Mitsubishi Electric Solar Panels Pass Rigorous Mechanical Load Test

Withstanding up to 120 psf of snow / 216 mph wind updraft

CYPRESS, CA - August 14, 2017 - Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Photovoltaic Division announced the successful test result of its Diamond Pro™ MJE photovoltaic (PV) module at 120 pounds per square foot (psf), one of the highest ratings in the industry.  This test load is four times the required ANSI/UL 1703 load of 30 psf. 

The Diamond Pro™ was tested in both positive (snow) and negative (wind) directions based on the 2016 harmonized UL 1703 and IEC 61215 revised standard. Intertek administered the independent, third-party performance testing of product samples at its Lake Forest, California laboratory. 

"Together we developed a customized compliance plan for Mitsubishi Electric to meet all applicable requirements, including becoming one of the first to have product samples pass a mechanical test load of 120 psf in both positive and negative directions," said Sunny Rai, vice president of Electrical at Intertek.  "They were also one of the first PV module manufacturers to test and receive an ANSI/UL 1703 Type 2 class rating." Intertek has been committed to supporting clients like Mitsubishi Electric in total quality assurance for over 130 years.

"Safety and reliability have been at the forefront of Mitsubishi Electric photovoltaic products since our entry into the solar industry in 1974," said Gina Heng, vice president and general manager of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., Photovoltaic Division.  "In accordance with our corporate sustainability goals, Mitsubishi Electric uses lead free solder, a safer option for the environment."  The company's PV modules are built with a four-layer junction box with electrical connections completely encapsulated by the highest flame retardant used in the industry, UL94 V-0.  Mitsubishi Electric proactively tested and passed ANSI/UL 1703 new fire classification requirements nearly a year before the 2016 testing deadline imposed by the California Building Code (CBC) and the California Residential Code (CRC).


About Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.'s Photovoltaic Division

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. sells high quality solar panels to deliver clean, reliable energy to its customers throughout the world. With more than 90 years of electronics manufacturing expertise and 40 years' experience developing solar power technology, Mitsubishi Electric is one of the most established solar providers in the industry. Residential, commercial, and government customers can count on the 25-year solar module limited warranty offered by Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. to enhance their return on investment. Additional information and terms of the limited warranty are available at www.MitsubishiElectricSolar.com or by calling 714.220.2500.

In addition to solar modules, Mitsubishi Electric US group companies' principal businesses include semiconductor devices, automotive electrical components, elevators and escalators, factory automation products and services, heating and cooling products, electric utility products, and large-scale video displays for stadiums and arenas. Mitsubishi Electric US group companies have roughly 31 locations throughout North America with approximately 4,000 employees.

Media Contact:

Brooke Behunin
Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
714-220-6885
brooke.behunin@meus.mea.com

About Intertek

Total Quality. Assured.
Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 42,000 people in more than 100 countries, delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers' operations and supply chains. Intertek Total Quality Assurance expertise, delivered consistently with precision, pace and passion, enabling our customers to power ahead safely.
intertek.com 

Media Contact:

Cheryl Prejsnar
Intertek
Public Relations Manager
+1 630-481-3185
cheryl.prejsnar@intertek.com

 

Terasaki Budokan Community Center Breaks Ground With Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Solar Power Donation

New Little Tokyo Sports Facility Will Save An Estimated $366,000 With Solar

Key representatives, including Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. president and CEO Kent Hora (fourth from left), celebrate at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Budokan in Little Tokyo on August 3. 

AUGUST 10, 2017, LOS ANGELES, CA - Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. pledged to donate solar panels for a 42kW solar power system to the new multipurpose sports facility and community center, Paul I. Terasaki Budokan.  The donation was announced during the ground breaking ceremony in Little Tokyo on August 3.

Twenty-three years in the making, Terasaki Budokan is a project of Little Tokyo Service Center. The 38,000 square-foot facility will serve youth, families and seniors. When it opens in the Spring of 2019, the Budokan will offer sports, community activities and opportunities to connect visitors to Japanese American culture and to a vibrant, sustainable Little Tokyo.

In addition to the product donation, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, whose mission is to empower youth with disabilities to lead productive lives, will match the value of the equipment sponsorship, as well as volunteer hours for the installation.  PanelClaw Inc has also generously donated the rooftop racking for this 42kW system.

The system will be designed and installed by GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, which makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles will train local university students with disabilities and volunteers from Mitsubishi Electric to work side by side on the installation.

See the event photos


About Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.'s Photovoltaic Division

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. sells high quality solar panels to deliver clean, reliable energy to its customers throughout the world. With more than 90 years of electronics manufacturing expertise and 40 years' experience developing solar power technology, Mitsubishi Electric is one of the most established solar providers in the industry. Residential, commercial, and government customers can count on the 25-year solar module limited warranty offered by Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. to enhance their return on investment. Additional information and terms of the limited warranty are available at www.MitsubishiElectricSolar.com or by calling 714.220.2500.

In addition to solar modules, Mitsubishi Electric US group companies' principal businesses include semiconductor devices, automotive electrical components, elevators and escalators, factory automation products and services, heating and cooling products, electric utility products, and large-scale video displays for stadiums and arenas. Mitsubishi Electric US group companies have roughly 31 locations throughout North America with approximately 4,000 employees.

Media Contact:

Brooke Behunin
Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
714-220-6885
brooke.behunin@meus.mea.com

Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, based in the Washington, DC area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and the Mitsubishi Electric group companies in the United States, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. The foundation has contributed more than $15 million over the past 26 years to organizations that empower young people with disabilities to lead more inclusive and productive lives.

Little Tokyo Service Center

is a social service and community development organization that has been creating positive change for the people and places in Southern California for more than 37 years. The organization preserves and strengthens the unique ethnic communities of the region and helps people thrive. Starting with its home in Little Tokyo, LTSC builds and strengthens communities throughout Southern California where people, culture and our collective future matter.

GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles is a non-profit organization that makes renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. We bring together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, providing energy cost savings, valuable hands-on experience, and a source of clean, local energy that benefits us all.

Additional information can be found at www.gridla.org

Groundbreaking Clean Energy Storage Initiative Passes California Senate

Bill to Create $1.4 billion in Consumer Rebates for Energy Storage Advances to the Assembly

Sacramento - The California Senate passed a bill that would give consumers more access to clean energy and provide the next critical piece for California to achieve its aggressive greenhouse gas and renewable energy goals. SB 700, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would increase availability of local, customer-sited energy storage for schools, farms, businesses and homes. 

“In California, we are pushing aggressive renewable energy goals because we know that fighting climate change means taking action now,” said Senator Wiener. “This bill will push us down the path to 100% renewable energy. To meet our goals, we need solar, storage, and other renewable energy resources in every city and neighborhood in California, not just those that can afford it. This bill will transform energy storage so that all can reap the benefits of clean, renewable energy.”

SB 700 would create a 10-year rebate program designed to grow the California local storage market and make storage more affordable for consumers.  The rebates would step down as more storage systems are installed and economies of scale are achieved, thereby driving down the installed cost of the systems. Local energy storage enables the integration of large amounts of renewable energy, creates value for consumers by helping them save money on energy bills, and increases grid reliability. 

“Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Scott Wiener, Californians are one step closer to taking control of their clean energy future,” said Laura Gray, energy storage policy advisor with the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “This bill would allow homes, businesses, schools and public buildings to use solar and renewable energy at all hours of the day and night. Using a combination of solar and storage, consumers will make the sun shine at night.”

“Energy storage is an essential tool to enable Californians to participate in achieving the Golden State’s critical renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals and to curb our reliance on natural gas peaker plants,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California, the sponsor of SB 700. “With uncertainty on climate action at the federal level, it is even more important that California is now one step closer to demonstrating its clean energy leadership by transforming the energy storage market.”

The bill also takes many steps to ensure Californians across the state are participating in the clean energy economy and have access to this program. Specifically, the bill would dedicate a portion of rebate funding for underserved areas and low-income households. 

“The California Housing Partnership strongly supports SB 700. By setting aside 30 percent of incentives for low-income homes across the state, along with small businesses and public institutions in disadvantaged and low-income communities, this bill will empower Californians to equitably share in the benefits of energy storage,” said Stephanie Wang, policy director for the California Housing Partnership. “By prioritizing projects that will receive AB 693 Multifamily Affordable Housing Solar Roofs incentives, this bill will also support the long-term success of a key solar program for low-income California renters.”

The bill passed by a vote of 23 to 13 in the Senate. The bill now moves to the State Assembly. 

 

 

 

Bill to Extend Solar Thermal Program Passes Assembly

Bill to Incentivize Solar Energy to Reduce Natural Gas Use Advances to Senate

 

SACRAMENTO—The Assembly passed AB 797 (Irwin) by a vote of 48 to 22 yesterday afternoon.  The bill would extend consumer incentives for solar thermal technologies that reduce natural gas use in homes and buildings.  The bill is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce natural gas use, meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, and support economic development.

"I am pleased the Assembly took the important step of passing this bill and sending it to the Senate," said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), author of the bill. "Using California's warm sunshine to do something as simple as heating water is sensible for our state and a key way to protect public health, clean up our air, and support local jobs."  

The largest markets for solar thermal technologies, such as solar water heaters, are multi-family housing buildings and commercial swimming pools, such as at schools and community centers. A typical residential solar hot water system can help homeowners reduce up to 80% of their natural gas use for water heating, and costs around $7,500.  Under the program extended by AB 797, consumers would receive a rebate that can be coupled with the 30% federal tax credit to reduce the overall cost of the system.

The bill reported out of the Assembly would extend the existing California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal program for two years to 2020, continuing the program seamlessly. The California solar thermal market is growing, especially in the multifamily housing sector – with 32% annual growth between 2015 and 2016 in natural gas savings. The bill would also target significant resources for solar thermal on low-income housing and buildings in disadvantaged communities.  

“To meet our statewide climate change goals, especially on the heating side of the equation, we need consistent programs that increase access to the sun for California homes and businesses,” said Kelly Knutsen, Senior Policy Advisor of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, cosponsor of AB 797. “We thank Assembly member Irwin for her strong leadership on this important issue.”

“There’s no better way to heat our water than by the sun, and AB 797 is critically needed to promote the continued growth of solar heating technologies,” added Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California, the other cosponsor of the bill.  “The CSI-Thermal program is an essential part of how we can meet the challenges of our heavy natural gas use, and at the same time further the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.”

Solar thermal projects installed under the CSI-Thermal program reduced natural gas use across the state by over 5.6 million therms each year, equal to the annual amount of natural gas used to heat water for roughly 31,500 homes.  The program has offset over 30,000 metric tons of CO2(eq) annually, comparable to taking over 6,400 cars off the road each year.

RBI SOLAR, INC. Joins Industry Leaders in Growing California’s Solar Industry

RBI Solar, Inc. becomes newest CALSEIA member.

SACRAMENTO - RBI Solar, Inc. (“RBI Solar”)has become the newest member of the nation’s largest state solar power trade association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA).

“We are proud to have RBI Solar join CALSEIA to support its mission of expanding the use of clean, solar technologies throughout the state.  CALSEIA members are recognized as being true leaders in the California market as they promote high standards within the industry and advocate fair policies for solar consumers. We look forward to working closely with RBI Solar in continuing this work,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, RBI Solar has been manufacturing PV mounting systems since 2009.  Serving commercial, industrial, and utility-scale markets nationwide, RBI Solar is the leader in fixed-tilt ground-mounted and canopy racking solutions.

