Solar Panel Expansion

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China is the primary source for solar panels worldwide, producing over 60% of the world’s solar photovoltaics (PV). While the PV industry hasn’t completely dodged the impacts of the pandemic, the solar market is expected to achieve record installations and developments in 2020. Trina Solar, one of the leading solar panel manufacturers across the globe, has announced plans for solar expansion at its factory in Jiangsu province, with JA Solar and ZNshine Solar to follow suit. This exciting news is great for US solar development, as it keeps the supply-demand up and costs down, even during this difficult time. 


Trina Solar shared its plan to expand cell production output by 10 GW. The global leader of solar solutions, known for their innovation and dedication to sustainability, said it will use this new capacity to produce cells compatible with 210 mm wafers. The goal is for 26 GW of solar capacity by the end of 2021, with 70% devoted to 210 mm size wafers. This ingenious plan will roll out in two phases. The first phase will deploy 7.6 GW of new production lines, and in the second phase, it will retrofit 2.4 GW of its existing capacity at the current site to accommodate 210 mm wafers. Trina Solar will invest over CNY 3 billion and CNY 800 million to achieve these ambitious goals. 


JA Solar announced a strategy aimed to ramp up wafer production by 20 GW. The high-performance PV production company signed a contract with the municipal government of Qujing looking to deploy 20 GW of wafer production capacity. Their capacity expansion plan will spend CNY5.8 billion to achieve this. 


ZNshine Solar’s expansion plan includes bolstering its PV module output capacity by 10 GW or more. The solar module manufacturer will build a new production facility in Suqian to help achieve this objective and will roll out its expansion plan in two phases, similar to Trina Solar. The first phase deploys a total capacity of 4 GW by the end of November and the second phase will add another 6 GW by the end of 2021.     

This news comes at an integral point in the PV industry. The market has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis but continues to chug along with these exciting advancements and expansion plans from some of the biggest names in solar production. At Intersect Energy, we look forward to seeing this continued growth. If you’re interested in lowering your facility’s energy costs and utilizing highly desirable clean energy, contact us today. To stay up-to-date with all the latest solar news, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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How the Solar Community Has Powered Through a Pandemic

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solar community powering through pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted almost every household, business, and industry across the world. The solar industry has not been spared, suffering massive layoffs, significant project delays, uncertainty, and a downgrade of commercial solar demand. At the beginning of 2020, the global markets were strong. Market predictions were seeing an upward trend for the outlook of solar, with community solar being the fastest-growing segment of the solar industry. According to NREL, as we entered 2020, the United States had 1.3 GW of community solar already built with another 1.8 GW in the works.  

Despite the challenges that the novel coronavirus has presented, community solar has shown promising results of weathering the adverse effects of the pandemic. While the whole solar community is still showing some degree of pain, community solar has remained a resilient segment of the solar landscape. Many attribute this to persistent consumer demand and new market expansions in major global markets, including Massachusetts, Colorado, and New Jersey.   

Given the adaptability, flexibility, and reliability of community solar, many agree this segment is well-equipped to handle almost anything, including the fallings out due to the pandemic. Many community solar projects are even hiring additional workers to support current and upcoming projects. 

COVID-19 has caused many drastic changes in everyday life—from social distancing practices being the new normal to many offices and businesses before forced to shut down or pivot to remote work. Despite these changes, community solar has aligned well with many of them, including:  

  • Many more people are spending time at home, which means more online shopping. This integrates seamlessly with community solar’s digital sign up process.
  • Many residents are also tightening their budgets, and we’ve seen the immense savings solar installations have granted to individuals in the last few years. 
  • Community solar has a “touchless” customer experience, which perfectly aligns with recommended social distancing guidelines. 
  • Community solar is a great way to support local businesses as the growing demand for keeping track and knowing where your services are coming from is becoming more and more popular.

All these reasons just further prove how community solar can help homeowners’ transition into the new normal. The adaptability of the solar community has helped customers with their financial worries because electricity savings are especially important during this time of economic uncertainty. Many community programs don’t require an upfront cost, which allows customers the ability to offset all or only some of their electricity usage. The flexibility of community solar has given residents the freedom to adjust or cancel their subscription as they see fit. Gone are the days of being locked into a 10+ year contract, with many community solar projects offering a waitlist to customers to fill a project and continue its growth. 

