This is your SolarWakeup for August 22nd, 2017

The Big News. SolarWakeup is going on the road with SolarWakeup Live!, a regional in person breakdown of the top news in solar. I’ll be interviewing local leaders, investors and startups about their work in the solar industry. The tour will go around the Country but now is your chance to tell me where I should start. Fill out this survey and make your voice heard.
LADWP Goes Storage. LADWP is fast tracking an energy storage project after an earlier halt to a massive natural gas power plant. Grid level storage is continuing to ramp nicely in California but what most solar pros should be thinking about is adding batteries to their existing solar farms on the DC side of the inverter. Lost energy and management of solar power is best when it is done this way without the massive efficiency losses of AC connected energy storage. For years now, energy storage and solar have been separate markets. Neither needing the other until today. Soon enough, every solar asset will have storage integrated like another inverter but large solar farms will have the ability to replace the peaking plants in operation today that will not be rebuilt at the end of life. More on this to come soon.
Specific Examples, Humanizing Solar Impact. Take your life savings, start a business and create jobs. That’s the story of Las Vegas solar company Louise Helton who made it through the recession that hit Vegas hard only to be struck by utility overreach and regulatory uncertainty. Taking this story public is where solar wins. No amount of lobbying and political donations can compare to the story telling of people’s lives.
The Solar Eclipse Of The Heart. The eclipse was cool but most importantly my job of finding solar articles gets easier. Also, congrats to any editor that was able to write a headline without using the word eclipse as a pun. I did hear that global solar will be eclipsing nuclear going forward.

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Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for August 21st, 2017

New Podcast, Summer Break is Over. The kids go back to school tomorrow including Kate starting kindergarten and my schedule can get back to some routine. As two bankrupt companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars try to use an antiquated trade policy to save themselves (hard to see how that would work) while taking so many other companies with them. I spoke with the CEO of PanelClaw, Costa Nicolaou. Costa has run PanelClaw for a decade and has the leading marketshare for the rooftop market. Most importantly, PanelClaw has market share while having to play in a commodity market where premium pricing is hard to get. Costa walks through how he runs the company and what he sees happening going forward. He breaks some news on the podcast about new offerings that will be coming from PanelClaw.Listen Now!
Solar Is For Everyone. I really dislike this type of headline, because it is so obviously false. Maybe a decade ago, solar was reserved for those with extra dollars in their bank accounts. Today, solar financial products span the entire income range. Loans, leases and PACE give homeowners more choice than ever. Community solar and meter aggregation policies provide even more access to low income families and renters through shorter terms. Of course, there is a preferential treatment for people with good credit but that’s a talking point that utilities don’t like because they milk low credit scores for hundreds or thousands in deposits. This regulator should tell us why this op-ed was written.
IPPs Go Merchant And Regulated. A third bidder for Oncor has emerged after the denied acquisition by NextEra. Joining Berkshire and Elliot is Sempra, the well known IPP may be looking to get some regulated holdings into its portfolio. At the same time, Calpine has agreed to a private equity buyout by a group of investors led by Energy Capital Partners.

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Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for August 18th, 2017

This week has been tough on news. A ton of coverage on the 201 petition hearing and Monday’s solar eclipse. One story line that is prevalent is that the industry is fighting against itself and there is a civil war. This could not be farther from the truth in my opinion. Two companies are supported by a third. All three seem to be in financial trouble and stand alone to say that they need to be saved. Everybody else is on the side of the table saying that the industry is growing, competing and consolidating to the companies that are able to generate a profit or raise money effectively. Solar is coming together in a way that it has rarely done. Let’s change the narrative that solar is fighting because that isn’t the case. Keep your eyes and ears open on the hearings and lobbying that will start soon. We are seeing which companies are looking to compete in solar versus those that are hoping you don’t realize that they don’t care about your success. We need win-win situations to mature as an industry and the 201 is anything but that.
Big News Next Week. I am working on something exciting and hope to share this with you next week. I will need your help to execute and look forward to it.

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Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for August 17th, 2017

The 201 Petition PR Tactic. The hearing at the trade commission had the solar industry outnumbering the bankrupt petitioners by a 10 to 1 ratio. As I read the quote from Suniva, ““We’re not out to kill the industry,” said Matt Card, Suniva’s VP of commercial operations. “We are very open to a solution that works for all parties.” I realized that the company is trying to position itself post 201 petition as a company that can still do business in the market. It’s hard to understand what it is that the petitioners want because they’ve already called for an insanely high minimum price that would cripple our market. If they really mean what they said, then they should propose something else. How about $0.03/watt tariff on foreign modules that is given back as a subsidy to US manufacturing in the form of payroll adjustments? In a 10GW market, that would be a significant amount of money to create local manufacturing jobs.
SolarWorld Goes To Market. As an update to the previous comment about SolarWorld assets being purchased by the CEOs new company, the US entity was not yet purchased and represents the key subsidiary of SolarWorld. The administrator will focus on this now and try to find a buyer for the company. Interesting opportunity for the company to decide how the 201 petition impacts the ability to market the company.
Nevada Netmetering Nightmare. I don’t know if the Nevada regulatory fight will ever end but the market will keep moving in the forward direction including the restructuring of the energy market.

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Have a great day!
Yann