Author: Emerald Cities Collaborative Staff Published: 3/29/2022 ECCS
Author: Emerald Cities Collaborative Staff Published: 3/29/2022 ECCS
Author: US DOE Staff Published: 3/28/2022 DOE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF SOLAR FORECASTING PRIZE
Improved Forecasting Models Will Help Grid Operators Predict Production of Solar Power
WASHINGTON D.C. — This week, during a live, virtual event at Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize. The five winning teams, who will each receive $50,000, had the best-performing forecasting models and strongest plan to accelerate the adoption of probabilistic forecasts. The two runners-up will receive $25,000 each.
The Solar Forecasting Prize is designed to incentivize the development of state-of-the-art solar forecasting capabilities to assist grid operators in predicting how much solar power will be produced while considering weather-related uncertainties such as cloud coverage.
Accurate solar forecasting is essential for reliable and cost-effective integration of solar energy into the electricity grid, helping to achieve the Biden Administration’s goal of decarbonizing the grid by 2035.
“As the United States deploy more solar energy on the electric grid, accurate forecasts will be key for grid operators to maximize the potential of this technology,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. “Through their models, these winning teams have advanced forecasters’ ability to predict the amount of power that solar energy generators could reliably deliver in a given 24-48 hours.”
Every day for four weeks, teams submitted day-ahead solar forecasts for predetermined locations. Competitors also submitted plans that described commercialization approaches for their forecasting tools or innovative ideas in order to accelerate the adoption of advanced forecasts by system operators, integrated utilities, and other users.
The winners are:
The runners-up are:
The prize featured the use of an assessment framework, that allows for transparent and consistent analysis and evaluation of solar forecasts, called the Solar Forecast Arbiter (SFA). The SFA is an open-source platform that was developed by the University of Arizona with funding from the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in 2018. The teams used the SFA to compare their forecasts against the platform’s benchmark for quantitative evaluation of their forecast accuracy. The prize administrator relied on the SFA results for the evaluation of each team’s final standing.
The American-Made Solar Forecasting Prize was administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and funded by SETO. Learn more about DOE’s research to integrate solar into day-to-day electricity system operations.
Author: Staff U.S. Department of Education Published: 3/28/2022 US Dep. of Edu.
Author: Katie Kienbaum Published: 3/14/2022 ILSR
To increase solar energy, the federal government has given out a tax break since 2006 called the solar Investment Tax Credit. Under the solar tax credit, households and businesses that pay to install solar panels get part of their money back in the form of a tax break. That percentage they get back has changed over the years, but for solar panels built in 2022, the tax credit is worth 26 percent of the installation cost.
Currently, the tax credit just lets people and businesses that install solar reduce the taxes that they owe to the federal government — if the credit is worth more than taxes owed over a certain time period, they don’t get the full dollar amount. This makes it harder to go solar for many families, schools, and other nonprofit organizations that owe few or no taxes. Right now, 7 in 10 Americans can’t receive the full value of the tax break if they go solar, according to calculations by RMI.
We can make the solar Investment Tax Credit fairer by changing it to a:
For a deeper dive on the implications of a refundable or direct pay tax credit for solar on public buildings, churches, and other non-taxable entities, check out this piece from ILSR.
The good news is that pending federal legislation may address this problem. Refundability for the solar tax credit for households (under Section 25D of the U.S. tax code) is included in the draft of the Build Back Better Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. A direct pay option for solar tax credits for commercial installations (under Section 48) is also included in the stalled Build Back Better Act. In addition, the draft law would make the solar tax credit available for an additional ten years. Together, these provisions of the Build Back Better Act would help millions of American families and many nonprofits, cities, and other non-taxable entities go solar!
Author: US DOE Staff Published: 3/18/2022 DOE
The five-year-strategy aims to halve the cost of recycling and reduce the environmental impact of solar energy modules at end-of-life
WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released an action plan to enable the safe and responsible handling of photovoltaic (PV) end-of-life (EOL) materials. The activities outlined in the plan will reduce the environmental impact of solar energy while supporting the Biden Administration’s goal to decarbonize the electricity grid by 2035.