In addition to the many savings community solar has provided to homeowners, the solar programs also support tax or PILOT revenues for the cities, townships, and communities where the installations are constructed. The money stays within the community, proving to be especially important during the pandemic. 

In the wake of the economic turndown, one thing is clear—the growing need for the transition to accessible and affordable renewable energy. As more consumers turn to community solar for its affordability, resiliency, and adaptability, we believe it will just continue to grow stronger. Here at Intersect Energy, we’re a Distributed Energy Resource developer dedicated to providing turnkey services to our customers in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts. From initial assessment and design services to construction management and financing, we can help you achieve clean, green energy for your commercial or industrial solar energy development project. To stay up-to-date with all the latest solar news, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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$1.5 Trillion Moving Forward Act Includes Climate Change Benefits

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The House Democrats have recently introduced the progressive Moving Forward Act. If signed into law, the $1.5 trillion bill will offer pro-solar and pro-storage benefits while focusing on building new infrastructure in the transportation division. Over the next five years, the bill aims to reimagine the transportation industry by making stand-alone energy store investment tax credit (ITC) eligible and extending a 30% ITC through 2025. By voting this Act into place, the bill could help meet the demands of alleviating climate change while providing jobs to many Americans across the country. 

Abigail Ross Hopper, the president and CEO of the Solar Industries Association (SEIA) states, “We know that with the right policies in place, including many of those proposed in the Moving Forward Act, clean energy can add hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and perhaps a million or more jobs back into the economy,”.

ITC eligibility in the solar storage workspace could help counteract the ongoing pandemic-related impacts felt throughout the industry. Widespread project delays, reduced revenues, and record job losses have ravaged the solar sector since the start of COVID-19 and this bill hopes to address that.   

More than $70 billion would go towards transforming the electric grid. This includes making it more accommodating to renewable energy by expanding deployment, building new infrastructure, and establishing an electric vehicle (EV) charging network. From a financial standpoint, the Moving Forward Act also hopes to grant renewable energy access to low-income households and underserviced solar areas. Another grant program within the Act looks to provide public schools with solar improvements to help reduce energy costs.  

While the fate of this bill is uncertain, the House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Moving Forward Act before the end of the month.

Many Americans support policies that aim to promote a clean and green energy future. With the Moving Forward Act in place, we’re one step closer to achieving just that. At Intersect Energy, we support the Houses’ attitude regarding the solar parts of the infrastructure proposal and would like to see bi-partisan support for it. While it would have been a great policy to implement before the start of the pandemic, we recognize the need and importance of it now to create jobs and provide clean, affordable energy. For all the latest solar energy happenings, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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How Renewables Could Help Solve Climate Change

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The global pandemic, COVID-19, has sent the federal government into a sort of frenzy. The crisis has forced the government to step up in this time of need and provide incentives to help sustain the U.S. economy. While this is necessary to avoid a depression, it comes at a price—the federal debt amount is spiking and it will need to be repaid somehow. Combining this pressure with the growing problem of climate change will result in a challenge that we have yet to surmise. We believe that renewable energy will be one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against climate change. 


In years past, the federal government’s climate-related disaster recovery spending was already reaching astronomical numbers. In 2017 alone, Congress allotted $136 billion in additional funding for disaster recovery, costing taxpayers about $1,000. This money goes to repairing federally owned properties, insurance, making structures stable, and disaster aid. 


Climate Disaster Spending

Last year, 14 billion-dollar disasters occurred, the fifth year in a row with more than 10. Research suggests that the future projections aren’t looking too promising, either. Reports from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that the average annual number of catastrophes causing over a billion-dollars’ worth of damages over the past five years has doubled the average over the past four decades. The administration warned that this is directly correlated to climate change. 


In 2018, the federal government’s national climate assessment predicted continued warming stating, “it is expected to cause substantial net damage to the U.S. economy throughout this century, especially in the absence of increased adaptation efforts.” BlackRock, a global investment firm goes on to suggest that if we continue to use fossil fuels, by the year 2050 we will see a 275% increase in major hurricane risk. PG&E, California’s utility company was forced to file for bankruptcy last year when devastating wildfires ripped across the state causing over $30 billion in damages. 


