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Renewable Energy Update
November 15, 2017


Elizabeth Clark in memoriam

Allen Matkins - Nov 14 Elizabeth Clark, our colleague and fellow editor of the Renewable Energy Update, passed away on October 30, 2017. Elizabeth, who was Real Estate Senior Counsel in our San Francisco office, was a collaborative, supportive, and energetic colleague who put her time into the things she was passionate about: her clients, the legal community, her East Bay community, and environmental issues. Elizabeth will be sorely missed.

Wells Fargo global operations now powered by 100 percent renewable energy

PennEnergy - Nov 8 Wells Fargo & Company has announced that 100 percent of its global electricity consumption for 2017 will be met with renewable energy. The milestone means the company has met the first part of its commitment to purchase renewable energy to power 100 percent of global operations by the close of 2017, with a transition to long-term agreements that fund new sources of green power by 2020. To meet the demand for its more than 90 million square feet of real estate, including data centers, corporate offices, and branches, Wells Fargo purchased more than 2 million MWh of 2017 vintage Renewable Energy Certificates.

California utilities are exceeding state renewable energy goals

Solar Industry Magazine - Nov 14 The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has released its annual Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) report showing that the program, which is one of the most ambitious in the country, is ahead of target and is helping to achieve large reductions in costs for renewable electricity. As of 2017, the state’s three large investor-owned utilities surpassed interim targets and have sufficient resources under development to exceed the 33 percent by 2020 RPS requirement. Furthermore, the report says California’s RPS program has helped achieve large reductions in costs for renewable electricity. Between 2008 and 2016, the price of utility solar contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 77 percent, and between 2007 and 2015, prices of wind contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 47 percent.

Senate GOP tax bill preserves wind PTC, EV tax credits

Utility Dive - Nov 9 Senate Republicans last Thursday released details on a tax reform package that would preserve tax breaks for renewable energy and electric vehicles slated for reduction or elimination under a House bill. The Senate bill, released by leadership of the Finance Committee, would preserve the current $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles as well as a 2.3¢/kWh production tax credit for wind energy slated to sunset in 2020. The House bill would reduce the PTC to 1.5¢/kWh and eliminate the EV tax credit. Significant differences between the House and Senate bills – the Senate, for instance, wants to delay a cut in the corporate tax rate by one year – could make for contentious battles in reconciling the two versions of the legislation. 

Solar installers are getting closer to profitability

Renewable Energy World - Nov 10 There’s long been a Catch-22 about residential solar: despite staggering market demand, it’s been hard to make money doing it—until now. Sunrun Inc. said last Wednesday that it’s cash-flow positive. And Blackstone Group LP-backed Vivint Solar Inc. expects to hit that mark next year. Rooftop solar installers have chased growth in recent years, investing revenue into marketing and installations. The model helped fuel the expansion of residential power systems in the U.S., driven by leases and power-purchase agreements that require little to no upfront cash from consumers.  

California Department of Finance refuses to review City of Industry’s purchase of Tres Hermanos ranch

San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Nov 5 California’s top financial office will not challenge the City of Industry’s purchase of nearly 2,500 acres of ranch land along the edge of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange counties, clearing a hurdle for the city to move forward with plans to build a massive solar farm on the property. The state Department of Finance is “taking no action” on the sale of Tres Hermanos ranch, said Justyn Howard, a program budget manager for the agency, in a two-paragraph letter sent Thursday to Industry City Manager Paul Philips. The massive ranch east of the 57 Freeway is located entirely within the cities of Diamond Bar and Chino Hills, outside the boundaries of the City of Industry. The two cities had asked for a review following the approval of the sale of the property by the Oversight Board of Los Angeles County for a discounted price of $41.7 million. But the sale still isn’t final — Diamond Bar and Chino Hills both filed lawsuits in October alleging Industry and the Oversight Board failed to follow the state’s plan for the redevelopment properties dissolved in 2012 by Gov. Jerry Brown.

NV Energy and Apple lock in ‘lowest cost’ PPA prices as section 201 decision looms

PV-Tech - Nov 9 NV Energy has requested approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for three long-term PPAs in Nevada totaling 100 megawatts. The low cost projects come shortly after Section 201 recommendations for duties and quotas were made by the U.S. International Trade Commission that was met with disappointment from large swathes of the solar industry. President Trump is expected to make the final ruling on the case by early January in a decision that could have grave implications for the downstream market.

Vista Solar installing 2.5 MW for Shelter Creek Condominiums

Solar Industry Magazine - Nov 13 Vista Solar has been chosen by Shelter Creek Condominiums, a 1,296-unit multi-family development, to design and install a 2.5-megawatt solar project in San Bruno. According to Vista Solar, there will be eight phases of construction of the rooftop solar system, and once complete, the project will offset over 70 percent of the community’s annual electricity usage.

© 2017 Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP. All rights reserved. This email is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. This email was sent by: Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, 865 S Figueroa Street, Suite 2800, Los Angeles, California 90017. To stop receiving this publication, click on the "unsubscribe" button.

Barry H. Epstein Barry H. Epstein
Land Use & Development | Environmental & Natural Resources | Real Estate | Infrastructure | Energy & Utilities | Real Estate Transactions
San Francisco
(415) 273-7469
(415) 837-1516 (fax)
Email Barry

Devine William R William R. Devine
Land Use & Development | Real Estate | Environmental & Natural Resources | Investment Management Group | Residential & Multifamily | Real Estate Transactions
Orange County
(949) 851-5412
(949) 553-8354 (fax)
Email William

Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
Senior Counsel
Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use & Development
San Francisco
(415) 273-8413
(415) 837-1516 (fax)
Email Renée


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