What will DC’s new clean energy bill actually do?

 Author: Andrew Zimdahl | Managing Partner :  honeydewadvisors.comEnergy EfficiencySolar Published: Dec. 3, 2018

What will DC’s new clean energy bill actually do?

 t. 518.209.4194 | Honeydew Energy Advisors LLC

On Tuesday, November 27th 2018, DC City Council voted unanimously to move forward the most ambitious bill to combat climate change in the nation. A second vote to bring the The Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 into law will occur later in December, per the Council’s standard legislative process. The overall goal of the bill is to cut the District’s carbon emissions by half by 2032 and completely eliminate emissions by the midpoint of the century. Here’s a quick overview of the major provisions of the bill.

Increase funding to the Green Finance Authority, or Green Bank, through increased utility fees. This is estimated to cost households around $3.10 per month total. An average commercial ratepayer who uses 500,000 kWh of electricity and 50,000 therms of gas annually can expect to pay an additional $283 monthly, with fees on electricity declining slightly until they plateau after 2032.

Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Last augmented in 2016, the RPS represents a goal for the percentage of electricity a jurisdiction consumes from renewable energy sources. If the District fails to hit this goal, energy suppliers will be penalized through the Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) system. There is a specific quota for DC based solar energy within this goal, often referred to as the “solar carve-out”. The RPS is one of the fundamental drivers of demand for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which is the most important revenue stream for solar investments in DC. The chart directly below contrasts current and proposed RPS; below the same for solar carve outs:

Establish a building energy performance standard program. Building on the benchmarking requirements of the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, this program mandates building energy performance assessments, which will cycle every 5 years. These cycles will begin for all buildings over 50,000 square feet of floor space in 2021; 25,000 sqft in 2023; and 10,000 sqft in 2026. These assessments will show buildings how to reduce their energy consumption by 20% over 5 years. DOEE will establish exemption criteria for building owners that demonstrate financial distress, renovation, demolition, or sale. DOEE will also establish an ACP for buildings who fail to comply and avail $3mm to assist low income properties’ compliance.

This legislation also mandates that the Mayor establish a Transportation Electrification Program that will require all high occupancy and commercial fleet vehicles to be low or zero emission. Like other aspects of this bill, it will be implemented in phases. The goal is to have 50% of all such vehicles be “zero or low emission” by 2030; 75% by 2035, and 100% by 2045. The main tool for enforcing this program will come in the form of excise taxes on vehicle registrations through the DC Department of Motor Vehicles.

Finally, bowing to lobbying from Exelon, this bill permits PEPCO to recover costs and lost revenue from energy efficiency and demand response programs. FYI, a demand response program incentivizes high volume electric users to avoid using energy during peak usage times (like hot summer days). In other words, ratepayers will be using fewer kWhs and paying more for each kWh. Any fee will be subject to approval of the District Public Service Commission (PSC).

It’s important to underscore that most provisions of The Clean Energy Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 will be rolled out as an iterative process between the Mayor’s office, Department of Energy and Environment, and other stakeholders. Specific benchmarks, penalties, fees, and such are yet to be explicated. This bill includes money to fund a study to determine more precise compliance and administrative costs to implement the legislative goals.

Feel free to reach out to Honeydew Energy Advisors if you have any questions about this bill.

DCSEU Seeking Solar Contractors and Developers for Solar for All

Author :DCSEU: Published Dec. 5, 2018

solar panels

The District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)’s “Solar for All” program, which kicked off in 2016, is designed to decrease energy costs for thousands of low-income DC families. The DCSEU is implementing a new round of “Solar for All” initiatives in FY 2019 that will complement and build upon earlier “Solar for All” work in the District.

In support of this program, the DCSEU has released two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) seeking the following:

  • Developers to build community renewable energy facilities (CREFs).
  • Contractors to install solar systems on roughly 100 income-qualified DC single family households.

In total, the DCSEU’s “Solar for All” work is expected to benefit up to 6,800 income-qualified DC households over the next three years.


  • December 13, 2018: Informational webinar at 1:00 p.m. EST (details to follow)
  • December 17, 2018: All questions must be submitted via email to proposals@dcseu.com by 5:00 p.m. EST
  • December 21, 2018: Written responses to questions posted by 5:00 p.m. EST
  • January 9, 2019: All proposal responses must be submitted electronically to proposals@dcseu.com by 5:00 p.m. EST.

Solar for All

Solar for All aims to bring the benefits of solar energy to 100,000 low- and moderate-income households in the District of Columbia. DC’s Department of Energy and Environment implementing the program through several grantee organizations across the District, who are installing solar on single-family homes and developing community solar projects to benefit renters and residents in multifamily buildings. All Solar for All participants should expect to see a 50% savings on their electric bill over 15 years. To qualify, residents must meet the income guidelines below.

Eligibility: Household income is 80% of the area median income (AMI) or lower.

Persons in household









Income threshold $65,650 $75,000 $84,400 $93,750 $101,250 $108,750 $116,250 $123,750

Options for Single Family Homeowners

Two Solar for All grantees are currently installing Solar for All projects for single family homeowners. Solar United Neighbors of DC and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.
Solar United Neighbors of DC’s 51st State Solar Co-op brings DC residents together to make solar more affordable through bulk purchasing. Homeowners own the solar panels, receive credit for all electricity produced, and will receive additional income from revenue generated by their Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) starting five years after the installation. For income-qualified residents, Solar United Neighbors will pay for the full installation of panels. Learn more about the 51st State Solar Co-op.

How to apply: Contact Yesenia Rivera, DC Program Director at yesenia@solarunitedneighbors.org or by phone at (240) 523-3948.
Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic provides solar installations to income-qualified single-family homeowners through Solar Works DC, the District’s solar installation and job training program. In addition to preparing residents to enter careers in solar and related industries, Solar Works DC reduces energy costs for low- and moderate-income homeowners by installing solar systems on their homes. Homeowners will lease their solar systems at no cost to them and will receive at least 50% credit for all electricity produced by the panels. Learn more at Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.

How to apply: Contact Jacqueline Treiger, Senior Outreach Coordinator by phone at (202) 517-8858 or by email atdcoutreach@gridalternatives.org.

Community Solar
Community solar provides the benefits of solar to residents who can’t install systems on their home, including renters and homeowners whose rooftops are shaded or need repairs. A community solar project is not located on the home, but offsite, and the benefiting household (called a subscriber) receives a credit on their electric bill each month.

How can I participate in Solar for All’s community solar projects?

Several organizations are a part of DOEE’s Solar for All community solar initiative. Two programs are currently accepting applications. District residents interested in participating should reach out to those organizations directly using the contact information provided below.

Additionally, in late 2019, DOEE plans to open enrollment for a variety of new community solar projects currently in the pipeline.

Currently open for subscribers:

Groundswell is installing solar on houses of worship including at the DuPont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ward 7. Up to 350 income-eligible households will receive energy credit subscriptions at no cost. Visit groundswell.org/solar-for-all/ or contact customerservice@groundswell.org for more information.

Neighborhood Solar Equity is installing solar on a local university and plans to provide benefits to income-eligible households in the District. For more information, visit Neighborhood Solar Equity or contact rootandbranchinc@gmail.com.

