Election results last week shocked many including those in the solar and renewable energy industries. However, the industries are ready to work with Trump. Elsewhere there was some good in the elections as an anti-solar amendment was voted down in Florida and solar will continue to grow in multiple states.
While President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to bring back fossil fuel energy and jobs to the US, the renewable energy industries are ready to work him to protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs they’ve created over the past eight years. For instance, solar power alone has more than 1,000 member countries.
In Florida, voters voted down Amendment 1, an anti-solar piece of legislation that looked like it was pro-solar. However, the amendment actually would have made it nearly impossible for homeowners and small businesses to go solar in the state.
There were also two positive developments in Colorado. First off, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission agreed to Xcel Energy's solar expansion plans in the state. The utility made the proposal after more than two dozen advocacy organizations pushed for the utility to add in more rooftop and distributed solar in the state. Second, Boulder, CO, which announced plans to create its own renewable energy-powered utility years ago, introduced a report showing that creating a municipal save it $100 million. In doing so it would end its current utility, Xcel Energy.
It wasn’t all good news for solar last week, though. In Utah, Rocky Mountain Power announced that it proposed that it wants to significantly raise rates on rooftop solar power. The proposal would create additional new fees starting with a $15 monthly charge on new, met-metered solar customers and a $60 application fee for installing rooftop solar power.
Still, solar power is on a growth streak and is growing in new places. For instance, the 108 MW Grand View Solar Farm in Idaho will soon come online. It’s the first 100 megawatt-plus solar in the state. Moreover, it was a PURPA-based project, showing that solar and renewables are now ready to compete with natural gas and other forms energy production.
Likewise, in Arizona Tucson Electric Power opened up the bidding process for 100 megawatts of solar. The project would also be part of the utility’s community solar offerings and would expand those offerings by roughly 40 percent, it said. Together the news is showing that solar remains a valuable, diverse and growing form of energy production for the US.Tweet