As solar deployment rapidly increases, more PV components will reach the end of their useful life and enter the waste stream. Although 95% of a PV module is recyclable, the current economics of EOL handling are unfavorable to recycling. The cost to recycle PV modules is significantly higher than the landfill fee. Establishing safe, responsible, and economic EOL practices will support greater deployment of solar energy.
“As we accelerate deployment of photovoltaic systems, we must also recognize the pressing need to address end-of-life for the materials in a sustainable way,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are committed to ensuring that the recovery, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these systems and their components are accessible, low-cost and have minimal environmental impact.”
Recycling should become standard practice to facilitate domestic material availability, according to DOE’s recent assessment of the solar PV supply chain. Actions taken now will improve the likelihood that supporting technologies will be developed to handle PV EOL volumes safely, responsibly, and economically, allowing for greater deployment and safe and socially responsible supply chains.
Under the strategy laid out today, the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) plans to address PV EOL issues through stakeholder outreach activities, data gathering, research, and analysis. SETO aims to better understand the state of EOL through the development of a database that tracks the materials, quantity, age, location, cause of EOL, and EOL handling for modules.
In addition, SETO will support hardware research to reduce the environmental impacts of EOL and reduce the cost of module recycling by more than half by 2030.
Learn more about SETO projects to develop new materials and designs that can make PV products longer-lasting, less energy-intensive to produce, easier to recycle, and less polluting at the end of life.
Author: AABE Staff Published: 3/17/2022 AABE
Author: Infocast Published: 3/17/2022 INFOCAST
|March 6-9, 2022 | Scottsdale, AZ|
Author: Jamila Bey Published: 3/16/2022 TWI
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced what he called a “first-in-the-nation” workforce development initiative to eliminate the requirement of a four-year college degree from thousands of state jobs.
The state will recruit job seekers who are “Skilled Through Alternative Routes” (STARs).
“Through these efforts we are launching today, we are ensuring that qualified, non-degree candidates are regularly being considered for these career-changing opportunities,” said Governor Hogan. “This is exactly the kind of bold, bipartisan solution we need to continue leading the nation by giving even more Marylanders the opportunities they need to be successful.”
The State of Maryland employs more than 38,000 individuals. The Maryland Department of Budget and Management estimates that more than half of those jobs can substitute relevant experience, training, and/or community college education for a four-year degree. There are more than 300 open state government jobs that no longer require a four-year degree, listed on “Stellarworx,” Opportunity@Work’s STARs talent marketplace.
STARs are age 25 or older, active in the labor force, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and they have developed their skills through alternative routes such as community college, apprenticeships, military service, boot camps, and most commonly, experience on-the-job. Opportunity@Work estimates that there are currently more than 70 million STARs in the United States.
Of the 2,869,000 workers in Maryland today, more than 1.3 million, or 47%, are considered STARs. Nationally, 61% of Black workers, 55% of Hispanic workers, 66% of rural workers of all races, and 61% of veterans are STARs.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan speaking in Washington last month. He unveiled a plan yesterday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
HOUSTON — EPA unveiled its plans yesterday for regulating the power sector, with greenhouse gas rules in a supporting role to limits on conventional pollution.
Describing his agency’s regulatory blueprint at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference here, EPA Administrator Michael Regan argued that regulations that would be rolled out in the coming year for mercury, ozone, water and coal ash would help finish the job on curbing climate pollutants that market conditions started by shifting U.S. power generation away from high-emitting coal.
That’s the point, Regan said, of EPA previewing its regulatory plans in a broad swath instead of staggering their release by statutory deadlines.
“The industry gets to take a look at this suite of rules all at once and say, ‘Is it worth doubling down on investments in this current facility or operation, or should we look at the cost and say no, it’s time to pivot and invest in a clean energy future?’” Regan told reporters after his keynote address.
“If some of these facilities decide that it’s not worth investing in [control technologies] and you get an expedited retirement, that’s the best tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.
