March 1, 2017
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a commitment to significantly expand renewable energy in the state, aiming for 1 gigawatt by the end of 2020, a ten-fold increase. “Our commitment to expand our clean energy portfolio will help lower energy costs, create jobs and protect the beauty of our state for future generations," said Governor Raimondo. "As the technology advances, an affordable, clean energy future is no longer simply a dream." Achieving the goal will likely require new legislation, mandates, and/or programs. Read a press release from the Governor’s office here, and a story in Providence Business News here.
February 23, 2017
In addition to the development of reports and webinars, the Sustainable Solar Education Project is now entering its next phase to provide in-person training workshops and presentations aimed at state employees with responsibility for implementing solar policies and programs. The first in-person workshop will take place in Washington, DC on June 14th and will focus on “Bringing the Benefits of Solar to Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) Residents.” Participants will be chosen from an application process and will engage with leading experts and attendees from across the country in discussions on financing for LMI solar, using community solar to advance solar for LMI households, solar+storage as a strategy to reduce the cost of LMI solar, and harnessing existing poverty and housing programs for solar. State employees from any state are welcome to apply and travel assistance is available. For more information about this workshop or to apply, *click here*. Other in-person workshops and an online course will be offered over the coming year.
February 1, 2017
The District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has issued a Notice of Funding Availability and a Request for Applications to increase solar industry employment among District residents. The purpose is “to establish a comprehensive year-round solar photovoltaic (PV) systems job training program for adult District residents, ages 18 and above.” In operating the job training program, the selected applicant will work to “increase the district’s solar capacity” on buildings including “low-income single-family homes, multifamily housing, and nonprofit owned buildings.” The application deadline has been extended until February 27.
January 31, 2017
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has released its new proposal to overhaul the state's solar incentive program. The proposed program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), would replace the current SREC program. This new incentive program will lower costs for ratepayers, and provide stability for project developers by letting them know what their incentives will be for a long term period of 10-20 years. The program is structured so that smaller commercial and residential projects will get higher subsidies than larger commercial projects. Low-income and public benefit projects will also get better rates, as will projects built on land that can't be used for another purpose, such as brownfields, landfills, rooftops, or parking lot canopies, and projects paired with energy storage. Several solar advocacy groups released a joint press release in support of the proposed program. The current SREC program will continue through the end of the year while the SMART program goes through the state approval process. Read more here.
January 2, 2017
The 2016 RPS Summit included many presentations and discussions on solar.
December 28, 2016
Massachusetts is officially in line to join California and Oregon as the third state in the country to set energy storage procurement targets for utilities. Just before the close of 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources announced that the state would be adopting procurement targets to be achieved by 2020. The department is now seeking stakeholder input on the scale and structure of energy storage targets to put in place. Read more here and here.
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