U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Nov 14, 2013

In Arizona, a closely watched vote to decide solar policy’s fate

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Proponents of solar power will face off with Arizona’s biggest utility on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to sway regulators who are preparing to rule on the fate of a little-known solar subsidy that, if altered, would be a blow to the burgeoning U.S. rooftop solar industry in one of its biggest markets.

The Arizona Corporation Commission’s expected vote will be watched closely by utility and solar players far beyond the Grand Canyon State. That’s because the two industries are increasingly at odds over a policy known as net metering, which allows homeowners with rooftop solar systems to sell the power they don’t use back to their utilities at retail rates.

Nov 13, 2013

Arizona weighs fate of key solar power subsidy

LOS ANGELES, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Arizona utility regulators
on Wednesday began considering the fate of a little-known solar
subsidy that, if altered, would be a major blow to the
burgeoning U.S. rooftop solar industry in one of its biggest
markets.

The outcome of the long-awaited two-day hearing is being
closely watched by utility and solar players far beyond the
Grand Canyon State. In Arizona and elsewhere, the two industries
are increasingly at odds over a policy known as net metering,
which allows homeowners with rooftop solar systems to sell the
power they don’t use back to their utilities at retail rates.

Nov 8, 2013

Knock! Knock! Solar company wins converts going door to door

, Nov 8 (Reuters) – On a sleepy suburban
street near Los Angeles, Reno Mendenhall walks up to a modest
home and knocks on the door. The tall, blonde, 31-year-old is so
clean cut that he says he is sometimes told he looks like
Britain’s Prince William.

A woman comes to the door and Mendenhall, dressed in gray
shorts and a bright orange polo shirt that says Vivint, begins
his sales pitch. He’s tried two blocks of houses without
success.

Oct 30, 2013

SunPower results shine; 2014 outlook disappoints

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – SunPower Corp (SPWR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected profit, raised its 2013 earnings outlook and announced investment in a new factory, a move it said signaled the global solar market has turned around.

Wall Street initially cheered the results, sending SunPower shares up in after-market trading. The stock later reversed course to trade down 3 percent when the company’s chief executive gave a 2014 earnings per share forecast that fell short of expectations due to expenses for the new plant and a higher share count.

Oct 30, 2013

SunPower to build new factory as results easily top estimates

LOS ANGELES, Oct 30 (Reuters) – SunPower Corp on
Wednesday reported a quarterly profit that soared past
expectations, raised its earnings outlook for the year and said
it will invest in a major new factory, a move it said signaled
that the global solar market has turned around.

Wall Street initially cheered the results, sending SunPower
shares up in after-market trading, but the stock later reversed
course to trade down 3 percent at $30.90.

Oct 29, 2013

Arch Coal cuts metallurgical production view; shares drop

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. coal miner Arch Coal Inc (ACI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday reported disappointing third-quarter results and cut its production outlook for steelmaking coal for the second time this year while rival CONSOL Energy Inc (CNX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported earnings that slightly topped estimates due to strict cost controls.

Both companies’ shares fell, with Arch shares down 3 percent at $4.03 and CONSOL down 1.3 percent at $37.46.

Sep 27, 2013

California solar policy costing all utility customers: report

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s non-solar homeowners are paying a growing share of maintaining the power grid under a controversial state policy, while ratepayers with solar rooftops are paying less, a report commissioned by the state’s utility regulator said on Thursday.

The report, which was issued by the California Public Utilities Commission but performed by an outside research firm, forecast that in 2020, the policy of “net metering” would cost $1.1 billion a year. It will shift about $359 million in costs a year from customers with solar panels to other ratepayers. Residential customers who have no solar panels would bear about $287 million of those costs.

Sep 24, 2013

Loans challenge big money’s leasing model for U.S. rooftop solar

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Falling prices and growing acceptance of home solar power is sparking a challenge to major financiers who have anchored the U.S. industry using leases, as smaller banks and other lenders rush to offer homeowners loans to buy systems.

Loans offer homeowners a path to solar system ownership and the opportunity to capture for themselves federal tax credits worth 30 percent of the value.

Sep 12, 2013

California moves to reform electricity rates

LOS ANGELES, Sept 12 (Reuters) – California lawmakers on
Thursday voted to reform the state’s electricity rate structure,
a move aimed at lowering bills for high energy consumers in the
state’s sweltering inland regions.

The bill, known as AB 327, was backed by the state’s three
investor-owned utilities: Southern California Edison, a unit of
Edison International, Pacific Gas & Electric, a unit of
PG&E Corp, and San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of
Sempra Energy. They argued that higher usage customers,
many of which are lower to moderate income households, have
borne the majority of the state’s electricity rate increases
since certain restrictions were introduced amid the California
energy crisis 12 years ago.

Aug 13, 2013

SolarCity to pay $120 mln for direct-marketing company

LOS ANGELES, Aug 13 (Reuters) – SolarCity Corp said
on Tuesday it will buy direct-marketing solar company Paramount
Solar for about $120 million in a deal intended to help cut the
cost of acquiring new customers.

Paramount Solar is majority-owned by Guthy Renker LLC, the
direct marketing company best-known for its Proactiv skin care
line. Guthy Renker’s chief executive, Ben Van de Bunt, is
expected to join SolarCity’s board of directors later this year.