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Analyst Report Argues Impending Demise of Utilities on Par with “Sharknado”

February 6, 2014

On January 15, 2014, Macquarie Equities Research compared the hype around the demise of the centralized electric grid analogous to the exaggeration found in Sharknado, a movie depicting hurricane-propelled sharks terrorizing Los Angeles. Over the long term, the analysts argue renewables will have a meaningfully bigger impact on competitive power markets than on regulated T&D businesses.

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AWEA Reports 17.2 GW of New Wind in Development Pipeline

January 30, 2014

On January 30, 2014, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced year-end statistics for 2013. The development pipeline ballooned to more than 17.2 GW of new capacity compared with just 1.1 GW added in all of 2013. This development pipeline includes more than 12 GW of capacity already under construction and 5.2 GW with signed PPAs that have not yet started construction.

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North Carolina Charges Annual Fee for All-Electric Vehicles

January 21, 2014

In January 2014, North Carolina started collecting a $100 annual fee from all-electric vehicles registered in the state. North Carolina began billing these customers separately because they do not pay road use and maintenance taxes attached to gasoline sales.

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Solar Deemed More Cost Effective than Natural Gas in Minnesota

January 14, 2014

In 2013, Xcel issued its first competitive bidding process for new generation capacity. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) accepted five proposals including 430 MW of natural gas capacity from Xcel and 100 MW of distributed solar from Geronimo Energy. The PUC deemed the case a “contested case hearing” and sought a report and recommendation from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Following an evidentiary hearing, the ALJ recommended the solar proposal as the most reasonable and prudent. The ALJ concluded solar offered the lowest cost on a per-MWh basis after accounting for additional attributes.

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Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy Expires; Projects under Construction Remain Eligible

January 8, 2014

Congress allowed the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy to expire on January 1, 2014. However, projects under construction at the end of 2013 may still qualify for the PTC. Therefore, we expect a significant number of new wind projects to come online in 2014 and 2015.

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930 MW of Solar PV Installed in Q3 2013

December 17, 2013

In their quarterly assessment released last week, GTM Research and the Solar Electric Industries Association (SEIA) report the United States installed 930 MW of solar PV in Q3 2013. This is the second-largest quarter in history and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations. In addition, the national average for installation prices (across all system sizes) declined 4.2% last quarter from $3.13/W to $3.00/W.

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SolarCity Launches Energy Storage Paired with Solar for Business Using Tesla Battery Packs

December 12, 2013

SolarCity is getting into the commercial energy storage business by installing and financing behind-the-meter solar-battery systems and smart software in California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

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Preparing for Climate Change – Energy-Water Nexus

April 22, 2013

Earth Day provides an occasion to draw attention to the interdependence of energy and water resources, also known as the energy-water nexus. Energy and water are inextricably linked.

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