Asked whether he was concerned that a challenge to EPA’s greenhouse gas authority now before the Supreme Court could deal a blow to the agency’s climate ambitions, Regan pointed to progress that could be made under other Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act rules.
“I don’t believe we have to overly rely on any one regulation,” he said.
EPA can still achieve greenhouse gas reductions using regulations on mercury and other toxic air pollution, soot and other fine particles, and other types of pollution like coal ash and water-based emissions, he said.
The coal industry would find little to applaud in Regan’s strategy or in his remarks to the energy conference in which he described coal power as an aging technology that is “simply unable to compete with newer technologies that are dominating current market investments.”
And EPA can expect pushback from coal’s champions in Congress. Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito has already asked EPA for an accounting of its power plan based on reporting by E&E News and others, which her office said she has not received. The West Virginia Republican has accused EPA of using rules that target other pollutants as a workaround in case the courts rule that strict carbon standards are legally out of bounds.
And yesterday, Capito blasted Regan for using CERAWeek as the backdrop to make this announcement.
“Executives pay $8500 to attend CERA Week,” the senator said in a Twitter post. “I guess that’s the cost of finding out what @EPA’s plans are.”
But the power sector itself is keeping its powder dry. Investor-owned utilities are not party to West Virginia v. EPA, the landmark court case now before the Supreme Court that could result in a decision in June that would limit EPA’s ability to regulate the power sector for carbon (Climatewire, March 10).
And the Edison Electric Institute, the industry’s trade group, filed an amicus brief expressing concern that too sweeping a decision by the court could lead to an onslaught of unintended consequences, including tort cases brought by states and other plaintiffs aimed at shutting down individual power plants.
“Tort suits are not a regime that allow for investment decisions,” Emily Sanford Fisher, general counsel for EEI, said in a virtual briefing Wednesday hosted by OurEnergyPolicy.
Sanford Fisher said at the briefing that non-CO2 rules had in fact caused the closing of coal-fired plants ahead of schedule in the past when utilities judged that to be more cost-effective than retrofitting them with emission control technology.
An Obama-era mercury rule led to the retirement of one-third of the nation’s coal fleet, she said, substantially changing the sector’s investment portfolio. And a Trump-era water rule allowed utilities to opt to commit to take their coal plants offline by 2028 to avoid expensive compliance measures — a deal several of her members have taken and that has led to early shutdowns.
But Sanford Fisher said regulations provided important flexibility when they offered utilities the option to retire a plant on a set schedule rather than requiring them to invest in costly upgrades as a condition of operating aging units short term to ensure a reliable power supply.
“You don’t want to drive someone to make investments in a unit that would otherwise be slated for closure,” she said, adding that that might extend the life of a plant while the utility recoups costs.
While retirements may deliver the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions cuts, EPA does plan to propose carbon rules for new and existing fossil fuel power plants later this year. Regan said yesterday that EPA was “taking a fresh look at our options” when crafting the two rules.
The Supreme Court’s decision this summer is likely to bar EPA from implementing something like the Obama-era Clean Power Plan — the 2015 rule that would have accomplished reductions through trading and fuel-switching.
But Sanford Fisher said the Biden EPA’s focus on environmental justice concerns would have made emissions trading an unlikely policy option anyway, because it has historically concentrated pollution sources in economically and racially disadvantaged communities, to be offset by carbon reductions elsewhere.
“I do tend to think that if EPA were in a position to do another rule that they might be more focused on some of the things that could happen at a specific unit or within a set of units that are closely located and not really look at generation shifting,” she said. “But I think that’s more of a political calculus than a technological or statutory calculus at this point.”
Before EPA formally proposes rules for new and existing power plant carbon, Regan said the agency would release a white paper soliciting comment on how natural gas combustion turbines can reduce their carbon output.
While coal plants have shut down in recent years, gas plants have proliferated. And most projections show substantial gas-based power will remain online through 2050 and beyond, even as the U.S. and the world are due to achieve important decarbonization milestones.
Regan said the paper’s goal would be to “frame the public dialogue” ahead of a proposed rule this year targeting gas-fired power plants.
