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Solar news: October 1st, 2021

In this week’s news roundup, we discuss an important update from Washington and a new study testing the viability of power sharing between neighbors.

House of Representatives set to vote on Infrastructure Bill

After passing the Senate earlier this month, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The bill has faced challenges from Republicans and from within the Democratic party as Representatives debate which iteration of the bill will go to the floor for a vote. Key investment areas for this bill include transportation infrastructure as well as broadband and emissions reduction infrastructure. Crucially, a date has not been set to vote on the larger $3.5 trillion “Build Back Better Act”, which has less support within the Democratic party. Possible aspects of the “Build Back Better act” pertaining to the solar industry include an extension of the federal income tax credit (ITC) and an extension of the Production Tax Credit to also include residential solar and wind. As of end-of-day Thursday, no decision has been reached.

Renewable Energy Partners tests new model of energy sharing in Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota recently funded a $550,000 study to test the viability of using battery storage to share or sell electricity directly between neighbors. The goal of the study is to test the feasibility of transferring energy directly between multiple households with and without solar. It will feature four battery back-ups representative of four homes with different usage patterns. Developers believe that this project represents what the grid will look like in the near future and are intending to test out the model as an alternative to sending excess power directly back to utilities.


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