To verify whether a solar developer/contractor is operating as part of DOEE’s official Solar for All program, please email solarforall@dc.gov or call 311.

For more information about Solar for All, contact Mike Matthews at (202) 536-7666 or michael.matthews@dc.gov.

Contact TTY:

Author: Power Africa : Published December 3, 2018

“Five years ago, a prominent African working to bring electricity to the world criticized those who said solar lanterns provide electricity access. He said that
solar lanterns just “shine a light on poverty.” At that time, I tended to agree.
But after learning about and seeing the impact that solar lanterns have on people, and understanding how solar lanterns are displacing expensive, dirty, and dangerous kerosene, I changed my mind.”
— Andrew M. Herscowitz, Coordinator for Power Africa

EERE Success Story—X Marks the Spot: Solar Site Design Goes High Tech

Author: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Published October 29, 2018

Success Story: Location, Location, Location

Smart Power Maps, a software tool developed by GeoCF with funding from SETO, helps solar developers determine the best place to install large-scale systems quickly and efficiently. The company invented a mapping platform that pairs a site’s characteristics with financial modeling tools that can help developers predict how much solar energy a system can generate at a particular site and how long it would take to pay back that system. Smart Power Maps has already been used to evaluate more than 250 gigawatts of solar projects, and GeoCF recently entered into an exclusive license agreement with Texas-based project developer 7X Energy. Read more.

the 2 megawatts CoServ Solar Station

A worker watches the sunrise at the 2 megawatts CoServ Solar Station in Krugerville, Texas. Photo by Ken Oltmann/CoSer

Utility-scale solar plants—ones that exceed 2 megawatts (MW)—can power thousands of homes and are being built faster than any other type of solar system in the country. However, finding an ideal location for these plants, which can occupy hundreds of acres of land, isn’t easy.

Just like a homebuilder may prioritize locations in a certain school district or so many feet away from a known flood zone, a utility-scale solar developer needs to find a site that can meet a complex set of energy production and grid-related demands. These factors can quickly complicate a project before construction even begins, causing developers to spend time and money on expensive studies.

Solar software company GeoCF is tackling these questions with technology that can reduce the complexity of finding a site, helping users save thousands of dollars.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) in 2015, GeoCF created a first-of-its-kind mapping and economic projection software tool that can simplify site selection. Called Smart Power MapsTM, the platform combines geospatial data, county-level data, and area-specific characteristics to evaluate site suitability and acquire necessary permissions for development.

The resulting platform is a map that includes thousands of data points ranging from a site’s topography to its property taxes and proximity to transmission lines. This data is used to model how much electricity a solar system could produce and assess local financial impact, improving the ability to find a site that yields the best return on investment. Smart Power MapsTM also reveals potential challenges in permitting, array design, and construction, thereby reducing the time it takes to connect to the grid and begin producing power. These features can make a solar project more attractive to investors, helping to lower interest rates and lead to even more savings over the lifetime of the solar system.

SETO helped GeoCF take its platform from an early-stage version, which offered a limited range of regions and features, to a comprehensive tool that includes the entire country. It added new map layers that contain information related to soil types, comprehensive floodplains, wells, pipelines, and provides developers access to additional detailed information. In addition, GeoCF worked with SETO to automate the calculation of grid-related constraints, greatly reducing site evaluation times.

Smart Power Maps has been used to evaluate more than 250 gigawatts of potential solar projects and its technology was so impactful, Austin, Texas-based utility-scale solar developer 7X Energy, Inc. secured an exclusive license with GeoCF to use its Smart Power Maps technology in June 2017. 7X Energy used Smart Power Maps to jointly develop one of the largest solar PV projects in Texas—the 315 MW Phoebe Solar Project. They use Smart Power Maps to support optimal project design, minimizing risks and leadings to a lower cost of solar electricity for its clients.

Learn more about the Solar Energy Technologies Office’s technology to market research.

Energy storage industry pushes for clarity on tax credit eligibility

Dive Brief:

  • A coalition of groups led by the Energy Storage Association (ESA) is calling on lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate to clarify that energy storage systems qualify for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), an incentive they say could help clean energy companies obtain financing, compete internationally and grow.
  • Bipartisan legislation in both houses of Congress would “ensure a level playing field” for storage resources, according to ESA. The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (H.R. 4649 / S. 1868) would apply to utility-scale battery projects as well as smaller residential systems.
  • Already this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a letterdetermining that new storage projects can access the credit when installed with new ITC-eligible technologies. In September, a pair of lawmakers asked for clarification on whether retrofitted storage systems can access the credit as well.
Dive Insight:

Clean energy technologies are looking to the lame duck Congressional session for support, with battery storage joining electric vehicles in lobbying lawmakers on the way out.

Clarifying that energy storage projects may utilize the ITC “would provide greater certainty to investors and businesses,” ESA and other groups said in a Nov. 26 letter to Congressional leaders. The two bills in Congress, they argue, “would allow a diversity of U.S. companies to better obtain financing, scale, create jobs, and become more competitive internationally in the fast-growing global storage market.”

ESA’s lobbying attempts are being joined by seven other groups, including the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and Advanced Energy Economy.

Earlier this month, Tesla, GM, ChargePoint and other electric vehicle advocacy groups called for Congress to continue federal tax credits supporting emissions-free car sales. Proponents say there is support on both sides of the aisle, but they must also beat back legislation proposed by Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., that calls for eliminating the credit altogether.

For energy storage, ESA and other groups say a growing number of technologies want access to the ITC and therefore batteries need the assistance to ensure a level playing field. All storage technologies, including batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air and others, would be eligible for the ITC, “ensuring technology neutrality so companies can choose the optimal solution to meet their needs,” they said.

Nov. 25, 2018 The Black Blogger Remembers Lawrence Guyot (1939-2012)

