- Bright Ideas Blog – Clean Power Marketing Group
- Energy Exchange
- Energy Trust Blog
- Renewable Energy Outlook
- Blog – 2GreenEnergy.com
- Blog – E-Smart Solar
- Clean Energy Blog – SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
- Latham's Clean Energy Law Report
An Energy Trust pilot program to replace inefficient manufactured homes with energy-efficient models will scale up...
The post Energy Trust scales up work to replace inefficient manufactured homes appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
Last month marked the first anniversary of unprecedented climate change-fueled wildfires that burned more than 1,000,000...
The post A year after wildfires, fire-resistant construction takes root in Southern Oregon appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
Many people and organizations are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet and...
The post Join the People’s Ecochallenge and support social change at your business appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
This is a part of a series of blog posts amplifying community voices. Michelle DePass was hired to...
The post Changemaker: Michelle DePass places people at the center of change and advocacy appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
The City of Portland is now accepting proposals for funding from the Portland Clean Energy Community...
The post Portland’s clean energy grant program offering second round of funding appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
“Never in the 40-year history of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council have we seen such...
The post Northwest Power and Conservation Council releases Draft 2021 Power Plan appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
The energy-efficiency industry must innovate to effectively respond to challenges, from growing costs to climate change...
The post Equity and innovation: Three takeaways from CLEAResult’s Energy Forum appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
Energy Trust will invite public comment on its Draft 2022 Budget and 2022-2023 Action Plan beginning...
The post Energy Trust’s draft 2022 budget available for public comment in October appeared first on Energy Trust Blog.
The Biden Administration has proposed the creation of a new tax credit under the new Section 48D of the Code for qualifying electric power transmission property that is placed in service after December 31, 2021, but before January 1, 2032 (such credit, the “Section 48D Credit”). The proposal would also allow a direct-pay option to elect a cash payment. The proposed credit would be for an amount equal to 6% of a to-be-determined eligible basis (the “Base Rate”), with a possible increase to 30% (the “Bonus Rate”) if certain criteria are met.
Qualifying property would include overhead, submarine and underground transmission facilities meeting certain criteria, including a minimum voltage of 275 kV and a minimum transmission capacity of 500 MW, and any ancillary facilities and equipment necessary to operate such project. A qualifying electric transmission line may be a replacement, or upgrade, to an existing electric transmission line if the transmission capacity of such electric transmission line, as upgraded, increases to an amount equal to the existing capacity of such transmission line plus 500 MW. However, the basis allocable to the existing transmission line would not be eligible for the Section 48D Credit.
Certain property and projects already in process are not eligible for the Section 48D Credit if (i) a state or political subdivision thereof, any agency or instrumentality of the US, a public service or public utility commission or other similar body of any state or political subdivision, or the governing or rate-making body of an electric cooperative has, before the date of the enactment of these rules, selected such property for cost recovery, (ii) construction begins before January 1, 2022, or (iii) construction of any portion of the qualifying electric transmission line to which such property relates begins before January 1, 2022.
In addition to the technical requirements, to claim the credit at the Bonus Rate, the project must satisfy the new prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. To satisfy the prevailing wage requirement, any laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors must be paid prevailing wages during the construction of such project and, in some cases, a defined period after. To satisfy the apprenticeship requirement, no less than the applicable percentage of total labor hours (5% for projects for which construction begins in 2022, 10% for projects beginning construction in 2023, and 15% thereafter) must be performed by qualified apprentices. Additionally, each contractor and subcontractor who employs four or more individuals to perform construction on an applicable project must also employ at least one qualified apprentice or, in the case of a lack of availability, show a good faith effort to do so. If a non-exempt project fails to meet the wage and apprenticeship requirements, but otherwise meets the technical requirements for the Section 48D Credit, such property will qualify for the Base Rate.
Finally, qualifying electric power transmission property is eligible for an increase to either the Base Rate or the Bonus Rate if such project meets the domestic content requirement, which requires the steel, iron, or other manufactured products that comprise the project be produced in the United States (i.e., at least 55% of the total cost of the components of such product is attributable to components that are mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States). Projects satisfying this requirement could be eligible for a 2% increase to the Base Rate or a 10% increase to the Bonus Rate.
On September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the sweeping Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), establishing the next steps for Illinois energy policy after years of negotiation. This legislation builds on the expansive 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which amplified energy efficiency programs, customer education, and renewable energy infrastructure and access. In a statement, Governor Pritzker heralded this legislation as “the most significant step Illinois has taken in a generation toward a reliable, renewable, affordable and clean energy future.”
Of particular note, this legislation establishes a statewide clean energy goal of 100% by 2050, with “clean energy” defined as “energy generation that is 90% or greater free of carbon dioxide emissions.” This goal is accompanied by an intermediate goal of 50% renewable energy by 2040, drawing on a narrower definition that includes “energy and its associated renewable energy credit or renewable energy credits from wind energy, solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, biodiesel, anaerobic digestion, and hydropower that does not involve new construction or significate expansion of hydropower dams.”
