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It's time for energy freedom in Alabama
Alabama is ranked 13th in the nation as having the greatest solar potential, yet only 0.26% of its energy comes from solar, leaving the state far behind others when it comes to total installed solar capacity. According to an annual report produced by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Alabama ranked 29th in the United States for solar production in 2018. Solar in the Southeast, a blog dedicated to highlighting the ever-growing southeastern solar market, reported Alabama as ranking dead last in the seven-state southeastern region. By failing to adopt more solar, and other clean energy technologies, Alabama is missing out on lower energy prices, increased jobs in the solar economy, cleaner air and water, and a more resilient power infrastructure that protects our communities. The Mason-Dixon April 2019 poll of 625 registered Alabama voters, published by the Alabama Political Reporter, indicates Alabamians want a clean energy future, yet some are unsure what their elected officials and utilities are doing to make it happen. While 75% of voters support expanding the use of renewable energy, nearly a third of voters remain unsure about whether Alabama is using enough. Of that 75% majority, 60% are Republican voters. This is a bipartisan and educational issue. Solar energy is a huge growth industry in many parts of the country, but Alabama is lagging on taking advantage of this opportunity for economic development. Nearly 250,000 people work in the U.S. solar industry. According to The Solar Foundation’s 2018 National Solar Job Census, from 2013 – 2018, U.S. solar employment grew 70%, or 11% annually, while the U.S. economy grew jobs at only 1.76%. In the Southeast, the census lists the following: South Carolina (2,983 solar jobs), Georgia (3,696), Tennessee (4,690), and North Carolina (6,719). In Alabama, that number declines to 614 jobs, drastically underperforming its potential for well-paying, clean energy jobs and growing the state’s economy. This missed opportunity represents millions of dollars in lost Alabama property, sales and employment taxes. Alabamians are also missing out on the benefits of solar energy within their homes, due to a rise in fees and taxes to harvest their own energy. Through a "capacity reservation charge," often referred to as the "Alabama solar tax," Alabama Power charges an additional fee to create energy through residential solar systems. This charge destroys the economics and payback period of investing in residential solar. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is also considering grid access fees for solar installation. The issue at hand is simple: Alabamians should not have to pay additional fees to harvest their own energy via solar panels, especially if the panels are mounted on their private property. So, what can we do to bring clean jobs and clean energy to Alabama? For starters, we can implement clean energy freedom by adopting policies that are already succeeding in a few of our sister states. For example, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina have net-metering rules allowing people to sell the energy they produce back to the grid at a fair price. South Carolina recently passed an Energy Freedom Act that implements a suite of new measures, including neighborhood community solar programs and more transparency into which sources utilities use to generate energy. This transparency in resource planning is needed here in Alabama. In early 2019, Arkansas signed a Republican-sponsored bill into law which allows for third-party financing and ownership of solar projects. The Republican-controlled House and Senate could not deny “the very compelling business case,” and Arkansas lawmakers didn’t want to pass on the opportunity for job growth and industry investment. Such laws allowing third parties to finance and own solar systems and sell clean energy directly to customers, are a great way to rapidly spur solar development in Alabama. Clean energy freedom means cleaner water for fishing, swimming, and drinking. Alabama touts the most miles of navigable waterways in the U.S. and more freshwater biodiversity than any other state, but at the same time faces some of the nations’ biggest water quality challenges. According to the SEIA, solar power technologies use a modest amount of water (approximately 20 gallons per megawatt hour, or gal/MWh) for cleaning solar collection and reflection surfaces like mirrors, heliostats, and photovoltaic (PV) panels, compared to the approximately 60,000 gallons per megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity produced by sources like nuclear and coal. Some would argue that panel washing requires quite a bit of water; however, Alabama receives an average of 56 inches of rain per year, so the argument would be moot. Energy freedom also results in cleaner air for Alabamians. According to the U. S. Department of Energy through a 2016 study with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), each megawatt hour of power produced with clean energy has significant healthcare benefits due to better air quality. In conclusion, Alabamians deserve energy freedom and its benefits. Their elected officials can open the doors to a new energy future enabling cleaner and cheaper technologies that provide reliable power at lower rates. Alabama citizens must act now to demand a more prosperous and cleaner Alabama. Call your elected officials and talk about these issues. Demand clean solar energy, lower power prices, and a more transparent process for where our energy comes from. Alabamians should no longer answer “NOT SURE” when asked about our energy future.
