I’m in doubt as well. Dow spent what I could only imagine is well over $100 million to develop Powerhouse, solar shingles. It had distribution channel into the roofing industry and yet, couldn’t make it work. Probably the largest residential roofing manufacturer, GAF,  shows a roof integrated solar system called Decotech on its website but also doesn’t have a shingle product. I’m not counting Elon out but gigafactory, solar factory, model 3, SolarCity, SpaceX…solar tiles can’t be too high on the priority list.
Ever wonder why Tallahassee is Florida’s capital? Because nobody goes there during legislative session! A $700 flight or 7 hour drive from South Florida but it’s much easier to reach if you have a corporate utility jet. Floridians overwhelmingly voted for property tax exemptions for solar projects and Florida has this insane process. Constitutional amendments go to the ballot, require a 60% affirmative vote before heading to the legislature for implementation. The legislature then has to pass a bill around the amendment which can get hijacked as it is happening now. FPL, their lobbyists and the legislators are adding a bunch of crap (that wasn’t in the amendment) to the bill that are bad for solar. In Tallahassee, it is all about free markets, except for their votes on monopolies, those aren’t free…
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Bring back solar. We spoke with Assemblyman Brooks on EnergyWakeup a few weeks ago about his bill to increase the RPS in Nevada. There have now been more solar bills filed around community solar and net metering. There isn’t a super majority in the Assembly and the Governor is a Republican so let’s see how the negotiations go, maybe time to check in on the Governor’s text messages again to see what NV Energy may be thinking?

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Yann


East Coast v West Coast. I’m traveling on the East Coast and it seems like the entire solar industry is congregating in Rancho Bernardo. Send me your thoughts of the show, sounds like well over 1,000 of you are there.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. The Paris agreement will generate $19 TRILLION in new economic growth and over 6 MILLION jobs. All while saving the planet. And the US wants to leave this agreement?
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There will be lawyers. Sungevity employees laid off recently and some checks are bouncing apparently. Lawyers have filed a class action suit. More to come.
The Sunshine State. Didn’t even realize this docket was going on but Gulf Power in Florida, which services Eastern Alabama (aka the Panhandle), was looking to cut net metering in Florida. We have one of the best NEM policies in the Country and it’s super fair to the consumers around the State. Policy teams need to do a better job publicizing bad policy dockets while they are going on.

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Back on the road. Heading up to New York for some meetings. The solar industry is being noticed by the media, apparently headlines with solar in them get read big-league.

What’s smart in Mass? Whispers are starting in Mass, extension for SREC II and the setup for the SMART program. Haven’t heard the unhappiness like during last year’s negotiations but there is still time I guess. If you are in the middle of this, shoot me a note and let me know which way this is going? MA has been a lucrative market for many, so it will need to sustain itself.
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A billion here, a billion there. Tesla is bringing in more money, there are plenty of places to use it. The giga-factory is getting finished. Model 3 production is getting started. And of course, SolarCity is still doing a gigawatt per year. One thing that appears not to be on the spending plan is policy. It’s the opposite of an Uber approach. Tesla has been fighting solar policies across the Country and now EV regulations are on the docket.
West Virginia. I’ve been there once. And only at the airport. For many of us that’s how much we know about West Virginia. I empathize with the people though. During the industrial revolution, the people of West Virginia were tasked with powering the Country by risking their lives and health in coal mines. They were promised the ability to own a home and grow a family by earning a decent wage, creating a better future for their children. Science came along and educated many, them included, about the damaging effects of coal powered electricity and being inside the mines. In some ways, the entire Country should be thinking of ways to get coal mining communities back to prosperity.

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Buy a ticket to Equinox. Vote Solar does great things and you should give them at least $100 per year. In return you get to go to Equinox, a great party, or just buy a ticket to support the group. Most importantly, I am on the host committee which means we compete to see who can drive the most traffic to ticket purchases. My proposal to you again. If you buy a ticket, email me the receipt and you will be recognized. If you buy 10 tickets or donate $1000, you get to write a paragraph in a future edition. If you want to donate more, email me and I’ll figure out a way to get you even more exposure. Ticket link here.
Paid for Regulators. What did you expect? Regulators to…regulate?
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No, No, No. Close your eyes and think of an agency you like that relates to climate change, clean air or solar. Trump’s budget likely cuts the funding for it. Be thankful that the President doesn’t pass the budget, that’s a job for Congress. Good think Congress doesn’t take it very seriously.
More layoffs. Good reporting by PV-Magazine on an unhappy topic. More corporate alignments happening in the solar space.

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Yann