Entries in Legislation (117)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Proposes Key Interconnection Rule, SEIA Applauds
Solar trade group cites proposed rule as major regulatory victory for U.S. solar energy industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) today praised a proposed rule issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that will, if finalized, expedite and reduce the cost of solar project interconnection while maintaining electric system reliability and safety.
In 2005, FERC issued Order No. 2006, which for the first time established national interconnection procedures applicable to generation projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject to FERC’s wholesale jurisdiction. Order No. 2006 was groundbreaking, and the procedures were voluntarily adopted by many states to apply to the retail interconnection process. However, demand for solar energy has grown dramatically since Order No. 2006 was issued more than seven years ago, and certain aspects of the Order have become unnecessary barriers to cost-effective and timely interconnections.
Seeing a need for updated federal standards, SEIA filed an interconnection rulemaking petition with FERC in February 2012. The proposed rule will allow solar projects that meet certain technical screens to qualify for a “fast track” interconnection process, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming studies. As a result, the amount of solar considered under the “fast track” processes is expected to as much as double.
Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA said, “We applaud FERC for recognizing the challenges facing wholesale distributed generation development, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of the solar energy industry. This important proposed rule has the potential to roughly double the amount of solar generation capacity eligible to be fast-tracked in the U.S. At the same time, the proposed rule maintains electric system safety and reliability. On behalf of our member companies, we look forward to working with FERC and interested stakeholders to see this rule to implementation and help to bring more affordable, reliable solar energy to the American people. SEIA also urges the states to consider using FERC’s proposed updated rule as a model and starting point for updating their own interconnection rules.”
- Solar Energy Industries Association: Interconnection Standards
- Solar Energy Industries Association: Wholesale Distributed Generation
- Solar Energy Industries Association: February 2012 FERC Filing on Small Generator Interconnection Procedure
- FERC Press Release: https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2013/2013-1/01-17-13-E-1.asp
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,100 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter reintroduced the Veterans Health Equity Act, to increase veterans’ access to health care in New Hampshire. This legislation requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that every state has a full-service veterans hospital or that similar services are made available through contracts with hospitals in the state. New Hampshire is currently the only state in the nation that does not have a full-service veterans hospital or equivalent access. Although there have been many improvements since Congresswoman Shea-Porter introduced this bill in 2008—expanded mental health facilities at the VAMC Manchester, a fully staffed full-time Vets Center in Conway, and a partnership with Concord Hospital to expand access to in-state medical—further improvements are needed to expand access to in-state medical care for New Hampshire’s veterans. This is a matter of fairness.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter said, “I look forward to working with veterans and veteran service organizations to push for expanded health care and services. Thanking veterans for their service means honoring our commitments to them.”
· In the 110th Congress, Congresswoman Shea-Porter sent letters to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, James Peake, and met with him to discuss the need for full-service health care in New Hampshire.
· Congresswoman Shea-Porter introduced the Veterans Health Equity Act of 2008 (H.R. 6629) on July 29, 2008, to provide either a full-service veteran’s hospital or access to comparable services in-state for New Hampshire veterans.
· On September 9, 2008, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs reviewed Shea-Porter’s legislation, and she testified before the committee about the need to ensure in-state access to health care for our veterans.
· At the beginning of the 111th Congress, Congresswoman Shea-Porter reintroduced her legislation, the Veterans Health Equity Act of 2009 (H.R. 190), on January 9, 2009, to require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to restore the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire to a full-service VA hospital or provide our veterans with comparable in-state care through local health care providers. Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced the companion bill in the Senate on January 14, 2009.
· In July of 2009, the VA announced that it would expand its community partnership with Concord Hospital, meaning that New Hampshire veterans have in-state access to acute inpatient hospital care from the VA. The VA has also upgraded mental health facilities at the VAMC Manchester.
· In 2010, the Conway Community Based Outpatient Clinic opened, operating five days a week, fully staffed by VA medical personnel.
WASHINGTON, DC, JAN. 9, 2013 – In his State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced an expansion of New York State’s NY-Sun Initiative for solar energy, funding it with an additional $150 million per year over the next 10 years. The governor also announced plans to create a $1 billion green bank, as well as his appointment of Richard Kauffman as New York’s chairman for energy policy and finance.