While the federal government will have to cover these losses, state and local governments will struggle because they cannot borrow money as the federal government can. States overwhelmed with disaster costs will be forced to turn to the federal government for assistance. Additionally, banks are moving risky mortgages onto government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. With the climate worsening, defaults will rise as the federal government will be personally liable. The Federal Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program is over $20 billion in debt. Debt projections continue to increase, and the federal deficit is expected to reach $4 trillion in 2020. 

What can be done to reduce our world from the exposure to climate-related disasters? Experts suggest cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing spending to bolster infrastructure when faced with extreme climate catastrophes. Greenhouse gas emissions have been dramatically increasing over the years but we’re seeing a positive uptick in wind and solar energy. Advancements to solar equipment and huge cost improvements are making renewables increasingly more competitive with fossil fuels. 


Carbon Tax for Change

We recognize we have a choice between a carbon tax or a climate disaster tax. A carbon tax can directly reduce and eliminate the use of fossil fuels that are rapidly destroying our climate as well as provide revenue, job opportunities, and encourage organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. While this may not affect climate change directly for some time, it’s a positive step to take to reduce emissions worldwide and better prepare the United States for other crises that arise, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

At Intersect Energy, we are a developer of renewable energy. We recognize New Jersey’s Master Energy plan for reducing the state’s carbon footprint and fully support this initiative to address climate change. We’re here to provide you with the most up-to-date information and current energy news in our area. For all the latest solar happenings, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.



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New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition’s New Initiative to Electrify Transportation

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The New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition (NJCC) has reported a new initiative that could prove major for the electrification of New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure. In March 2020, New Jersey happily saw $20 million in proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This is the first payout since they rejoined the agreement. This initiative is the first of its kind—a mandatory, market-based program aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US. These proceeds will not only help New Jersey reduce their emissions but trailblaze the way for new solar sectors installations, technologies, and ecological restoration projects as well as create better financing mechanisms and improve solar vehicle technologies. 


According to the Strategic Funding Plan, developed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Board of Public Utilities, and the Economic Development Agency, 60% of funds will be allotted to the Economic Development Agency, and 40% will be split up between the Board of Public Utilities, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The funding plan goes into further detail, outlining four main initiatives including organizing clean transportation, creating a Green Bank for the state, promoting blue carbon in the world’s coastal ocean ecosystems, and boosting forests. 


As of April 17th, the New Jersey Economic Development Agency released the state’s plan of investing $80 million annually in “programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, drive forward projects that boost clean energy and create jobs, protect the health of residents in environmental justice communities, and increase the resiliency of coastal communities.” 


New Jersey’s Climate Change Policy and 2020 Energy Master Plan

In Governor Phil Murphy’s 2020 Energy Master Plan, his administration has set a statewide goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The initiatives mentioned above were also a part of his climate change policy approach. New Jersey formally re-entered the emission trading agreement in early 2020 after two years of being on the outs. They rejoined alongside Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island. The state had been one of the original participants in the regional program. The proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will be used to aid the initiatives and support the goal of Governor Murphy’s 100% carbon-neutral electricity generation by 2050, with a focus on the state’s largest emitter—the transportation sector.


The state of New Jersey houses over 9 million residents, 21 counties and over 500 municipalities, making it one of the most densely populated states in the US. Out of over 6 million vehicles registered in New Jersey, almost 4 million are cars and the remaining 2 million are trucks and other commercial vehicles. With those facts and figures in place, no one is surprised by the transportation sector’s emissions, accounting for 71% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 42% in greenhouse gas emissions. Because of the location of the state, and its many roadways and waterways, there are significant transportation related challenges New Jersey will have to overcome to achieve 100% carbon-neutrality.


Emissions in EJ Communities in New Jersey

Because of location, most Environmental Justice (EJ) communities in New Jersey grapple with the transportation sector’s emissions. Oftentimes, low-income housing is located along the major road and waterways of these sectors, leading to higher rates of pollution in these areas. This causes health conditions like asthma, lung disease, and cancer for many. Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan takes this into account and recognizes the need to reduce the emissions from the transportation sector so the EJ communities start feeling some relief. This is where the initiatives of the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan comes into play. As stated, this plan is focused on organizing clean and stable transportation with a focus on electrification, which is echoed throughout Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan. Both plans highlight the need for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at multi-family homes, hotels, and places of business as well as light-, medium-, and heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) charging stations at commercial and industrial institutions. 


