Go Ducks! Some of my first deals in solar were in Oregon and I have some great memories of the BETC, those were the days. Now the local industry is doing great work to push new policy to revive the industry and get it back to where it was. If you listened to last week’s podcast with Michael Morosi, the wall street analyst, you will have heard some of the challenges in the solar market. Local support goes a long way with legislators as we are seeing around the Country.
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SREC Twoooooooo.1. SREC II keeps plugging along. I’m not saying that as a bad thing, the Massachusetts market has been looking for the next iteration for several years. As developers were making well over $1/watt, it’s time to move along and get some sustainability in the policy. So DOER is working on the SMART program and until then SREC II will continue on with completion deadlines of March 31st of next year at new SREC factors.
Make sure you listen to the latest episode of EnergyWakeup. Wall Street has plenty of ways to invest in solar, so what does analyst Michael Morosi see about our industry.
Solar is still hard. Shunfeng is trying something noble. Consolidating solar from manufacturing, development and assets across multiple holding companies is very difficult. Suniva has been quietly moving high quality modules and adding capacity in the US. The company is loved by DOE and has done great research out of Georgia Tech. The losses don’t appear all that bad given where module prices have gone over the past year.

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The network value. Australia, which hasn’t always been the friendliest place to solar, is adding network value to the benefit of solar. It is looking to create a market dynamic around this value. These are traditional feed in tariff markets and Australia also has quite a complex network system which resembles deregulated US markets. Recently, NY PSC Chair Zibelman has accepted the job to run an Australian grid operator.
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No conflict during legislative session in NV. Everyone came together and asked regulators to extend the deadline for grandfathering net metering customers. My guess a little of each of the following played into it. Solar companies are driving through their backlog and maybe squeezing a few more in. Utilities are moving at slower speeds. Legislators are in session now and several solar bills have been filed. It is quite likely that politically, neither the Governor or the utility that will be fighting the legislation wanted upset solar companies cutting workers during the session.
Make sure you listen to the latest episode of EnergyWakeup. Wall Street has plenty of ways to invest in solar, so what does analyst Michael Morosi see about our industry.
Tom Fanning’s fantasy. A clean coal fantasy, a nuclear power plant out of whack and solar offers with premium pricing. Those are the things that get Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company, invited to solar conferences. Of course they also get a giant ratebase and make his shareholders happy. Fanning has done a great job straddling the line of, I like solar and we are doing some while letting others get a piece of the market, with loving any power plant that increases ratebase. On this trajectory, Fanning will clearly be the next chairman of SEPA once he retires and tells us how he would get into the solar business if he was starting his career again. Intellectual honesty folks!

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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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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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