‘No More Solyndras Act’ passed by House
The House of Representatives have approved legislation, called the “No More Solyndras Act” that would phase our the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) proposed the legislation in response to an investigation into a $535 million loan guarantee given to solar panel maker Solyndra. The Investigation found that the DOE’s loan guarantee program didn’t have the appropriate measures in place to protect taxpayers from failed government venture capital type investments. The bill calls for the Treasury to review any future Energy loan guarantees to be reviewed by the Treasury and prioritize the government as the first to be paid back on a loan before private investors. It is widely expected that the legislation will not be passed in the Senate.
New SEIA Report Ranks Walmat As Top Solar Customer
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in partnership wit the Vote Solar Initiative have published a new study ranking the top US businesses who have purchased solar power through August of this year. Walmart leads the list with 65 megawatts of solar capactiy. Costco (38.9 MW), Kohl’s (36.5 MW), Ikea (21.5 MW), and Macy’s (16.1 MW) rounded out the top 5. The report sites lower prices as a key driver for these businesses willingness to install solar PV systems on their buildings. According to the report, the average price of a completed commercial PV system dropped by almost 14 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and 2012.
Direct Energy launches new 100% renewable energy product
Direct Energy has announced the creation of a new Texas energy product that will offer 100 percent renewable energy from Texas wind turbines. Called New Leaf Energy, the new product will be made available to residential customers in Greater Houston, Dallas–Fort Worth and the Corpus Christi markets. Customers can choose from 6–, 12– and 24–month Clear Fixed (fixed–rate) plans as well as a month-to-month option. Customers who choose the new plan can expect an increase in energy costs of approximately $25 per month more than the average Texas household’s monthly electricity bill. According to Direct, the average Texas residential customer uses about 14,388 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month.