“RBI Solar is excited to join the solar professionals at CALSEIA, an organization at the forefront of solar policy progress. With offices and a manufacturing plant in Temecula, RBI Solar is proud to partner with CALSEIA to grow the solar energy market in California.” says Bill Vietas, President of RBI Solar. 

RBI Solar joins CALSEIA after being carefully vetted and approved through the association’s application process, which ensures member companies adhere to industry best practices.


Founded in 1977, CALSEIA, the California Solar Energy Industries Association, represents manufacturers, installers, financers, and distributors of solar panels and related components and technologies throughout the state.

 RBI Solar, Inc. is the leading turn-key supplier of solar mounting systems. As a specialist in ground mount, roof mount, carport, and landfill solar structures, RBI Solar focuses on providing the most robust solar racking systems, installation services, and project management capabilities to serve owners and integrators. RBI Solar has engineers and staff licensed in all 50 states and offers complete design, high-tech manufacturing, nationwide installation, and technical support to help solve the toughest challenges in the industry. Leveraging over 80 years of experience in the commercial design-build specialty structures market, RBI Solar works with its clients to identify the most economic and durable solar mounting solutions.

CALSEIA, Intersolar and SEMI 
to Host Summerfest at AT&T Park

Event celebrates CALSEIA’s 40th and Intersolar North America’s 10th Anniversaries; proceeds benefit CALSEIA’s work to promote smart solar in California

 

Sacramento – March 7 – CALSEIA is teaming up with Intersolar and SEMI to host California’s biggest-ever solar industry networking event, Summerfest 2017, at AT&T Park, home of San Francisco’s major league baseball team.

Summerfest is the official networking party of Intersolar and ees North America, and SEMICON West, the largest solar, energy storage and advanced electronics exhibitions in North America. The party, to be held on Tuesday, July 11, will celebrate CALSEIA’s 40th Anniversary and Intersolar’s 10th Anniversary and is expected to attract over 2,500 participants. 

“There’s nothing more all-American than solar energy and baseball,” said CALSEIA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro. “It is going to be a very special night as we celebrate decades of championing solar energy together.” 

Summerfest is CALSEIA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. As CALSEIA’s largest donor and long-time supporter, Intersolar’s funding partnership helps CALSEIA to promote smart solar technologies, drive policy advocacy and create a strong voice for solar and energy storage markets in California and nationwide.  

“Intersolar is proud to be a major supporter of CALSEIA’s efforts to improve all facets of the markets it serves,” said Solar Promotion International's Managing Director Florian Wessendorf.  “We think this premier solar networking and fundraising event will be a blast for everyone,” added Daniel Strowitzki, CEO of FMMI International.

As an extra special feature, event attendees will be able to watch a live broadcast of the MLB All-Star Game, displayed on the AT&T Park jumbotron scoreboard and screens throughout the venue. Attendees can also enjoy food, beverages, dancing, stadium tours, and evenbatting practice in the underground batting cages. 

“It is an honor for SEMI to be a part of this exciting event that will bring together hundreds of solar and electronics enthusiasts for an unforgettable evening of fun and celebration,” said David Anderson, president of SEMI Americas. "SEMI looks forward to collaborating with Intersolar and CALSEIA and providing an excellent networking opportunity for our customers.”

Solar Summerfest will take place on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, from 5pm-10pm at AT&T Park. Tickets can be purchased at www.calseia.org, www.intersolar.us, or www.semiconwest.org. All proceeds support CALSEIA’s ongoing work to promote smart solar in California. Interested parties should contact CALSEIA for additional Summerfest sponsorship opportunities. 

About CALSEIA

Since 1977, CALSEIA has advanced the common interests of the solar industry, helping make California's solar market the most robust in the United States. Comprised of over four hundred contractors, manufacturers, distributors, developers, engineers, consultants and educational organizations, CALSEIA represents a diverse membership committed to growing the California solar industry, including storage and solar hot water technologies. CALSEIA engages with local and state decision makers to ensure California remains a solar energy leader through good public policy and regulations that provide clarity, transparency, and certainty. More at www.CALSEIA.org. 

About Intersolar

With events spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply. Since being founded, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners in the global solar industry. With more than 25 years of experience, Intersolar has the unique ability to bring together members of the solar industry from across the world’s most influential markets. Intersolar is organized by Solar Promotion GmbH, Pforzheim and Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM).

For more information on Intersolar, please visit: www.intersolarglobal.com

About SEMI

SEMI® connects nearly 2,000 member companies and 250,000 professionals worldwide annually to advance the technology and business of electronics manufacturing. SEMI members are responsible for the innovations in materials, design, equipment, software, and services that enable smarter, faster, more powerful, and more affordable electronic products. Since 1970, SEMI has built connections that have helped its members grow, create new markets, and address common industry challenges together. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley (Milpitas, Calif.), Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit www.semi.org and follow SEMI on LinkedIn and Twitter.

……..

Contact: Meghan Vincent-Jones, CALSEIA Marketing and Development Director, 916-228-4567 or Meghan@calseia.org 

SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC Joins Industry Leaders in Growing California’s Solar Industry

SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC becomes newest CALSEIA member.

SACRAMENTO - SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC has become the newest member of the nation’s largest state solar power trade association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA).

“We are proud to have SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC join CALSEIA to support its mission of expanding the use of clean, solar technologies throughout the state.  CALSEIA members are recognized as being true leaders in the California market as they promote high standards within the industry and advocate fair policies for solar consumers. We look forward to working closely with SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC in continuing this work,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA.