This legislation includes an associated phase out of coal-fired power plants and natural gas plants by 2045, subject to adjustments by the Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Power Agency, and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to ensure energy grid reliability. Subsidies to convert coal-fired power plants into solar or energy storage facilities become available starting in 2024. A $180 million annual investment in clean energy workforce diversification and training aimed at providing the fossil fuel workforce with transition opportunities is also established. An Energy Transition Workforce Commission will be created, which will be responsible for planning the eventual shut down dates for all fossil fuel power plants.
To help reach its clean energy goals, this legislation requires the Illinois Power Agency to spend an estimated $580 million a year on renewable energy credits (RECs) for new solar and wind projects, with an emphasis on RECs from distributed and community solar projects. This legislation also indicates that nuclear energy is expected to contribute to Illinois’s clean energy goals, recognizing that “nuclear power generation is necessary for the State’s transition to 100% clean energy, and ensuring continued operation of nuclear plants advances environmental and public health interests.” Support for the continued operation of nuclear power plants includes the opportunity for nuclear plants to earn carbon mitigation credits for their power generation.
In addition to electric vehicle rule development and program administration requirements, a new Electric Vehicle Coordinator appointed by the Governor will also act as the point person for electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging-related policies. The electric vehicle component of the legislation targets putting 1 million electric vehicles on Illinois roads by 2030.
If you have any questions about these developments, please contact John Dunlap, Nick Johnson, Rikaela Greane, or the Foley lawyer with whom you normally consult.
On June 29th, the IRS released Notice 2021-41 (which may be found here), which retroactively extends the Continuity Safe Harbor to six years. This follows the release of Notice 2020-41 (discussed here) on May 27, 2020, which extended the then four year Continuity Safe Harbor to five years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, under Notice 2021-41, the Continuity Safe Harbor will be met for property that began construction in calendar year 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 if it is placed in service within six years after the year during which construction started. For property that began construction in calendar year 2020, the five year Continuity Safe Harbor remains intact.
Prior to issuance of Notice 2021-41, if the Continuity Safe Harbor did not apply to a project, the taxpayer was required to satisfy the Continuous Construction Test (if using the Physical Work Test) or the Continuous Efforts test (if using the 5% Safe Harbor). Now, if the time period to satisfy the Continuity Safe Harbor has passed, the Continuity Requirement is satisfied if the taxpayer demonstrates satisfaction of either the Continuous Construction Test or the Continuous Efforts Test, regardless of whether the Physical Work Test or the 5% Safe Harbor was used to establish the beginning of construction.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that the Group of Seven nations (G7) intends to launch an alternative to China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” when they meet later this week in Cornwall, England. The strategy is expected to be called the “Clean Green Initiative,” and the hope is that it will provide a framework to support sustainable development in developing countries. While discussion of the global minimum tax will dominate the headlines at G7, “Clean Green” is an important development with ramifications for U.S. and multinational energy companies.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a massive infrastructure project spanning from East Asia to Europe, which seeks to create a network of railways, pipelines, border crossings, maritime shipping routes, and special economic zones. Over 60 countries have signed on to Belt and Road projects, and more than 100 have expressed interest. Critics, however, contend that Belt and Road is “debt trap diplomacy,” using low-interest loans that several countries have struggled to repay. Critics have also focused on Belt and Road’s opaque bidding processes, which they claim fosters a culture of corruption, and the requirement that participants in the Belt and Road Initiative hire Chinese firms exclusively. Both of these factors have prevented U.S. and other non-Chinese, multinational energy companies from participating in significant infrastructure projects in developing countries.
The United States and its allies have been concerned about Belt and Road for some time, but to date they have been unable to offer a credible alternative. Individual G7 members have attempted to offer their own alternatives in recent years, without much success. But all G7 countries are committed to an alternative that focuses on transparency and rule of law. Even though the contours of “Clean Green” are still undecided, the fact that the G7 is taking a tangible step toward offering some alternative to Belt and Road should be a boon for U.S. and multinational energy companies, particularly those in the renewable space. Given the criticisms of the opacity of the Belt and Road Project, “Clean Green” will almost certainly contain a strong commitment to transparency and anti-corruption. As a result, companies with existing international operations and robust compliance programs will have an advantage in securing early projects. “Clean Green” projects should provide U.S. and other multinational energy companies with significant opportunities to expand market share in developing countries.
Join Foley & Lardner on April 14-15 as we discuss risk mitigation innovations in renewable energy project financing at Infocast's Innovation in Risk Management for Renewable Energy Finance Master Class, in which Foley Partner Darin Lowder will be acting as Lead Instructor. This two-day Master Class will include discussions such as innovations in transaction structure, due diligence, insurance products, merchant risk, debt and investment sizing and looking ahead to risk issues in renewable energy finance in 2021-22.
Along with Darin, speakers include Foley & Lardner LLP attorneys Tom Hoffmann, John Eliason, Jason Barglow, and Annie Tsai, along with renewable energy industry leaders Ben Cooper from KeyBank, Jared Donald from Amp Energy, Richard Matsui of kWh Analytics, Andrew Chen of CIT, Sven Wellock at ING, Adam Altenhofen of Soltage LLC, Eric Heintz of M&T Bank, Frederic Petit of Investec, and Quinn Pasloske from Greenbacker Capital.
