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Solar News: May 31st, 2019

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, Canadian Solar secures their largest panel order in company history, and Maryland passes a new clean energy bill with the governor calling for even more ambitious renewable generation targets.

Canadian Solar secures their largest module order ever

EDF Renewables will order 1.8 gigawatts (GW) from Canadian Solar, which will be the largest solar module deal in the panel manufacturer’s history. The modules will be used across several projects in the U.S., Canada and Mexico through 2023. Interestingly, the order will include a mixture of traditional modules and bifacial modules.

“The agreement demonstrates our confidence in the bifacial module technology to support our robust pipeline of contracted projects over the next five years,” said Tristan Grimbert, EDF North America’s president and chief executive. Bifacial solar panels can absorb sunlight through both sides, which can help boost energy production significantly.

The deal coincides with the step-down of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which will fall from 30 percent in 2019 to 1- percent for large-scale projects in 2022 and beyond. By securing orders ahead of the step-down, developers like EDF are potentially insulating themselves against higher module prices in the future.

Maryland to raise renewable electricity requirement

Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland has chosen to neither sign nor veto the Clean Energy Jobs Act that came to his desk last month, allowing the bill to become law. With this new bill, Maryland will raise its renewable electricity requirement from 25 percent by 2020 to 50 percent by 2030.

Governor Hogan’s decision to neither sign nor veto the bill came from his insistence that the bill does not go far enough in cleaning up the state’s grid and creating local energy jobs. “Despite its name, this bill is not clean enough, nor smart enough, nor does it create the intended jobs within Maryland,” he wrote in a letter to the state Senate President. Governor Hogan continued to say that he would allow the bill to become a law in the hopes that it is a stepping stone towards a better clean energy policy bill down the road. The Governor has proposed a target of 100 percent clean energy by 2040.

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