We are a locally owned and operated company who hires only certified local technicians, we have a combined experience over 45 years in our respected fields. We started business in 2012 but have been working in the solar field for over 10 years and are ready to go for the next 30 + years. We are located in Petaluma California @ 1364 North McDowell Blvd. We provide electrical and solar services ranging from commercial through residential and agricultural, we install new solar systems and repair old solar systems as well as anything electrical at ones home? Our work area is vast, we work from Fresno all the way up to Eureka. Our immediate working area is Sonoma County, Marin County and the city of San Francisco.

We are excited to offer our skills and minds on any topic that could help increase customer awareness of solar as well as save the earth one solar panel at a time.   

We found it important to join CALSEIA so we can have a voice in our local community in regards to solar and help the solar industry flourish in the years to come.

SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC joins CALSEIA after being carefully vetted and approved through the association’s application process, which ensures member companies adhere to industry best practices.


Founded in 1977, CALSEIA, the California Solar Energy Industries Association, represents manufacturers, installers, financers, and distributors of solar panels and related components and technologies throughout the state.

SUN SOLAR ELECTRIC -Your local Sonoma county source for Solar Power
We turn the sun into power for everyday life.

aleo solar Joins Industry Leaders in Growing California’s Solar Industry

aleo solar becomes newest CALSEIA member.

 

SACRAMENTO - aleo solar has become the newest member of the nation’s largest state solar power trade association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA).

“We are proud to have aleo solar join CALSEIA to support its mission of expanding the use of clean, solar technologies throughout the state.  CALSEIA members are recognized as being true leaders in the California market as they promote high standards within the industry and advocate fair policies for solar consumers. We look forward to working closely with aleo solar in continuing this work,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA.

aleo solar was founded in 2001 in Germany and is part of Sino-American Silicon Parts group since 2014. The company is focused on the production of high efficiency solar panels based on best-in class PERC technology and seeks to expand its footprint in California, where it is operating already, as well as in the entire country.

“We are pleased to join a powerful institution like CALSEIA to support California’s leadership in solar energy. We are also excited to bring to the US the market leading Made in Germany PERC technology. As rooftop owners seek to get the maximum power out of each square meter, we are convinced that our 60-cells 310W modules, together with industry leading 25 years product guarantee will create value for those looking for premium and reliable technologies. Joining CALSEIA is then a proof of our long term commitment towards American consumers.” declares William Chen, CEO of aleo solar.

aleo solar joins CALSEIA after being carefully vetted and approved through the association’s application process, which ensures member companies adhere to industry best practices.


Founded in 1977, CALSEIA, the California Solar Energy Industries Association, represents manufacturers, installers, financers, and distributors of solar panels and related components and technologies throughout the state.

aleo solar GmbH produces high-performance modules in Prenzlau (Brandenburg, Germany) and is a system provider for the international photovoltaic market. With around 330 employees and manufacturing experience since 2001, the company has an excellent know-how in module production. Since 2014 aleo solar belongs to the wafer and solar cell manufacturer SAS (Sino American Silicon Products Inc.) headquartered in Taiwan Hsinchu. Thus, aleo solar is part of a powerful solar manufacturer, which maps the entire photovoltaic value chain, from development and production of high-performance ingots, wafers and cells to the delivery of the solar module.

CALSEIA Welcomes New Board Members and New Board President

Industry Leaders from Diverse Backgrounds Join Board of Directors

 

Sacramento, CA — December 22, 2016 — The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), the state’s oldest and largest solar industry organization, welcomes five leaders to its fifteen-member board of directors. The new board members were officially seated during the organization’s fourth quarter board meeting on December 8, 2016 in San Diego.

 

The five new board members are:

       Cathleen Monahan, senior programs director, GRID Alternatives, a leading nonprofit making solar energy and job training accessible to underserved communities.

       Gina Heng, vice president and general manager, photovoltaic division, Mitsubishi Electric US, a leading PV module manufacturer headquartered in Cypress, CA.

       John Berdner, vice president of regulatory and policy Strategy, Enphase Energy, a global inverter manufacturer with headquarters in Petaluma, CA.

       Norm Nielsen, CEO, Chico Electric, a leading contractor that specializes in commercial and agricultural clean energy project developments.

       Walker Wright, vice president, policy and strategy Development, Green Charge Networks, an ENGIE company.

 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome these five outstanding industry leaders to our board,” said CALSEIA's Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro. “They represent the growing diversity of the California solar industry and, through their service, will help to guide and ensure the continued strength and growth of the California solar market.”

 

CALSEIA’s board of directors is elected by the organization’s membership. Election to the board reflects a respect among industry peers and an acknowledgement that these individuals can be trusted to make decisions that benefit the entire solar industry.

 

In addition to the election of new board members, CALSEIA also elected new officers. Ed Murray, president of Aztec Solar based in Rancho Cordova, replaces Rick Reed of SunEarth, as CALSEIA’s board president. Jeanine Cotter, president of Luminalt in San Francisco, was re-elected vice president of the board. Sanjay Ranchod, vice president of policy and electricity markets and regulatory counsel for SolarCity, was elected board treasurer. Benjamin Airth, senior manager of renewables at the Center for Sustainable Energy, was elected secretary.

 

The other members of the CALSEIA board are: 

       Allison Duffy, strategic account manager, Yaskawa-Solectria Solar

       Gary Gerber, president and CEO, Sun Light & Power

       Jeff Spies, senior policy policy, Quick Mount PV

       Les Nelson, vice president, solar heating and cooling Programs, IAPMO

       Pat Redgate, president, AMECO Solar

 

 “Solar remains one of the bright spots in California’s economy, and the strong leadership of CALSEIA’s board of directors will be critical to our continued growth,” Del Chiaro said. “We thank them all for their service.”

 

CALSEIA also thanks its outgoing directors — Cecilia Aguillon of Kyocera, Hilary Pearson of Sungevity, Aaron Thurlow of SolFuture LLC, Bill Stewart of SolarCraft, and Nic Stover, formerly of CalCom — for their leadership and service to the organization. 