Joe Smoke Provoked Perspectives: The Black Blogger Nov. 25, 2018
If a man’s worth is predicated not the value in a bank account but in the value placed in how that man’s life work was dedicated to uplift others, then Lawrence Guyot lived a life that amassed riches beyond measure. Today, The Black Blogger looks back 6 years to remember a black man who gave his all and then some more to see that our community gained full citizenship and human rights. Thanks, Ancestor Lawrence Guyot for your contributions. May you rest forever in eternal peace.
 WASHINGTON — Lawrence Guyot, a civil rights leader who survived jailhouse beatings in the Deep South in the 1960s and went on to encourage generations to get involved, has died. He was 73.
Guyot had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes, and died at home in Mount Rainier, Md., his daughter Julie Guyot-Diangone said late Saturday. She said he died sometime Thursday night; other media reported he passed away Friday.
A Mississippi native, Guyot (pronounced GHEE-ott) worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and served as director of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, which brought thousands of young people to the state to register blacks to vote despite a history of violence and intimidation by authorities. He also chaired the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which sought to have blacks included among the state’s delegates to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The bid was rejected, but another civil rights activist, Fannie Lou Hamer, addressed the convention during a nationally televised appearance.
Guyot was severely beaten several times, including at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary known as Parchman Farm. He continued to speak on voting rights until his death, including encouraging people to cast ballots for President Barack Obama.
“He was a civil rights field worker right up to the end,” Guyot-Diangone said.
Guyot participated in the 40th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Project to make sure a new generation could learn about the civil rights movement.
“There is nothing like having risked your life with people over something immensely important to you,” he told The Clarion-Ledger in 2004. “As Churchill said, there’s nothing more exhilarating than to have been shot at — and missed.”
His daughter said she recently saw him on a bus encouraging people to register to vote and asking about their political views. She said he was an early backer of gay marriage, noting that when he married a white woman, interracial marriage was illegal in some states. He met his wife Monica while they both worked for racial equality.
“He followed justice,” his daughter said. “He followed what was consistent with his values, not what was fashionable. He just pushed people along with him.”
Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, called Guyot “a towering figure, a real warrior for freedom and justice.”
“He loved to mentor young people. That’s how I met him,” she said.
When she attended Ole Miss, students reached out to civil rights activists and Guyot responded.
“He was very opinionated,” she said. “But always — he always backed up his opinions with detailed facts. He always pushed you to think more deeply and to be more strategic. It could be long days of debate about the way forward. But once the path was set, there was nobody more committed to the path.”
Glisson said Guyot’s efforts helped lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“Mississippi has more black elected officials than any other state in the country, and that’s a direct tribute to his work,” she said.
Guyot was born in Pass Christian, Miss., on July 17, 1939. He became active in civil rights while attending Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and graduated in 1963. Guyot received a law degree in 1971 from Rutgers University, and then moved to Washington, where he worked to elect fellow Mississippian and civil rights activist Marion Barry as mayor in 1978.
“When he came to Washington, he continued his revolutionary zeal,” Barry told The Washington Post on Friday. “He was always busy working for the people.”
Guyot worked for the District of Columbia government in various capacities and as a neighborhood advisory commissioner.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton told The Post in 2007 that she first met Guyot within days of his beating at a jail in Winona, Miss. “Because of Larry Guyot, I understood what it meant to live with terror and to walk straight into it,” she told the newspaper. On Friday, she called Guyot “an unsung hero” of the civil rights movement.
“Very few Mississippians were willing to risk their lives at that time,” she said. “But Guyot did.”
In recent months, his daughter said he was concerned about what he said were Republican efforts to limit access to the polls. As his health was failing, he voted early because he wanted to make sure his vote was counted, he told the AFRO newspaper.

D.C.’s largest solar array proposed for Northeast site owned by Catholic Charities

By   – Digital Producer, Washington Business Journal  Updated 
By   – Digital Producer, Washington Business Journal

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington has submitted plans for what will be one of, if not the, largest solar arrays in D.C., in an effort to cut its energy costs and fund improvements to its facilities.

The project, to be located on 14 acres surrounding the Gift of Peace House and convent at 2800 Otis St. NE in Woodridge, will involve the installation of 4,778 solar panels, with a total mounted height of 7 feet, according to filings with the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment. The array is expected to generate 1.72 megawatts of energy.

For comparison, H.D. Woodson High School at 540 55th St. NE, which tops the District’s list of highest solar energy generators, produces 611 kilowatts of energy from its array. Solar arrays currently located atop about 50 D.C. government sites, from schools to recreation centers to warehouses, generate more than 11 megawatts.

Catholic Charities owns the Woodridge land and will lease it to a developer to build the array — and receive credit on its Pepco account for the energy generated. Design plans for the array were produced by Millersville, Maryland-based Solar Energy Services Inc.

A Catholic Charities spokeswoman declined to name the solar developer, how much the land will be leased for or how much the panels will cost. She did say the effort would save the charity an estimated $200,000 a year. Catholic Charities intends to use those funds toward maintenance and repairs to the Gift of Peace House, run by the Missionaries of Charity, which shelters 38 terminally ill men, women and children.

Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, founded the Missionaries of Charity and opened the D.C. Gift of Peace House in 1986 largely to serve those dying from AIDS.

The array, which Catholic Charities hopes to launch next year, will be closed off by a 6-foot-tall fence.

PJM, states clash over market jurisdiction at NARUC conference

PJM CEO Andy Ott said some states in his market had entered a “compact” to allow generation decisions to be determined by competitive markets, sparking spirited responses from state regulators.

ORLANDO, Fla. — The PJM Interconnection and its state members clashed at a regulatory conference Tuesday over who holds the ultimate jurisdictional authority to site power plants in the mid-Atlantic electricity market.

PJM CEO Andy Ott told a panel audience on Tuesday that some states in his market had entered a “compact” to allow power generation decisions to be determined by competitive markets, rather than state resource planning.

“The compact … was we opened up resource adequacy to competition, so investment was now driven by competition in parts of our states,” Ott said at the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). “Other states have remained with integrated resource planning. It was a balance between them.”

Ott blamed current upheavals in federal electricity markets on a retreat from this compact caused by state policies supporting clean energy resources like nuclear plants and renewables. That sparked a spirited response from some state regulators, who said states still retain ultimate authority over generation siting and retirements.

“Where can I get a copy of the original compact?” Maryland Public Service Commissioner Anthony O’Donnell asked Ott rhetorically during a question and answer session at the panel discussion. “I was told recently at an event that states agreed to give up some of their policymaking ability and sovereignty as a compromise of joining that compact. So I wanted to see the original.”

“I agree with the commissioner from Maryland,” Illinois Commerce Commissioner John Rosales told Utility Dive after the panel. “We did not agree to give that up. I don’t think that was the intention of states that we would give up that right, give up that sovereignty where they would have the authority to make decisions on our behalf.”

The clash illustrates the conflicts behind ongoing market reform cases at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which pit state clean energy policies against fossil fuel generators who want to limit their impact on the market. Ott said failure to find a way to adjust market outcomes for these policies could lead states to revert to centralized utility generation planning.

“The big debate is when you start to have competitive states take action to preserve competitive generation or favor certain generation, the crowd on the other side says ‘Hey I’m putting my money at risk, it’s unfair,'” Ott said. “If we can’t have a viable market then Plan B is to flip back to something like competitive procurement where it’s almost like a synthetic reregulation at a regional level. We cannot have open competition where there’s no confidence in the market.”

The debate at the NARUC annual meeting comes weeks after PJM and stakeholders filed their latest comments on capacity market reform at FERC, with the grid operator framing its market reform proposal as a necessary compromise between states and generators. It’s a narrative Ott revisited in comments before state regulators.

Last month, Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Brien Sheeahan warned states may leave PJM’s voluntary electricity market if it or FERC moves to curtail state policymaking power. It’s a message reiterated by his colleague Rosales.

“If we continue to have these types of disagreements where it always ends up that we agree to disagree, at some point you have to cut the cord,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, that’s not the solution I’m looking for, but it is a solution. I’d rather go through every other avenue before that occurs.”

Rosales proposed a resolution at the NARUC meeting that would have directed the organization to release an official statement urging FERC to “respect and protect the right of states to adopt laws or policies consistent with their individual energy goals … without forfeiting their access to wholesale capacity markets.”