Examples of topics covered include the following:
Effective Due Diligence on Large Portfolios as Key Risk Mitigation Strategy | Speakers will address how, as approaches to due diligence efforts evolve from the traditional process, sponsors are using diligence efforts in the acquisition, and lenders and investors are utilizing a variety of approaches to conducting due diligence in managing and mitigating the risk of financing large portfolios of renewable energy projects.
Structuring Transactions with Risk Management as a Strategic Goal | Speakers will focus on how rather than focusing on managing risks for renewable power projects only when the assets are being sold or financed, the process of reducing risk should be incorporated from the ground up. They will discuss how sophisticated sponsors incorporate risk reduction strategies into all phases of project development and operations.
Addressing Merchant Pricing Risk | In this session, the speakers will address how more sponsors and financing parties are getting comfortable taking on merchant pricing risks to varying degrees. What protections do lenders require, how have financing parties gotten comfortable taking those risks, and what risks are the different categories of parties willing to take? They will answer these questions and more.
For a more in-depth look at the Master Class agenda, and to register, go to Foley’s event page or by clicking the link above. Be sure to use the following discount code for 20% off on registration: RISKMGMT20.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) has been maturing into a distinct asset class over the last decade. Foley has been involved in PACE since its early days, from highlighting the three early models program developers used to raise capital and build programs to helping the City of Milwaukee build out its own to helping develop Wisconsin’s statewide PACE program PACE Wisconsin. More recently, Foley helped the Illinois Finance Authority develop and implement a statewide approach to PACE financings and refinancings that has been deployed in the City of Chicago as well as rural Illinois. Foley maintains a regular practice representing PACE capital providers, program administrators and local governments to get PACE deals done.
Before taking a look at some of the ways the market has used PACE over the last few years, here’s a synopsis of just what exactly PACE is.
PACE is real estate, construction and project financing secured by a special assessment (or special charge in some jurisdictions, such as Wisconsin) that is imposed by a local unit of government. The funds must be used for improvements that increase the building’s energy or water efficiency, or that generate renewable energy (or, in the case of California, mitigate seismic impacts). The source of funds is typically a private capital provider, though governments may also make PACE financings. In most cases, the PACE borrower repays the financing through its tax bill, though in Wisconsin and some other jurisdictions, the capital provider is permitted to arrange repayment outside of the tax collection process while the PACE financing is performing.
PACE programs typically require that the term of the financing extend to the useful life of the equipment being financed, which in the case of a new roof, boiler, or solar panels, can reach 20 years or beyond. Furthermore, the financing usually must be cash-flow positive for the borrower, meaning that the amount of utility bill savings achieved by the borrower due to the improvements must be greater than the debt service paid on the PACE financing. PACE financings are underwritten against the benefitted property, usually non-recourse to the property owner’s personal assets and transferrable to subsequent owners of the same property. Ultimately, if a PACE financing is paid in full, the PACE lien is released. Delinquent PACE financings can trigger the tax foreclosure process.
As the PACE has matured, market participants have found numerous and diverse applications for PACE financing including the following. (This post focuses on commercial PACE applications.)Renovations of Historic Buildings: Property owners and developers have been increasingly utilizing PACE as a part of the capital stack for making renovations and re-purposing of historic buildings possible. These projects typically involve traditional mortgage financing, developer equity, and new market tax credit or historic preservation financing in conjunction with PACE. The PACE components of these projects can be small ($2 million of a $20 million or more renovation), but due to the cash-flow positive nature of the repayments, the PACE components are increasingly important components of such projects. The repurposing of the Mackey Building (which once played host to a grain exchange) in Milwaukee has been made possible in part by PACE. Small Commercial: Individual commercial PACE financings don’t always have to be big, and indeed, many of the early commercial financings done by the Connecticut Green Bank were less than $500,000 projects. Green Bank ended up securitizing many of these financings (in a series of bonds in which this author participated). Nonprofit Buildings: While real property owned by nonprofits its typically tax exempt, those owners can usually opt in to special assessments or charges, which is what the owners of the University Club in Milwaukee chose to do in order to take advantage of PACE. Multifamily Residential: While the single-family residential PACE market is widely considered a wholly distinct market from commercial, multifamily residential can often times take advantage of commercial PACE financing similar to other commercial businesses. Note that not all multifamily developments supported by Federal Housing Administration insurance may be eligible for PACE financing, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has clarified in its Administrative Guidance for Multifamily Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) in California. Agricultural: More recently, owners of agricultural land are realizing the benefits of PACE. While agriculture may not be the first place that people think of for energy efficient buildings, farms can have significant energy loads and thus be prime for energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades. As a case in point, a farm owner in northeastern Wisconsin utilized PACE to refinance its construction of a more than 1.8 MW ground-mounted solar facility. Industrial and Manufacturing: Owners of industrial and manufacturing facilities can also benefit from PACE. Foley acted as bond counsel for the $4.5 million issuance of PACE bonds by the Illinois Finance Authority for the refinancing of a 2.6 MW ground mounted solar system in Beardstown, Illinois. This facility is also customer-owned, supplying power to a meat-processing plant. The PACE financing closed after the project was operational. Hotels: As a bread-and-butter element of the PACE industry, PACE is commonly deployed by hotel owners to finance their investments in efficient electrical, heating and water improvements. Foley is commonly involved representing capital providers in financing hotel developments across the county. Recently, Foley acted as bond counsel for the $21.5 million PACE financing of the Reserve Hotel in downtown Chicago. Mixed-Use: PACE can also fit in mix-use developments. The $13 million recently closed Exchange project in downtown Detroit is a perfect example, where PACE filled a key need in the capital stack. A $4 million PACE loan was also recently used to finance a mixed-use (residential and commercial) condo in southeastern Wisconsin. Because PACE is not eligible for residential property in Wisconsin, the PACE lien will be released from residential units as and when they are sold to their first buyers. PACE is being used for construction financing in both projects where Foley acted as counsel to the capital providers. Hospitals: Healthcare facilities, such as the Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, have found ways to deploy PACE to support their sustainability and new infrastructure goals. Foley acted as sponsor counsel in this $36 million PACE transaction.