PG&E Begins NEM 2.0

Steady Market Growth Leads to NEM Transition on Expected Timeline

San Francisco—Pacific Gas and Electric today reached its 2409 MW cap for offering the original net metering tariff to customers. Starting tomorrow, PG&E customers will be interconnected under “NEM 2.0.”

“The lead-up to the transition has been smooth,” said CALSEIA Policy Director Brad Heavner. “There was not a big surge in interconnections as PG&E approached the cap, so the transition did not come suddenly and catch customers off guard.”

The net metering successor tariff requires new solar customers to pay a one-time application fee, which is $145 for PG&E, and increases the assessment of charges for public purpose programs. The latter is the equivalent of reducing the value of NEM credits by approximately 2 cents/kWh. In addition, residential customers will need to be on one of three available time-of-use rate plans.

CALSEIA estimates the combined impact for a typical residential solar customer will be in the neighborhood of ten dollars per month compared to NEM-1. Customers that already have solar will not be subject to the new charges and will continue to have the original net metering tariff for the first 20 years of operation of their solar systems.

“The industry should be prepared for some hesitation in the market as the new tariff sinks in, but I expect it to be short-lived because NEM-2 continues to offer substantial value to most customers,” added Heavner.

Southern California Edison still has more than 500 MW of capacity available under NEM-1. CALSEIA does not expect the cap to be reached before the deadline for the transition to NEM-2. SCE customers can therefore expect to take service under the current net metering tariff if they interconnect by June 30, 2017.

CALSEIA Welcomes Parker Murray as New Marketing Director

SACRAMENTO — The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) announces the addition of Parker Murray as its new Marketing Director, and bids farewell to outgoing Marketing and Membership Director Kelsea Jones. 

Parker Murray rejoins the CALSEIA staff as the incoming Marketing Director. Parker will focus his work on organizing CALSEIA’s multiple networking, training, and fundraising events, as well as directing the organization’s general marketing efforts. Parker served as Deputy Executive Director from 2011 to 2012. Mr. Murray holds an Industrial Design degree from Swarthmore College. 

“CALSEIA welcomes Parker back into the fold after taking a few years off to complete his degree,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA. “We are thrilled to work with Parker again, to build up CALSEIA, and to strengthen the California solar industry.”

Kelsea Jones joined CALSEIA in 2012 and has served primarily as the Marketing and Membership Director since. Under Kelsea’s leadership, CALSEIA’s membership has grown fourfold, from 100 members in 2013, to over 400 members today. She also brought new and innovative ideas to the networking, training, and fundraising events that CALSEIA organizes throughout the year. Kelsea will be moving to Sydney, Australia to become the Director of Sales & Marketing USA and Australia for Green Unicorns.

“Kelsea put a lot of hard work and passion into making CALSEIA and, by extension, California’s solar industry stronger,” said Del Chiaro. “We wish her the best of luck ‘down under’ and thank her for all her service over these past four years.”

 

 

California Commission Rejects Utility Challenge to Net Metering

Utilities’ Attempt to Block Solar Tariff Rebuked in Commission Resolution

San Francisco—The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a decision rejecting all legal challenges to recently adopted net energy metering rules for solar customers.

In January, the CPUC established an uncapped net metering “successor tariff” that will apply to all new solar customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E by July 2017. The decision made significant reforms to ensure the successor tariff is sustainable, with increased assessment of non-bypassable charges and mandatory time of use (TOU) rates for residential customers. Based on an extensive evidentiary record, the decision maintained the fundamental structure of NEM and rejected new fees and low compensation rates proposed by the utilities.

The utilities responded to the CPUC’s January decision by filing “applications for rehearing,” which allege that the decision contained legal error and must be modified. PG&E’s application challenged the decision as a whole. The application from SCE and SDG&E challenged certain aspects. A ratepayer group, TURN, and a coalition of utility unions also challenged parts of the decision.

The CPUC order, issued last Tuesday, rejects those legal challenges and makes two minor tweaks to the language supporting the decision without changing any elements of the decision.

“This was a frivolous legal maneuver by utilities, paid for by ratepayers, and the Commission appropriately has put an end to it,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “California utilities should stop using ratepayer money to block the very same ratepayers from having the choice to go solar.”

“The CPUC protected consumer choice back in January and again with this decision,” added Del Chiaro.  

IID Agrees to Help Stranded Solar Customers

CALSEIA-negotiated agreement will give net metering to over 1000 stranded solar customers in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys

Sacramento - With just a few hours left in the state legislative session, the Imperial Irrigation District agreed to help over 1000 solar consumers who had been stranded for over six months, most with solar systems on their roofs and facing a very uncertain future. These 1000-plus consumers will be allowed to benefit from a pro-solar program called Net Energy Metering.

“While we had a more comprehensive solution in mind, what IID agreed to today gives relief to the vast majority of stranded solar customers in the Imperial and Coachella valleys,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). “We want to recognize the significant effort of IID staff in reaching this agreement and appreciate the Board’s willingness to agree to solve this problem.”

The agreement came in the form of a letter from IID’s general manager addressed to Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) who represents the Imperial Valley and chairs the Senate Energy Committee. A bill, AB 2163 by Assembly member Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), would have required IID to give net metering to all of IID’s customers who had executed a contract for solar prior to July 19, 2016, when IID adopted a successor rooftop solar program.  The bill advanced to the Senate Energy Committee last night, but will now not be heard as a result of this administrative agreement reached today. Today is the last day of the legislative session.

The IID letter offers to give net metering to all customers who did one of the following:

  • Submitted an interconnection application to IID prior to April 1, 2016
  • Applied for an IID solar rebate prior to February 5, 2016, and who submits an interconnection application by October 1, 2016
  • Received a valid building permit or paid for a permit prior to April 1, 2016 and who submits an interconnection agreement by October 1, 2016

According to estimates by CALSEIA, these parameters will qualify over 1200 customers for net metering, including eight affordable housing projects that were also caught in this state of limbo.