The resolution was tabled by members of NARUC’s electricity committee on Monday before coming up to a full vote, a turn of events Rosales blamed on insufficient time at the conference to discuss the issue.

“There were a number of questions that came up that couldn’t get answered at that point so they felt more comfortable to table it rather than to vote because there were votes on both sides … and there was a happy medium to table this because there wasn’t enough time,” Rosales said.

“If states would rather have a stronger say, we can take that part, make an adjustment and it will be fine.”

Andy Ott CEO, PJM Interconnection

The Illinois regulator said he may bring the resolution back up at NARUC’s winter policy meeting in February, depending on whether FERC issues a decision in the PJM docket by that time. “All we have as states is the sovereignty of what we want to do with our states in terms of consumer preferences and I’m passionate about this,” he said. “That’s the responsibility of NARUC in representing us as a group.”

While defending PJM’s capacity market reform plan, Ott also left the door open for more fundamental reforms to the market model if states want to exert more control over power generation. “If states would rather have a stronger say, we can take that part, make an adjustment and it will be fine,” Ott said.

Trump to nominate acting EPA head Wheeler for permanent top spot

Dive Brief:

  • Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be nominated for the top job on a permanent basis, President Trump announced on Friday.
  • Wheeler has directed multiple efforts to roll back environmental regulations on the utility and transportation sectors, including rules on carbon emissions from coal plants and tailpipe pollution from automobiles. He will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
  • Wheeler took over for embattled former administrator Scott Pruitt in July. He previously worked as a lobbyist for coal mining companies, including Murray Energy, pushing their deregulatory agenda with the Trump administration.

Dive Insight:

Wheeler’s confirmation as permanent head of the EPA would likely mean the agency’s multiple deregulatory actions for industry will continue uninterrupted.

While his predecessor was dogged by multiple ethics scandals, Wheeler has kept his name out of the headlines as he directs efforts to dismantle environmental regulations put in place by the Obama White House.

Those include vehicle emissions standards that were set to accelerate under the previous administration. In August, Wheeler announced plans to freeze those standards and revoke California’s authority to set stronger rules for car engines and electric vehicles.

Also in August, Wheeler announced plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping rule that would have required coal plant owners to shift to lower-emitting forms of power generation. EPA now plans to replace it with a less stringent rule that would only require modest efficiency upgrades at coal plants.

Wheeler has also pushed other coal sector priorities, including rollbacks of mercury pollution regulations and the nation’s first federal rules for the disposal of coal ash, a hazardous byproduct of power generation. Wheeler’s first move as acting administrator was to announce a new, less stringent ash rule for plant owners.

Environmentalists and public health groups say Wheeler’s recent work for industry represents a conflict of interest with the EPA’s regulatory mission. Until August 2017, Wheeler was registered as a lobbyist in Washington where he represented companies regulated by the EPA.

One of those clients was Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal mining company in the U.S. In March 2017, Wheeler was present at a meeting between CEO Bob Murray and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry during which Murray gave the secretary an “Action Plan” to save the domestic coal sector.

The plan and others submitted to the White House included a number of actions EPA has since undertaken, including rollbacks of the Clean Power Plan and coal ash rule, as well as an ill-fated power plant bailout that the White House submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year.

Wheeler defended his record as a lobbyist when he took the helm at EPA in July, touting his work on health benefits for miners, as well as his previous experience as a career staffer at EPA. Environmentalists, however, say his actions show a clear connection to the sector he used to represent.

“[P]roposals like the forthcoming rule to weaken or eliminate protections against mercury emissions make it clear Andrew Wheeler plans to continue … with rollbacks of vital environmental protections,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement. “In the confirmation process to come, I look forward to delving deeper into Mr. Wheeler’s ties to regulated industries, and how those ties have informed his decision making on issues that directly benefit those industries’ bottom lines.”

Hearings have not been set yet for Wheeler’s confirmation, but are likely early next year. Despite likely opposition from Whitehouse and other Democrats, Republican control of the U.S. Senate makes confirmation likely.

North Carolina Utilities South Carolina North Carolina commission latest to approve utility merger

November 19, 2018
The North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved the proposed merger of troubled South Carolina utility SCANA with Dominion Energy.
The utilities announced the commission’s approval in a news release Monday. The merger remains contingent upon approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina. Previously, the merger had received approval from a number of agencies, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approved the indirect transfer of the operating license for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station from SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to the Virginia-based company. SCANA needed a buyer after spending $5 billion on a pair of reactors abandoned a year ago at V.C. Summer, costing thousands of jobs. The move spawned more than a dozen lawsuits and followed the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

29 Renewable Energy Markets You Need to Watch Out For in 2019

We detail the most interesting markets to watch in 2019.

Next year will see wind, solar and energy storage flourishing globally.

You won’t have to look far to find a renewable energy market worth tracking next year. As more countries establish gigawatt-scale markets for renewables and storage, the global picture is getting much more diverse. Experts helped GTM identify at least 29 countries where wind, solar and energy storage prospects will be worth keeping an eye on in 2019.

Argentina: Wind and solar

Despite recent currency problems, Wood Mackenzie Americas Power & Renewables Analyst Manan Parikh believes new national net metering policies could stimulate the growth of distributed solar systems of up to 300 kilowatts across Argentina. The country has also been identified by Dana Younger, chief renewable energy specialist at the International Finance Corporation, as a wind market to watch.

Australia: Solar

Australia is hardly a new market for solar, but that won’t make it any less interesting in 2019, said Wood Mackenzie solar analyst Rishab Shrestha. “Australia’s utility-scale solar [market] is picking up pace rapidly from this year onward through 2020,” he said. Australia has a solar pipeline of more than 30 gigawatts, he said, as a result of the country’s Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target, corporate power-purchase agreements (PPAs), state auctions and merchant projects.

Belgium: Energy storage

Europe’s largest behind-the-meter storage system, with 4.3 megawatts of power, has been installed in Belgium, said Alex Eller, senior research analyst for energy at Navigant Research. Recently announced projects in the country include flow battery demonstration projects totaling roughly 5.5 megawatt-hours of capacity and an 18-megawatt Tesla system in Terhills, eastern Belgium, providing reserve and frequency control on electricity trading markets.

Brazil: Solar

Brazil historically has had a strong wind market. Now solar is picking up. “Projects sized above 5 megawatts are taking advantage of a mix of bilateral PPAs and spot prices, depending on where they are located,” said Parikh at Wood Mackenzie. “With auction prices falling and a desire for more market-driven solutions when it comes to renewables, many offtakers, developers and suppliers see this as the largest area for growth,” he said. “Rates of return are not as razor-thin as competitive procurement rounds

China: Energy storage

China is top of the list for just about any renewables watcher. But it has historically lagged behind expectations on energy storage growth, said Eller of Navigant. This changed in 2018, with more than 2.2 gigawatts of new electrochemical storage projects either planned or under construction, according to the China Energy Storage Alliance. “I predict 2019 will be a huge year for the country’s industry,” Eller said.

