- Wood Mackenzie says US community solar space will grow over the next 5 years with the addition of 4.5 GW capacity
- Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest Energy Plan gets the green signal to go 100% carbon free by 2050 and add 2.5 GW of new solar
- Duke Energy says it will fully exit coal power generation by 2035 and aims to own or purchase 16 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025
- Silicon Ranch has selected Black & Veatch to build 125 MW DeSoto I Solar Farm in Georgia, US
- SEIA and ACORE have dismissed the anti-circumvention petition by Auxin Solar seeing no merit in the case
US community solar capacity to grow says Wood Mackenzie; Xcel Energy to add 2. 5 GW new solar by 2032; Duke Energy will exit coal by 2035; Silicon Ranch selects Black & Veatch for 125 MW solar plant; SEIA and ACORE criticize anti-circumvention petition of Auxin Solar.
4.5 GW new capacity for US community solar: Wood Mackenzie analysts expect US community solar market to grow over the next 5 years with the cumulative addition of 4.5 GW, which would be a 9% increase on previous projections. Mainly analysts have improved their forecast for New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Colorado due to updated and expands programs by state administration. New Mexico and Delaware both passed legislations for new and improved community solar programs, but more states need to follow suit. Residential subscribers make up the vast majority of community solar subscriptions currently as these are simpler to acquire, but anchor tenants as large commercial entities and municipalities receive a major amount of capacity from projects. Analysts, in the report brought out with the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), warn interconnection challenges may hamper the sector. The report can be purchased from Wood Mackenzie’s website.
Xcel Energy to add 2.5 GW solar by 2032: US electricity utility Xcel Energy has secured approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) for its Upper Midwest Energy Plan. It would enable the company to provide 80% carbon free electricity to its customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan as it targets to go 100% carbon-free by 2050. Plans include adding 2.5 GW of new solar and 2.15 GW of new wind capacity addition by 2032, with an additional 1.1 GW renewable capacity beyond 2032. It would retire all Upper Midwest coal power plants by 2030. The commission has also extended the life of Xcel’s Monticello Nuclear Power Plant by an additional 10 years to 2040. Xcel Energy said it woul invest in new transmission infrastructure to connect more clean energy to the grid, while re-using important grid connections near its coal plants when they close.
“As the company transitions away from coal, it will also work with stakeholders to seek approval for additional ‘always available’ power sources later this decade, to help back up wind and solar and maintain grid stability and reliability,” stated Xcel Energy.
Duke Energy to exit coal by 2035: Another US electric utility Duke Energy has said it will fully exit coal power generation by 2035, and in the interim have less than 5% coal generated electricity in its portfolio by 2030. It has already retired 7.5 GW worth of coal power plant generation since 2010 by retiring 56 units. Company says it has filed integrated resource plans with preferred scenarios that support exiting coal generation by 2035. Instead, it is pursuing a clean energy strategy as it aims to own or purchase 16 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.
Black & Veatch to build 125 MW solar farm: Solar EPC company Black & Veatch says it has bagged the contract to build a 125 MW AC solar power plant in Lee County of Georgia in the US, by Silicon Ranch Corporation. The DeSoto I Solar Farm is being funded by Silicon Ranch that has also developed the facility. Silicon Ranch will also be the owner and operator of the solar farm in the long run. Black & Veatch said the project will integrate Silicon Ranch’s Regenerative Energy land management model which co-locates solar energy production with regenerative agriculture practices. On construction completion, the land will be restored to a functioning grassland ecosystem while keeping it in agricultural production through managed sheep grazing using regenerative land management practices.
‘Frivolous’ circumvention petition: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has termed Auxin Solar’s anti-circumvention petition against Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia as ‘frivolous’ and ‘self-interested’ (see Another Solar tariff Petition In US). The association said it will aggressively oppose the petition. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) also did not give any weight to the new petition stating, “We expect the merits of the Auxin Solar tariff request on solar panels from Southeast Asia to be thoroughly reviewed and denied based on the facts,” stated ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. He added, “Our expectation is that this petition will ultimately prove to be no more than a distraction from those efforts.”