New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Using VW Trust

Along with the funds from the RGGI’s plan, the NJDEP aims to use the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust to help fund over $35 million worth of projects to replace old machinery and vehicles to ones that run on electricity. Additionally, the VW Mitigation Trust will assist with EV charging station infrastructure and design, allotting another $7.6 million.

Commissioner Catherine McCabe stated, “New Jersey’s transportation sector is a major source of both greenhouse gases and pollutants that threaten the health of our residents. This injection of millions of dollars will grow the clean energy economy and protect our residents against climate threats.” 

Supplementary Initiatives Aimed to Electrify NJ’s Transportation Sector

Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, the RGGI Funding Plan and now the VW Mitigation Trust are all huge successes in New Jersey’s move to electrify the transportation sector. Additional initiatives include:

  • Increase in electric vehicle use – increased legislation and goals for more sales of public charging stations for EVs.
  • Partnership to Plug In initiative – this statewide partnership aims to build out and support necessary infrastructure for EVs in New Jersey.
  • It Pay$ to Plug-In Program – this program provides rebates to offset the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging stations. 
  • NESCAUM Statement of Intent – this understanding hopes to advance the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles.


While these initiatives are all strongly supported by the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, they have noticed none of these plans include other renewable energy sources, like natural gas, which is cheaper and more widely available. At Intersect Energy, we’re here to provide you with the most current energy news and comprehensive green solutions in our area. For all the latest solar energy happenings, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.  

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Pollinator-Friendly Solar Initiatives

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One of the largest and most controversial factors that can potentially disrupt a solar install project is the location. The location is extremely important for likely solar sites and can oftentimes be met with local resistance. Solar cynics like to argue that the site is sitting on potentially productive land as well as the “industrial chic decor” of the installation itself isn’t a very welcomed sight.

We do have some good news to report for these controversial solar initiatives—according to a widening body of research, this resistance can be met with support if the solar projects are designed with greener, cleaner solutions in place. One trend we’re seeing that’s gaining momentum across the country is “pollinator-friendly” landscaping. This idea swaps out the use of gravel and turf to cover the exposed soil with pollinator-friendly vegetation, like grasses, native greenery, and wildflowers. The idea behind this practice is to encourage bees and other pollinators to visit these solar project sites, which is essential for helping boost and maintain local agriculture. 

Pollinators play an integral role in agricultural production in the United States, with approximately one quarter depending upon pollinators. Clearing out large fields for solar projects (1 MW of solar requires 5 to 10 acres of land) to be installed comes at the expense of these pollinators, who depend on this space for shelter and food. Pollinator-friendly landscaping is a common-sense solution to halt this happening and these areas can be potentially conserved for the future return to agriculture.   


Benefits of Pollinator-Friendly Solar Sites

Choosing pollinator-friendly landscaping while designing a solar site has many advantages. For starters, it can help to boost the overall output of the solar installation. A solar site covered with gravel, turf or crushed rock “can cut the solar project efficiency by half a percent for every two degrees of temperature increase above 77 degrees Fahrenheit”, says Rob Davis, director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy. “Thicker vegetation helps you mitigate the effects of heat and keep your solar farm operating at peak temperature.” says Davis. Other benefits developers have noticed are improved water and soil quality because of the deep root systems of the pollinator-friendly plants, as well as lower construction and solar site maintenance costs and improved economic impacts, like the introduction of solar honey.

Georgena Terry, author of a report on pollinator-friendly state policies also points out that these initiatives garner support from stakeholders because they are “feel-good initiatives that “have few detractors and appeal to both sides of the aisle.”


Pollinator-Friendly Solar Laws and Programs

A handful of states (7) now have pollinator-friendly solar landscaping design laws in place. In 2016, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a pollinator-friendly law, followed by Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont. While Virginia has no specific laws in place, they have developed their own program, Pollinator Smart, designed to “provide incentives and tools for the solar industry to adopt a native plant strategy to meet soil and water control regulations, community needs, and the needs of our biosphere.”  