Colombia: Solar

Wood Mackenzie’s Parikh said there is still a significant amount of enthusiasm for solar in Colombia despite auctions being pushed back from January to March next year. The announcement of utility-scale projects by Enel and Celsia shows there are ways that plants above 20 megawatts can skip an extensive approval process, although the commercial and industrial segment remains the main market opportunity in Colombia.

Egypt: Wind and solar

The financial close of a 250-megawatt project from a consortium led by Engie in the Gulf of Suez has added to hopes for a growing wind industry in Egypt, with 1.2 gigawatts of capacity potentially being developed by companies such as ACWA Power and Marubeni. The country, home to the world’s biggest PV complex, is also highlighted as a solar market to watch by Josefin Berg, research and analysis manager for the solar and energy storage research group at IHS Markit.

Estonia: Wind

The small European Republic of Estonia is attracting wind industry interest over plans for offshore installations in the Baltic Sea, said Richard Heap, editor-in-chief at specialist analyst group A Word About Wind. Stephen Bull, senior vice president of the wind and carbon capture and storage business at Equinor, the oil, gas and floating wind foundation firm, has also cited the Baltic Sea as a potential hotspot for offshore installations.

Ethiopia: Wind

The International Finance Corporation is expecting to see an uptick in wind development in Ethiopia beginning next year, when the country will be the first in Africa to benefit from extension of the IFC’s Scaling Solar program. The program has traditionally helped African governments, apart from South Africa, to support privately funded solar projects. But in Ethiopia it will be extended to cover wind, too. The country is aiming to install 5.2 gigawatts of wind by 2020, from 324 megawatts today.

Ireland: Energy storage

Alex Eller at Navigant said demand for storage in Ireland is rising on the back of high electricity prices, increasing renewable generation and the island’s inherently restricted grid. A total of 373 megawatts of new energy storage capacity is being processed in the country. Regulators are planning to launch the first auction under the country’s Renewable Energy Support Scheme, which is expected to procure 140 megawatts of fast-responding capacity for grid stability services.

Italy: Solar

Italy is one of a couple of southern European solar markets that once had strong growth. The country will be worth a second look next year. The Italian government is targeting 72 terawatt-hours of solar generation a year by 2030, up from around 25 terawatt-hours today, said Tom Heggarty, senior analyst for global solar PV at Wood Mackenzie. It is planning seven joint wind-and-solar auctions between 2019 and 2021.

Japan: Wind

Companies such as Equinor are keeping an eye on Japan’s plans for offshore wind, which came a step closer to reality this year when Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japan’s largest utility, signaled major investments in the technology. Given Japan’s historic hesitancy to bet fully on offshore wind, adding it to the list of markets to watch in 2019 may turn out to be optimistic. But the potential size of the market means few will want to miss the business opportunity when it finally occurs.

Lithuania: Wind

Along with Estonia, Lithuania is one of several Eastern European markets that experts are watching for action next year. The country got more than 33 percent of its electricity from wind in 2017, and in June this year approved a new national strategy to meet 80 percent of its total energy demand through renewables by 2050.

Mongolia: Energy storage

Although hardly set to become a galloping energy storage market anytime soon, the landlocked Asian nation of Mongolia deserves a place on the 2019 watch list after signing a groundbreaking finance package for 41 megawatts of distributed energy with batteries. The $66.2 million package, from the Asian Development Bank, the Strategic Climate Fund, the Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism and the Mongolian government, will be used to deliver clean energy to 260,000 people in the remote west of the country.

Morocco: Wind

The IFC is hoping 2019 will see a renewal of wind project activity in Morocco after four years of scant progress. Some of the projects on the drawing board are rather speculative, such as Soluna’s plan to build a 900-megawatt off-grid wind farm in the desert.

But project developers are eager. Soluna’s CEO John Belizaire, for example, told GTM he is confident in getting a grid connection to the project within a year of commissioning, and the risks are low. “Morocco has established legal frameworks where the rule of law is sound,” he said.

Nigeria: Solar

Bill Lenihan, co-CEO at Off Grid Electric, sees Nigeria as one of Africa’s most promising distributed solar markets in 2019. “Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and biggest oil producer, and its population growth is expected to surpass the U.S. by 2050,” he said.“Despite this, Nigerians are significantly underserved when it comes to clean, affordable energy. Overall only 45 percent of the population has energy access. As a result, we are observing a significant demand for distributed energy alternatives that don’t rely on the grid.”

Pakistan: Wind

Dana Younger at the IFC has cited Pakistan as a promising upcoming market for wind. The country is looking to double the share of wind and solar in its energy mix by 2022. And in November it is set to host the seventh World Wind Energy Conference. The country is heavily dependent on imported oil and gas, so there is an incentive to invest in wind. However, wind projects may have to compete with extensive coal deposits uncovered in 1992 and now being exploited for power generation.

Poland: Wind

“Poland is trying to rebuild investor confidence after the government that took power in 2015 did major damage to onshore wind support mechanisms,” said A Word About Wind’s Richard Heap. The nation also looks promising for offshore wind — as long as investors can be persuaded that the government’s new wind-friendly stance is for real.

Portugal: Solar

The Iberian Peninsula, where Spanish legislation hampered solar development for the best part of a decade, is now once more looking up for PV. Portugal, which has long had a more favorable stance toward renewables than Spain, looks set to benefit from its proximity to the once-more growing Spanish market. Fun fact: Portugal is also looking to get into the battery game, with lithium exploration licenses up for grabs this year.

Russia: Wind

Russia appeared to signal growing support for wind power last year when it unveiled a $1.7 billion development fund targeting the sector. The market hasn’t exactly raced ahead since then, but increasing levels of development earned it a spot in A Word About Wind’s latest Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index, ahead of other potential wind hotspots such as Argentina and Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia: Solar

Despite regulatory uncertainty caused by the headline-grabbing SoftBank affair, the Saudi Arabian market is still poised to lead the Middle East in PV demand in the next five years, said Benjamin Attia, a research analyst in the Power & Renewables practice at Wood Mackenzie. Planned tenders could see up to around 4 gigawatts of PV being developed by the end of 2019. A new renewables strategy, set to be released in the coming weeks, may change this outlook, but Attia said he is “confident the Saudi market will see market-shifting activity in 2019.”

South Africa: Solar and energy storage

After a few years of high uncertainty, the South African solar market is ready to re-emerge with the signing of PPAs from round 4.5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, plus a fifth bid window set for November, Attia said. Navigant’s Alex Eller also identified South Africa as a market to watch for energy storage. The national utility Eskom has announced a two-phase plan for 1.4 gigawatt-hours of energy storage at its sites throughout the country, he said.

Spain: Solar

Tom Heggarty of Wood Mackenzie said upward of 20 gigawatts of solar projects are currently looking for grid connection permits across the Iberian Peninsula.

Around 4 gigawatts of capacity got awarded through Spanish government auctions in 2017, but some developers see more potential in signing utility or corporate PPAs. With prices as low as €40 ($46) per megawatt-hour, Spain is “all about unsubsidized solar,” Heggarty said.