The Obama-era rule for new power plant carbon, which is still on the books, demands that coal-fired power plants use partial carbon capture and storage, or CCS, technology to limit emissions. But it asks natural gas combustion plants to meet a standard of roughly 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, which is effectively business as usual.
Experts say the policy discussion around how to reduce emissions from gas-fired power through regulation is still in the relatively early stages. While CCS for coal can be costly and there can be geologic barriers to storing carbon in some places, there are added technological challenges to applying carbon capture to natural gas plants.
And gas plants will be needed to provide backup capacity even when the power grid includes a much higher share of renewable power than it now does.
“We need more gas capacity even than we have, but we need to use it less and less,” said Steve Corneli, founder of Strategies for Clean Energy Innovation. “We won’t need it to generate electricity when there’s lots of wind and sunshine, and all the batteries are charged. But they’ll need a lot of it, or more than we have now, during those fewer but extended periods when it’s not windy or sunny and when all the batteries are discharged.”
Corneli said he hoped that EPA would think about the role gas plants would need to play in a future low-carbon power grid, not simply about their emissions.
This story also appears in Energywire.
Author: EPA Staff Published: 3/10/2022 EPA
Author: WIN Staff Published: 3/10/22 W I N
Entry Level Solar Sales & Marketing
Boundless Marketing LLC
Silver Spring, MD
|Apply with your Indeed Resume||
Hiring multiple candidates
Solar Sales Consultant
Silver Spring, MD
|Apply with your Indeed Resume||
Hiring multiple candidates
Sales Representative – Solar
Orbit Energy & Power
Silver Spring, MD 20910 20910
|Apply with your Indeed Resume||
Hiring multiple candidates
Solar Appointment Setter
|Apply with your Indeed Resume||
Hiring multiple candidates
We have removed 1 job posting very similar to those already shown. To see the additional result, you may repeat your search with the omitted job posting included.
EDA Staff Published: 3/10/2022 EDA
U.S. Economic Development Administration sent this bulletin at 03/10/2022 10:43 AM EST
Author: US DOE SETO Staff Published: 3/10/2022 SETO
Author : Charles Alvin McLendon Published: 3/8/2022 PCPC LLC
“SOLAR NOW AND FUTURE WITH ITS ECONOMIC IMPACT ON BLACK AMERICA”
Based in Atlanta, Georgia since 2005, we have been providing professional and reliable video marketing services for hundreds of businesses, non-profit entities, and individuals throughout the globe.
Business growth stalled?
Not getting enough leads and sales?
Are you landing pages or sales pages under preforming?
Your business messages must convert and sell, if you expect to grow your business and reach your goals. Doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur, start-up entrepreneur, seasonal business owner, or a salesperson trying to build a client base if your messaging is weak, you’ll attract fewer prospects and close fewer deals, it’s really is that simple!
So what is the solution?
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Charles McLendon, I am an online video production expert, RoKu TV channel developer, TV show producer, direct copywriter, social media expert and much more. I help entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Solopreneurs, Salespersons, and business owners make more sales and money faster they ever thought possible, even if they themselves can’t write their way out of a wet paper bag… or merely don’t have the time to!
Using a professional direct response agency and video production agency and copywriter like me will…
Create more revenue, more profits, more money.
*Reduce your hours spent working, thus giving you more life.
* Leads to more professional recognition for you and your business.
Help you reach the goals you intended to when you first started out. (Do you remember that dream?)
* Help you grow your business no matter small or bag.
* Help position you as a market and though leader.
Specifically, I write…
* Emails and Email sequences.
* Blog Post
* Webinar pitches
* Sales pages
* Landing Pages
* Social Media Profiles, post, and messaging
We Have 20 Vouchers To GIVEAWAY For A 4 Day 3 Nights In Orlando Or Las Vegas Stay For Just Getting A No-Obligation Solar Energy Savings Quote From Us.
FREE No-Obligation Virtual Consultation
ZERO Money Out-Of-Pocket!
