Have you booked your trip to SPI yet? Should make for a good event, make sure you remember that it is at Mandalay Bay and not the convention center.
Would You Like A Flux Capacitor With That? Growing a bit tired of the solar wall articles given that the notion combines something that is a rather dumb use of solar plus the fact it should never happen. Unless the wall ends up with 1.21GW that allows us to go back in time, I hope reporters stop giving coverage to this. (I win)
Stacking Additional Reasons For California Investments. Governor Brown seems intent on making some lasting changes in energy in California. Creating an uncertainty on storage, transmission and supply of natural gas in California added with lack of extensions of contracts to peaking plants, California is all but putting an ad out for more solar plus storage in the news.
Renew Your Office Energy. Microsoft joins a long list of corporates that seeks to leave the grid and become more of a market maker and taker. When large users no longer align their values with monopolies, they will exercise their ability to create their own contracts much to the renewable energy industry’s wishes.

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Yann


Why Didn’t Retail Energy Solar Work? As I started hearing news from people in Mass that Direct Energy was folding its solar unit, I was a bit surprised. I have long thought that retail energy providers would do very well in residential solar. They know marketing and customer acquisition extremely well and they know what customers pay better than solar companies. Or at least that’s the theory because it isn’t working out that well. In thinking about why the exits, I have to think that the sales force signing up retail customers don’t want to sell less electrons or selling retail contracts is hard enough without confusing the customers with solar.
This Is Dumb, Exhibit 742. Zuckerberg continues his campaign tour of America, this time visiting Glacier National Park. Everyone with half a brain knows that the National Park will need a new name soon because the glaciers are disappearing at an alarming pace. However, on this trip the ranger with climate science background was not allowed to tour with Zuckerberg. This is like the Nevada PUC trying to kill solar and is then surprised when thousands of Nevadans protest the change. You can’t hide reality, because it’s real.
Are We Getting Arrogant? There is no secret that our new solar policy theory is to find the common ground with companies trying to stop solar. Part of it is the financial commitment to policy has been reduced, part of it is that we may not be scared anymore because we have storage. I may be overstating this but let’s not get too comfortable because getting back something that you give away is very hard in policy.

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Yann


Going Underground. Shoutout to the awesome team at Dandelion for their launch. It’s not solar but solar has given these awesome people a baseline of knowledge that will surely change the world. Go Katie and Jake!
California Goes For It. Cap and Trade gets the extension that Governor Brown argued for very publicly in the legislature. SB 100, the 100% RPS bill, looks like it is making good progress clearing some hurdles in the assembly. California will keep tracking forward regardless what DC and Red States argue for. Oklahoma announced a 10MW yesterday, woohoo!
NRG Assets Get Interest. Maybe when NRG thought about raising money to appease the activist investors, it didn’t choose renewables because of the image it created for the company. Maybe the choice was based on the ability to actually sell the assets. Think about it. What if NRG had decided to sell its coal power plants instead? How much interest for those assets and how much cash would it generate after paying off the debt? Solar is simply more valuable at this point and easier to trade.

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Yann


Show Off Your Solar. We are all fans of SunShot and their work. Now they want YOUR help to show off the best solar images you can find. In the contest titled, Hit Me with Your SunShot, you can win cash prizes and help create a solar awesome portfolio of images for everyone to use.
Don’t Do As I Said, The Outside Inside NRG Story. Don’t shy away from the length of this article because it tells you what David Crane thinks about NRG’s decision to eliminate his strategic vision for the company. I don’t want to give away the essence of the article because if you care about how solar fits within an IPP, there are great points in here. Couple of things I would like to add. From a carbon standpoint, the overall carbon footprint of the assets will stay the same given the solar portfolio will keep operating. NRG’s footprint will go terribly in the wrong direction however and I expect the post divestment cash flows won’t look good for long, especially as energy storage crushes slow moving power assets. I think NRG should continue the splitting up of the company however, much like Engie decided to focus on consumers. NRG should sell the retail business or sell the power assets. Surely Dynegy would continue to double down on power assets and then NRG would be left with a consumer facing business.
Throw Out The Rulebook. Forget the title and most of the content of the article about court rulings. The interesting story is the business dynamics of who sued and why. When Illinois passed their energy bill it did so as a cover for subsidies to be paid to the nuclear power plants that Exelon planned on closing if the subsidies did not come through. The energy sector got together and the price to get the subsidies were a variety of renewable energy policies that move the solar and efficiency markets forward. This caused other power plant operators to sue the State of Illinois for unfairly subsidizing nuclear power plants which they were hoping would be closed to remove generation from the wholesale markets.

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Yann