Taiwan: Solar and wind

Taiwan’s solar market will hit gigawatt-scale levels next year, said Wood Mackenzie’s Rishab Shrestha. The country is targeting 20 gigawatts of capacity by 2025, supported by auctions and feed-in tariffs. Richard Heap of A Word About Wind, meanwhile, is watching the development of Taiwan’s offshore wind market. “It’s a promising market,” he said. “The government has backed enough projects to make it look like a supply chain can grow.”

Thailand: Energy storage

Although still a small market, Thailand’s energy storage sector is “gaining momentum quickly,” said Eller at Navigant. Regulators are looking to use energy storage to help increase the level of renewables on and off the grid, with one 3-megawatt system already in operation and more planned.

Turkey: Wind

The IFC sees potential growth in Turkey’s wind market despite President Tayyip Erdogan’s ultranationalist and protectionist leadership representing a relatively high-risk bet for developers. Turkey is looking to add 16 gigawatts of wind capacity by 2030 and is planning 1.2 gigawatts offshore. “There is plenty for investors to get stuck into,” according to A Word About Wind’s Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index.

United States: Energy storage

The U.S. leads the world in energy storage, and its 2019 market won’t disappoint. Behind the meter, watch out for Massachusetts, New England and New York, as well as California and Hawaii, said Wood Mackenzie Senior Energy Storage Analyst Brett Simon. For front-of-meter action, “keep a close eye on the Carolinas,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, another senior energy storage analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “Duke’s heavy investment in storage there could spark interest across the Southeast,” he said.

Ukraine: Wind

Nuclear-and-fossil-fuel-heavy Ukraine is quietly emerging as an interesting market for wind developers. Ukraine commissioned 50.35 megawatts in the first half of 2018, bringing cumulative capacity to 515.5 megawatts, said the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association. In August, Turkish construction and engineering firm Guris Insaat ve Muhendislik started building a 32.4-megawatt wind farm. And in September, the Norwegian wind developer NTB announced a 250-megawatt project in the south of the country.

Vietnam: Solar

IHS Markit’s Josefin Berg and Wood Mackenzie’s Rishab Shrestha both cite Vietnam as an Asian solar market to watch. “Cumulative solar capacity is less than 20 megawatts, but the current feed-in tariff is attracting a massive development pipeline of more than 10 gigawatts,” Shrestha said. “We expect around 900 megawatts to be installed in 2019.”

Big tech companies are becoming the top buyers of green energy to meet data needs: BNEF

Dive Brief:

Dive Insight:

As more tech companies commit to renewable energy, they are increasingly driving green power adoption. Google, in particular, is leading through its efforts to run all of its data centers with renewable energy, according to BNEF.

Google has now purchased over 3 GW of renewable energy, followed by Facebook (2 GW), and Microsoft, Amazon and Apple (1 GW each), BNEF told Bloomberg. The firm’s data showed the tech sector leading the year with renewable energy corporate procurements.

Companies were already on pace to lead clean energy development: an earlier BNEF report found corporate purchases by August had already topped the 2017 amount by almost 2 GW, with 7.2 GW of clean energy.

And with the IoT expected to continue growing, experts see the renewable purchasing trend continuing.

There are 25 billion devices connected now, “and the numbers are expanding exponentially,” Richard Mroz, senior advisor of state and government relations for Protect Our Power, said. And IHS Markit expects estimates data centers account for between 2% and 3% of electricity demand in developed nations, primarily for cooling.

“Onsite generation is the ideal way to implement renewable energy in data centers,” the firm said. But it added that offsite renewable energy sources like utility companies and renewable projects “are typically the easiest way for data centers to obtain renewable energy. Offsite generation removes the large upfront capital expenses to produce onsite renewable energy and the geographical limitations of renewable energy production methods.”

While Google hit a milestone last year, purchasing sufficient renewable energy to power its global operations, the search engine giant is now trying to attune the timing and location — a much tougher task. Last month, the company published an analysis that showed none of its data centers in 2017 were matched 24-hours-a-day, every day with 100% carbon-free energy.

The answer may be batteries, which tech companies have been purchasing. Amazon has recently been purchasing batteries from Tesla, to help power its U.K. distribution centers.

“The deployment of cost-effective, large-scale energy storage could conceivably help create better matching of renewable energy supply with data center electric demand, particularly over the course of a day,” Google wrote in its renewable energy analysis. But it added, “storage may not necessarily be able to overcome major seasonal variations in renewable supply.”

DC advances bill to mandate elimination of fossil fuels by 2032

Washington, D.C., on Tuesday took another step toward adopting the nation’s first 100 percent renewable energy bill, which would require the district source all of its electricity from wind and solar by 2032 and set tough new energy efficiency standards for buildings.

The district has a current goal of obtaining 50 percent of its power from renewables by 2032, and the change reflected in the bill represents the most aggressive, fastest-acting climate change legislation in the country. It would also allow the district to enact regional agreements with neighboring Virginia and Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two committees of the D.C. Council separately and unanimously approved the bill Tuesday and moved it to a vote before the full council.

“We can’t be walking or strolling toward solutions, we need to run,” council member Charles Allen, a Democrat, said before voting to approve the bill on the Transportation and Environment Committee. “The damage being done at the federal level can’t be reversed in a year or two.”The full council is slated on Nov. 27 to conduct the first of two votes on the 100 percent renewable energy bill.

To help pay for the transition to renewables, the bill would impose a fee on electricity and natural gas consumption that the legislation’s authors say would add $2.10 to D.C. residents’ average monthly gas bills and less than $1 to their average monthly electricity bills. About 20 percent of the money raised from those fees would be used to provide financial help to low-income D.C. ratepayers. The rest would go to local “sustainability” projects.

The district, under Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, is already among the furthest along in transitioning away from fossil fuels and conserving energy. About 74 percent of D.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. The Democratic-dominated states of California and Hawaii also have laws mandating 100 percent electricity from carbon-free sources, but those set a later target date than D.C. is proposing — 2045.

GE, Juhl partner for first commercial solar-wind hybrid generation project

Dive Brief:

  • GE Renewable Energy will supply a wind turbine and solar equipment for a unique renewable generation project in Minnesota, which developer Juhl Energy says will be the first commercial integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation facility in the country.
  • The 2 MW project will provide locally-generated energy to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, while Bank of America will purchase the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) it generates.
  • Bank of America’s purchase of the RECs follows a trend of corporate renewable energy purchases, stemming from an increased focus on environmental stewardship. The Minnesota project is expected to cover the bank’s electricity consumption in the state, helping to meet a 2020 environmental operations goal of purchasing 100% renewable electricity.

Dive Insight:

Juhl’s hybrid renewable project is small, but significant in a few ways. By combining solar and wind, the company says it will gain efficiencies — a tactic that could be used to broadly grow affordable renewable resources.

“The hybrid design gives these type of projects the ability to produce power when it is most needed, with the solar essentially providing summer peak energy, and the wind providing winter peak energy,” Juhl said in its announcement.

GE Renewable Energy will supply a single 2 MW wind turbine for the project, which will be supported by 500 kW of solar.

The project will use GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy technology platform to “directly integrate the solar panels through the wind turbine’s converter so both wind and solar share the same balance of plant, increasing system net capacity,” the companies said. The efficiencies will add 3% to 4% in net capacity and annual energy production could increase 10%.