Launched last year, NY-Sun is intended to help quadruple the amount of customer-sited solar in New York. This initiative is aimed at providing additional certainty to solar developers, attracting significant private investment in solar photovoltaic systems, enabling the sustainable development of a robust solar power industry in New York, creating additional quality jobs, improving the reliability of the electric grid, and reducing air pollution.
“Today’s announcement shows New York State is making tremendous strides in its commitment to expanding solar deployment and growing its clean energy economy,” said Carrie Cullen Hitt, senior vice president for state affairs at SEIA. “We applaud Governor Cuomo for advancing policies that promote clean energy innovation, create jobs, protect the environment, and help ensure our nation’s energy security and independence. The NY-Sun Initiative has put New York State at the forefront of new solar deployment, creating clean economy jobs while containing energy costs for consumers. This expansion of the NY-Sun Initiative, the creation of a $1 billion green bank, as well as the appointment of former Department of Energy official Richard Kauffman as New York State’s chairman for energy policy and finance, will ensure that solar becomes an increasingly significant component in New York’s energy portfolio while supporting solar’s affordability for more New York State families and businesses. We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to move this initiative forward.”
Since 2008, the amount of solar powering U.S. homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by more than 500 percent – from 1,100 megawatts to more than 6,400 megawatts today, which is enough to power more than one million average American households. Solar is the fastest-growing and most affordable, accessible and reliable clean energy technology available today. America’s solar industry now employs more than 119,000 workers at 5,600 companies – most of which are small businesses spread across every state in the union.
New York State is currently ranked 12th among states in terms of installed solar capacity, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight® report. There are approximately 3,300 solar professionals working at 338 companies in New York.
- SEIA: New York Solar Policy: http://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/new-york
- Outline of Gov. Cuomo’s 2013 Agenda: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/01092013-cuomo-agenda-2013
- NY-Sun Initiative website: http://ny-sun.ny.gov/
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
CONCORD, N.H.—Rep. Peter Sullivan of Manchester has done Maggie Hassan’s dirty work by filing a bill to create a one percent personal income tax for New Hampshire, the second known new tax that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would consider if she’s elected governor following her admission last week that she would “have a discussion” about raising the gas tax.
“Unless Maggie is willing to say today that she would veto Peter Sullivan’s personal income tax bill, voters have to assume that —like a gas tax increase—New Hampshire’s first personal income tax would also be on the table for discussion in a Hassan Administration,” said 4RG Chairman Andrew Hemingway. “It’s truly a shame that voters will have to keep guessing what Maggie Hassan’s spending, borrowing and taxing plan for New Hampshire will look like, but it’s safe to say that significant tax and fee increases are coming if Hassan gets elected.”
Rep. Sullivan, a Democrat from Manchester’s Ward 3 (Hillsborough 10), filed Legislative Services Request 2013-H-0191-L during the bill-filing period for incumbents that just ended last Wednesday. The bill, which is now scheduled to be introduced for the 2013 Legislative Session once Sullivan takes his seat, establishes a one percent personal income tax for all New Hampshire residents. Just like income taxes created in other states, this one would start small and then build as Democratic politicians find more uses for citizens’ money. Even at one percent, the income tax would destroy the N.H. Advantage.
“Thankfully, voters will have a choice on the ballot this November to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban any new tax on personal income in New Hampshire, so Rep. Sullivan’s bill could be a moot point if voters pass question one,” Hemingway said. “Yet, Democrats like Maggie Hassan are campaigning against question one, so clearly they think an income tax should be part of the discussion.
“Maggie Hassan needs to come clean and reassure voters that she would veto the one percent personal income tax bill filed by Rep. Sullivan and honor her pledge to reject a broad-based tax for New Hampshire,” Hemingway said. “Her only alternative is to come clean with voters and present her detailed spending and taxation plan for the state. If she were honest with voters and confident that they want what she’s selling, she would announce the new taxes that would be a part of her agenda. I’m confident that a gas tax increase and the personal income tax sponsored by Rep. Sullivan would be just the first of many new taxes on the list.”
4RG, which means “For a Republican Governor,” was founded by Andrew Hemingway as a PAC focused exclusively on supporting Republican candidates for governor. 4RG intends to fill voids in grassroots organizing, polling, door knocking and literature drops for Republican governor candidates all across the country. Additionally, the organization will promote its candidates online using social media technology developed by the founder. Please donate to 4RG to help us augment Republican governor campaign activities where we’re needed most, which will slowly help us work to restore our state governments as the strong Republics they once were. For more information, visit www.4RG.org.