Many regions with no firm pollinator-friendly laws in place have developed their own unique programs that vary slightly. A common thread was seen throughout each program and that’s the use of a pollinator-friendly scorecard. This scorecard provides developers with entomologist-approved standards that are beneficial for the pollinators. 

 With more and more states gaining support and adopting successful programs and practices in favor of pollinator-friendly solar projects, we don’t see this trend slowing down any time soon. As Rob Davis has stated, “We’d really like to ensure that the land under and around the panels is benefiting us as much as the clean energy is.” At Intersect Energy, we always provide innovative and efficient green solar solutions to our clients. Stay up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on LinkedIn.

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Solar, Wind and Hydropower Renewables Displacing Fossil Fuels During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Many states across the country have been forced into mandatory lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The lockdowns have significantly lowered air pollution and global emissions are expected to decline by at least 8% this year during the pandemic. In a study conducted by the International Energy Agency, (IEA) their findings suggest that during the remainder of 2020, renewable energy will be “the only energy source likely to experience demand growth”. As the economy slowly recovers, experts assume that the fossil fuel industry will take a hit and the U.S. will be one step closer to using clean, renewable energy. Since the beginning of May, the U.S. has produced more renewable energy than coal-fired power for 40 straight days. Generation from sources like solar, wind and hydropower have completely overtaken fossil fuels making this an incredible milestone for renewable energy. 

In the IEA’s Global Energy Review 2020 report, they examined the similarities and differences that the pandemic has had on all global energy systems. Their findings through mid-April show that countries undergoing a full lockdown are experiencing an average “25% decline in energy demand per week”. Global oil demand, nuclear power plants and natural gas all declined in the first quarter of 2020 while renewable energy demand increased by almost 2%. For many that lobby against the support of renewables, the Global Energy Review 2020 pointed out that the priority dispatch, which helps with the integration of renewable energy into the electricity system to promote security of supply and sustainability, is the main reason why renewables have proven resilient in these unprecedented times when the demand for energy is low. 

A Recovering Economy 

As economies across the world prepare their recovery plans post pandemic, the IEA predicts the global energy demand will fall by at least 6% this year. Coal-fired power will fall more than 10%, with gas consumption seeing its biggest fall in history, a record 5% slump. Oil demand will drop by 9% in 2020 due to limited mobility and aviation restrictions, while nuclear power is expected to fall 3% since last year. Carbon emissions will see their largest fall ever, with the IEA predicting an almost 8% drop but warning of a rebound that could be larger than ever once things return to normal. Solar and wind power have risen to 9% in the first quarter of 2020 due to warmer weather, lower gas prices and more renewables that were added to the grid in 2019 as well as the significant dip in electricity demand due to individuals staying home. All in all, renewable energy has accounted for over 25% of generation in the first quarter of 2020. 

While energy systems across the globe have suffered, there still lies some uncertainty with the small scale solar sector. Because of the lockdowns, installations have slowed or stopped all together. The uncertainty of the economy is sure to halt any homeowners’ future plans for solar rooftop installation or at least postpone them for the time being. While the trend of renewable ascension is expected to continue, experts are now hopeful that solar, wind and hydro energy will exceed coal consumption into 2021, with the COVID-19 crisis accelerating this change. Little was mentioned in the report regarding energy storage

Regardless of what happens during the economic recovery, one statement reflected the damage that could be done to the fossil fuel industry in the long run, stating, ”Renewables are the only energy source likely to experience demand growth across the remainder of 2020 regardless of the length of lockdown or strength of recovery”.

Here at Intersect Energy, we’re a Distributed Energy Resource developer dedicated to providing turnkey services to our customers. We provide initial assessment and design services, construction management and financing. Regardless of what the future holds, we are here to provide all the latest news and resources as well as our desirable green energy solutions. To receive the most up-to-date news, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn

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800 MW of Rooftop Solar Added to the Northeastern United States in 2019

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Solar contractors across nine Northeastern states added about 800 MW of small-scale installations in 2019, with New Jersey and New York making up about three-fifths of the total installed capacity. Contractors generally refer to these small scale-installations or rooftop solar panels as installations smaller than one megawatt. In 2020, The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) hopes to see New Jersey and New York continuing to be trailblazers, renewing their current solar initiative plan and expanding on their current one, respectively.

