Enterprise Products Signs Power Purchase Agreement with EDF Renewables for Texas Project to Expand Use of Solar Power

Enterprise Products Signs Power Purchase Agreement with EDF Renewables for Texas Project to Expand Use of Solar Power

In another sign of various sectors of the energy industry coming together to advance decarbonization, Enterprise Products Partners LP, a company focused on pipeline, storage and natural gas processing, among other services and products to the energy industry, signed a virtual power purchase agreement for solar energy from the Space City Solar project located in Wharton County, Texas. “We are committed to being a responsible steward of the environment, including using energy sustainably across our footprint,” A.J. “Jim” Teague, co-CEO of the Houston-based midstream company’s general partner, said in a statement on March 1. The PPA made with EDF Renewables North America is the result, Teague said, of an initiative launched by Enterprise Products in 2020 to expand solar power purchasing and/or installations across its system. “We estimate that by 2025, approximately 25% of our power will be from renewable resources.” The Space City Solar project is expected to commence construction in Summer 2021 and begin delivery of clean electricity in Summer 2022. The power purchase agreement between EDF Renewables and an affiliate of Enterprise Products was for a second tranche of the project for 100 MWac/132 MWdc. The project’s total capacity is up to 345 MWac/455 MWdc.  Approximately 300 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase with more than $30 million generated in new tax revenue over the operating life for Wharton County taxing entities, according to a joint release from Enterprise and EDF.

EDF Renewables North America Signs Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Enterprise Products for Solar Energy | Business Wire

Biden Administration to Revoke Proposed Amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Biden Administration to Revoke Proposed Amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

On February 17, 2021, the Biden Administration announced it will revoke amendments to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) filed during the last days of the Trump Administration.  The DRECP was a collaborative, interagency planning effort finalized in 2016 that was intended to balance renewable energy development and desert conservation across nearly 11 million acres of public lands in the deserts of California.  The DRECP carves out certain areas of the deserts for renewable energy development, and makes other areas off limits for reasons including conservation and recreation.  The Trump Administration’s amendments would have reduced the number of areas where renewable energy development was off limits, opening up an additional 800,000 acres for renewable energy development.  In a statement from the Bureau of Land Management, it was unnecessary to reopen and reconsider the DRECP, which had been developed after years of collaboration and stakeholder input.  Renewable energy development in the DRECP land area will continue on under the original plan.

FERC Forecasting a Boost to Transmission Infrastructure

FERC Forecasting a Boost to Transmission Infrastructure

On February 11, 2021, FERC Chairman Richard Glick discussed plans to develop new incentives to support the buildout of transmission infrastructure to meet the ever-growing demand for electricity and the continued growth of renewable projects across the country.  As states issue long term net-zero and renewable energy policy goals, and in turn incentivize development of additional power generation facilities, upgrades and construction of new transmission infrastructure will be needed to carry forth that driving force.  Chairman Glick provided that “We do have a duty to figure out where the industry is going and recognize the fact that there is going to be a lot more demand for electricity.” “I think we have to figure out policies that will hopefully promote greater investment in the transmission grid to facilitate access to cleaner resources.” For additional information on Chairman Glick’s policy forecast, please click here.

Solar Growth in West Virginia

Solar Growth in West Virginia

Following the passage of West Virginia Senate Bill 583 in early 2020, West Virginia has seen an uptick in the number of new proposed renewable energy projects.  SB 583 established a new incentive program supporting the development of renewable energy facilities on former industrial sites.  Berkeley County, in the eastern panhandle, recently announced a proposed 100 MW solar facility to be built on a 750 acre brownfield site previously used as a manufacturing facility.  Read more.

Solar Investment and Wind Production Tax Credits Extended

Solar Investment and Wind Production Tax Credits Extended

The recently approved federal spending bill for 2021 appropriations (December 27, 2020) included extensions to the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) and wind production tax credit (PTC).  The ITC and PTC provide significant financial incentives to the growing renewable energy industry. The ITC is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal corporate income taxes for a percent of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system that is placed in service.  The ITC, which was scheduled to step down from 26% to 22% in 2021, has been extended at its current 26% rate for an additional two years through 2023.  The PTC is a per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated using qualified energy resources including wind, and was scheduled to phase down from 60% of the original credit to 40% in 2021.  The new spending bill included an extension of the 60% rate for an additional year through 2021. Projects must be commenced prior to the expiration of the new extension deadlines in order to qualify for the current tax credit rate. Please click here for more information.