On July 18, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed into law what is being billed as the “most aggressive…
As policymakers across the U.S. continue to refine their methods of valuing solar energy development, several strategies have bubbled to the top. Some policies emphasize a market approach that, in theory, benefits both utilities and solar system owners (e.g. New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) Tariff). While a market approach is advantageous because it incentivizes solar development based on the benefits that solar systems bring to a specific area of the electrical grid, this strategy may result in less predictable project economics. Other policies, such as Feed-In Tariffs, incentivize solar development by making project returns as predictable as possible, but conversely may over-incentivize solar development in less valuable areas of the electrical grid.
With the rapid development of the solar industry over the past decade, policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders have increasingly tried to pinpoint the most accurate compensation mechanism for solar energy generation. Feed-In Tariffs, Performance-Bonded Incentives, SRECs, net-metering and community solar programs are an example of policies designed to spur development in renewable energy and/or accurately compensate the owners of these systems for the benefits they bring to the electrical grid.
A long time ago… 1978 to be exact, the United States was in energy peril. Under the OPEC embargo, oil prices were at an all-time high and continued to increase with no end in sight. In order to spur an increase in domestic energy supply, President Jimmy Carter signed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which required electric utilities to purchase additional energy from independent power producers. Various methods of purchasing this energy emerged, but one method was particularly innovative. The State of California offered independent energy producers, largely wind farms, contracts to sell the utilities energy at a fixed per-kWh price over a long-term contract period.
On November 8, Florida voters will determine the future of solar energy in the Sunshine State by voting on Amendment 1, which seeks to establish a utility-owned monopoly on solar energy in the state. This is an anti-solar initiative.
Amendment 1, titled “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice,” uses deceptive language to disguise itself as a pro-solar amendment. Although the bill promises to “give residents of Florida the right to own or lease solar energy equipment for personal use,” it may actually take all of the private-sector financial benefits of solar energy away from consumers and give them to the utilities.
On August 30th, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that will help pave the way for a solar-friendly future in the state. Amendment 4, formally titled the “Florida Property Tax Exemptions for Renewable Energy Equipment Amendment,” is a bipartisan ballot initiative that extends Florida’s renewable energy property tax incentive to commercial and industrial properties.
If you are a Long Island business owner, transitioning to solar energy is about to become more viable than ever because of PSEG LI’s new Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, which is scheduled to launch on August 1, 2016.