The cost for utility-scale solar PV power has declined 82 percent since 2010, and the costs for onshore and offshore wind have declined by 39 percent and 29 percent, respectively, according to a report released this Tuesday by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Price trends that have been falling for more than a decade will continue their decline with improved technology and expanded market participation, Marlene Motyka, Deloitteâ€™s Global and U.S. Renewable Energy Leader, told Utility Dive. Motyka noted record-low prices for wind and solar in recent auctions. Leaders of U.S. hydroelectric, solar, wind, and storage industry associations unveiled their â€śMajority Renewables by 2030â€ť plan in a June 2 industry roundtable. Under the plan, solar energy would account for 20 percent of power generation by 2030, wind would provide another 20 percent, hydroelectric would account for another 9 percent, and the remaining 2 percent would come from other renewable energy resources.
A court last week again rebuffed the White Houseâ€™s efforts to put tariffs on imported bifacial solar modules. According to a Wednesday ruling from the United States Court of International Trade, the federal government must continue to allow bifacial solar panels to enter the U.S. duty-free, despite the administrationâ€™s repeated attempts to include them in its solar tariffs. U.S. utility-scale solar developers have been excited to install cutting-edge bifacial panels, which enhance efficiency in certain environments by absorbing light from above and from reflection off the ground. But the technology, the majority of which is manufactured overseas, has suffered from policy whiplash since last year.
A coalition of Colorado utilities will get access to renewable energy from California and other western states starting in 2022, under a recently finalized agreement. The nonprofit California Independent System Operator oversees the stateâ€™s electric power system and the Western Energy Imbalance Market. The EIM â€” which launched in 2014 â€” is a power-trading market that automatically finds low-cost energy among member utilities in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, and British Columbia, Canada.
According to Environment Californiaâ€™s new â€śShining Cities 2020â€ť report, Los Angeles leads the nation in total installed solar PV capacity. Los Angeles has added more than 215 megawatts of solar capacity since year-end 2016. San Diego is ranked second in the nation for solar capacity â€” in the total amount installed as well as on a per-person basis. Six cities in California finished in the overall top 25 but a growing number of metropolitan areas outside the Golden State took big leaps. Albuquerque, New Mexico, moved up seven spaces to the third spot in per capita solar, while San Antonio improved by six notches to finish in the sixth position.
8minute Solar Energy has closed on a round of $225 million in new funding from a consortium of five banks. The round of financing was headed by CIT as sole coordinating lead arranger, with partners KeyBank, HSBC, Rabobank, and Nomura Holdings. According to the company, the funds will be used to post securities for various power purchase agreements and interconnection agreements. 8minute Solar Energy is touting an 18-gigawatt pipeline of solar and storage projects throughout California, Texas, and the southwestern U.S.
This week, renewable energy investor, Excelsior Energy Capital, and solar energy systems developer and investor, Unico Solar Investors, announced the closing of a joint-venture partnership to build, own, and operate a 250-megawatt pipeline of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects in North America. The C&I portfolio will consist of ground-mount, rooftop, and carport solar projects totaling 250 megawatts of capacity, located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, among others. Construction of the first set of projects is estimated to begin in Q3 2020.
Solar energy company 174 Power Global and steel producer Gerdau Long Steel North America have entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement to develop one of the largest behind-the-meter solar facilities in the nation. The 80-megawatt Gerdau Solar project, located adjacent to the Gerdau Midlothian Steel Mill in Midlothian, Texas, will be composed of more than 231,000 solar panels, spanning more than 700 acres. The system will provide power directly to the Midlothian steel mill.
Acton-Ague Dulce Unified School District will get a solar energy project under a power purchase agreement and contract with California PV Energy 3 unanimously approved by trustees last Thursday. California PV Energy 3, a limited liability company, is a subsidiary of PFMG Solar, a Huntington Beach-based company. The district will save an estimated $120,000 to $150,000 over the first five years of the project with the ground mounted solar arrays at Vasquez High. The project is expected to save the district an estimated $4.67 million to $5.76 million over 30 years.