US solar industry wants DOC to reject Auxin Solar petition; PSO wants approval to fund 1 GW wind and solar; NextEra Energy Partners expanding renewables portfolio; Longroad Energy breaks ground for 152 MW DC solar plant; Canadian Solar commissions 100 MW Japanese solar plant.
Demand to scrap Auxin Solar petition: Over 240 solar and storage companies led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have called upon the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to completely reject the Auxin Solar petition for anti-circumvention tariffs on solar products. Notably, the department needs to make a preliminary determination into the petition by December 1, 2022, and these companies want it to issue a negative preliminary determination. The industry sees an affirmative determination as creating ‘new uncertainty’ for the market, ‘stifle deployment, and limit American jobs’ while also undercutting efforts to address climate change. “With the ink barely dry on the historic IRA, to reverse course and place additional costs on U.S. solar companies would be entirely counterproductive to the ambitious decarbonization goals established by this administration,” reads the letter.
For the background, Auxin Solar filed an anti-circumvention petition to impose tariffs on solar cells assembled in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia in February 2022. As the DOC agreed to launch an investigation, US President Joe Biden used his executive powers to offer a 24-month reprieve for imported solar components to enter the US borders without tariffs. He aims to ensure reliable supply for solar components till domestic manufacturing builds up (see Biden Saves The Day for US Solar Industry).
PSO seeking 1 GW power plan approval: The Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) is seeking approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) to purchase 995.5 MW of new cost-effective renewable energy capacity. The proposed plan comprising 3 new wind and 3 new solar facilities will help meet projected power needs while protecting consumers from volatility in energy costs driven by high natural gas and power prices, it added. All the projects were selected via competitive bidding and includes 189 MW Pixley Solar in Barber County, 103.5 MW Chisholm Trail Solar Project in Sedgwick County, both in Kansas, and 150 MW Algodon Solar in Terry County of Texas. Winning facilities are scheduled to come online by the end of 2025.
NextEra to acquire wind and solar assets: NextEra Energy Partners will acquire 49% stake in a 1.5 GW wind and solar portfolio from the subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources. It comprises 125 MW Yellow Pine Solar Power Plant with 65 MW storage in Nevada. The deal also includes taking 100% indirect membership interests in 345 MW operating wind assets. NextEra has entered into a convertible equity portfolio financing with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board to invest $805 million into the new portfolio.
152 MW DC solar plant enters construction: Longroad Energy has started the construction of 152 MW DC Three Corners Solar Project in Kennebec County, Maine after securing financing for $200 million facility. On completion in late 2023 or early 2024, it will be the largest solar project in Maine, according to the company. Power generated will be sold to EDF Energy Services under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) that plans to serve its corporate customers in New England with it. Longroad says this is the largest corporate PPA to date, in the New England power grid. The facility will be equipped with Series 6 and Series 6+ solar modules from First Solar and Nextracker’s single axis tracker technology, along with inverters from Power Electronics.
Canadian Solar’s 100 MW Japan project online: Canada headquartered Canadian Solar has commissioned its 100 MW Azuma Kofuji Solar Project in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. Calling it the company’s flagship mega project in the Asian nation, management said it is Canadian Solar’s largest project in Japan and the largest operational solar project in Fukushima Prefecture to date. It has equipped the project with the company’s own high efficiency HiKu solar panels. Power generated is contracted by Tohoku Electric Power Company as the offtaker for a tariff of JPY 36.0 ($0.26) per kWh under the country’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for 18 years.