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September solar policy snapshots


California recently became the first state in the nation to require solar + storage installations on new commercial buildings.

Biden administration reveals possible intent to extend ITC in new briefing
Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Energy released an issue brief on solar energy research, deployment and workforce priorities that aligns with many solar industry priorities. Most notably, the briefing mentions the possibility of extending the solar ITC to help reach Biden’s clean energy goals.

Senate passes infrastructure bill containing provisions for energy storage development
Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Senate voted to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that contains provisions for energy storage development and power grid upgrades that could support increased solar deployment. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where the Progressive Caucus has said it will refuse a vote unless the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion social policy bill this fall.

California Energy Commission mandates solar + storage on new commercial buildings
Sacramento, California

The California Energy Commission unanimously voted to require builders to install solar + storage on new commercial buildings and high-rise multifamily buildings. The new Energy Code also includes requirements for builders to design single-family homes so batteries can be easily added to the already-mandated solar systems in the future.

Renewable energy coalition asks Congress for direct pay option for residential energy efficiency tax credit
Washington, D.C.

More than 300 environmental justice advocates and renewable energy companies sent a letter to Senate and House committee leaders supporting a direct pay option for the residential energy efficiency property tax credit. The coalition says direct pay would increase solar access since it would allow lower-income families to receive their entire subsidy in a single year.

Pennsylvania House committee holds hearing on enabling community solar in the state
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing in August featuring testimony from the PA Community Solar Economic Alliance in favor of enabling community solar projects in the state. The Republican committee secretary said the hearing showed strong bipartisan interest in community solar.

California environmental justice coalition advocates for preserving net metering
Sacramento, California

The Coalition for Environmental Equity and Economics, a group that includes Green the Church, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, has joined solar advocacy groups to ask Gov. Gavin Newsom to preserve net metering in California. The California Public Utility Commission is currently considering proposals from utilities on the next era of solar incentives.

New Hampshire governor expands net metering cap for cities
Concord, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill allowing municipalities to net-meter up to 5 MW of their own solar power, up from 1 MW previously, according to NHPR. Residents and businesses are still capped at 1 MW of solar.

Biden administration may cut costs of solar projects on public lands
Washington, D.C.

The Biden administration is planning to cut the costs of developing solar power on public lands to increase renewable energy deployment, according to Reuters. The Bureau of Land Management will hold public listening sessions and a consultation with Native American tribes in September.

Maryland Public Service Commission unanimously approves expansion of community solar program
Annapolis, Maryland

The Maryland Public Service Commission unanimously voted to expand the state’s community solar pilot program and improve access for low- and moderate-income customers. The program now accommodates the equivalent of 6,850 Maryland homes annually.


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