Bank of America wants to move quickly on sustainability, and that “starts with creative thinking and projects that can help drive more low-carbon energy solutions in our communities,” said Alex Liftman, the bank’s global environmental executive.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, corporate buyers are helping boost clean energy development with record purchases. By August, corporate purchases had reached 7.2 GW, already topping the 2017 record by 1.8 GW, according to a BNEF report.

New York announces $250M electric vehicle corridor, DC fast charger rollout

Dive Brief:

  • New York has developed a set of statewide, broad-scale initiatives aimed at boosting the adoption of electric vehicles, including the development of 200 150 kW DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) in more than two dozen locations along major traffic corridors and at JFK Airport.
  • The New York Power Authority said it has identified the first 32 locations for DCFC infrastructure as part of its EVolve NY program. The state has committed $250 million through 2025 for the initial rollout of the program.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to see at least 10,000 charging stations in the state by the end of 2021, as part of the state’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative to encourage electric car adoption.

New York, like a growing number of states, sees electrified transportation as a key strategy in meeting broader emissions and environmental goals. And that approach is showing up in millions of dollars spent on infrastructure, in an effort to boost widespread adoption.

Along with the expansion of public fast charger networks across the state, New York says it has also approved regulatory actions to lower residential charging rates, and issued more than 11,000 rebates to consumers for purchasing electric vehicles.

Cuomo’s long-term clean energy goals call for reducing carbon emissions 40% by 2030 from 1990 levels. NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones said the plan is to “aggressively accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles” throughout the state.

“Addressing infrastructure barriers is key if we want people to step into EV ownership with confidence,” Quiniones said in a statement.

NYPA said that EVolve NY is planning for four 150 kW chargers per location, on average less than 75 miles apart. The first DCFC chargers planned through the EVolve NY program are expected to be under construction by spring 2019, and NYPA said they will be rolled out “along priority travel corridors with high traffic volumes from Buffalo to Montauk, and from Long Island to Canada.”

Other agencies are also involved in the state’s efforts. The New York Public Service Commission approved time-of-use rates that lower charging costs during off-peak hours. And utilizing the state’s “Drive Clean Rebate,” the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has approved more than $15 million for more than 11,000 rebates.

In September, Cuomo also announced the availability of $5 million for charging installations at apartment buildings, workplaces, malls and other locations under Charge Ready NY.

New York is not the only state pouring money into electric vehicles. This summer, the California Public Utilities Commission approved $738 million in transportation electrification projects for the state’s investor-owned utilities. And New Jersey utility PSEG plans to spend $300 million on EV infrastructure as part of a multi-billion dollar clean energy and grid investment plan.

Recommended Reading:

Green Banks

Published: NREL  Transforming Energy 11/21/18

Green Banks help secure low-cost capital for clean energy projects including solar at favorable rates and terms to both traditional and otherwise challenging market segments.

The availability of low-cost financing is a critical factor for achieving cost-competitive solar energy. Reduced interest rates, extended term lengths, and low or no money down finance offerings can help ensure that solar adopters achieve energy bill savings, provide pricing certainty, and enable investors to achieve attractive investment returns. Green Banks are one mechanism used to deploy low-cost capital for solar energy projects by offering favorable rates and terms to both traditional and underserved markets. According to the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC)—a non-profit Green Bank advisory organization—a Green Bank is fundamentally “a focused institution, created to maximize clean energy adoption.” Green Banks are often established to complement existing financing institutions by attracting and leveraging private capital that otherwise might be unavailable to a particular market or segment.

U.S. Green Bank Institutions

As of 2017, several Green Banks in the United States have been established by enabling legislation at the state and local level, with several more under development. Examples of existing Green Banks in the United States include:

Based on the early successes of these leading clean energy finance institutions, there are a number of other jurisdictions in the United States exploring the formation of a Green Bank as well as several international development efforts underway.

Green Bank Products

There are a variety of financial products that may be offered by a Green Bank. These products can be targeted to end users such as a home or business owner as well as other finance providers such as retail and investment banks. Connecticut Green Bank, for example, has driven growth in its residential and commercial segments through a residential solar loan and lease program, credit support mechanisms (e.g. credit enhancements) for energy efficiency and solar , and a commercial property assessed clean energy (PACE) product for a variety of different energy conservation measures. The New York Green Bank offers a similar product list which includes credit enhancements, a multi-developer aggregation service (bundling of multiple smaller solar investments), traditional loans, and combination product of the above. A generalized representation of the types of products offered by Green Banks is shown below (image courtesy of Connecticut Green Bank). Through these products, Green Banks can help to help secure private capital by a number of different means including lowering risks or reducing transactional costs.

Connecticut Green Banks Innovative Financing Tools

Green Bank Formation

State and local governments have established Green Banks under a variety of different structures, legislative directives, and funding sources. For example, Connecticut Green Bank is capitalized by a $.001/kilowatt-hour (kWh) surcharge to households in their electricity rates (resulting in a surcharge of about $10 per year per household), while the Montgomery County Green Bank received an approximate $14 million grant from the county that was part of a local utility merger process. As another example, the State of Nevada recently enacted the Nevada Clean Energy Fund (another term for a Green Bank) that established the authority and charter for the institution, but requires the Fund’s Board of Directors to be responsible for securing the necessary startup and capitalization dollars to launch the fund. Under the Nevada Clean Energy Fund model, a number of different sources can be targeted for startup and capitalization of the fund, including federal, state and private grants and bonds, and foundational support and high net worth individuals among others. In general, the implementation of a Green Bank typically follows a process of an early startup phase in which the institutional processes are put in place followed by a launch of the initial product to eventually expansion into multiple products and sectors.

In July of 2017, NREL, CGC, and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy co-hosted a one-day workshop with a number of Nevada stakeholders that was a key first step in implementing the Nevada Clean Energy Fund. The discussions centered around the Clean Energy Fund’s organization structure, governance, board members and the desired knowledge base, long term funding options, and consideration of the different potential products to be offered. The workshop materials can be found herePDF.

Green Bank Investment Statistics

Despite a comparatively short track record, Green Banks have proven to be an effective mechanism for deploying capital. As of 2016, the most mature Green Banks in the country, in Connecticut and New York, have collectively invested nearly $575 billion in total clean energy investment. These investments also mobilize private sector investment into a project by reportedly three to six times the amount of public sector dollars at work. The ability to attract and leverage a greater amount of private dollars is often one of the hallmarks and typical motivations for establishing a Green Bank.

Kenyan McDuffie Chair, Committee on Business and Economic Development October 29, 2018 Oversight Hearing on the Bill 22-904, the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018.

published:  Nov 8, 2018

Introduction Date
Jul 10, 2018
Councilmembers Cheh, Allen, T. White, Nadeau, and Chairman Mendelson
Councilmembers Gray, R. White, and Grosso
Committee Referral
Committee on Transportation and the Environment and Committee on Business and Economic Development
Additional Information
BILL SUMMARY – As introduced, this bill increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100% by 2032, establishes a solar energy standard post 2032, and establishes standards electricity suppliers must meet regarding purchasing a percentage of their energy from long-term purchase agreements with renewable generators. It removes restrictions on energy efficiency measures. It expands the uses of the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and also establishes an energy performance standard program for buildings at the Department of Energy and Environment. Among other things, it authorizes the Mayor to commit the District to participation in regional programs with the purpose of limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue regulations tying the vehicle excise tax to fuel efficiency.