Jul 4, 2019 // Plants, USA, NREL, Alabama, Solar Energy Industries Association, SEIA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, North America
Boralex completes United States solar procurement
plant portfolio makes up five situated in California and also one each in Alabama and Indiana. They were commissioned in between 2014 and also 2017 and take
Feb 2, 2021 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, USA, North America, solar PV plant, Boralex, Alabama Power
Boralex indications $283M offer for managing rate of interests in seven U.S. solar power plants
bargain includes 5 solar plants in California, one in Alabama and also one in Indiana. CRE and also other investors will certainly preserve specific
Nov 23, 2020 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, USA, North America, solar power plants, Boralex, Patrick Lemaire
Boralex Announces Closing of the Acquisition of Interests in 7 Solar Plants in United States
reported on a combined basis. The solar plants, located in California (5 ), Alabama (1) and Indiana (1 ), were appointed between 2014 and also 2017 and benefit
Feb 3, 2021 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, USA, North America, International, solar plants, Boralex, Acquisition of Interests
Tennessee Valley Authority sends RFP for 200MW of renewables
to establish the biggest solar setups in Tennessee (150MW) as well as Alabama (227MW) at the time. The power outcome from those 2 projects were utilized to
Mar 18, 2020 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, USA, North America, Kentucky, tva, Tennessee
2020 Trends Making and also Braking Roof Solar in the South
prices on rooftop solar clients following year. Steep Monthly Fees: Alabama Power raises its already sky-high solar fines Alabama Power makes
Dec 17, 2020 // Markets & Finance News, Rooftop PV, USA, North America, Southern Environmental Law Center, SELC, Lauren Bowen
Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association now a formal SEIA affiliate
This past year, SEIA has also added state affiliate groups in Kentucky, Alabama and Vermont. Minnesota is a burgeoning solar market, and the two
Oct 26, 2019 // Markets & Finance News, USA, SEIA, North America, Abigail Ross Hopper, Minnesota, MnSEIA, David Shaffer
Lightsource BP continue with United States solar press with Arkansas selection
of projects consisting of those in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania as well as Alabama, among others. Speaking With PV Tech in December of in 2015, Lightsource BP
Apr 14, 2020 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, USA, UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR, PPA, solar pv, Lightsource BP, finance, North America, lsdigital, Arkansas, United States
Facebook reveals virtually 1 GW of brand-new power bargains
projects, totaling 377 MW, to support its information center in Huntsville, Alabama. In November, Facebook introduced 2 of the largest solar projects that it has
Aug 11, 2020 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, USA, North America, Facebook, solar projects
Sunpro Solar initially to install new NeON LG solar panel in US
the majority of the U.S. constructed solar item from LG's plant in Huntsville, Alabama, driving U.S. manufacturing as well as building and construction
Sep 15, 2020 // Technology, Markets & Finance News, USA, North America, Sunpro Solar, NeON LG solar panel, David Chang, Dean Scott
Honda jets to car industry’s ‘largest’ clean energy buy with 320MW PPA duo
In Honda’s case, the RECs will go towards offsetting emissions from its Alabama, Ohio and Indiana
Sep 24, 2019 // Manufacturing News, Markets & Finance News, Transport, USA, Texas, North America, e.on, honda, corporate offtaker, corporate vppa, Oklahoma, abakus solar, Ryan Harty
Lightsource BP to power historic Colorado steel mill with 240MW solar plant
that broke ground two weeks prior. It is also developing an 130MW PV projet in Alabama.   EVRAZ North America is part owned by Roman Abromovich and is a
Sep 30, 2019 // Plants, USA, Colorado, Lightsource BP, North America, Xcel Energy, EVRAZ
Lightsource taps BP and major banks to finance 260MW PV project in Texas
70MW Pennsylvania triad as well as introduced prepare for a 130MW endeavor in Alabama and also a 240MW plant readied to power a historical mill in
Mar 19, 2020 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, USA, Texas, solar pv, Lightsource BP, North America, hsbc, natwest
Wisconsin governor issues executive order mandating carbon-free energy mix by 2050
indexes above 100 degrees - analogous to the current climate in states such as Alabama and South Carolina.  While Wisconsin trails behind other US
Aug 21, 2019 // Solar, USA, Wisconsin, carbon, Tony Evers, North America
Lightsource BP completes financing for 125MW US portfolio
of a global 700MW-plus solar pipeline and has since announced projects in Alabama and South Australia. The solar developer also acquired a 1.9GW portfolio in
Sep 25, 2019 // Plants, Large-Scale, Commercial, Markets & Finance News, California, USA, Lightsource BP, Pennsylvania, North America, Kansas, New Mexico, Kevin Smith