September solar policy snapshots
Biden Administration Reveals Possible Intent to Expand ITC in New Brief
President Joe Biden and the United States Department of Energy released a brief issue on solar research, deployment and personnel priorities that aligns with many priorities in the solar industry. Most notably, the briefing mentions the possibility of expanding the solar ITC to help meet Biden’s clean energy goals.
Senate approves infrastructure bill with facilities for energy storage development
The US Senate voted to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes provisions to develop energy storage and power grid upgrades that could support greater deployment of solar energy. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where the Progressive Caucus has said it will withhold a vote unless the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion social policy bill this fall.
California Energy Commission requires solar + storage for new commercial buildings
The California Energy Commission has voted unanimously to require builders to install solar + storage on new commercial buildings and high-rise multi-family buildings. The new energy code also includes requirements for builders to design single-family homes so that batteries can be easily added to the already mandatory solar systems in the future.
Renewable Energy Coalition asks Congress for direct payment option for tax credit for energy efficiency in homes
More than 300 environmental justice advocates and renewable energy companies sent a letter to Senate and House committee leaders supporting a direct payment option for the property tax credit for energy efficiency for homes. The coalition says direct payment would increase access to solar energy, as lower-income families could receive their full subsidy in one year.
Pennsylvania House Committee Holds Hearing on Enabling Community Sun in State
Pennsylvania’s House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing in August of testimony from the PA Community Solar Economic Alliance in favor of enabling community solar projects in the state. The Republican committee secretary said the hearing showed a strong bipartisan interest in community solar.
California Environmental Justice Coalition Advocates Preservation of Net Measurement
The Coalition for Environmental Equity and Economics, a group made up of Green the Church, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, has joined solar advocacy groups to ask Governor Gavin Newsom to grid metering in California. The California Public Utility Commission is currently considering proposals from utilities about the next era of solar incentives.
New Hampshire governor extends net metering limit for cities
Concord, New Hampshire
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu Signed Bill Allowing Municipalities grid meter up to 5 MW of their own solar energy, up from 1 MW earlier, according to NHPR. Residents and businesses are still tied to 1 MW of solar energy.
Biden’s Administration May Cut Cost of Solar Projects on Public Lands
The Biden government plans to reduce costs of developing solar energy on public lands to increase the deployment of renewable energy, according to Reuters. The Bureau of Land Management will hold public listening sessions and consultations with Native American tribes in September.
Maryland Public Service Commission unanimously approves community solar program expansion
The Maryland Public Service Commission voted unanimously to expand the state’s solar pilot program and improve access for low- and middle-income customers. The program now accommodates the equivalent of 6,850 homes in Maryland per year.