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  1. Solar Power: Indiana Senate panel OKs bill to reduce solar incentives

      INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -€” An Indiana Senate panel gave preliminary approval Thursday to a bill backed by the state's investor-owned power utilities that critics contend is an effort to muscle out smaller companies from the emerging solar energy market. The measure by Republican state Sen. Brandt Hershman was approved by the Senate Utilities committee on an 8-2 vote. Solar power provides only about 1 percent of the country's energy, and an even smaller percentage in Indiana. But it is growing rapidly, with U.S. Energy Department figures showing solar industry employment grew by 125 percent from 2010 through 2015. The plunging cost of the technology, combined with the fact that it is far better for the environment than traditional sources of energy, has led homeowners, businesses, schools and even some churches to take advantage of taking its money-saving potential. That could eventually eat away at the business of the big utilities — in Indiana Duke Energy , Vectren and Indiana Michigan Power — which have a powerful voice and donate handsomely to political campaigns. Currently, solar panel owners who feed surplus energy into the power grid are compensated at a retail market rate, which supporters say enables them to pay off the expensive investment in solar within its useful life. Hershman's measure would drastically reduce that rate in five years, though it was amended Thursday after substantial opposition was voiced during a hearing last week. "Rightfully so, I think the utilities are concerned about this," said Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, who sponsored the amendment. As the bill currently reads, it would create three tiers of solar panel owners. If signed into law, those who install solar panels by the end of June would be grandfathered in at the current rate of compensation for the next 30 years, which comes in the form of a credit on their power bill. Those who install solar panels after that date, but before 2022, would be able to collect the retail rate until 2032. Anyone who installs solar panels after 2022 would receive a much lower rate of compensation. Utilities say the current Indiana compensation system is unfair because it requires them to compensate solar panel owners for power at retail cost — which is more than it would cost them to produce the energy. But the measure comes as investor-owned utilities across the U.S. are also looking to carve out their own share of the solar market, following consumer trends that increasingly look toward alternative energy amid concerns about global warming. One option utilities are promoting as an alternative to installing home solar panels is called "community solar," which involves customers agreeing to buy or lease panels from the utilities on large panel farms. That could give them a leg up, should the new rate called for under the bill prove to make solar panel installation a losing deal for property owners. Hershman said that concern could be rendered moot as the cost and efficiency of solar technology improves. The bill, he said, is a measured approach toward balancing the interests of utilities, while still supporting alternative energy sources "which I don't think is a very radical change" from current policy. But supporters say the idea is at odds with the stated priorities of Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has talked at length about the need to support innovation in the state. A spokeswoman for Holcomb did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "Governor Eric Holcomb made innovation one of the central themes of his State of State Address. Gov. Holcomb has made fostering entrepreneurship a central priority of his new Administration," Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council said in a statement, adding that "those priorities are not reflected."

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    Fri, 17 Feb 2017

  2. US Solar Market Poised for Record Growth in 2016

    GTM research projects 16 GW of solar will be installed in the U.S. in 2016, more than doubling the record-breaking 7.3 GW installed in 2015.

    Online Articles

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    Fri, 11 Mar 2016

  3. Sungrow launches solar inverters for India market

    PV inverter manufacturer Sungrow has released new inverters for the solar market in India. 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 10 Oct 2016

  4. PG&E approaches private rooftop solar power milestone

    PG&E announced the company will soon reach a milestone of 2,409 megawatts of installed private rooftop solar capacity on the energy grid, representing more than 275,000 solar power customers in Northern and Central California.

    Online Articles

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    Sat, 10 Dec 2016

  1. Largest Quarter Ever Recorded for Solar Installations

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 22 Dec 2016

  2. China drives tenth year of solar PV growth

    Strong demand from China will drive a tenth year of consecutive growth for the global PV market, according to a new report by consultants IHS Markit.

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    Fri, 23 Dec 2016

  3. Vivint Solar names David Bywater as CEO

    As interim CEO of Vivint Solar, Bywater made gains in driving efficiencies in the company's installation process

    Online Articles

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    Tue, 20 Dec 2016

  4. U.S. solar power farm developer selling off 300MW blocks of crown jewel projects

    Innovative Solar Systems is a large scale solar power farm project developer based in Asheville, NC and has just announced that the company is offering 300MW blocks of solar farms for sale.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 14 Dec 2016

  5. Inaccurate Reporting of Net Metering Caps Can Lead to Solar Market Instability

    A new study from EQ Research is emphasizing the critical role accurate net energy metering (NEM) reporting plays in the stability of the U.S. solar market , and calling attention to how far some states have to go with respect to adopting effective tracking and reporting methodologies.

    Online Articles

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    Tue, 8 Sep 2015

  6. Solar market revenues predicted to hit $137bn

    Revenues from the global solar market are predicted to more than double in the next five years according to a new report.

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    Wed, 23 Jul 2014

  7. Solar generation: Disconnect switches for the solar market

    Energy management: ABB introduces OTDC disconnect switches for the solar market . In addition to higher current ratings, ABB broadens 1500 VDC disconnect switches and introduces OTDC versions for simultaneous switching of three DC circuits for greater efficiency.

    Online Articles

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    Mon, 3 Nov 2014

  8. India solar market to grow from 54 MW in 2010 to more than 9 GW by 2016

    This is according to a new report, The India Solar Market : Strategy, Players, and Opportunities from GTM Research and Bridge to India

    Online Articles

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    Thu, 3 Nov 2011

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