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A petition filed in April by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) has requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reassess its authority over retail solar sales, stating that the federal government, through FERC, not individual state legislatures and public utility commissions, has exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale energy sales and should end the practice of net metering.
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Investor Advisory Committee Pushes SEC to Lead on ESG Disclosures

June 1, 2020 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli, Thomas R. Burton, III

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee’s Investor-as-Owner Subcommittee recently voted 14-4 to approve a recommendation that urges the Commission (SEC) to begin an effort to update the reporting requirements of public companies to include material, decision-useful environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
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In a May 21 letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, three Republican senators—Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)—have requested that Treasury modify existing Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) guidance on “start of construction” to provide production tax credit (“PTC”) and investment tax credit (“ITC”) relief to wind and solar projects affected by COVID-19 related disruptions.
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SBA Issues Additional Guidance Regarding “Necessity” Certification Required under the CARES Act

May 13, 2020 | Blog | By Hope Foster, Karen Lovitch, Joseph Price, Sahir Surmeli

Today the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued additional guidance with respect to the “necessity” certification required under the CARES Act in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The relevant guidance appears in FAQ 46, and it is very good news for borrowers who received PPP loans under $2 million (together with PPP loans to affiliates, if any). The SBA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Treasury, has determined that a safe harbor will apply with respect to SBA’s review of the certification of necessity in connection with respect to such loans. Specifically, “[a]ny borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.”
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A letter issued by the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of the Treasury Thursday suggests that some relief is on the way for a renewables industry that has been battered by the COVID-19 crisis and has expressed concern about fast-approaching tax credit deadlines.
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MassCEC BRIDGES Program Now Accepting Applications

May 5, 2020 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli, Thomas Burton

The Bridging Recovery for Innovators Driving Green Energy Solutions (BRIDGES) Program, created by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), is currently accepting applications from clean energy startups in need of support in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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With Most State Capitols Closed, Some States Press Forward on Clean Energy Legislation

May 1, 2020 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli, Thomas R. Burton, III

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of America home, including state legislators, some states have managed to pass landmark clean energy legislation whilst prioritizing matters related to the novel coronavirus.
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In Part III of our series on the Transportation and Climate Initiative, we took a deep dive into one TCI jurisdiction, Massachusetts, to see how the plan might look once implemented. However, the broad implementation of this regional initiative is anything but certain. Despite the steps that some jurisdictions have taken in progressing towards legislation and executive action to implement the plan, many states are facing legitimate challenges that may prevent this regional program from actually going into effect. 
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Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

March 30, 2020 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has been growing as more and more models and are coming to market, some from new automakers. One barrier to widespread adoption of EVs is the amount of charging time that is required, especially when using home or other charging systems where users must charge their vehicles overnight to obtain a full charge. This is a technical issue that the industry is in the process of resolving, chiefly by improving upon today’s much-used “plug-in” charging systems.
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An Ambitious New Ban on Gas Vehicles in the U.K.

March 5, 2020 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli

In early February, the United Kingdom announced a new goal in its efforts to confront climate change: a ban on the sale of all new gas and diesel cars by 2035. The ambitious announcement is set to speed up the country’s timeline for addressing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by five years, modifying the previous goal of a 2040 ban.
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In Parts I and II of our series delving into the details of the Transportation Climate Initiative, we provided an overview and described the structure of the TCI. In Part III, we will discuss how the plan might look in one TCI jurisdiction, Massachusetts, and how the Commonwealth will prioritize investment of the proceeds from the initiative.
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In Part I of our series on the Transportation Climate Initiative TCI, we provided an overview of this innovative program. Here in Part II, we will delve into how the initiative will work. As a regional policy, TCI will provide a framework for each state jurisdiction to implement in its own way. The recently released Framework for a Draft Regional Policy Proposal provides important insights into the way that the TCI could be structured in each state.
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Energy Tax Extenders Passed in Washington

January 8, 2020 | Blog | By Thomas R. Burton, III

On December 17, 2019, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package as an amendment to the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1865). The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2019 amendment, which included several energy-related tax provisions and extensions, was added to the end of the bill and unveiled just days before Congress was set to adjourn for the year.
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On December 17, 2019, thirteen jurisdictions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States officially issued an ambitious plan to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions and investing in sustainable transportation infrastructure. The plan, entitled the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), which has taken nearly a year to be drafted, is the first inter-state initiative of its kind and, if implemented, would drastically change the face of transportation along the East Coast.

In this first installment of a four-part series on the TCI, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the initiative and explain its aims. Subsequent installments will cover the initiative’s structure, the plan for Massachusetts, and potential challenges to implementation.
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New York Permits 316 MW Battery Storage Project, Trading Gas Plant for World’s Largest Battery

December 2, 2019 | Blog | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

New York’s utility regulator has approved construction on a 316-megawatt battery storage plant, a facility that, if built, would provide emissions-free power to New York City and the surrounding region while replacing a significant portion of the city’s fossil-fueled energy. Known as the Ravenswood Development, the project aims to provide 2,528 MWh of power and would operate during peak hours, with enough storage capacity to discharge 8 hours of power during the hours of highest demand.
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