On February 29, 2016, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) ended their Net Energy Metering (NEM) program without any forewarning to consumers or the solar industry, stranding hundreds of consumers in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys who had already signed contracts to go solar, and, in many cases, had a solar system on their roof.

After six months of negotiations, including several failed attempts to resolve the problem administratively, CALSEIA sought resolution from the state legislature. AB 2163 was amended in August as a last-ditch effort to seek relief for thousands of homeowners, renters and businesses in IID territory.

“We want to thank Senator Ben Hueso, Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia and Assembly Member Das Williams for their recognition of this consumer crisis and their willingness to push for a solution,” said Del Chiaro. “This is an important day for solar consumers in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, but also for consumers around the state.”

As CALSEIA recognizes this significant resolution in IID territory, the association points out that the ability to go solar is severely impaired by IID’s successor net billing program adopted on July 19, 2016.

“While we helped customers who invested in solar in the recent past, today’s agreement does nothing to help consumers who want to go solar in the future,” stated Del Chiaro. “We would like to build upon today’s compromise agreement and work with IID staff and board to modify their successor solar program to make it possible for consumers to invest in rooftop solar going forward.”

Net metering is a program that credits solar consumers for the surplus electricity they export to the grid. The program has helped fuel the transformational growth of solar in IID and across the state, making it more affordable for everyone including low and moderate-income consumers. Publically owned utilities and irrigation districts, like IID, are not regulated by the state Public Utilities Commission, which voted this past February to protect net metering for customers of the state’s investor owned utilities, such as Southern California Edison, to in part avoid the scenario played out in IID territory these past six months. As a result, each publically owned utility decides for themselves what the rooftop solar market looks like going forward.

"This agreement will definitely benefit our Eastern Valley low income tenants  and will help us generate electricity savings for our developments,” said Julie Bornstein, executive director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition. 

Diverse Group of Organizations Get Behind AB 2163: Bill Would Help Stranded Solar Families in Coachella and Imperial Valleys

SACRAMENTO – August 24, 2016 – A broad and diverse coalition of twenty non-profit organizations and business groups have sent letters to key legislators in support of AB 2163 (Williams), which requires the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to make net energy metering (NEM) available to all of the solar customers left stranded by a crisis created by IID themselves earlier this year.

Last February, IID abruptly ended their NEM solar program without any notice to the public and without an alternative program in place. This caught hundreds of solar customers who were already in the process of investing in a rooftop solar system in state of “solar limbo” where they have been unable to turn their rooftop solar systems on ever since.   

Support for AB 2163 was directed at Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Chair of the Senate Energy Committee and Assembly member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), both representatives for the Imperial region, as well as Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the Governor’s staff and members of the Senate Energy Committee.

The organizations supporting passage of this bill include GRID Alternatives, California Building Industry Association, TechNet, Brightline Defense Project, Environment California, Climate Resolve, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Grid Alternatives, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), the American Sustainable Business Council, William C. Velazquez Institute, GreenLatinos, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), 350 Bay Area, Climate Action Campaign, Sierra Club, Presente.org and the Hip Hop Caucus along with local solar companies and their stranded customers.

The letters note that among the 1,200 stranded customers are ten multi-family affordable housing projects, two State of California correctional facilities, and dozens of low-income families. IID has not taken action to fix the problem to date, which has put at risk federal and state funding for affordable housing projects, taxpayer dollars already spent on state building projects, and solar contracts that have already been executed by homeowners.

“The strong support from this diverse group of community organizations shows that AB 2163 is a must-pass for the California Senate,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA. “We must take care of these solar customers and honor the investment they’ve made in a cleaner, more affordable future.”

CALSEIA Honors Two California Legislators with Life-time Achievement Awards

Senator Fran Pavley and Assembly Member Das Williams Recognized for their work to promote solar energy through public policy

 

Sacramento – August 10, 2016 - At its annual Solar Worker Lobby Day, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) honored two California legislators for their outstanding work to promote the use of solar energy through public policy.

 

Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Assembly Member Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) were honored with a “Life-time Achievement” award before a crowd of solar workers and executives from around the state who had gathered in Sacramento to lobby state legislators about the importance of solar energy in creating jobs, saving consumers money, and providing energy solutions throughout the state.

 

“The emergence of California’s solar industry as a meaningful source of reliable and clean electricity has depended largely on the vision and hard work of policy makers, like Senator Pavley and Assembly member Williams, who have fought long and hard to give consumers the ability to change the direction of our energy future one roof at a time,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA. “Our hundreds of businesses and over 75,000 employees owe these two leaders a life-time of gratitude for their outstanding policy work over many years.”

 

A CALSEIA Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Senator Fran Pavley along with recognition of her pioneering work to cap carbon emissions and advance alternative energy technologies, including solar panels as well as zero-pollution vehicles.

 

“One of the most gratifying outcomes of my work in the Legislature on clean energy over the last fourteen years has been the phenomenal success of California’s solar industry,” said Senator Fran Pavley in accepting her award. “You’ve proved what we’ve always said was possible: We can clean our environment and create jobs at the same time. More than 75,000 solar industry workers in this state are proving that the power of the sun is shining brightly on California’s economy -- to the benefit of consumers, healthy communities and the families of tens of thousands of skilled and dedicated workers. While I am gratified by your recognition of my work in the legislature, I am much more gratified by the tremendous contributions your industry and its workers are making every day to make California a healthier and more prosperous state.”

 

A CALSEIA Lifetime Achievement award was also presented to Assembly member Das Williams who was an early promoter of rooftop solar policies, authoring bills intended to increase consumer access to sunshine-generated electricity.