In addition to the evolving number of applications for PACE, the number of PACE markets is growing around the country. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have legislation in place that make it possible for municipalities and counties to form PACE programs. From that group, 24 states and the District of Columbia currently host active programs. Foley has experience working in many of these PACE markets, and is available to assist in PACE financings of all varieties for all participants in the PACE market.
Earlier this week, the United States, the European Union, Britain, and Canada imposed sanctions on several Chinese officials for human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). China promptly retaliated. Although the U.S. has sanctioned Chinese companies and individuals in connection with allegations of forced labor and human rights abuses in the past, most notably through the use of the Department of Commerce’s entity list, this is the first instance in which U.S. allies have leveled sanctions of their own simultaneously in a coordinated rollout. This is consistent with President Biden’s early promise to enlist allies to confront China. In this instance, the Treasury Department sanctioned two Chinese officials, one a former Deputy Party Secretary in Xinjiang and the other the Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The EU and Britain sanctioned two additional individuals. Canada’s sanctions were the first imposed on China since the 1989 crackdown on protestors in Tiananmen Square. China immediately retaliated by sanctioning ten European individuals and four institutions.
The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security has been preventing U.S. exports to Chinese companies and individuals associated with forced labor and human rights abuses in Xinjiang since the end of 2019, and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control began sanctioning individuals in Xinjiang under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2020. We expect the U.S. and allies to continue to sanction forced labor and human rights abuses for the foreseeable future, and we expect those sanctions to cover an ever-broadening group of entities and individuals. Similarly, this week’s incidence of tit-for-tat sanctions will likely be repeated and escalated.
This will impact multinational companies doing business in the U.S., Europe, and China. Because China has denounced allegations of human rights abuses in the XUAR as “lies and disinformation,” it is likely that tensions will continue to mount, placing multinational companies in the difficult position of facing U.S., EU, British, and Canadian sanctions related to Chinese operations and Chinese sanctions related to non-Chinese business activities. We expect the impact on supply chains to increase over time, and disruptions will begin to manifest themselves more frequently.
These U.S. sanctions are also consistent with larger U.S. government efforts to protect the integrity of supply chains. Companies should take steps to ensure that they are conducting proper supply chain due diligence and implementing effective compliance programs. In particular, companies should review due diligence best practices and closely reexamine their supply chains with the knowledge that the U.S. and its allies are focused on human rights and forced labor issues in Xinjiang.
Foley & Lardner’s International Trade & National Security practice can help companies navigate this maze of sanctions. Its partners include former officials from the Office of Foreign Asset Control, which administers Treasury Department sanctions, and the Department of Commerce, which has used the entity list to deter human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Foley & Lardner’s Federal Public Affairs practice can provide companies with up-to-the-minute information about legislative trends, including the introduction of a bill that would formally ban companies from using materials prepared with false labor. Working together, Foley & Lardner is well-positioned to help companies determine their supply chain needs and work to mitigate supply chain disruption.
Should you wish to discuss these topics, please contact Dennis Cardoza or Jared Rifis in the Federal Public Affairs practice; David Simon, Greg Husisian, Christopher Swift, or Mike Walsh in the International Trade & National Security practice; and Jeff Atkin in the Energy practice.
With the growth of residential renewable energy power generation, driven in part by a rise in the use of Power Purchase Agreements (“PPAs”), compliance with consumer laws and regulations is critical. PPAs permit solar services providers to own, operate, and maintain solar systems on a customer’s property, while the customer agrees to purchase the system’s electric output from the solar services provider for a predetermined amount. A number of recent lawsuits* take issue with how a solar services provider reports the consumer’s PPA to the consumer reporting agencies. The suits have been filed in federal district courts in California alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and California’s Unfair Competition Law.
The overarching allegation in these lawsuits is that PPAs are being reported on consumer credit reports as if the consumer took out a loan for the total value of the solar system. The plaintiffs in these cases assert that the long-term power supply agreements are not loans and should not be reported as such. They further allege that because the total value of the solar systems can be substantial, their consumer reports are showing significant additional debt, causing their credit scores to decline.
While each of the cases follows a different fact pattern, the common element in four of the five complaints is that consumers signed agreements to have solar panels installed on their homes under PPAs. The plaintiffs in those cases allege that they did not own any of the equipment and that the agreements were not loans. They assert that at some point after the agreements were signed, the solar services provider began reporting them as five-digit closed-end loans on the consumers’ credit reports.
