Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ASES Advocacy: Keep Funding for DOE's Loan Guarantee Program

Just when we were breathing a sigh of relief over the Dept. of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program for Renewables having survived the Congressional budget bloodbath, ASES hears that some worthy projects that were counting on it may well fall by the wayside.
DOE has informed dozens of loan guarantee applicants that their applications will be put on hold indefinitely.  Unless applicants can start their projects and close their loan guarantees by September 30, they won't be considered for a guarantee under the program.
To date, DOE has committed nearly $30 billion in guarantees for 27 clean energy projects, representing some $40 billion in private investment.  These projects will be responsible for the creation of tens of thousands of jobs over 21 states;  they include utility-scale solar power plants in the southwest and solar manufacturing facilities in California, Colorado and Indiana.  But now some 40 applications, representing $15 billion in investments and thousands of jobs, have been placed on hold;  the companies involved have together spent millions of dollars to this point, preparing their applications.
To maintain and build on the success of the Loan Guarantee Program, and to ensure that as many viable clean energy projects as possible become reality, it's essential that the program be adequately funded through FY2012.
Can you send a message to the President and Congress, letting them know how much good this program does for jobs and our energy future?  It's too good to be allowed to die.
How to send a message:
1) (Simplest way):  You can go to the
Solar Nation advocacy site and enter your ZIP code.
2) You can copy and paste the message below into any or all of the following links to send it to:
a) the
b) your
U.S. Senators:  
c) your
U.S. Representative:    
The Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program has enabled many vital renewable energy projects to obtain sufficient private investment to proceed;  these include utility-scale solar power plants in the southwest and solar manufacturing facilities across the nation. It's a great example of a successful government program that is generating not only clean power but thousands of jobs for Americans.
The Department of Energy has now restricted loan guarantees only to those projects that can be ready by September 30, excluding dozens of worthy, viable clean energy projects from securing funding.
Please use your influence to provide appropriate funding to allow this successful program to continue.  Good jobs and our energy future are hanging in the balance.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May Meeting Summary: SB 32 and Feed-In Tariffs

Allison Arnold from Mitsubishi Electric and Electronics USA spoke with OC Renewables on Thursday, May 12. We had a good conversation about the implementation of SB 32 and the California Feed-In Tariff (FIT).

For a good summary of the passage and status of the FIT, visit the
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency's write up of SB 32.

Allison indicated that SB 32's FIT would be available through the publicly owned utilities until the combined statewide cumulative capacity of eligible generation installed equals 750 MW, up from 500 MW.  The maximum size of a renewable energy system is increased to 3 MW. 

The tariff itself - and the price referent for calculating the tariff - is where the fight is happening now.  It's very complicated.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has made a recent ruling (October 2010) for guidance on how the California PUC can set this tariff.  Allison mentioned the name of Kevin Fox, a lawyer, working on these issues.  The most comprehensive article I could find regarding what it all means can be read here:
What Utility Involvement in the Distributed Solar Market Means For the Future of the Solar Industry. 

So now the FIT is legal, and under consideration by the CPUC.  The proceedings can be followed
on the CPUC website.  We at OC Renewables will keep track of this issue in the near future. 

Finally, some links to share that Allison brought up in her presentation:

The Los Angeles Business Council's two studies regarding proposed FIT's
Designing an Effective Feed-in Tariff for Greater Los Angeles
Bringing Solar Energy to Los Angeles: An Assessment of the Feasibility and Impacts of an In-basin Solar Feed-in Tariff Program

California Solar Statistics Site.  The official public reporting site of the California Solar Initiative (CSI).

Volunteer on a GRID Alternatives solar installation crew! Help make the benefits of solar power accessible to low-income families while learning new skills and having fun outside.

Great meeting!  See you on Thursday, June 9 at the Duck Club