Cut Your Electricity bill by up to 50%
Final Year Of 26% Federal Tax Credit!
To start a virtual meeting call Charles at: 404-383-8920 then click the button below to connect virtually.
Worried about rising energy costs, power outages and uncertainty? At Zero Down Solar, we understand the importance of protecting your family’s future. That’s why we’re making it easier than ever to go solar through our new Solar Power Program. Get instant savings equal to 24 free months of solar power when you make the switch.
There is a lot of focus on finding ways to use renewable energy to fill the vast power needs of the world population. Renewable energy means harnessing the forces of the wind, the sun, water, geothermal, and other. Give Charles a call today or fill out the form above to get started with reducing you carbon footprint. 404-383-8920
Acknowledgment and Acceptance of Terms
Charles Alvin McLendon, LLC. is committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Statement sets forth our current privacy practices with regard to the information we collect when you or your computer interact with https://oDownSolar.us. By accessing http://0DownSolar.us, you acknowledge and fully understand our Privacy Statement and freely consent to the information collection and use practices described in this Website Privacy Statement.
Participating Clients, Merchant Policies, and Third Party Websites
Related services and offerings with links from this website, including all other websites, have their own privacy statements that can be viewed by clicking on the corresponding links within each respective website. https://0DownSolar.us is not responsible for the privacy practices or contents of third-party or client websites. We recommend and encourage that you always review the privacy policies of merchants and other third parties before you provide any personal information or complete any transaction with such parties.
Information We Collect and How We Use It
Charles Alvin McLendon, LLC. collects certain information from and about its users three ways: directly from our Web Server logs, the user, and with Cookies. When you visit our Website, we may track information to administer the site and analyze its usage for the purpose of serving our visitors and customers better.
This website may use Google Ads’ free conversion tracking features on certain pages. If you contact us online, the destination page will have code on it that will help us understand the path you took to arrive on that page.
DoubleClick: We may use Google Ads remarketing codes to log when users view specific pages or take specific actions on a website. This allows us to provide targeted advertising in the future. If you do not wish to receive this type of advertising from us in the future you can opt out using the DoubleClick opt-out page or the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.
Microsoft Advertising: This website may use Microsoft’s free tracking features on its webpages. If you contact us online, the destination page will have code on it that will help us understand the path you took to arrive on that page.
We will not disclose personally identifiable information we collect from you to third parties without your permission except to the extent necessary including:
To fulfill your requests for services.
To protect ourselves from liability.
To use in marketing and advertising.
To respond to legal process or comply with law, or in connection with a merger, acquisition, or liquidation of the company.
Changes to This Statement
[biz-business-name] has the discretion to occasionally update this privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect.
If you have questions regarding our Privacy Statement, its implementation, failure to adhere to this Privacy Statement and/or our general practices, please contact us at: Sopport@0downsolar.us
Author: SETO Staff Published: 3/7/2022 SETO
Author: Constance Thompson Published: 2/25/2022 ACORE
One year and nine months ago, the public lynching of a black man, George Floyd, (re)ignited an unprecedented movement to intentionally dismantle a social construct in our country that many consider the “original sin” and haunts every aspect of citizens’ ability to truly experience liberty and justice for all.
The outrage, shock, disbelief and feeling of helplessness in reaction to this horrific crime touched our nation in a manner that demanded more than another “conversation” about race in America. This moment called for intentional, strategic actions that addressed the core of our shared humanity and the impact of over 400 years of racism that the descendants of unwilling documented immigrants, who served as the backbone to building this country, continue to experience today.
Many of our nation’s most respected leaders, representing a cross-section of powerful institutions, stepped up and made public commitments to dismantle systemic racism in all forms, remove barriers to economic access, ensure equitable representation, and implement and enforce zero-tolerance business and workplace policies.
Some of the concrete actions that followed included the (re)establishment of DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice) leadership roles, along with workplace policies and employee engagement initiatives to demonstrate a firm commitment to ensuring African Americans (and other historically marginalized groups) felt a sense of belonging and played a key role in shaping the path forward.