In the past 12 months, we saw Massachusetts lead in cumulative rooftop installations per capita, with Vermont and New Jersey trailing closely behind in second and third. Rhode Island took the lead in rooftop solar installation additions per capita in 2019 by a two-to-one margin. Maine and Pennsylvania were the only two states in 2019 that did not exceed the U.S. national average of 69 watts of rooftop solar per capita, with New York and New Hampshire needing to establish a hefty amount of rooftop solar installations this year to keep that honor.

State Policy Goals

Regardless of the size of solar installation, the technology used, or where it’s located, local, state and federal policies have a major impact on the success of distributed solar initiatives. SEIA helps support these initiatives statewide by being engaged with policymakers in Washington, D.C. Several groups in the Northeast shared their policy goals and plans for 2020, with all of them hoping to continue the forward momentum into the future.

New Jersey

New Jersey’s current plan is set to expire, so looking ahead, SEIA is looking for a replacement program to install at least another 3 GW of distributed solar, short-term. Vote Solar, whose mission is to make solar a more mainstream energy resource, is pressing for $125 million per year in state funding; which will provide 250,000 lower income families the opportunity to go solar by 2030 with 400 megawatts of solar storage. Pari Kasotia, Vote Solar’s Mid-Atlantic Director says, “By focusing on low-income families, we are ensuring that on-bill savings, which are more difficult for low-income families to access, are available to everyone.”

New York

SEIA is pushing for state funding for New York’s agency, NYSERDA. This petition requests $573 million to help meet a state goal of 6 GW of distributed solar capacity by 2025. Vote Solar’s goal in New York is to serve 250,000 low income families with solar so everyone in the community can participate in the state initiative for cleaner energy.


Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) is a sustainable solar initiative program that promotes cost-effective solar development in Massachusetts. Vote Solar’s goal in Massachusetts is to simplify the program so that low-income families will have the chance to go solar without needing to sign a contract. SEIA is more focused on the solar project sites of the SMART program. David Gahl, SEIA’s Senior Director of Northeast state affairs states, “The program applies an incentive subtractor for certain distributed solar projects built on green fields and previously undisturbed property. This is essentially a penalty that’s assessed on a cent per kilowatt-hour basis.” SEIA would like to see an approach that more clearly designates the type of parcel where the solar installations would be applied.

Solar Potential for the Future

The solar potential across the U.S. is greater than it may seem, especially in the Northeast. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) created a solar potential map of the U.S., where at first glance, the map is very misleading. It highlights the Southwestern desert as a hotspot for solar potential, then, as you move across the U.S., it appears the potential dramatically drops off, which isn’t true. In fact, there’s solar potential everywhere across the continental United States.

At Intersect Energy, we offer innovative and efficient solutions for renewable energy. We help commercial and industrial companies with solar energy development projects in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Our solutions reduce operating costs and sources of local green energy. To keep up with all the latest news in renewable energy, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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New Jersey Unveils Master Plan for 14 GW More Solar Energy Through 2035 and Beyond

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is making a pledge to fight climate change in his 290-page document that outlines the state’s master energy plan. This extensive plan includes electrification initiatives that call for more solar charging vehicles and solar heating buildings. The master plan has a goal of 17 GW of solar by 2035, and given the 3 GW of existing solar, speculations suggest that this goal can be comfortably met by adding just 950 MW of solar each year through 2035 and 400 MW of distributed energy each year through 2030.

By 2050, the governor would like to reach 32 GW of solar, 11 GW of offshore wind and 9 GW of solar battery storage. What do all these numbers look like in the grand scheme of things? New Jersey’s ambitious least-cost clean energy strategy hopes to reach 50% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050. New Jersey’s master plan is further aiming to slash greenhouse gas emissions, greatly reducing the state’s contribution to climate change.

A least cost strategy was supported and identified through analysis from the Rocky Mountain Institute. The master plan starts New Jersey on a path towards reducing its carbon emissions by 80% and reaching 100% carbon-neutral electrical generation by 2050. In order to meet these goals, future costs of solar and solar storage would have to meet the “low” forecast as stated in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Annual Technology Baseline. New Jersey’s transportation, electricity and buildings will all have to reduce their emissions significantly in the upcoming years to meet the clean energy targets by 2050.

