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EGEB: Jacksonville solar manufacturing?, 1.79¢/kWh no more!, Minnesota carbon tax final, more

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news. Featured Image Source.

Solar company seeks big incentives to bring 800 jobs to Jacksonville – The City incentives are two-fold. First, the company is seeking a Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund of up to $800,000 over five years. The program pays per job, and would only be paid as the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity verifies the job creation and wage targets. The second part comes as a Recaptured Enhanced Value Grant of up to $23.8 million over ten years. The largest ask is a Capital Investment Tax Credit to offset the company’s state corporate income tax liability. The Project Summary says the annual cap on that credit is $20,500,000, but it could be used over a 20 year period. Roughly – the first ten years will mean $4,100 in missed tax revenue, and the second ten years will be $1,250 in missed tax revenue. North Florida getting an average income of $46k/job times 800 jobs is cool – $37M/year – lower cost of living in the region. No state or local taxes. Property and sales tax is it – lets hope schools and infrastructure and cops can be covered in that money while we build solar panels.

Saudi Arabia dismisses world’s lowest submitted bid for solar power –  A list of eight candidates was announced in October with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and French partner, EDF, submitting the world’s lowest bid ever for solar PV at 1.79 US cents per kilowatt hour – breaking the 2 cent threshold. Yet the only companies in the running for the 300 megawatt Sakaka project are the second and third lowest bidders: Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power with a bid of 2.34 cents and Japan’s Marubeni at 2.66 cents. The article notes two reasons why the 1.79¢/kWh might not have been included – using bifacial solar panels and not having banking in place. In my comments on the bid, I suggested bifacial solar panels had a chance to drive a number like this. This author thinks it might have been a bit early to suggest such a technology to a nation-state, I’d not really considered a reaction – but I’m not a Prince, so there’s that. The second logic was that the bidding group couldn’t pull together the banking – I’m not sure if this is a technicality (oops, forgot that box) or MASDAR couldn’t pull together the money. I don’t know exactly how MASDAR pulls its money from the Unite Arab Emirates, but my gut says that a project costing $250M won’t stress them. I look forward to learning how nation-states made this decision, its more interesting to me than the people they chose!

Minnesota regulators finalize carbon cost rules for utility procurements – The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 3 issued an order finalizing carbon cost estimates that utilities must use when planning new infrastructure projects, setting them at a range of $9.05 to $42.46 per ton in 2020 – but the most important comment in my opinion – The purpose of this docket is not merely to acknowledge the harms, but to meaningfully quantify them to aid in establishing a range of CO2 costs to use in evaluating utility resources,” regulators wrote. I’ve asked the author of this article for some insight on when we apply $9 vs $40, because that’s a big gulf, and its cool that the state is defining values. But I really like that second sentence – we need some aggressive, hard nosed commentary like this on climate. The debate is no longer whether or not, but how much.

US Coal Production To Record LowMiners extracted an estimated 10.5 million short tons of coal during the week ending Dec. 30, according to a report Thursday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was down 28 percent from the same week in 2016 and the lowest tally in records dating to 1992. As Bloomberg notes, weekly coal production generally falls at the end of the year as rail and mining crews take time off, said Matt Preston, a North American coal analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. But the drop-off was sharper than ever in 2017 as the industry continued to struggle to compete with natural gas and, to a lesser extent, wind and solar farms. Good. Coal needs to go.


They’re going to build an island in the middle of the North Sea. Its purpose will be as a hub to interconnect wind farms, and the broader electricity grid. We’re seeing an electricity grid arms race. Texas dominating with wind and sun moved from the west to the east. China building record sized HVDC. Australia linking to Indonesia via undersea cables. California interconnecting across the midwest and bringing in wind power. This is a beautiful thing to watch develop.

30GW of rooftop solar coming to China in 2018 per one projection. The world’s installation capacity was that in 2012-13’ish. Good to see China consuming so much of their own panel production – really amazing to watch this transformation, and how we are all being pulled along for the ride.

Rooftop solar customers in Australia have saved the broader energy users of the country millions of dollars by producing electricity during the peak of the hottest temperatures ever in the country – 117F. This is just ONE reason why full net metering for residential solar customers makes sense since solar customers are underpaid at any number less.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programElizabeth Fuller and Philipp Zimmermann demonstrate Fraunhofer CSE’s Plug & Play PV technology at MassCEC in 2014, showing the potential for simplified installation of residential solar. Photo by Lindsey Dillon. I picked image because they were laying down flexible – sticker attached – solar panels. Interesting to see.

Considering residential solar? Understand Solar will connect you with local contractors, Tweet Me an I’ll give you some feedback or allow me to give you a professional residential consultation that will save you money.

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