The incoming Administration launched the Justice 40 initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy to disadvantaged communities. The Department of Energy hired and recommended the appointment of several notable African American social and environmental justice leaders and ordered the examination of barriers to access for historically marginalized groups in accessing the programs and economic opportunities offered by the DOE. The Department also made seed funding available to operationalize their findings.
These acts of “restorative justice” have provided our industry with a unique opportunity to begin atoning for decades of generational environmental racism and its impact on the health and safety of black and brown communities. We are starting to re-engineer the systems that have historically prevented the accumulation of generational wealth, and re-examining environmental policy and the lack of accountability that resulted in many of the missteps of the past.
In the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder, ACORE was moved to determine how we could expand our mission to ensure a just and equitable transition to a renewable energy economy and engaged in a series of groundbreaking conversations with members representing a cross-section of who’s who in the industry.
The result is a membership-based program that leverages our unique ability to convene, engage, and mobilize industry leaders, and demonstrates our commitment to shared power and economic justice.
In December of 2020, our Accelerate Membership Program was established. Designed to support the success of small, emerging women, black, indigenous, and people of color-owned renewable energy companies, the transformational cornerstone of the program is our exclusive networking sessions where we leverage our highly influential network of members to facilitate potential investment or business partnership opportunities.
In March of 2021, we welcomed our Inaugural class of Accelerate members to the ACORE family. Of our Inaugural class, 53% identify as African American, with 50% representing solar developers, 25% wind and solar developers, 12.5% in HR Consulting and 12.5% in emerging technologies.
Our Inaugural Accelerate class includes a broad spectrum of the African American renewable energy entrepreneurial experience. Our members are passionately focused on ensuring that their companies’ work, voices and impact have a transformational effect on future generations. In the final days of Black History Month, I am privileged to shout out a few of our accomplished and inspiring Accelerate members:
The African American Founders and CEOs represented among our Accelerate Membership are blazing a trail for more companies to enter into the renewable energy space while also delivering the transformational clean energy technology, development, socio-economic and restorative justice advancements our industry and country need.
While there is much more work to be done, ACORE Accelerate is a part of a renewable energy entrepreneurship movement that is laser-focused on breaking down systemic barriers towards realizing economic justice and delivering a form of restorative justice for the descendants of many to whom this would have never been a possibility.
Author: Maxine Joselow Published: 2/23/2022 The Washington Post
Clémentine Stip and Alex Hillbrand sit outside their Northwest D.C. home on Feb. 23. They want to get solar panels on their home, but say a nearly $20,000 fee from Pepco to upgrade the neighborhood electric distribtion system is a barrier. (Robb Hill/for The Washington Post)
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all sides agreed that Pepco has the legal right to charge potential solar customers upgrade fees. Some solar customers and installers do not believe this is the case. The article has been corrected.
The letter from Pepco said the couple would need to pay a fee of $19,797 to upgrade the electric distribution system in their neighborhood before installing solar panels. Otherwise, the system would be unable to handle the extra power generated by their solar panels, which themselves cost about as much as Pepco’s fee.
“It was just really strange,” Hillbrand recalled. “I was not planning — and am not planning — to pay nearly $20,000.”
The Washington Post interviewed six Pepco customers in D.C., including Hillbrand, who say that significant electrical upgrade costs from Pepco are thwarting their plans to go solar — even as the District tries to combat climate change through promoting solar energy.
The upgrade fees from Pepco — which the utility says it has a legal right to charge — have affected about 15 percent of District residents who apply for a permit to install rooftop solar panels, according to a study commissioned by the Chesapeake Solar and Storage Association, which advocates for solar energy in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
The study, which was conducted by the consultancy CleanGrid Advisors, looked at hundreds of solar systems in the District proposed by five different installers. It found that Pepco imposed upgrade costs on 45 of the projects, with an average fee of $9,560 per project. The utility company also required 36 of the projects to downsize, meaning they would provide less solar energy to homeowners and the electric grid.
