NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, April 30: SOLAR DONATIONS TO GEORGIA REGULATORS QUESTIONED; FEDS PASS LA WIRES TO SOCAL EDISON; TOP TEN UTILITIES IN U.S. SOLAR FOR 2014

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    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

    QUICK NEWS, April 30: SOLAR DONATIONS TO GEORGIA REGULATORS QUESTIONED; FEDS PASS LA WIRES TO SOCAL EDISON; TOP TEN UTILITIES IN U.S. SOLAR FOR 2014

    SOLAR DONATIONS TO GEORGIA REGULATORS QUESTIONED Solar industry is a top donor in Georgia PSC elections

    Kristi E. Swartz, April 28, 2014 (E&E Publishing)

    Disclosures from Georgia’s ethics agency show incumbent regulators Doug Everett and Lauren "Bubba" McDonald have received more than $14,000 from individual solar companies, national and Georgia solar industry groups, lobbyists, contractors, and associated attorneys as donations to their re-election campaigns…Members of Georgia's Public Service Commission (PSC), which governs utility rates and policy regulations, is one of few elected state commissions because most are appointed by the Governor…Solar industry advocates say, like campaign donors from other industries have said in the past, that they are simply trying to support elected representatives who are doing a good job…A key decision from Georgia’s PSC recently went in favor of sustaining solar’s net energy metering incentive but the larger decision on how to value solar over the long term is still to come…Georgia's solar industry reportedly represented $189 million in investments in 2013 and is made up of 150 companies that provide 2,600 jobs…Georgia Power is a subsidiary of Southern Company, a utility that regularly incurs the wrath of the anti-coal movement for millions in lobbying donations. click here for more

    FEDS PASS LA WIRES TO SOCAL EDISON FERC rejects wind, solar interests' demands that CAISO retain control of transmission lines

    Glen Boshart, April 21, 2014 (SNL)

    “Despite the fears of wind and solar interests that allowing the California ISO to cede to Southern California Edison Co. control over certain transmission assets in Southern California's Antelope Valley could harm reliability and cause operational problems, FERC recently signed off on the move...CAISO and SoCalEd have concluded…[SoCalEd's Antelope and Bailey 66-kV transmission facilities and several 66-kV to 220-kV transformers should be local distribution]…not subject to CAISO control even though they continue to perform certain wholesale functions…[T]he costs of that equipment would be directly assigned to the generators served by those lines, including members of the California Wind Energy Association and First Solar Inc...[T]he CWEA and First Solar in December 2013 asked FERC to block the move for reliability and other reasons…FERC agreed with CAISO...[finding] that the facilities will not support service outside the SoCalEd distribution system and that an outage of those facilities would not affect CAISO's transmission system…” click here for more

    TOP TEN UTILITIES IN U.S. SOLAR FOR 2014 SEPA Analysis Shows that 10 Utilities Accounted for 82 Percent of All Integrated Solar Capacity in 2013; 7th Annual Rankings Identifies PG&E, SDG&E and APS as Leaders in Utility Solar

    April 28, 2014 (Solar Electric Power Association)

    Rankings of U.S. utilities based on how many new megawatts of solar they built in 2013 and how many megawatts per customer they have installed were released by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)…The ranked utilities accounted for 82 percent of all new solar capacity in 2013, up from 73 percent in 2012 and the top three builders of new solar in 2013, regulars throughout the seven year history of the listings, were Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), and Arizona Public Service (APS)…Also returning to the top ten list for new megawatts were Southern California Edison (SCE), Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), Hawaiian Electric Company, and Duke Energy Carolinas, while Duke Energy Progress, National Grid, and Georgia Power made the rankings for the first time…This year’s rankings were based on responses from 287 U.S. utilities, up from 2013’s 256 utility reponses, according to a SEPA source…The watts-per-customer rankings, which give small utilities the opportunity to shine, were led by Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD), a public power utility in Massachusetts that serves 3,700 customers. click here for more

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