You can now Watch both videos on  the D.C. Council held the two public hearings on a historic bill to power the District with 100% renewable energy sources by 2032, including 5% from local solar.

You can watch October 9, 2018  video from the hearing

The October 29, 2018 hearing can be found here: http://video.oct.dc.gov/VOD/DCC/2018_10/10_29_18_Biz.html





Montgomery County Green Bank

Published By :  Montgomery County Green Bank : Nov 08, 2018

Green Notes, November 2018

Here’s our the latest news:

  • Our first annual report is ready! Want to know what we’ve been up to in the last fiscal year? All the details are in our newly-released report.
  • We’ve created a short video to help everyone understand how we work to accelerate clean energy and energy efficiency in the County. See the link below!
  • We are hiring! We’re looking for a Product Marketing Representative to support our marketing and outreach activities for our financial products. More information is below.
  • Calling all energy contractors serving Montgomery County! Are you helping your business customers plan their capital projects for next year? Are they considering energy improvements? Attend our webinar on November 15th and learn your options to make these projects more affordable!
  • Check out our Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER). It makes clean energy projects more affordable. Offers no money out and no cash flow impact.
  • Want to learn more about our Authorized Contractors? Take a closer look.
  • A Regular Board Meeting will be held in November. Details are below!

Our Annual Report is Ready!

In 2018, we did so many exciting things with our partners to help expand financing options for energy improvement projects in Montgomery County.We launched our first loan product, met with many stakeholders across the region, attended conferences and festivals and held a workshop to spread the word on the green bank model.

All the details are in our annual report!

Watch our New Video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdJnRwdFkEE&feature=youtu.be

Follow Sally, a local commercial property owner, and Derrick, her employee, as they explore options for clean energy and energy efficiency. Click on the image above or visit our homepage!

This video is meant to help everyone understand our role in driving the adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency in Montgomery County. If you’d like to let us know what you think, feel free to send us an email at info@mcgreenbank.org.

We’re hiring!

Interested in helping the Montgomery County Green Bank? We’re looking for a full-time Product Marketing Representative to work in our Rockville office!

This person will be knowledgeable about energy efficiency and renewable energy contracting work and will support outreach and education activities for commercial and residential contractors, businesses and property owners in the County. If you know a savvy marketing communications person who would be great for this role, please share our job description and send him/her our way.

Calling All Energy Contractors Serving Montgomery County!It’s Budget Season!
Thinking of Financing Options for Your Customers?
Learn more about what’s locally available! 

We’re holding a webinar to help you understand all the options out there for your commercial and industrial customers as they go through capital improvement budgeting and decision-making for next year.Our panel will include Tom Deyo from the Montgomery County Green Bank and Lindsey Shaw from Montgomery County. They will walk through current financing options regarding the Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) and the Commercial PACE program available to your commercial and industrial customers. Bring your questions and offer your thoughts. These options can help your customers move forward if they were not able to get budget funding to cover their projects, or help them finance larger projects than they could afford on their own.


C-PACE and CLEER: Customer Financing Solutions in Budget Season for C&I Energy Efficiency and Renewable Projects

When: Thursday, November 15th at noon to 1 pm EST

Add to your calendar »

You may also join by phone:
‪+1 (413) 251-4856‬
PIN: ‪680 694 655‬#

If you’re interested but can’t attend the live event, please register and we will make sure you receive a recording.

Considering an energy savings retrofit
for your commercial property?Our Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency
and Renewables (CLEER) may be for you!

If you are commercial property owner in Montgomery County, consider the many benefits of this loan. Terms vary by CLEER Participating Lender, but generally:

  • Loans may be from $15,000 to $250,000
  • 100% financing is available
  • Terms of up to 12 years
  • Loan is unsecured
  • Up to 30% of the loan amount can go to non-energy improvements
  • Ability to align payments with energy savings over time.

Loan proceeds can be used for a variety of energy efficiency measures – including all Pepco Energy Savings for Business Eligible Measures PLUS solar PV, energy storage, gas furnaces and combined heat and power.

To discuss your project or address any questions, you can also contact:

Horacio Chacon
Revere Bank
(301) 841-9583

Josh Patton
Ascentium Capital
(281) 902-1969

If you are a contractor who would like to work with us, click here.

Our List of Authorized Contractors
Keeps Growing!

We’re proud to be working with some of the best energy contractors in the County to bring you affordable and accessible financing that will save your business cash. Our contractors are well-versed in the benefits of CLEER, our financing product for commercial and industrial property owners.
Wondering who is on our list? Take a closer look!
You may see someone you know!

Upcoming Board Meeting

Regular Board Meeting

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
The agenda is available here.Location: Montgomery County Green Bank, 155 Gibbs Street, 4th Floor Conference Room, Rockville, MD 20850The public may attend these meetings. If you wish to attend, please RSVP in advance to info@mcgreenbank.org.

DC People’s Counsel Mattavous-Frye Named Government Champion for Solar Education Efforts

Author: Doxie McCoy  Office of People’s  Wed, Nov 07, 2018

Government Champion — Sandra Mattavous-Frye, District of Columbia Office of the People’s Counsel, with Rick Peters, Board President of the MDV-Solar Energy Industries Association


MDV-SEIA Presents 7 Solar Industry Leadership Awards at Solar Focus 2018

On October 31st, MDV-SEIA hosted the annual Solar Focus Awards Luncheon, an event recognizing outstanding leadership in the solar industry…The Association was proud to recognize seven award recipients this year. See:https://mdvseia.org/mdv-seia-presents-7-solar-industry-leadership-awards-at-solar-focus-2018/?platform=hootsuite

The Maryland-DC-Delaware-Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association says“Our Government Champion is the public official who best recognizes the economic and social value of solar power, but seeks to guide the industry’s growth through innovation and equity. The DC Office of the People’s Counsel has been a leading voice among consumer advocates for solar consumer education, expanded solar access and the benefits of distributed energy resources for the larger grid.

“This is unquestionably due to the leadership of Ms. Sandra Mattavous-Frye; she and her staff have coordinated countless consumer education workshops, in all eight wards of the city, to equip DC residents with the information they need to go solar.

“Ms. Frye has been a national leader in engaging the solar industry in conversations around consumer protection, soft costs, diversity and access. In 2017, she released a Value of Solar study for the District of Columbia which highlighted the extensive benefits of solar for the city and in 2018, she released a DC Consumer’s Guide to Going Solar. Additionally, in the most recent Pepco rate case, DC OPC took a stand against residential demand charges which were eliminated from the utility’s petition in a joint settlement approved by the DC Public Service Commission. For Ms. Frye and her team, information is power for consumers. Her office has been a model of consistent consumer engagement and expert advocacy on solar issues.”