IRS extends safe harbor provisions for renewable energy projects impacted by COVID-19
Renewables Now – June 30
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has granted extra time to renewable energy projects impacted by the pandemic so they can meet safe harbor requirements and qualify for federal tax credits. The guidance released on Tuesday aims to mitigate the impacts of the global health and economic crisis, which caused huge supply chain delays and thus hampered project development. An earlier extension enabling project developers to qualify for the investment tax credit and the renewable electricity production tax credit was granted in May last year.
U.S. blocks certain solar materials made in Xinjiang region
Bloomberg – June 23
The U.S. has barred some solar products made in China’s Xinjiang region, marking one of the Biden administration’s biggest steps yet to counter alleged human rights abuses against the country’s ethnic Uyghur Muslim minority. The move targeting Chinese manufacturer Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan) Co., Ltd., announced Thursday, also has implications for the solar industry’s supply chain and could force U.S. companies to find material elsewhere.
Oregon lawmakers approve ambitious carbon-reduction goals for state energy grid
OPB – June 26
Oregon’s power grid will largely eliminate carbon emissions by 2040 under a bill that received final approval by state lawmakers on Saturday, setting one of the nation’s most ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. House Bill 2021 (HB 2021) now heads to Governor Kate Brown. HB 2021 sets a timetable by which Oregon’s two major power companies must eliminate emissions associated with the electricity they provide. Five “electricity service suppliers” in the state also would face regulation, though their emissions are tiny compared to the big utilities.
Greenbacker acquires 57.5-MW Altamont Winds Project in California
North American Windpower – June 25
Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. has purchased the Altamont Winds Project in Alameda County from funds managed by Castlelake LP. At 57.5 MW, the Altamont Winds Project is the single largest asset in Greenbacker’s wind portfolio and Greenbacker’s second wind asset in California. The project, which is in final stages of commissioning, has a long-term power purchase agreement with East Bay Community Energy, a community choice aggregator.
MGM Resorts doubles down on Las Vegas solar power
Forbes – June 29
This week renewable energy developer Invenergy announced the activation of its newest development — the MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array. The 640-acre field of solar panels is located in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Featuring more than 300,000 photovoltaic panels, the array will generate 100 MW, enough to provide 90% of the daytime power needs at MGM’s 13 properties on the Vegas Strip, including the Bellagio, Mirage, and Mandalay Bay.
Shasta County Planning Commission denies use permit for controversial wind farm
Record Searchlight – June 23
Bucking a staff recommendation, the Shasta County Planning Commission late Tuesday night unanimously rejected the use permit for a controversial wind farm project. Commissioners sided with opponents who said the Fountain Wind project’s impact on the environment, the scenery, and the potential long-term harm it would do to the area’s economy outweighed the benefits of the massive wind farm. ConnectGen LLC wants to lease property from a private landowner to construct up to 71 wind turbines with a capacity to generate up to 216 MW of electricity, according to the county planning department.
Ventura County battery storage system up and running
Ventura County Star – June 29
On Tuesday, local officials unveiled the Saticoy Energy Storage Site, a 100-MW battery storage system in Oxnard set to power tens of thousands of homes and businesses. The battery storage system uses Tesla equipment and can power Oxnard for four hours and Ventura County for 30 minutes, said John Breckenridge, a senior managing director of system owner Capital Dynamics.
PermaCity begins construction on 2.2-MW solar array for AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
Solar Power World – June 29
PermaCity is installing a 2.2-MW solar array atop an ocean research facility at the Port of Los Angeles. Once completed, the project will likely be the second largest solar installation at a U.S. port. The installation will generate approximately $495,000 in energy value per year and will export its energy to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.