In one of the complaints, the plaintiff alleges that they agreed to a direct installment purchase of solar panels for $21,000 in four payments. The plaintiff claims that more than a year after the final payment was made, the plaintiff’s credit report reflected an ongoing 20-year lease obligation where none existed.
To address the risk of attracting similar lawsuits, solar providers who offer PPAs should review the terms of their agreements and ensure that consumer credit reporting (if any) is in compliance with the terms of those agreements. Additionally, any reporting or collection activity should be reviewed for compliance with applicable state and federal laws. Foley’s consumer compliance team is available to help with these efforts.
* The following cases are pending:
Chaine v. Tesla Energy Operations, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:20-cv-09082, Central District of California, Los Angeles.
Diaz v. Tesla Energy Operations, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:21-cv-00211, Central District of California Los Angeles.
Lee and Hugo v. Tesla Energy Operations, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:20-cv-11097, Central District of California, Los Angeles.
Lubinsky v. Tesla Energy Operations, Inc., et al., Case No. 4:21-cv-00053, Northern District of California, San Jose.
Yu v. Tesla Energy Operations, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:21-cv-00062, Central District of California, Los Angeles.
President Andres Manuel López Obrador has sent to the House of Representatives a preferential bill to reform the Electricity Industry Law, which Congress will be required to discuss in the next 60 days.Main Topics of the Bill Include: Modification of the Dispatch Rules
The bill will change the dispatch rules under which electricity will be fed to the power system in the following order:"First - The hydroelectric power plants owned by the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE or Comisión Federal de Electricidad); Second - The nuclear, geothermal, combined cycle and thermoelectric power plants owned by CFE; Third - The solar and wind power stations owned by private entities; and Fourth - The combined cycle power stations owned by private entities."
Note that the self-supply and cogeneration schemes are not referred to in these new dispatch rules. However, we understand that such power stations will be dispatched in the third place, if they are considered renewable or efficient cogeneration; if not, they will be dispatched in the fourth place.
Note also that the bill introduces a new type of contract that a CFE Basic Service Supplier will be able to sign with CFE Power Generation. This new contract will not require a CFE Basic Service Supplier to undertake power auctions to get electricity and capacity from private generators. Therefore, all new power stations that CFE builds will execute these new Power Purchase Agreements with Commitment to Physical Deliveries (PPA) with the CFE Basic Service Supplier without the need to conduct a power auction and, pursuant to the new dispatch rules, would be preferred in advance to the power stations owned by the private sector.
If approved, the bill´s modifications may essentially cause that: (i) no more power auctions will be conducted by the Mexican government to secure capacity and electricity from the private sector; therefore, (ii) no new renewable power projects will be developed within the following years; (iii) Mexico will fail in its commitments under the Paris Accords and other international free trade agreements entered into by Mexico with other economic regions or countries, including without limitation, the USMCA; (iv) existing power projects will face curtailment issues that could jeopardize their financial feasibility; and (v) power generation and power trading services will not be provided under free market conditions, since the Independent System Operator (ISO) would give priority to CFE’s generation.New Power Generation Permits and Interconnection
According to the bill, the granting of new power generation permits shall be subject to the planning criteria of the National Electric System issued by the Ministry of Energy. Access to the power grid will not be subject to open access rules, but instead will be granted if technically feasible [a concept to be defined by the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE), the ISO and the CFE as the operator of the National Transmission System].
New CFE power generation projects will have interconnection priority to the power grid.Clean Energy Certificates
The bill provides that Clean Energy Certificates (CELs) can be granted to clean power generation facilities, regardless of their ownership and the time the power station started operations. This means that all of CFE’s clean energy power stations will receive CELs.
With this change, the market will be flooded with CELs, causing a reduction in their price and discouraging the development of new clean energy projects.Revocation of Power Generation Permits by the Energy Regulatory Commission (the CRE)
With this modification, the CRE will be entitled to revoke power generation permits (i.e., under self-supply and cogeneration schemes) that were obtained by power generators that created private and separated power markets, as the bill holds, against the law.
The López Obrador administration considers that the self-supply and cogeneration schemes introduced in the Mexican Energy Reform of 1992 should exclusively be limited to the companies that wanted to satisfy their power demand; the purpose of such reform was misunderstood by allowing power generators to sell power to their different “shareholders.” All of these permits can now be revoked by the CRE.Renegotiation of PPAs Executed Under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Scheme
With this reform, the executive branch will review the “profitability” of all power purchase agreements executed with IPPs.Preliminary Concerns and Conclusions
If the bill is approved by Congress - which we believe will occur, since the president’s political party, MORENA, has the majority required to pass it - Mexico will send an unfortunate message to the private sector in the electricity industry. Local and foreign investors have invested millions of dollars in developing energy projects under the Mexican Energy Reform and this bill will change the rules by which such investments were made. As a result, it will be very likely to see claims brought under the different bilateral or multilateral investment treaties executed by Mexico (i.e., USMCA, the EU-Mexico Global Agreement, the CPTPP, and others).
