SolarCity Resumes Storage Applications in California
SolarCity Corp., the biggest U.S. solar power provider by market value, will resume applications to connect energy-storage systems in California after regulators ruled that they are exempt from utility fees. SolarCity in March deferred from applying to install and connect storage systems for California customers because utilities were requiring applications and fees that made the process too arduous. Based on the recent April 16 ruling, utilities are now barred from imposing charges including connection fees of as much as $800.
Court Maintains Key EPA Mercury Standards for Power Plants
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld stringent mercury and air toxic standards for power plants, which are among the most expensive regulation that the Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated. In a February 2012 ruling, the EPA issued the mercury and air toxic standards, setting emissions limits for mercury, filterable particulate matter as a surrogate for toxic metals and hydrogen chloride as a surrogate for acid gases. The standards apply to 600 power plants and are estimated to cost the power industry $9.6 billion annually.
German Churches Look to the Heavens to Generate Power
Places of worship in Germany, Europe’s largest renewable-energy market, operate about 2,000 solar plants to produce carbon-free electricity and heat, says BSW-Solar. Churches have utilized federal grants as well as their own funding to install rooftop generators in the past 20 years. As an example, BSW-Solar cited the 13th century Cathedral of Magdeburg which installed a solar plant in 1990. Religious organizations all over the world are united in their sense of responsibility for our planet, and they are increasingly using their hot-line to the heavens to be a role model toward a livable future, says Carsten Keonig, head of BSW-Solar.
India Signs Power Contracts for 700 Megawatts of Solar Power
India signed contracts to buy solar power from companies building 700 megawatts of capacity awarded in a national auction. The government is waiting to sign purchase agreements for the remaining 50 MW from an auction held in February. The agreement bind developers to complete the plants within 13 months. It also guarantees locked-in rates for the power generated for 25 years. Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, ruled out extending the 13-month commissioning deadline after an industry lobby asked for more time this month amid a dispute between developers and local equipment suppliers.