Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) has introduced legislation that would grant tax credits for solar energy manufacturers at all stages of the supply chain, which the Georgia Democrat called essential to making the U.S. internationally competitive on renewable energy. In a video press conference on Tuesday, Ossoff said he would strive to ensure the bill was included in the broader Senate infrastructure plan but said he would introduce a stand-alone bill if necessary.
On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a plan that requires utilities to buy 11.5 gigawatts of zero-carbon electricity by 2026. That’s a lot--between a third and a fifth of the electricity California is using at any given moment. The plan will bolster electrical capacity with clean energy like geothermal plants, and solar panels backed up by batteries to reduce the risk of its grid going dark. The commission ordered the massive addition of gigawatts because California has been bumping up against the limits of its electrical system.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 17 backed off of a prior decision tied to its landmark rule opening wholesale power markets to aggregations of distributed energy resources, reversing its determination that state opt-out rules for demand response resources do not apply to those types of aggregations. At issue is an opt-out provision for states in recognition of their exclusive jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act over the siting and permitting of their own energy infrastructure. The commission will wait to assess the comments filed in response to the notice of inquiry (RM21-14) launched in March to explore whether state opt-out rules for a separate demand response rule still make sense. The comment deadline for that NOI was extended in light of the commission's latest action to July 23 for initial comments, with replies due by August 23.
Almost two-thirds of wind and solar projects built globally last year will be able to generate cheaper electricity than even the world’s cheapest new coal plants, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). The agency found that the falling cost of new windfarms and solar panels meant 62% of new renewable energy projects could undercut the cost of up to 800 gigawatts worth of coal plants, or almost enough to supply the UK’s electricity needs 10 times over.
Avangrid Renewables has secured an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for its Manzana wind power project in Rosamond, California. The USFWS has accepted the company’s “precedent-setting” conservation plan that will help fund condor recovery efforts at a facility operated by the Oregon Zoo. The funding included in the conservation plan will support the rearing of six condors, a number determined by a population viability analysis to mitigate the impacts of two potential adult condor fatalities over the 30-year permit period.
State regulators have approved a deal by utility AES Indiana to build a sprawling solar farm in central Indiana that could generate enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the project, which will stretch across nearly 1,800 acres in Clinton County, in an area about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The project, called Hardy Hills, will include 581,594 solar panels and will generate 195 megawatts of electricity, making it one of Indiana’s largest solar farms.