Many of these topics had been introduced by the Mexican government in the New Policy of Reliability of the National Electrical System (the Reliability Policy). The Reliability Policy was subject to constitutionality challenges mainly filed by the Mexican Antitrust Authority ("Cofece") and the private sector through different constitutional (Amparo) procedures in the federal district courts. As a result of these procedures, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice considered the Reliability Policy unconstitutional, suspending the effects of the policy, and different federal courts have begun granting decisions against the policy, ruling among others, that it violates the free competition and provides an undue advantage to the CFE.
The proposed amendments may go against the antitrust provisions and principles foreseen in the Mexican Political Constitution and may result in increasing electricity tariffs for the commercial, industrial and domestic sectors.
In addition, giving priority for the dispatch of CFE’s power generation plants, based on fossil fuels and curtailing power generation from renewable sources, will jeopardize Mexico’s meeting its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets for 2030 under the Paris Accord, the Climate Change Law and the Energy Transition Law. With this policy, Mexico will be the first G20 country to breach the Paris Accord.Legal Actions Against the Bill Once It is Enacted
Considering that the bill modifies the dispatch rules under which the power generation projects were developed and financed, and whose provisions may be against antitrust and other provisions regulated under Mexico’s Political Constitution, interested industry participants may challenge the bill once enacted in the Mexican courts through a constitutional (Amparo) procedure, and seek an injunction as the federal courts may suspend implementation of the bill.
International investors may also consider international arbitration under the bilateral or multilateral investment treaties Mexico has executed, including without limitation, under the USMCA.Foley & Lardner LLP
Foley attorneys have broad experience in energy. administrative and constitutional litigation, international treaties and arbitration, as well as in antitrust litigation matters to assist clients in challenging this bill and protecting their investments in Mexico.
The solar industry is renowned for cowboys. That’s a word that gets thrown quite often. Anything that has a government rebate attached to it may lend itself to that sort of thing.
During site visits, E-Smart will always ask:How much the client is using in their home in terms of power usage. When they use it and how the house runs. What they say – this would affect how we design the system. Where the panels go. How many panels go in a particular direction.
We weigh all that up on a case by case assessment and it’s not just an out-of-the-box solution.
There would definitely be companies out there that have a slap-it on attitude. The salespeople that need to make their commission, sign on the dotted line and off you go. Then they pass it on to a subcontractor that might be their first day on the job and you’ve just signed your money over and you don’t really know what you’re going to get. That definitely still exists in the industry for sure.High Quality Solar Power System
If the installer is not as experienced and the decision gets made on the day of installation and that some bit would go in a different location, it could dramatically affect how the system performs.
Lower quality panels that may not last the warranty period or may not be backed up by a company in 10 or 15 years, could end up worthless and in a landfill. The investment into high quality solar and the resulting longer warranties is definitely going to mean less of a headache going forward.
Some homeowners that we go and see have previously installed a system that are certainly not of the best quality and a few years down the track, it would not perform as we hope it would. We would revisit the site assessed, see what the homeowner is dealing with and put in a far superior and more efficient system. That being said, if the homeowner had gotten a high-quality system installed in the first place, they would have saved the investment on that initial system.
Choose the right solar system that would benefit you! We can help you with making that choice. Contact us today.
In regards to our commercial clients, the financial benefit is always at the forefront of people’s minds.
Our clients at J.K Williams run offices there during the day, but they also have virtually around-the-clock maintenance on their machines. There’s always something happening in their workshop day and night, and obviously as a result, quite heavy energy consumption.
E-Smart put on some monitoring equipment and were able to identify quite a significant waste of baseload, which the people at J.K Williams didn’t even know was happening and that was occurring at nighttime. With the monitoring, we were able to, in conjunction with the solar, save them a huge amount of energy during the daytime and we were also able to identify a significant amount of waste that was happening at night and save energy and money.High Quality Solar Power System Installation by E-Smart Solar
More and more we’re seeing the environmental benefits of interest as well. For our commercial clients, more often than not, the financial benefit will be at the forefront above the environmental benefit but with a good quality solar system, it’s really a no-brainer. They want to just touch it once – put it on the roof and know it’s going to do its job and also to put it up for the lifespan of the equipment, and wouldn’t need to worry about it again.
The system’s paid for itself in five years’ time, and it’s going to sit on the roof without any problems for another 20 years, continue to make money and the warranty will extend for that whole 25 year period.
Help the environment today by going solar with your business. Talk to us.
An E-Smart installation at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains on the East Skyway site for their Skyway cable car is off-grid, making it hard for them to get any supply off the grid to that site.
They had a very small system with only a handful of panels running little communications devices and they wanted something beefier so that they could sell ice creams and tickets at that end of the Skyway.
We created an off-grid system and they’re running with no additional workspace, no additional infrastructure, and all that additional hardware.
At the East Skyway end of the Scenic World, the energy is running a till that enables them to sell tickets as well as their snack stalls which with the existing system was just way beyond the realms of.Commercial solar power system installation by E-Smart Solar
In regards to our commercial clients, the financial benefit is always at the forefront of people’s minds, but more and more we’re seeing the environmental benefits of interest as well, particularly with Scenic World.
That was one of their core reasons for getting high-quality solar panels. They could have just stuck a generator on their site and burnt fuel to do the job but that was just not in line with what they’re trying to achieve.
Go solar today and take part in saving the environment! Contact us for your off-grid solar solutions needs.
