Mike Hall, CEO – Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.
We need to push for Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS or RES) at either the state or federal levels. These standards need to come with real teeth in the form of penalties for non-compliance. While solar and other renewable sources are already becoming competitive with fossil fuels the fact is that as a result of excess capacity overall demand for power is not increasing in most states. There is excess power available to utilities. Unless there is a mandate to purchase renewable energy adoption will be slow, and growth will be inhibited.
The current system of net metering that has been used in the majority of U.S. projects is incredibly inefficient. It drives developers to locate PV systems on owner-occupied buildings with high electricity rates – unfortunately these locations are usually expensive. The prime sites for solar are large industrial rooftops, but these are rarely owner-occupied and usually come with industrial utility rate schedules. Industrial rate schedules are not solar friendly as they are demand heavy and light on energy charges. We need to have solar policies that drive the industry to install at the most cost effective locations.
The industry needs to increase our batting average and simplify the landscape. The majority of announced solar projects either never get installed or fall years behind schedule due to finance, environmental or entitlement issues. Our batting average should be much higher than wind or other technologies that have significant transmission, interconnection and environmental challenges. Unfortunately the vast majority of announced utility solar PPAs are far from commencing construction. There are too many developers and technology providers promising too much. We need to work with the utilities to develop processes and systems that distill the industries development pipeline down to the most viable projects.
Mike Hall currently serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and board member for Borrego Solar. Mike has led the company’s development of a number of new service offerings including: integrated power purchase agreements, consulting services, and utility scale project development.