US government announces boost for commercial-scale solar



The US government has announced plans to smooth the path for the development of commercial-scale solar with US$15 million being set aside for community-lead projects.

The new Solar Market Pathways project, part of the SunShot Initiative to reduce the cost of solar, will focus on removing red tape to allow communities to establish solar schemes for installs on the roofs of homes and businesses.

“As part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, solar energy is helping families and businesses throughout the US access affordable, clean renewable power,” said energy secretary Ernest Moniz.

“The Energy Department is committed to further driving down the cost of solar energy and supporting innovative community-based programs – creating more jobs, reducing carbon pollution and boosting economic growth,” added Moniz.

The project will enable new financing models for communities such as shared solar where families and businesses own or lease part of, or simply buy electricity from, a larger solar installation.

The US utility-scale market has boomed in recent years, however the commercial sector has been slower to take-off.

There are signs of improvement with Hanwha Q CELLS establishing a mid-scale development arm.

A US$100 million project finance fund was announced for the sector on Thursday.

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