At John’s place up in Katoomba, at the forefront of their mind is the climate change issue.
We’ve added a significant upgrade to their solar system, as well as batteries. Thus, he is absolutely positive in terms of his carbon footprint. Using only a handful of kilowatt-hours a day, he’s doing his bit from an environmental point of view.
In the Blue Mountains region, probably our biggest issue is shade from neighbouring trees – another reason why we always want to go on site. This is to also have a close assessment of the customer’s site/aspect and advise them on what the best solution would be for them.How it works
For places like John’s in Katoomba, there are lots of trees around. It’s quite a bushy block and to get the best out of the system, we installed some optimisers as well. This has been getting panel level performance and better outputs overall.
Each panel connects to an optimiser, and that will negate any shading issues that we see on the roof as a whole where one panel doesn’t drag down the others and have a negative effect on a panel that would normally be under the sun.
The battery is then charged by excess solar power that is being produced during the daytime so that they comfortably get through the night without having to buy any power off-the-grid at all.There is always the underlying environmental benefit of what solar can do
A residential installation payback period would take about four to five years for a standard grid connect system but there’s obviously a design aspect to a solar system and it’s important to know the pros and cons of a particular design, how much it is going to save etc.
We find that our E-Smart customers always want to make a solid investment that’s going to sit up on their roof for 25 years without any stress.
Allow us to get you where you want today with your solar needs! If you have any questions about shading on solar panels – contact us.
Within E-Smart’s local area, there are some limitations on how much solar can go onto a single phase.
We’d normally talk about 5 kilowatts of inverter on a single-phase site, and residentially as much as 30 kilowatts of Solar on a three-phase site. Thus, if you do have a single-phase, there may be a limit to how much power you can sell back to the grid.Three-phase vs single-phase site
If you do have a three-phase site, you could be selling or you could put on a larger system, sell more back to the grid and the credit will be applied to your bill.
At the end of the day, the difference between single-phase and three-phase is that you can put a bigger system on.
When looking at a solar system and looking at what will be high demand appliances in a home storage battery or an electric car, getting the most out of the roof space you’ve got is always a good thing to think about. The additional load that the battery or car will bring is when you’re going to need to get as much as you can off the roof.
A more efficient solution is going to help you meet those new demands – so high-efficiency panels will mean you’re going to get the most out of your roof space.
Moving forward, electric cars are almost certainly going to be a part of everyone’s lives. That’s always in conjunction with home energy storage and that’s always a conversation we have with our homeowners and we do our best to size the system in anticipation of those things being part of the home.
That side of things is really a site-specific solution. It all just ties into the type of conversations we have with the homeowners. Find out what’s the best solar system size for your needs – contact the E-Smart Solar team.
A new report by Energy Innovation finds that there is a growing consensus among expert researchers that achieving 80% clean electricity by 2030 would be feasible, affordable, reliable, and deeply beneficial to…
The Clean Electricity Performance Program, or CEPP, which is a key climate provision within the larger Build Back Better Act, made a large step toward becoming law when it passed out of…
The post Clean Electricity Performance Program Proposal and Southeast Utilities appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
After months of delays, revisions, legal maneuvering, and public pressure, the Memphis City Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday night, September 21 that will provide protection to Memphians and their drinking water…
In January of 2020, the Georgia Institute of Technology hosted a convening of stakeholders to discuss electric transportation in the Southeast. Several of the participants, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) included,…
September in the Southeast means two things: hurricane season is well underway… AND, it’s National Drive Electric Week! These two seemingly unrelated issues actually have a hopeful connection. Consider these concurrent circumstances:…
With Congress currently considering a broad range of legislative proposals that together constitute perhaps the most consequential package of climate and clean energy actions ever debated in the U.S., Southern Alliance for…
The post SACE members speak up for a clean electricity standard appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Orlando is the latest municipality in the Southeast to adopt an electric vehicle (EV) make-ready ordinance. This policy will help the city reach its ambitious sustainability goals established under the leadership of…
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its 15th annual wind technologies market report yesterday, documenting many technological and economic trends and providing a comprehensive look at the state of the land-based…
The post Top 8 takeaways from the new U.S. land-based wind energy market report appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
A report by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and Atlas Public Policy, “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast,” shows impressive gains across many market indicators. The report is the second annual…
The post The Southeast is Gaining Ground in the Push to Electrify Transportation appeared first on SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Changing customer needs, shifting client expectations, rapidly evolving technology, unforeseen global circumstances and long overdue social awakenings… plain and simple, marketing is not what it “used to be.” The classic marketing mix of product, price, place and promotion - the 4 P’s seared into the memories of those of us who may have majored in marketing and communications back in the day - has become much more nuanced and a whole lot more complex.
At very first glance, Sunsoil, a Vermont-based organic CBD company, may seem like “one of many” when it comes to the increasingly saturated CBD supplement market. But a look through their website, their branding and even a cursory second glance at their story will leave you happily surprised.
Earlier this year, we sat down with Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-Founder of Mamava, Inc., a fellow B Corporation and women-owned company dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding. Over the past several years, Sascha and her co-founder Christine Dodson have built a successful, mission-driven company that advocates for and empowers women in society and in the workplace, and we are so honored to have had the opportunity to chat with Sascha as part of this interview series. Check out our conversation below:
Today’s consumers are clamoring for the brands they support to be a part of creating a better, more sustainable future. This is readily apparent when it comes to the beauty industry, which after decades of creating countless enemies and being one of many major contributors to the climate crisis, has undergone a period of serious self-discovery and a very public, consumer-driven transformation journey.
