Happy Thanksgiving. 50/50 shot at a newsletter coming your way so I am taking the time to thank you for your continued readership and support for our Live! events. Interacting and learning from you makes this a path worth undertaking. If you buy tickets for DC and sell out the event this week, I’ll be even more thankful.

ITC Report. The ITC has sent its report over to the President and it is now public. You can see in detail, the proposed remedy by Commissioner. You can see it here.
Easy Cover. The climate caucus in Congress is a nice idea but I am now worried about the message it sends. There should be some sort of dues for those in the caucus. One vote to advance climate agenda per quarter? Per year? You shouldn’t be able to join the caucus, use it for cover in your reelection but do nothing to advance the agenda.
Bill Clinton. The former President is in Puerto Rico working to help the Americans there. You can join the effort that the Clinton Foundation is working on with The Solar Foundation under the banner of solarsaveslives.org. I will be speaking with Andrea Luecke about this in a few weeks.
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Yann


Short Week. I will be off for Thanksgiving and the Wednesday edition is up in the air depending on if there are enough articles to send your way. Enjoy your holiday and make sure to do something that we can all be thankful for – starting with the 1st item on the rundown.

Your Comment? Have you taken a few minutes to send comments to the trade representative ahead of the December 6th hearing? You can use this script from SEIA and send the comments on this page. Make sure to have your entire office do this as well.

Tesla’s Rig and Roadster. No doubt, Elon puts on a show. Electrification of transportation is the leap we need for climate change. At 500 miles per charge, I am also interested in the impact to the grid for the electrification of freight. With an 8-pin charger (and a dose of real-life needs), some engineers are theorizing that the “mega-charger” could be up to 1.6MW of power to charge the semi in 30 minutes. Power density times massive scale (3.5 million trucks in America) means having to re-rethink the energy grid, mostly around our highway system. Best of all, this will get financed through non-dilutive funding from 1,000 rich people that want to go fast – placing $250k payments for the new roadster. If the money were in my account, it would no longer be there either because this thing is sick.

Public Manufacturers. As JA Solar goes private with its manufacturing, I wonder how long it will take for all of them to be off the public markets. In relation to Renesola, taking the manufacturing private while keeping the public vehicle to focus on owning assets, it comes across as an internal reverse merger. This strategy makes sense to me, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is replicated again.

Another Great Speaker. I’m excited to have Amy Harder from Axios join us at SolarWakeup Live! DC. Amy has been covering energy for years and was in Bonn for COP23 last week. Axios has an incredible insight to the DC ecosystem and  was the publication that brought us Trump’s “I want tariffs, bring me tariffs.” I look forward to speaking with Amy about the news of energy. Get your tickets here.

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Yann


A Nuclear Mea Culpa? Citing customer frustrations, South Carolina’s SCE&G will be canceling a set of rate increases stemming from the construction of the failed VC Summer nuclear plant. The shareholders of the utility will be ‘paying’ for $2.2billion in construction costs in what appears to be future reduced ratepayer earnings over the next 50 years. In short, it seems like the ratepayers are lending the write down of the losses. While the reporting appears to show a utility showing ‘remorse’ over its business actions – utility monopolies continue to operate in a dreamland far away from reality.
In Murphy We Trust. With the election of Phil Murphy, who ran strong on the solar issues, New Jersey is looking to reinvigorate its market. While projects are happening, it is nowhere near the scale as previous eras in the New Jersey solar market. David Crane has been named to the transition team which bodes well for us looking at markets for a long term sustainable sector. I look forward to seeing how that plays out as he takes the Governor’s mansion.
Subsidy Prescription. The DOE NOPR is looking like FERC is open to the idea, Commissioner Chatterjee is quoted wondering why anyone would consider it controversial. The article also goes into the concept of resiliency and focusing on the power plant as opposed the distribution lines. When I was in Boston a few weeks ago, a million customers lost power – some for as long as a week. They didn’t lose power because generators went down, they lost power because trees and wind took down the transmission infrastructure. In my mind the controversy is based in the cost to consumers. If ISOs offered $10billion in incentives for resiliency, I doubt a single coal plant would be offered. My interview with Jon Wellinghoff covers much of this.
MA NEM Cap. If you haven’t listened to or read the latest podcast (there is a full transcript on the page) you are missing on vital information for your business or understanding the impacts to your customers’ business. The other interview that will come out next week is with Senator Boncore about the NEM cap in Mass. While the takeaway is muted, there are a bunch of crumbs that would make me look hard to ignoring NEM caps for my business. More to come on this.
Kentucky Coal. Even in coal country with what I would assume to be a utility friendly regulatory body, PPL is shutting two coal plants that are old (~50 years) and would cost too much to make compliant with environmental standards. These aren’t the first and far from the last coal plants to close – this is purely a consumer induced move since customers want cheaper energy and clean air & water.
Live! DC. The event will now feature Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon, the resident representative of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is more than a goodwill story, it has been one of the most enticing solar markets plagued with external issues. Now that the grid is torn apart and people have no energy, it represents a challenge to rebuild the grid in a 21st century way. I look forward to having this discussion and finding the path to the opportunity that it represents for the solar industry to help.Get your tickets now.

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Yann


DC Tickets. 4 of the speakers are almost confirmed, as soon as they are, you will be told their names. Andrea Luecke and Dr. Lidija Sekaric are confirmed and two more have signaled their availability. Solar Foundation is doing great work including the ongoing jobs census, analyzing diversity in solar and now their leadership on helping rebuild Puerto Rico. Dr. Sekaric spent the entire Obama tenure working on solar related issues including as the director of the SunShot initiative. She is now at Siemens working on innovation in energy including how microgrids are put together. I will be talking to her about the City that gets 100% of its power and energy from renewable energy – what does that look like and what would it cost? Get your tickets now, early bird pricing only goes until Thanksgiving.

Bourbon With Your Whine. The WTO is likely to allow retaliatory tariffs against US goods if Trump goes forward with 201 tariffs. The threat now looks to target bourbon and cheese, neither of which have really anything to do with solar except for their lobbying impact on two important individuals – Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Maybe someone needs to get Duterte from the Philippines to target US investment into local real estate, that could get some attention.

CAISO Projects. Advisory work – I am looking for a few projects that have CAISO interconnection but no offtakers. If you have this or know where I could find it, please let me know. My advisory work keeps the SolarWakeup lights on for everyone.

Puerto Rico Update. An interesting pro and con take on the topic of how to rebuild the grid in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, as Bernie Sanders points out, more than 50% of the Americans in PR still don’t have power after two months. Imagine that happening anywhere in the US – it would never happen.

On To Emissions. The finish line isn’t at 100% renewable energy for operations after all. Microsoft is out with a goal to drop emissions 75% by 2030. Google had previously outlined its energy goals to not only match geography but also time of use. It may seem like corporations were close to finished, but it seems like they are just getting started.

Solar On Coal Mines. Solar should have a quiet goal of getting Senators Capito and Joe Manchin to be as avid of solar supporters as they are coal today. Part of that is showing the value of land is greater with solar and the second would be to switch the economy into a solar focused one. There are great teams on the ground in West Virginia looking at this and doing some ‘greenfield’ development. Rocky Mountain Institute also published a report appropriately titled ‘A Second Life For Legacy Mining Sites.

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Yann