Solar investment tax credit to be extended 10 years at 30% – In a surprise victory for the solar and clean technology industries, Senator Joe Manchin and Democrats reached an agreement on a reconciliation bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The bill includes $370 billion in spending for renewable energy and climate measures. One of the most impactful provisions in the bill is the long-term extension of the Investment Tax Credit, which has been instrumental in launching the solar industry we know today. The bill calls for a 10-year extension at 30% of the cost of the installed equipment, which will then step down to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. The full bill can be found here.
Illinois Commerce Commission approves detailed roadmap to reach 40% renewables by 2030 – The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on July 14 approved the Illinois Power Agency’s 2022 Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan (LTRRPP). The 2022 Plan was developed pursuant to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the landmark climate justice and energy bill passed last fall. This decision comes after the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Vote Solar intervened in the docket and submitted comments calling for improvements to low-income solar programs, structural adjustments to renewable energy procurement and follow-through on CEJA’s equity provisions.
New Mississippi rule requires utilities to pay low-income customers up front for solar installations – The Mississippi Public Service Commission has approved a new net metering rule creating a $3,500 incentive for residents who install rooftop solar. Regulators capped total annual rebate budgets at $10 million for Entergy Mississippi and $5 million for Mississippi Power Co. According to the new rule, at least 50% of the funds dedicated to the new program must go to low-income customers. Environmental and solar industry groups say they hope the new program will spur more residents and businesses to install solar in Mississippi, which has historically had little success incentivizing the addition of rooftop solar.
From suburbs to small towns, more Minnesota cities taking climate action – Nearly a decade after Minneapolis passed the state’s first climate action plan, more than a dozen Minnesota cities have followed suit in creating local blueprints for reducing carbon emissions and preparing urban environments for more extreme weather events. From tiny Grand Marais on the North Shore to Twin Cities suburbs, cities are using climate action plans to frame conversations around policies and investments. They are spurring new initiatives such as building energy benchmarking programs, and they are driving investments in rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and electric transportation infrastructure.