A quick Google search will tell you that in 2021, customers are different. They have different priorities, different concerns and higher expectations. Those differences significantly affect the customer journey, or the total sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand.
In the fall of 2020, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Joe Giallanella, the Team Lead of the Growth Incubator at Seventh Generation, a global consumer product goods company and veteran B Corporation. At the time, and amidst the unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic, Joe’s team had just finished up the successful launch of Zero Plastic Homecare, an innovative new line of products aimed at eliminating plastic entirely from home care product packaging. The successful launch only served to further prove the resilience and humanity that underlies what it truly means to be a B Corp.
Like many around the country, here at KSV we are winding down the work week and looking ahead to Memorial Day Weekend, the first long weekend of the year and the unofficial start of summer.
To pause and reflect for a moment, it is truly incredible to think about where we were about this time last year: we were all home, in lockdown and facing countless unknowns as the pandemic was hitting its first peak and a long overdue social awakening was occurring across the country as a result of several tragic catalysts.
Last fall we had the opportunity to sit down with Bobby McConnell, the Vice President and Head of Sales and Customer Experience at Gaia Herbs, a leading natural herbs and wellness brand and fellow B Corp. At the time of our conversation, Bobby had just recently joined the Gaia team, where he currently leads both the sales function of the organization and customer experience for both the brand’s brick-and-mortar and e-commerce outlets.
To say that a lot is happening in the world to inspire change right now would be an understatement: a call for social justice, an all-out last-ditch effort to gain a sense of normalcy back from the hands of COVID-19, and more momentum than ever before to take action against the effects of climate change and reverse the impact of centuries of environmental damage caused by waste generation, overconsumption, and rampant pollution.
All around us, we are seeing change happen on a massive scale. But if there’s one thing we know from years of working to trigger individual behavior change, it’s that small choices add up to create impact over time. Choosing to use reusable bags over plastic, switching out a fossil fuel heating system for an electric heat pump, opting to compost instead of trashing food waste, taking the first step to learn about community solar, or even making the effort to purchase clean beauty products over those with potentially harmful and toxic ingredients… all of these choices add up in the long run, even if, at the most individual level, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
RSS Error: A feed could not be found at `https://www.earthava.com/feed/`; the status code is `200` and content-type is `text/html; charset=UTF-8`
CEQ report calls for widespread CCUS deployment to achieve climate goals. By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Nikki Buffa, and Nolan Fargo On June 30, 2021, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a report to Congress that outlines a framework for how the US can accelerate carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies and...… Continue Reading
With increasing pressure to fight climate change, scientists, and leaders agree that carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is a cost-effective solution to meet emissions goals made under the Paris Agreement. In his interview with Hart Energy, Latham partner JP Brisson discusses how aggressive efforts are needed to meet the net-zero goal, but oil and...… Continue Reading
A local air district approved a rule requiring warehouses to adopt clean technologies or pay a mitigation fee. By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock At a contentious board hearing on May 7, 2021, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) approved a first-in-the-nation rule to regulate trucking emissions from warehouses by a 9-4...… Continue Reading
The program will include a multi-jurisdictional cap-and-invest program and aims to address environmental justice and equity concerns. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Benjamin Einhouse, and Brian McCall On December 21, 2020, the Governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, as well as the Mayor of the District of Columbia, announced that their respective jurisdictions...… Continue Reading
Public agencies prevailed in 68% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Daniel P. Brunton, Nikki Buffa, Marc T. Campopiano, and Winston P. Stromberg Latham & Watkins is pleased to present its fourth annual CEQA Case Report. Throughout 2020 Latham lawyers reviewed each of the 34 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) appellate cases, whether...… Continue Reading
The novel regulation aims to reduce GHG emissions from ride-sharing vehicles in California. By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jen Garlock The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing the Clean Miles Standard, a regulation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ride-sharing vehicles and encourage broader adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), pursuant to Senate Bill...… Continue Reading
The Governor has issued an Executive Order with sweeping implications for the oil and gas industry and others. By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Nikki Buffa, and Brian F. McCall On September 23, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-79-20, which will have sweeping implications for the oil and gas industry, automakers, low-carbon...… Continue Reading
In recent LCFS amendments, CARB introduced a new price cap on all LCFS credit transfers and authorized limited future credit borrowing. By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Brian F. McCall, and Kevin A. Homrighausen On November 21, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed Resolution 19-27, approving several amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)...… Continue Reading
A local air district is developing a rule that would require both existing and proposed warehouses to reduce trucking emissions or pay a mitigation fee. By Joshua T. Bledsoe The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or District) is developing a so-called Indirect Source Rule (ISR) that would require Southern California warehouses to reduce...… Continue Reading
EPA’s decision to forego financial requirements will likely face opposition by eNGOs. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stacey L. VanBelleghem On July 2, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed decision not to impose new financial responsibility requirements on the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution industry under Section 108(b) of the...… Continue Reading