 

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from CALSEIA,” said Assembly member Das Williams. “In fifty years our children and grandchildren will evaluate whether to curse or praise us based on what we did or failed to do about climate change and clean energy.  More than anything else during my career in the assembly, I have pushed both legislatively and administratively to ensure that California has a brighter and cleaner future by fighting for aggressive renewable energy goals and efficient permitting for small and large solar projects around the state. Together, we have made a difference for our state’s future.”

 

CALSEIA presented each of the honorees with a tee-shirt that read “Keep Calm and Solar On” and a solar-powered charging device for portable technologies. Senator Pavley and Assembly Member Williams are termed out in 2016. Both leave behind an outstanding track record of promoting clean solutions. 

SunSpark Technology Inc Joins Industry Leaders in Growing California’s Solar Industry

Sunspark Technology Inc. becomes newest CALSEIA member.

 

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SunSpark Technology Inc. has become the newest member of the nation’s largest state solar power trade association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA).

“We are proud to have SunSpark Technology Inc.  join CALSEIA to support its mission of expanding the use of clean, solar technologies throughout the state.  CALSEIA members are recognized as being true leaders in the California market as they promote high standards within the industry and advocate fair policies for solar consumers. We look forward to working closely with SunSpark Technology Inc.  in continuing this work,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA.

SunSpark Technology Inc. was established in 2015. From its Riverside location, with the intent and goal of becoming a solar panel assembly and manufacturing company within the U.S. SunSpark Tech offers a variety of solar power panels; allowing its clients to choose the most appropriate system and wattage that will best meet their needs.

Due to their support of residential DG in California, CALSEIA is our first choice of solar trade associations. We believe that SunSpark Park can not only increase our business relationships with state partners but create more benefits for people who are eager to own US-made solar panels.

SunSpark Technology Inc. joins CALSEIA after being carefully vetted and approved through the association’s application process, which ensures member companies adhere to industry best practices.


Founded in 1977, CALSEIA, the California Solar Energy Industries Association, represents manufacturers, installers, financers, and distributors of solar panels and related components and technologies throughout the state.

 

SunSpark Technology Inc., hereafter known as SunSpark Tech, is a U.S. business situated at 3080 12th St., in Riverside, California with approximately 35,000 sq. ft.

From its Riverside location, SunSpark Tech will have better control over its product assembly and manufacturing and service distribution channels, sales and customer service departments, as well as billing and business management, which in turn is very beneficial in keeping costs down and quality standards high. As the images above show, SunSpark Tech’s location is sufficiently large and spacious, where products are received, assembled, stored, and shipped to the customers.

Talesun Becomes Diamond Sponsor of CALSEIA’s Signature Networking Party

Event brings together industry leaders and supports continued growth of the California solar industry

Sacramento – July 1, 2016 - CALSEIA is proud to announce Talesun as the Diamond Sponsor for this year’s Solar Summerfest, the official networking party of Intersolar North America, happening July 12th at the CityView Metreon in San Francisco.

Talesun Solar is a leading company of photovoltaic modules, solutions, and services continuing global market share expansion with its total 2.8 MW solar cell and module manufacturing bases in Thailand and China. “We are thrilled to have Talesun as Solar Summerfest’s Diamond Sponsor this year,” said Kelsea Jones, Membership & Marketing Director for CALSEIA. “Companies who support this event not only do it for the great visibility and fun at a major solar conference, but to show support for CALSEIA’s work. For Talesun to sponsor at this level shows major commitment to the health and strength of California’s solar industry.”

The event is expected to attract over 2,000 people and features a Back-to-the-80’s theme celebrating this iconic decade with retro-themed appetizers, drinks, and live entertainment.

“Given the solar industry’s history, we thought it would be fun to celebrate the fact that, thanks to our landmark wins on issues like net energy metering and the federal tax credit, we can enjoy 80's cultural phenomena but avoid re-living its solar market disasters,” said Ms. Jones.

The signature prop of the event will be a Talesun-branded DeLorean Time Machine that will be parked inside Moscone Center on the day of the event. Attendees will be able to see inside the time machine and take pictures with props and characters. In addition, the Solar Summerfest event will feature a Talesun themed area with a bar, seating, and food, where attendees can meet and mingle with the Talesun team and see product samples.

Solar Summerfest will take place Tuesday July 12, 2016 from 5pm-10pm at the Metreon CityView. Tickets can be purchased at www.calseia.org or through www.intersolar.us and helps support CALSEIA’s mission.

Statement by the California Solar Energy Industries Association on the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Retirement Joint Proposal

June 21, 2016 -- CALSEIA would like to first acknowledge the historic nature of this agreement that promises to shutter the last remaining nuclear power plant in California. We also applaud the call for the replacement power to come from 100% carbon-free resources. Given the state’s pre-existing carbon reduction and renewable energy laws and goals, it would have been ill conceived and difficult to do otherwise.  

The anti-nuclear movement and its embrace of solar power as a superior alternative to nuclear fission is the very foundation of California’s worldwide status as a renewable energy leader. In turn, California’s clean energy renaissance has laid the groundwork to move beyond nuclear power. So, it is only fitting to replace PG&E’s Diablo Canyon power plant with efficiency and renewable energy technologies. We should not lose sight of the fact that it was the decisions of over 100,000 Californians to go solar on their own homes and businesses, along with utility renewable procurement mandated by state law, that have eroded the case to re-license Diablo Canyon.   

Moving forward, California needs to ensure that customer-sited renewables, commonly referred to as “rooftop solar,” continue to grow and contribute to California’s clean energy future in addition to utility-procured resources. This important resource is notably missing from this agreement. PG&E’s customers are investing in solar by the tens of thousands on their rooftops, farms, businesses, and schools. It is no small oversight to ignore the contribution of customer-sited renewables which could replace Diablo Canyon by 2025 under current growth conditions. With the right tariffs in place, customer-sited solar energy will support our transition to clean energy in even more significant ways than it does today.

