Sometimes you win: the pv magazine USA week in review


Editor’s note: While many national environmental and energy reporters were covering the first arguments being made in the legal challenge to Clean Power Plan in detail, I chose not to. Instead, today we published an interview with BNEF’s Nathan Serota explaining why CPP is not the most pressing issue for the solar industry right now. – Americas Editor Christian Roselund

The stories came fast and heavy this week. And while solar advocates don’t always win in policy fights, this was a both a good week and a busy one for solar and storage. Topping the list, on Monday California Governor Jerry Brown signed four new laws which will dramatically increase distributed energy storage in the state.

California provided more sunny news, with state regulators denying a challenge to the state’s “net metering 2.0” by utilities and other parties.

In Nevada, a task force convened by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has recommended that the state bring back net metering, with a minimum bill, while performing a full value of solar study. Of course, these are only recommendations, and now have to be taken up by the legislature.

On the East Coast, New York City has set new goals for not only solar but energy storage – a first for a U.S. city – with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio touting reforms at the city’s notorious Department of Buildings, which approves solar permits.

Incidentally, this week pv magazine attended Greentech Media’s NY REV Future 2016 conference in Brooklyn, and we bring you an update on the current state of REV.

And as our final policy news this week (I promise), pv magazine reported on the draft of a new solar incentive program which has been presented in Massachusetts. While this first draft looks mostly positive, we hope that it gets finalized and implemented in time to avoid a lengthy interruption of the state’s solar market.

In other big news, NREL released a new study which found that installed costs for utility-scale PV had already fallen to below $1.50 per watt during Q1. And this is before the impact of the H2 collapse in module prices.

Not all the solar business news that came out this week was positive. Late last Friday California solar installer Verengo Solar filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, and will be selling off assets to electricity retailer Crius Energy.

And while SolarCity continues to raise money hand over fist, this week the company announced the replacement of CFO Tanguy Serra, who will step down as president as well at the end of this year. SolarCity cites pending “overlap” with Tesla, despite the not-yet-consummated merger between the two companies.

This week pv magazine also published video coverage of the SPI trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month, including a report from our first U.S. Quality Roundtable.

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