New Jersey’s Extensive Clean Energy Initiative

Looking at those levels of solar capacity, New Jersey’s current electricity load would double, with electrification of 90% of space and water heating in many buildings as well as must vehicles running on the power of the sun. Governor Murphy called this master plan a way of “weaning the state off its century-old addiction to fossil fuels.”

The energy strategy will cost almost the same as “business as usual”, increasing the energy system spending by only 0.2% of gross state product in the next 30 years and further reducing total costs when you count clean air health benefits and the social cost of carbon. In this strategy scenario, New Jersey is including fossil fuels but making an effort to be zero-carbon biogas and hydrogen by 2050 and beyond.

New Jersey—A State of Firsts

In one of the most important, seven key strategies of Governor Murphy’s master plan, New Jersey state law will now not sign off on a proposed building project if it “does not align with our broader efforts to combat climate change.” says Murphy, further adding “It will either need to be amended, or it will not be approved. In this, New Jersey will lead the nation and set the standard.”

This radical need for change and positive forward movement comes from the challenges the Governor recognizes that the state of New Jersey is imminently facing. With steadily rising sea levels along the Jersey coast and the harmful effects of fossil fuel emissions affecting the health of millions, this master energy plan looks to help abolish some of these challenges. At Intersect Energy, our turnkey energy solutions provide further assistance to the efforts put forth by the state of New Jersey. We offer assessment, design, financing, installation and alternative energy management to commercial and industrial companies who are looking to lessen their carbon footprint. For continued news in renewable energy, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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Renewable Energy Predictions for 2020

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2019 saw an abundance of clean energy dominance in the United States. From 11 states having a 100% commitment or achievement to clean energy to solar and solar battery storage prices becoming more and more affordable throughout the country, clean, renewable energy is here to stay. With that being said, we’re looking to the future. What will 2020 hold? What can we expect from clean energy in the next decade?

Solar+ Decade

SEIA, the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry, announced that the 2020’s would be the Solar+ Decade. Their radical vision predicts that by the end of the decade, solar energy will account for 20% of all U.S. electricity generation. This is an attainable goal thanks to progressions in clean energy sources and solar storage systems.

If successful, not only will this initiative be great for the environment, it will also bring about new job opportunities, cleaner air, lower energy bills, better health and add billions of dollars back into the United States economy. With solar popularity soaring, prices will continue to fall, and SEIA predicts solar installations will hit a record high of 19 gigawatts this year, enough to power over 3 million homes.

Policy Change

For this vision to become a reality, Congress and the White House will need to create pro-solar policies and put an end to solar tariffs. Tax policies will need to be updated and trade laws must propel growth. State policies must continue with their forward momentum—carving out specific renewable standards that create opportunities for all forms of solar generation.

A recent financial sector survey states that between now and 2030, the U.S. private investment in renewable energy could reach up to $1 trillion. Achieving this would greatly help with renewable growth, promoting technologies like storage systems, modernized transmission systems and the deployment of pollution-free renewable power.

End of an Era for Coal and Natural Gas

More than half of today’s electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels. But, since 2010, we have seen a rapid decline in the use of coal, with over 500 coal-fired power units closing. We see this decline continue into the future as renewable energy has been beating coal on cost in parts all over the country. In 2018, 74% of U.S. coal plants were more expensive than renewables, with coal generation falling 18%.

2020 and beyond will also hope to see the demise of natural gas. Causing the unnecessary heating of our planet, carbon pollution and harmful health factors, the need to stop burning gas has never been greater. Gas has now replaced coal as being among the largest source of carbon pollution in many parts of the country. Most gas is burned in areas that are densely populated. Because policymakers are concerned about dirty air and clean energy is now cheaper than gas, many cities are banning the use of gas in new construction.

The road may be rocky and cluttered with obstructions, but we believe the solar industry will expand exponentially this decade. While ambitious, the goal of 20% clean energy generation is achievable. At Intersect Energy, our goals align with SEIA. We believe our solar development projects can help to maximize the economic benefits for our clients. Let’s continue this forward progression into the future. For all your green energy needs, look to the professionals at Intersect Energy. To keep up with all the latest news in renewable energy, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

  Category: Energy News
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