In 2015, Congress passed a law providing a 30% investment tax credit for solar developers. Since then, there has been much confusion about the sunset provisions and whether construction must be started or completed prior to the sunset date. The IRS issued guidance last week, clarifying that developers have four years to begin a project to qualify for the ITC, which then begins to wind down from 30% to 10% based on the construction and service dates of the project. Additionally, it provided further clarity on tax incentive deadlines for small wind projects, fuel cell power plants, geothermal heat pumps [...]
The 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act (commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill”), a $489 billion piece of legislation which aims to fund a wide variety of rural and agricultural programs, is currently stalled in the House. The Bill, which would amend and replace the 2014 Farm Bill, is not yet active law. If the Bill reaches the president’s desk and is signed into law, however, it could have some major implications for rural broadband internet customers and providers. The proposed 2018 Farm Bill would affect rural internet customers and providers in two main ways: First, by increasing broadband download [...]
The American Public Power Association authored a recent report regarding titled retail electric prices comparing rates in states with deregulated electric markets versus those in regulated states. The ultimate conclusions found the rates averaged the same between 1997 and 2017, with customers in regulated states experiencing only slightly higher percentage increases in rates. The report found, “Though not perfectly correlated, rate trends in deregulated states have generally tracked with shifts in the natural gas spot price. All rates have remained relatively steady since 2014, though there was an increase across all categories from 2016 to 2017.” Additionally, the report notes [...]
The California Energy Commission approved the 2019 Building Energy Code on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, requiring renewable energy access for all new residential homes in the state starting in 2020. The code includes incentives for energy storage while mandating that the construction of new homes include advanced energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar. It is anticipated that the California Building Standards Commission also approve the new standards in the coming weeks, thereby making it law.
The Department of Energy has announced a new multi-million (nearly $70M) dollar research and development grant program aimed at achieving the following three goals by 2028: 1)reducing battery pack cost to under $100 per kilowatt-hour, 2) increasing range to over 300 miles, and 3) charging in under 15 minutes or less. Numerous universities and industry research groups around the country have received funding and will be required to submit research results in the coming years.
For the first time in the utility industry the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given authorization to a utility company to utilize drone technology beyond the operator’s line of sight. Xcel Energy serves customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. Xcel Energy in Colorado has received approval from the FAA to routinely fly drones beyond the operator’s visual line of sight for the purpose of inspecting and surveying transmission lines near Denver, Colorado. The FAA’s decision to allow Xcel Energy to operate these flights is a break from the usual FAA rules and [...]
The following article was produced by GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press and is copied in full herein. The State of Nebraska was represented by Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke LLP. LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Colorado officials have agreed to pay Nebraska $4 million to settle old claims that their state violated a water-sharing compact involving the Republican River, according to a settlement released Thursday. The settlement requires Colorado to make the payment by Dec. 31, 2018, even though state officials did not admit to any violations of the Republican River Compact. Colorado legislators must approve the funding before the deadline, or the settlement will [...]