January 29, 2018 By Francis Hodsoll For nearly a decade, my business partner and I have devoted our hearts and considerable time to developing a sustainable solar energy market in Virginia. However, the local permitting process poses a significant risk to the long-term viability of the market. In this companion piece to Seth’s previous blog post on our successful permitting experience in Orange County, Virginia, we offer our perspectives on local permitting and the concerns typically raised by local communities.
Despite scary challenges, strength and optimism While the Suniva trade case – potentially a devastating price increase especially for utility-scale – loomed largely, attendees eagerly packed presentations. The audience’s questions provided an interesting barometer to the psyche in the room. Participants focused on where we are going and how to get there. Further, the evolving business models continue to pry open market segments. We are tenacious! Even in markets dominated by utilities such as Florida Power & Light, some competitors
We have good news! On April 6th Virginia’s Tax Commissioner, Craig M. Burns, issued a letter clarifying the valuation of solar projects within the Composite Index. The bottom line: these solar farms will provide a net revenue benefit to the county. As previously stated, bureaucratic bookkeeping could have inadvertently ground Virginia solar development to a halt by reducing county revenue when new solar farms are built. The following is the third of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia
Bureaucratic bookkeeping may inadvertently grind Virginia solar development to a halt. The state government is assessing this issue and we understand a decision will be issued in due course. This is the first of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia Composite Index and its impact on solar electric generation. To download our complete findings, click here.
Bureaucratic bookkeeping may inadvertently grind Virginia solar development to a halt. The State government is assessing this issue, and we understand the state will issue a decision in due course. The following is the second of three installments highlighting SolUnesco’s research on the Virginia Composite Index and its impact on solar electric generation. To download our complete findings, click here HOW IS SOLAR TAXED? Covered in Part One of this series, the Composite Index (CI) may ignore the solar tax exemption
Our friend Karen Schaufeld, Powered by Facts, published the following open letter in support of solar electricity. Powered by Facts, MDV-SEIA (the regional solar trade association) and the electric utilities have spent the last eight months developing a consensus view on a broad range of issues impacting the deployment of solar energy in Virginia. SolUnesco has supported this process and supports the Bills forthcoming from this process.
On Wednesday we presented at the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers (VAAO) Property Assessment Conference (Click here to download presentation). The association and their conferences provide continuing education to the Virginia community of assessors. We believe that maintaining a healthy dialogue with the professionals who determine land values for the purpose of tax assessments serves the solar industry well. Francis Hodsoll, CEO, presented on policies driving national solar markets and their application to the Virginia framework. He also explained the tremendous
States in every corner of the United States are rapidly advancing the community solar market. GreenTech Media has projected that Community Solar will grow faster than any other solar market segment. The NC Clean Energy Technology Center reported in their 2016 50 States of Solar Quarterly Report that seven states adopted, amended, or reviewed rules governing community solar programs within the past year. For example, Minnesota and Maryland have implemented pilot projects that would demonstrate the benefits of community solar to customers.
Last week SolUnesco presented on a panel at Solar Power Southeast in Atlanta, Georgia (Click here to download presentation). The panel focused on the trajectory for solar after the Supreme Court’s Stay on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) including the legal merits of the suit, and the impact on the economics, policy, and market trends. Does the Supreme Court’s Stay mean a slower pace for the development of renewables going forward? One might think so. However, we point to the
Utilities in southern states are evolving towards a renewable future by embracing their solar energy potential and developing beyond federal renewable energy requirements. Major utilities are beginning to step up and procure or build solar without the requirements of a state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) or other incentives. GTM refers to this market trend as ‘voluntary procurement’ (voluntary procurement is defined as the utility either purchasing the energy and environmental attributes from a third-party or owning the solar power plant).