November 2020 solar coverage snapshots

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Philadelphia is the newest major city in making solar power approval easier for small projects.

Only one fifth of US cities are reportedly on track to meet their carbon emissions reduction targets
United States

According to a report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, only one fifth of US cities have Community-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets and are on track to meet them. ACEEE ranked Washington, DC as the leading city in partnering with the community for multiple clean energy goals.

DOE is using a sustainable technology company to create a national solar energy plan for affordable apartment buildings
Denver, Colorado

The International Center for Adequate and Sustainable Technology has completed the first phase of its Department of Energy-funded project to implement a national initiative to deliver solar energy to low-income populations in affordable apartment buildings. ICAST started the three-year project by carrying out feasibility studies for low-income municipal solar projects in various supply markets.

Duke Energy will double its renewable energy portfolio to 16 GW by 2025
Charlotte, North Carolina

Duke Energy announced plans to double its renewable portfolio from 8 to 16 GW by 2025. The utility also plans to add more than 11 GW of energy storage to its territory by 2050 and to shut down all coal-fired power plants in the Carolinas by 2030.

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is now an official subsidiary of the SEIA state
Little Rock, Arkansas

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) is the 19th subsidiary of the SEIA state. “The Southeast is becoming a hotbed for solar development and we are excited to work with the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association to build a more resilient market in Arkansas that will compete with other states in the region,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of SEIA.

Solar executives launch an initiative to increase diversity and inclusion in the industry
The United States

A group of solar executives from Cypress Creek Renewables, Nextracker, Sol Systems, and other national companies have come together to discover how CEOs can implement meaningful changes to increase diversity and inclusion. The group will work to create a more diverse pipeline of candidates in the renewable energy industry and to develop inclusive corporate policies that companies can adopt.

New York Power Authority is investigating ways to convert natural gas peaker plants to cleaner energy
Albany, New York

The New York Power Authority and the environmental rights group PEAK Coalition have agreed to jointly assess how the utility can convert its seven natural gas peaker plants to cleaner energy. The groups will assess replacement resources such as energy storage and other low or low carbon technologies.

According to a study by the US state Penn, opening up the community solar market could generate $ 1.8 billion for Pennsylvania
State College, Pennsylvania

Penn researchers found that opening up the community solar market in Pennsylvania could have an estimated $ 1.8 billion in economic impact and support over 11,000 jobs across the state. The researchers looked at 235 planned solar projects in Pennsylvania that could move forward if the statehouse legislation is passed. Currently, utility rules prevent such projects.

Alliant Energy announces plan to add 400 MW of solar to Iowa’s grid by 2023
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Iowa utility company Alliant Energy has published a Clean Energy Blueprint Plan that aims to feed 400 MW of solar power by 2023 and 100 MW of distributed energy resources (such as municipal solar and energy storage systems) into the grid by 2023. Battery storage is a low-cost alternative that will allow Meeting our customers’ energy needs while creating a connected energy network that realizes the value of combining these resources, ”said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company.

Illinois lawmakers are calling for the Path to 100 Laws passed and the increasing diversity of renewable energies
Springfield, Illinois

Members of the Black Caucus Legislature in Illinois announced a renewable energy diversity plan and urged the governor to address the state’s lack of solar funding by passing the Path to 100 Act this fall. According to the principles of the Diversity and Equity Group, any company participating in the state’s RPS would be required to meet the prescribed diverse recruitment or contractor goals and other inclusive strategies.

The Orlando Utilities Commission sets the date for the end of coal use
Orlando Florida

The Orlando Utilities Commission announced it would cease burning coal for electricity by 2027 and achieve 92% renewable energy by 2050. The move was likely prompted by the goal of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to have 100% renewable energy in the city by 2050.

According to the site report, Baltimore can meet the state’s solar targets with available fallow land and roof space
Baltimore, Maryland

The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) released a report that found that Baltimore County and City have sufficient solar project location options to match the region’s share of the Maryland RPS target. The analysis identified optimal solar locations on existing roofs, park roofs and degraded areas with the aim of avoiding development on first-class farm and forest areas.

The Center for Biodiversity is suing the DOE over records of grid stability studies
Washington, DC

The Center for Biodiversity sued the Department of Energy for failing to publish a record of the department’s collaboration with utilities and the fossil fuel industry to conduct a study of the reliability and resilience of the country’s power grid. The center is looking for records to find out how corporate interests might influence the model that could affect a transition to renewable energy in the power grid.

DOE works with national laboratories to transform energy systems in remote communities
Washington, DC

The US Department of Energy launched the Energy Transitions Initiative (ETIPP) partnership program with key national laboratories in the country to provide resources and support to remote communities that want to transform their energy systems and increase their resilience. The DOE emphasizes that the program will provide “technology neutral” support to communities.

New York will require 70% renewable energy by 2030
Albany, New York

The New York Public Service Commission has officially adopted a target of 70% renewable energy for the state by 2030. The mandate also includes a guideline for NYSERDA to enter into contracts for 4,500 MWh of renewable energy per year.

Ameren Illinois is making net metering concessions so that new rooftop solar customers can take full advantage of it
Springfield, Illinois

Ameren reversed course after plans to end grid measurement in September. The utility filed a special permit tariff to allow new rooftop solar customers to receive full compensation for the excess electricity they generate if the Illinois Commerce Commission determines that an important grid metering calculation should be changed. Solar proponents have claimed that Ameren used flawed justification to end grid metering prematurely.

Philadelphia launches EZ Permit for 10 kW and smaller solar projects
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Licensing and Inspection Department in Philadelphia has worked to make the city more solar friendly by streamlining the approval process for projects 10 kW and smaller. Contractors can now submit a new online EZ Approval for qualified installations that do not require plans and that will be reviewed within three business days.

Trump plans to increase tariffs on imported solar panels and revoke the bifacial exemption
Washington, DC

President Trump announced that the tariff for imported solar cells and modules will increase in 2021 and that bifacial solar cells will lose their exemption status. Trump based this proclamation on his claim that domestic PV module manufacturing is increasing, but Solar Power World found that the U.S. solar module industry actually lost 100MW of production capacity in 2020.

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