Renewable Energy

Solar tax credit expansion passes Iowa Senate committee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Solar energy would get a big boost in Iowa if a bill passed Thursday in a Senate committee becomes law.

The bill, approved by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, would increase the annual cap for solar tax credits to $4.5 million from the current $1.5 million. It also would allow individual homeowners to get up to $5,000 in credits, up from the existing $3,000 cap, and businesses to qualify for $20,000 in credits, up from $15,000.

Vt. Senate backs bill to expand home-grown energy by raising net metering cap

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The amount of power utilities could buy from customers with solar or other renewable energy systems would nearly quadruple under a measure given preliminary approval Thursday by the Vermont Senate.

Vermont caps the amount of power utilities can take through what's called net metering, when the owners of rooftop solar installations or similar projects put excess power onto the grid. The current cap says each utility can take up to 4 percent of the peak load on its system from net-metering projects. The bill increases that to 15 percent.

Solar growth sharpening debate over pricing

Source: 
E&E

Arguments are growing more heated about how utilities will be handling solar power, with Minnesota's 'value-of-solar tariff,' an alternative to net metering, coming under scrutiny in testimony this week, E&E reports.

Plug Power sees more orders, lower production costs, nearing profit in 2014

Source: 
Bloomberg

Fuel cell system maker Plug Power Inc. expects orders will nearly quadruple this year and CEO Andy Marsh said the company could see a profit in 2014 excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Bloomberg reports.

Va. seeks to smooth way for offshore wind energy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The state is teaming up with Dominion Virginia Power in a research project that is intended to smooth the way for the development of an offshore wind industry.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advance Project proposes putting two 6-megawatt wind turbines on platforms designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. The turbines would be located 24 nautical miles (27 statute miles) off Virginia Beach.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday it is seeking written public comment on the project as it prepares an environmental assessment. It scheduled a meeting for April 3 in Virginia Beach for the public to speak out on the proposal.

Riverside County approves solar project for desert

Source: 
The Press-Enterprise

Riverside, California's biggest solar project has gotten approval from the county board of supervisors -- NextEra is intending to cover 7.5 acres with panels to generate 750 megawatts of power, The Press-Enterprise reports.

Faced with dispute over net metering, La. postpones decision on solar rules

Source: 
The Advocate

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has postponed a decision on solar rules and ordered further study, as several rural utilities in the state said agency rules let them put a stop to net metering when more than half of one percent of their customers install solar panels, The Advocate reports.

Electric car credit under review in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Tax credits for low- and no-emission vehicles would be eliminated or scaled back under a plan from Georgia lawmakers who say the incentives are too generous, but manufacturers are concerned the plan would put a dent in their sales.

House lawmakers have approved a plan from state Rep. Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta, that would repeal a maximum $5,000 tax credit for consumers who buy or lease electric vehicles and up to $2,500 in tax credits for low-emission vehicles. The proposal is now pending before the state Senate.

Some Illinois counties oppose wind-power bill

Source: 
The News-Gazette

Some counties in Illinois are raising objections to legislation that would give the state Department of Agriculture the authority to regulate the locations of power-generating wind turbines, The News-Gazette reports.

Pearce: MIT study validates concerns over SunZia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study on the potential impacts of the SunZia transmission line on White Sands Missile Range validates concerns over the project, a state lawmaker said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, said the study proves key U.S. Department of Defense concerns that the proposed 500-mile transmission project could interfere with missile tests.

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