This is your SolarWakeup for April 21st, 2017

A deal for Florida. Last year, voters in Florida overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that reduced tax barriers for those that install solar. The Senate sponsor moved a clean bill while the House added industry oversight and consumer protection language to the bill. Some of the language was copied verbatim from Florida Power & Light. Now there is a deal that shows some of the issues Florida solar is dealing with. Vote Solar, SEIA and SACE have come out in favor of the deal but it seems that FlaSEIA is not happy. Somewhat protectionist, you can see some of the quotes from FlaSEIA President about overnight solar companies.
Help support SolarWakeup. If you are looking for investors or buyers of your projects, hit reply to this email and let us help you. Our expansive network is always looking to partner with you and helps us pay the bills to keep the newsletter free to you, as it has been for the past 4 years.
No soup for you. As we imagined, ARPA-E and other innovation funding channels are being put on hold. More newsworthy is the delaying of funding allocations for projects that were already approved and put into the budget in FY16. ARPA-E and programs like SunShot do the work that private sector won’t and anyone that has received money from them will tell you that it is very tightly managed. I hope the Secretary Perry is able to come through with his statements to the SEIA board and do right by the industry.
Make sure you listen to the latest episodes of EnergyWakeup. I speak with Tony Clifford about being acquired by Gaz Metro and his work at SEIA. Google is now at 100% renewables, how do they do it and what is next? Sam Arons talks to SolarWakeup.
VC are you with me? I vividly remember Abe Yokell speaking at one of my first conferences in the 2008/2009 timeframe and the crazy notion that he wanted 10x returns on his money. Now he is out with a new fund, having raised $50million to pursue more cleantech. I applaud him for sticking to the industry with a bit of jealousy given that I would absolutely love to do the same. I speak with many of you about your ideas and visions for the market. While not all have the ability to get big, so many of them could be if they are nurtured and helped along their way. Solar will not have a photo app exit but it very well could yield the 10x returns that investors look for.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for April 20th, 2017

Solar guy and coal miner walk into a Kentucky bar. No, this isn’t the start of a bad joke. A coal mine operator is working with EDF Renewable Energy to develop two 50-100MW solar farms on old coal mines. This isn’t a new concept, I personally know of projects in the UK and Canada that have worked on this but do it in the US, in Kentucky, and you have yourself an interesting concept. Question for the readers, have any of your received investment from or sold a project to a coal company?
Help support SolarWakeup. If you are looking for investors or buyers of your projects, hit reply to this email and let us help you. Our expansive network is always looking to partner with you and helps us pay the bills to keep the newsletter free to you, as it has been for the past 4 years.
Policy for Storage. Ten years ago, IREC was leading the charge to explain net metering to regulators. Yesterday they released a guide for energy storage policy to do the same for the next iteration of our market. Storage needs to learn lessons from solar and short circuit (no pun intended) the learning curve. Too many of the mistakes made in solar appear to be done again but we can learn on the policy side because with storage, there are even more benefits for consumers that can be added to the benefits of net metering.
Make sure you listen to the latest episodes of EnergyWakeup. I speak with Tony Clifford about being acquired by Gaz Metro and his work at SEIA. Google is now at 100% renewables, how do they do it and what is next? Sam Arons talks to SolarWakeup.
An answer for Perry. A few months ago, I did some research on potential DOE Secretaries and came across the name of James Conaughton who was part of the Bush administration. At a conference Conaughton made the case to open up the energy markets in more geographies similar to the PJM RTO. While Perry is worried about grid supply, MISO ran an auction and the market supplied the needed energy and power and cleared the pricing in a competitive process. Give the markets a pricing signal and markets will answer. Perry should know better because ERCOT clears pricing for energy and capacity every single day.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for April 19th, 2017

