Industry: Utilities
News
May 26, 2017

But that was then and this is now, and with the last year several companies have left the solar industry, reduced their workforce, or gone bankrupt. SolarCity has been absorbed by another of Elon Musk’s ventures Tesla. Now the company has lowered it’s expectations for growth and has refocused its attention toward providing premium service offering infinity warranties on their products.

Last year according to their 10k filings, the three largest solar companies in the United States combined lost over $1 billion. The largest company, SolarCity, had revenues of $730 million but lost $820 million. In second, Sunrun with revenues of $454 million still lost $303 million, Finally Vivint Solar earned $135 million but still hemorrhaged $242 million, proportionally the largest losses of any of the three. What is worse, Sunrun is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding “whether the company adequately disclosed how many customers had canceled contracts.” The SEC is also looking at SolarCity.

News
April 7, 2017

On March 11, utility-scale solar generation in the territory of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) accounted for almost 40% of net grid power produced during the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is the first time CAISO has achieved these levels, reflecting an almost 50% growth in utility-scale solar photovoltaic installed capacity in 2016. The large and growing amount of solar generation has occasionally driven power prices on the CAISO power exchange during late winter and early spring daylight hours to very low, and sometimes negative, prices. However, consumers in California continue to pay average retail electricity prices that are among the highest in the nation.

News
April 7, 2017

Altogether, these and other merchant-transmission projects could cost upward of $17 billion, plus at least a further $20 billion in wind, solar and hydro projects to fill these lines. There are no federal subsidies available for building transmission lines, though wind farm developers are eligible to tap a U.S. tax credit for building new production.

News
March 3, 2017
In 2016, the California Independent Systems Operator (ISO), which coordinates most of the electricity used in California, imported a net daily average of 201 billion kilowatthours (kWh) throughout the year from other western regions, or about 26% of its average daily demand. Those imports were supplied by the other two regions that make up the Western Interconnect (WECC). The Northwest region of WECC, which includes most of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, and a small area of northern California, supplied a daily average of 122 billion kWh. The bulk of the remaining imports to the California ISO, 68 billion kWh per day on average, came from the Southwest region of WECC, which includes much of Arizona, New Mexico, and small portions of Nevada and Texas.
News
Feb. 5, 2017
The 13 percent increase in natural gas rates took effect in August, but consumers didn’t feel the pinch until December, when residents turned up their thermostats in the face of a particularly cold and wet season. Electricity rates were raised three times in the past year. Combined, electricity and gas rates for PG&E customers are an average of 21 percent higher than they were a year ago, said utility spokesman Donald Cutler.
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