April solar policy snapshots

New Mexico could soon open up to community solar if the governor signs a new bill.

Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a 10-year extension and a run-down of ITC with direct payment
Washington, DC

President Joe Biden rolled out his highly anticipated infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan, in late March. The plan includes a 10-year extension and phase out of an out-of-pocket solar energy ITC, as well as initiatives to make clean energy jobs in unions accessible to many Americans.

House Committee on Energy & Commerce introduces bill to establish federal clean energy standard
Washington, DC

Democratic lawmakers filed a bill in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce to establish a federal clean energy standard to achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050, with an intermediate goal of reducing pollution by 50% by 2030 over from the 2005 level. The bill also aims to make environmental justice a part of the mission statement of all federal agencies.

New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting publishes standard licensing guidelines for large-scale renewable energy sources
Albany, New York

The newly established New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting has released a standard set of permit guidelines for large-scale sustainable construction projects in the state. The new rules are intended to streamline codes and standards and accelerate the development of new projects.

Stand-alone legislation on energy storage tax credit introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate
Washington, DC

Bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate have enacted accompanying legislation to create a self-contained federal energy storage tax credit. Under the current tax code, energy storage can only benefit from the ITC when installed in conjunction with solar power, but this bill would lend credit to other storage applications.

Ohio lawmakers are enacting a bill to allow for a public referendum on new renewable energy projects
Columbus, Ohio

Representatives from Ohio have introduced a bill that allows for a public referendum on wind and solar energy projects, allowing voters to petition them. The Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio (USSEC) is against the bill, saying the current power location process is already one of the most rigorous and comprehensive licensing processes in the state.

California Joint Agencies Find Reaching Decarbonized Goal Will Need Up To 6 GW of New Renewable Sources Annually
Sacramento, California

The California Energy Commission, along with two other government agencies, released a report detailing how the state could achieve a carbon-free electrical system by 2045. The report achieving the goal requires the state to purchase up to 6 GW of new renewable resources. annually.

The grid-measurement battle between utilities and solar industry is heating up in California
Sacramento, California

The California Public Utilities Commission is beginning to rethink net metering rules in the state, highlighting the divide between the solar power industry and the interests of utility companies. California’s three utilities want to add a new monthly grid fee for solar customers, while the solar industry instead wants to expand the incentives for net metering and move to net billing.

Maine Solar advocates are releasing a report that responds to the findings of the PUC net energy billing
Augusta, Maine

After Maine’s PUC published a study that found net billing hurt utility revenues, the solar industry commissioned its own study showing the economic benefits of the state program. The Daymark Energy Advisors report found that NEB solar projects have already boosted $ 60 million in economic activity in Maine.

Massachusetts governor signs omnibus clean energy legislation
Boston, Massachusetts

At the end of March, Gov. Charlie Baker signed the Clean Energy Omnibus Act, “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy.” The law contains multiple provisions to increase access to solar energy for low-income communities, including requiring utility companies to allow alternative funding mechanisms for community solar energy programs.

The New Mexico community’s solar market is about to open
Albuquerque, New Mexico

A bill that would open the community solar market in New Mexico awaits a signature from Governor Lujan Grisham. If signed, it would direct the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to develop rules for the state’s new community solar market by April 1, 2022.

The Illinois House of Representatives is considering an energy bill that would boost large-scale solar growth downstate
Springfield, Illinois

The Illinois House of Representatives is working on a bill backed by Ameren that would accelerate widespread solar growth in the southern part of the state. Solar energy proponents, including the Path to 100 coalition, are against the bill, saying it is turning renewable energy development over to monopolistic utilities.

The Pennsylvania Senate is considering bipartisan community solar legislation
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Bipartisan lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Senate have introduced new legislation to allow community development of solar energy in the state. The latest bill includes new provisions that reflect stakeholder feedback, including the requirement that developers cover the cost of decommissioning the projects at the end of their life.

New Senate legislation would create a temporary direct payment option for solar-powered ITC
Washington, DC

Democratic senators from the Environment and Public Works Committee passed legislation that would allow clean energy companies to bypass frozen tax stock markets and access the solar ITC via direct payment. Securing a direct payment option was one of SEIA’s main goals in helping the industry recover from the pandemic.

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