A Nevada update. I spoke with Assembly Brooks yesterday to get an update on solar policy in Nevada. He is the sponsor of and in the middle of the 3 key bills that are in play. AB 206, AB 270 and AB 405. Here are the takeaways:
-          AB206 is an increase of the RPS to 50% as discussed on the podcast
-          AB270 is return of net metering establishing a rate formula, removing the cap and minimum bill
-          AB405 is related to consumer protections and solar bill of rights
-          The bills have been granted a waiver, which means they are released from certain deadlines. This takes coordination and support from the leaders of the Assembly and Senate. This is a positive.
-          AB270 (NEM) and AB405 are essentially tied together, it will likely mean both pass or fail
-          The Governor has not commented on the bill which is not uncommon for him but he has been vocal when he does not like a bill, which could mean that he will likely not veto the bill if it passes.
-          NV Energy has been lobbying against the bills and the Gaming and Resort Association has come out against it as well. GRA is more surprising given that the casinos have been vocal advocate to leave the IOU for more access to RE.
-          Assemblyman Brooks is optimistic that all three bills will pass
Taking podcast inventory. If you haven’t yet, I would ask for your feedback about the EnergyWakeup podcast. You can see all the episodes on this page which include interviews with Google about their procurement of renewable energy, getting the insight from legislators on pending changes to State rules and hearing from SEIA and affiliated State chapters. In the coming weeks you will hear from entrepreneurs working on software to lower solar soft costs and more State leaders. We’ve got requests out to some big names, so the more you listen, rate and review, the more helpful it is for us.
Help support SolarWakeup. If you are looking for investors or buyers of your projects, hit reply to this email and let us help you. Our expansive network is always looking to partner with you and helps us pay the bills to keep the newsletter free to you, as it has been for the past 4 years.
Unfortunate news from Georgia. Suniva has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company was acquired by Shunfeng last year, which also owns Suntech. Module prices have plummeted recently, bids coming in at the low 30s which makes it very difficult for high efficiency modules that have to sell at a premium. Just look at Sunpower’s issues to see some of the similarities, except Suniva never entered the project business. I’m sure a turnaround is going to happen, let’s watch this space.
Make sure you listen to the latest episodes of EnergyWakeup. I speak with Tony Clifford about being acquired by Gaz Metro and his work at SEIA. Google is now at 100% renewables, how do they do it and what is next? Sam Arons talks to SolarWakeup.
Acquirer for Sungevity. Northern Pacific Group has received approval from the courts to acquire the Sungevity assets for $50million in addition to taking over the liabilities and assets. Expect the assets to be liquidated quickly to recapitalize the business. Good news for the company and the employees that received their unpaid wages. Making bad situations right is important, glad to see this going into the right direction. Now, does anyone know anything about Northern Pacific that would like to give me some background?

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for April 18th, 2017

Getting off the sideline. When I spoke with Tony Clifford I asked him why he thought Standard Solar was able to get acquired in a sea of available targets. He thought that being an active policy participant was a big part of it in addition to having happy customers. It can’t be understated that when a company has a senior executive spending a lot of time on policy work, they are making a time and financial investment on something intangible that also helps your competition. If you open a market, new companies come in and are able to take advantage. I hope that other companies look at Standard Solar and take a turn away from being quiet on policy to get vocal about taking positions. You have to listen to the podcast to see what else we discussed!
Help support SolarWakeup. If you are looking for investors or buyers of your projects, hit reply to this email and let us help you. Our expansive network is always looking to partner with you and helps us pay the bills to keep the newsletter free to you, as it has been for the past 4 years.
Solar has work to do. I read the interview in the Atlantic and felt the usual tensing up while I read silly stuff. GE ‘used’ to be in solar. The US only makes 3% of the world’s solar panels. Oil companies have long left solar. On and on and on. Maybe our industry needs to do more public relations work and speak to Americans and reporters. Maybe we need a full time communications person that speaks to editorial boards in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and kitchen tables across America to explain the solar industry. We have work to do. Don’t read the article with opposition to the messenger, he has faults, instead read the content with a renewed energy to evangelize.
Make sure you listen to the latest episodes of EnergyWakeup. I speak with Tony Clifford about being acquired by Gaz Metro and his work at SEIA. Google is now at 100% renewables, how do they do it and what is next? Sam Arons talks to SolarWakeup.
Scary stuff for IOUs. First it was the IPPs losing robust merchant markets. Now large corporations are taking the IOUs to task. Interestingly this isn’t about cost of energy, the longstanding focus has been on cost and reliability. Now the Fortune 100 are saying, we want more renewables and we want it faster. Whether it was Google pushing Duke in NC, Vegas casinos leaving NV Energy or Microsoft bypassing PSE; corporate America wants renewable energy for their operations. Next step they want it everywhere they use energy and soon they will want renewables to match their energy loads at all times. Hold on to your horses.

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Have a great day!
Yann