It’s election season and in one state solar is on the ballot. In another solar will replace coal plants. Meanwhile, the nation’s biggest box stores have swapped solar leadership places, peer-to-peer home sharing members get a special discount on solar. That’s all in this week’s solar news in review.
Utilities have fought solar power, particularly rooftop solar power, in numerous ways. Now they’re doing it in Florida where they have supported Amendment 1, a piece of legislation that looks like it’s pro-solar but isn’t. Sal Nuzzo, a vice president at the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, FL, whose company has worked with the state’s utilities on policy recently commented that the legislation “would completely negate anything they (pro-solar interests) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road.”
While Walmart is the largest retailer in the US and the world, Target is beating it in at least one place, solar power. The Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) fifth annual 2016 Solar Means Business report showed that Target now has 147.5 megawatts of solar installed, besting the 145 megawatts of solar that Walmart has installed.
Peer-to-peer services are revolutionizing the way people use services. Now, one of those networks is offering a discount on solar power. Airbnb and SolarCity partnered on a discount of up to $1,000 for solar. The highest discounts are offered to homeowners that participate in the room sharing service through the end of the year. But after that, the companies will still offer a discount on rooftop solar power.
Speaking of partnerships and SolarCity. Tesla and SolarCity announced that they partnered with Panasonic to produce Panasonic solar panels for SolarCity in New York. The panels would be used in the merged company’s installations across the US.
In what will hopefully for the solar industry, and world, become an increasing trend solar power plants are starting to replace coal-fired power plants. For instance, in Minnesota, Xcel Energy announced plans to retire coal plants. The utility said it will replace its coal plants with wind, solar and natural gas. The company announced its strategy based on requests from the state’s public utilities commission to add in more renewables in the coming years.
In Minnesota’s neighbor, Wisconsin, the state is moving solar incentives from less popular loan options to more popular rebate options. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is transferring $7.7 million in funds to the state’s solar rebate program from its solar loan offerings, as well as some leftover funds, to rebates because they are proving more popular.Tweet