Monday, May 18, 2020

Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills

The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials...U.S. power plant owner Avangrid Inc, majority owned by Spain's Iberdrola, received a bill for more than $3 million for two years of rent on its 131-megawatt Tule wind project on federal land near San Diego, according to spokesman Paul Copleman. Officials at two other renewable projects also confirmed they had received retroactive rent bills from the federal government but asked not to be named discussing the issue as the industry continues to lobby the government for support to weather the downturn. Some 96 utility-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects operate on lands run by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, according to The Wilderness Society and Yale Center for Business and the Environment. The bills came as a surprise, said Shannon Eddy, executive director of the Large-scale Solar Association, a trade group for owners of big solar farms. But she said some companies had likely set funds aside in case the bills ever came...MORE

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