“Charging individuals these ludicrous upgrade fees, which appears to be pervasive in the District of Columbia, disincentivizes solar adoption,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state and regulatory affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade group. “That diminishes the District’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, hurts grid reliability and adds air pollution.”
Jamie Caswell, a spokeswoman for Exelon, the parent company of Pepco, said the fees for solar customers are permitted under regulations set forth by the D.C. Public Service Commission, adding that the upgrades are necessary for safety reasons.
“In some cases, the solar installation could place too much electricity … onto Pepco’s system, which could cause damage to the system or other Pepco customer appliances and devices,” Caswell said in an email. “In these cases, work is necessary to upgrade the local distribution system to safely connect the solar system to the grid.”
Schatz added that Pepco’s five-year climate action plan proposes 62 programs aimed at reducing planet-warming emissions and boosting clean energy in D.C., including two programs that would streamline the approval process for residential solar projects.
Frustrated by the fees, some D.C. residents, such as Hillbrand, are pushing back. On Jan. 3, Hillbrand filed a formal complaint with the D.C. Public Service Commission to compel Pepco to lower the upgrade cost it was charging. The Office of the People’s Counsel, which advocates on behalf of D.C. customers in disputes with the commission, is representing him in the proceedings.
Cary Hinton, a spokesman for the Public Service Commission, declined to comment on Hillbrand’s complaint. But he noted that the commission on Jan. 28 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to consider whether to require that utility companies pay 50 percent of the costs, up to $5,000 per project.
Caswell said Pepco is “engaged in open, public discussion with DCPSC Staff and solar developers to help advance interconnection processes and reduce costs for customers when system upgrades are required. We support the current move toward cost sharing.”
For JD Elkurd, the chief executive of Solar Solution, the largest solar installer in the District, the proposed rulemaking is a good start — but it’s not enough. He estimated that about half of customers who are informed of upgrade fees decide not to move forward with their installations.
“This is really hurting our business substantially,” Elkurd said. “As a solar company, we have to spend about $1,000 to $1,200 on a project before it even gets to the Pepco application part. And if the project is canceled, we’re never getting that back.”
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has faced pressure to gut the program from utilities including Pacific Gas and Electric. The state Public Utilities Commission in December proposed major changes to the program that critics said would halt the growth of solar statewide.
After pushback from solar advocates and celebrities, including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), the commission postponed a vote on the proposal. A new date has not been set.
Reicher added that when he and his wife became the first people in the D.C. area to install legally grid-connected, net-metered solar panels more than two decades ago, Pepco was “very, very supportive.”
Today, however, even fees from Pepco on the lower end of the spectrum can stifle solar adoption.
“Solar energy and other types of sustainable energy are important for the environment. We want to support that,” Kinnaird said. “So it’s been very frustrating, and I hope that there’s a positive resolution.”
Author: Alexa St. John Published: Feb 7, 2022, INSIDER
As the world’s cars become electric, figuring out how to charge them will be key.
The electric car charging infrastructure market is expected to reach more than $207.5 billion by 2030, according to Guidehouse Insights, and that means new technologies and companies will continue to pop up.
They’re racing to answer the many charging questions out there: Where can I charge? How much is it to charge? How long does it take? And what if a charger is broken?
At Insider, we’ve covered the electric charging industry from every angle. We’ve looked at the charging options available and in the works. We’ve looked at what tech exists and what areas could use more development. We’ve talked to investors about the players in the space to watch. And we’ve walked potential electric car buyers through some of the technologies that could make charging their car much, much easier.
From traditional charging infrastructure to wireless charging and everything in between, innovators are racing to provide drivers with the next best way to juice up.
It’s not just drivers that face challenges with charging; companies and groups that are changing their fleets over to electric need to have infrastructure that can handle their needs, too. And while some of these innovations won’t be available for years to come, it’s important to know what’s in the works.
A variety of companies are working on solving the charging problem. Bigger players like ChargePoint and EVgo have dominated public infrastructure so far, but new startups like SparkCharge and Blink are moving fast to challenge them.
Those challenges provide opportunities, but there’s lots of work to be done to address the charging barriers to EVs.