will enable aggregated distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar, to participate in the wholesale energy market. According to the ISO, these rules will set a pathway for smaller resources to be bundled by utilities or third parties and collectively meet the half-megawatt minimum requirement for participating in the energy market.

Los Angeles assembling Solar Action Committee to address PV challenges

Solar Industry Magazine - Jul 20

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (DPW) has created the Solar Energy Action Committee to facilitate an expansion of residential and commercial solar photovoltaic power in the region. According to the DPW, there are many challenges that are preventing the state and local governments in California from meeting aggressive renewable energy goals. Many of these challenges relate to the interpretation and application of codes and regulations in both the private and public sectors.

Tribal fight over steam leases gets new life

Courthouse News Service - Jul 20

An Indian tribe's challenge to federal approval of 26 geothermal lease continuations in California was incorrectly treated in court and must be reevaluated, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday. The Bureau of Land Management granted the leases for the production of geothermal steam between 1982 and 1988. In 1998, it vacated earlier extensions for those leases and granted retroactive 40-year continuations, according to the three-judge panel's opinion. The Pit River Tribe and several regional environmental organizations sued the Bureau in federal court, claiming that the agency's continuation of the leases in the Medicine Lake Highlands, part of the tribe's ancestral homeland, violated the Geothermal Steam Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Notable Renewable Energy Projects and Deals

SunPower to build solar power plant for NV Energy

PennEnergy - Jul 23

SunPower has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy to build a 100-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant planned for construction in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada. The project, called Boulder Solar, is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction, which is anticipated to commence before the end of 2015, with commercial operation planned in 2016.

REC Solar acquires Northern California energy company

The Tribune - Jul 22

REC Solar, a San Luis Obispo-based company that installs solar energy systems for commercial customers nationwide, has acquired Stellar Energy, a leading solar provider based in Sonoma County, California. Terms were not disclosed. As a result of the acquisition through an asset purchase agreement, REC Solar will have installed or is currently installing projects generating a total of more than 200 megawatts of power.

SunEdison plans to acquire Vivint Solar for $2.2 billion

Phoenix Business Journal - Jul 22

SunEdison Inc. announced its plans to acquire Vivint Solar for $2.2 billion in its mission to become the largest energy company in its sector. Vivint is the second largest residential photo voltaic panel installer. This acquisition will give SunEdison 4,000 new employees and a 523-megawatt portfolio of rooftop solar projects.

Sunrun hopes to raise up to $309 million in upcoming IPO

Silicon Valley Business Journal - Jul 22

Residential solar energy company Sunrun has set terms for an IPO that could raise up to $309 million. The San Francisco-based company, led by founder and CEO Lynn Jurich, plans to sell 17.9 million shares for between $13 and $15 each. At the top of its range, the company would be valued at nearly $1.5 billion. That would value it near the $1.7 billion market capitalization of Utah-based competitor, Vivint Solar, but far below the $5.4 billion market cap of San Mateo-based SolarCity.

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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