NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, June 22: SOLARCITY MOVES INTO COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR IN MINNESOTA; NO. CAROLINA SOLAR ADVOCATE NC WARN FILES SOLAR TPO FINANCING TEST CASE; SOLAR STILL FIGHTING IOWA UTILITIES

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    Monday, June 22, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, June 22: SOLARCITY MOVES INTO COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR IN MINNESOTA; NO. CAROLINA SOLAR ADVOCATE NC WARN FILES SOLAR TPO FINANCING TEST CASE; SOLAR STILL FIGHTING IOWA UTILITIES

    SOLARCITY MOVES INTO COMMUNITY SHARED SOLAR IN MINNESOTA Renewable energy giant SolarCity to make first community solar investment in Minnesota; Apartment residents are focus of planned solar garden.

    David Shaffner, June 17, 2015 Minneapolis Star Tribune

    SolarCity, the biggest U.S. residential solar installer, will partner with Minnesota’s Sunrise Energy Ventures to invest $200 million in 100 community shared solar projects at the periphery of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Community arrays, called solar gardens in Minnesota, offer people without solar suitable roofs the benefits of owning solar such as reduced cost and long term fixed price electricity. Subscribers might be renters, utility customers whose usage is too low to justify a rooftop system, or homeowners whose roofs are heavily shaded.This is SolarCity’s first community shared solar commitment but its marketing captured over a third of the U.S. residential market in 2014. For Minnnesota solar garden subscribers, it will offer a streamlined sign-up, a one-year-only commitment, and a 10% to 15% electricity bill reduction. click here for more

    NO. CAROLINA SOLAR ADVOCATE NC WARN FILES SOLAR TPO FINANCING TEST CASE NC WARN sets up test case on solar-power sales

    John Downey, June 17, 2015 Charlotte Business Journal

    Solar advocacy group NC WARN built a 5.2 kW solar project on the roof of North Carolina’s Faith Community Church, is selling the power to the church, and asked state regulators to approve the arrangement to test whether the variation on third party ownership (TPO) solar financing is legal. NC WARN wants the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to find the TPO agreement to be a funding mechanism that allows the church to avoid the upfront costs of the solar project and therefore legal under state law even though the sale of solar-generated electricity to anybody but the local utility is prohibited. NC WARN believes it can win approval from the NCUC and the courts if necessary. Duke Energy, the state’s dominant electricity provider, argues NC WARN is using utility privileges but avoiding rules and regulations governing utilities. click here for more

    SOLAR STILL FIGHTING IOWA UTILITIES Iowa utilities: No net metering for third-party solar projects

    Karen Uhlenhuth, June 19, 2015 Midwest Energy News

    Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy, two of Iowa’s dominant electricity providers, are challenging assumptions in the 2014 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that it is legal for solar installer Eagle Point Solar to build third party owned projects. Alliant, supported by MidAmerican, is refusing to allow net metering to Eagle Point’s installations for the City of Asbury and argues the Iowa Utilities Board’s rulings on rates limits net metering to customers who buy all of their power from the utilities. In a third party ownership (TPO) financing plan, the solar hosts buy part of their electricity from the solar owners. The Asbury TPO installation is Eagle Point’s first since the Supreme Court decision. Alliant and MidAmerican are “trying to make the same distinction that the court rejected,” according to attorney Josh Mandelbaum of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the firm that argued the Supreme Court case. “It doesn’t make a difference if a project is leased or paid for outright or paid for through a (power-purchase agreement),” he added, and “certainly the spirit (of the ruling) is being violated.” click here for more

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