Further, allowing the utilities to rate base additional generation that could otherwise be built, in part, through customer investments is not necessarily in the ratepayers’ best interest. The location and quantity of new PG&E-owned generation resources should derive from a thoughtful, long-term plan to ensure the new resource procurement is justified. Consumer choice and preferences need to be front and center in these decisions.

In closing, we applaud the agreement that calls for the closure of California’s last-standing nuclear power plant. It is nothing short of historic and incredibly important for public health, safety, and the environment. We applaud all those individuals who have worked tirelessly over the decades to accomplish this feat. We look forward to making sure that all forms of renewable energy, including those resources that are built, sited and controlled by consumers, are part of California’s nuclear-free and clean energy future. 

Bill to Boost Rooftop Solar Thermal Passes Committee

Bill to Reduce Natural Gas Use Through Solar Energy Advances in California Legislature with Aliso Canyon Leak as Backdrop

SACRAMENTO — Today the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee passed AB 2460 (Irwin) by a vote of 10-3. The bill would expand consumer incentives for rooftop solar thermal technologies that can reduce natural gas demand within a building by up to 80%.  The bill is part of a response to the leak at Aliso Canyon and efforts to reduce California’s natural gas use statewide, meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, and improve reliability. 

"I am pleased the committee took the important step of moving this bill forward," said Assembly member Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), author of the bill. "Using California's abundant sunshine to do something as simple as heating water is sensible for our state and a key way to diversify our energy resources, protect public health, and clean up our air."  

The bill extends consumer rebates for solar heating technologies that directly reduce natural gas usage in buildings. The largest markets for solar thermal technologies, such as solar water heaters, are commercial swimming pools, such as at schools, and multi-family housing buildings. Under the program extended by AB 2460, consumers would get an upfront rebate as well as be eligible for the 30% federal tax credit. A typical residential solar hot water system costs around $6,000 before rebates.

The bill was advanced as part of a response to the leak at Aliso Canyon and the general realization that California is heavily dependent on a narrow supply of natural gas. Efforts to reduce demand, especially in summer months, are an important part of the state’s efforts to maintain energy reliability and protect consumers. Consider these facts:

  • Approximately 50% of the demand for Aliso Canyon is used in buildings, energy that solar heating technologies can provide with no pollution or safety threats.
  • If a solar water heating project were installed on just 7% of the multi-family buildings in the Los Angeles area, it would offset the annual natural gas demand for all buildings served by withdrawals from Aliso Canyon.
  • California homes and businesses use 2.5 billion therms of natural gas annually to heat water, which is equal to the total storage capacity of natural gas in the state, including Aliso Canyon.
  • If the authorized funding level within AB 2460 were approved, the expected savings from the program would annually offset as much natural gas use as the amount leaked from Aliso Canyon.

The bill reported out of the Assembly Committee today would extend California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal program funding for ten years through 2027, providing certainty to the growing solar water heating market. The bill would also target significant resources for solar thermal on low-income housing and buildings in disadvantaged communities.  Demand for solar water heating in low-income multifamily housing buildings is high, accounting for nearly half of the applications in 2015. AB 2460 would also ensure that the maximum rebate cap works for industrial customers, enabling solar thermal systems for the largest users of natural gas.    

“To meet our statewide climate change goals and address the challenges posed by Aliso Canyon, we need consistent consumer access to the sun,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, sponsor of the bill. “We thank Assembly member Irwin for her leadership on this important issue.”

Bill to Increase Access to Rooftop Solar Passes Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee

AB 2339 Seeks to Give All California Consumers Equal Access to Rooftop Solar Regardless of Utility Territory

SACRAMENTO — The Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee voted yesterday in support of Assembly Bill 2339 (Irwin/Low) by an 10-2 vote.  AB 2339 now proceeds to the Assembly floor.

In California, where you live dictates whether or not you have access to net energy metering, a critical policy making rooftop solar accessible for all consumers.  Californians living in the territory of a municipal utility (e.g., Sacramento and Los Angeles) have less assurance in state law that they can adopt solar.  AB 2339 aims to make rooftop solar equally available in all utilities across the state, including the state’s largest municipal utilities. AB 2339 would align the methodology used to calculate existing caps on net metering in municipal utility territories with the methodology used by the state’s three largest investor owned utilities, establishing consistency throughout the state.

“At its core, this is a consumer protection bill,” said Assembly member Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), author of the bill. “Everyone in California should have equal access to solar energy regardless of what city they live in."

“Solar energy makes sense everywhere in California,” said Assembly member Evan Low (D-Campbell), co-author of the bill. “Rooftop solar brings jobs, cleaner air, and energy reliability for all Californians.”

“Rooftop solar power has always made sense in California, and the accident at Aliso Canyon makes this solution even more apparent,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “Protecting net metering for all consumers is key to tapping into California’s abundant and clean solar energy, creating jobs, and saving consumers money.”

The vote by the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee is a strong signal that the State Legislature will be responsive to voters and consumers and give all Californians equal access to clean energy. CALSEIA commends the Committee Chair Mike Gatto and other committee members for recognizing the real and tangible benefits of solar—consumer choice, statewide job creation, a cleaner, affordable and more reliable electricity grid, and healthier air.

In January, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to protect net energy metering for consumers living in investor-owned utility territories of Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric. California has nearly forty municipal utilities and irrigation districts required to offer net energy metering under different and less favorable rules. Together, they service over three million California customers and include such large cities as Los Angeles, Sacramento, Burbank, Pasadena, Anaheim, Modesto, Riverside, and Roseville.  Many of the state’s municipal utilities still rely on coal-fired power plants in the Southwest for electricity supplies.