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Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy

Ominous, right?  Sounds like a witch hunt, as we just noted.  Here comes, we can envision, the new regulators dragging us back to what seems like ancient times of fossil-fuel dependence and the stupidity of importing most of our fuel.

Yet, the ray of hope is they look under the Dept of Energy cover and love what they have seen.  They begin to relish policies that inspire innovation and a wave of new co's, new jobs, better ways of powering our world.  They begin to assimilate the short and long term benefits of local power production and community resilience.

All of us should be willing to open the hood to our work.  If we bring value to the marketplace and our employers, we stay employed and on track.  Scrutiny is good.  Accountability is great.  If the Trump team finds waste and poor programs, cut them.  But, don't throw, as they say, the baby out with the bath water.  Why turn back from embracing efficiency, renewables, energy storage, smart grids and local production of power when those choices work on so many levels?  Really, preserve and nurture along old, dangerous nuclear plants when we have so many better options?  At the same time, then, let's bring back the Model T and transistor radios.

Thanks, Bloomberg, for a good article.

  • Advisers seeking to identify staff involved in climate policy
  • Document drills down into agency operations with 65 questions
Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda.
The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to eliminate government waste, rescind "job-killing" regulations and cancel the Paris climate accord in which nearly 200 countries pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Trump, though, hasn’t detailed specific plans for federal agencies. The document obtained by Bloomberg offers clues on where his administration may be headed on energy policy, based on the nature of questions involving the agency’s research agenda, nuclear program and national labs.

Loans, Incubators

Under Obama, the department played a major role advancing clean-energy technology through loan guarantees and incubators, while writing efficiency rules for appliances. The department leans heavily on tens of thousands of contractors, who supplement the work of its roughly 13,000 direct employees.
Two Energy Department employees who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the questionnaire and said agency staff were unsettled by the Trump team’s information request.
Tom Pyle, the head of Trump’s Energy Department landing team and president of the oil-industry-funded free-market advocacy group American Energy Alliance, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the memo. Media representatives for the Trump transition and an Energy Department spokesperson also didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.
A person close to the transition team confirmed the questions Thursday. The person, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter, praised the caliber of the Energy Department staff and cast the transition team’s effort as designed to ensure transparency on the formation of existing, Obama-era policy.

Social Cost

The questions about the social cost of carbon dovetail with similar, so-far-unsuccessful requests from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have also sought information about the analysis underpinning that policy and the people who helped develop it.
The transition team questions includes perfunctory requests to identify current advisory committees, pending procurement decisions and positions subject to Senate confirmation — information critical to ensuring the agency’s functions before and after Trump is sworn in. 
The document also signals which of the department’s agencies could face the toughest scrutiny under the new administration. Among them: the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a 7-year-old unit that has been a critical instrument for the Obama administration to advance clean-energy technologies.
Since going into operation in 2009, ARPA-E, as it is known, has provided about $1.3 billion in funding to more than 475 projects involving grid-scale batteries, power storage, biofuel production, wind turbines and other technology, according to a May report on the agency. Trump’s energy landing team is seeking “a complete list of ARPA-E’s projects” and wants information about the “Mission Innovation” and “Clean Energy Ministerial” efforts within the department.

Without Subsidy

The group also questions whether any technologies or products that have emerged from Energy Department programs “are currently offered in the market without any subsidy” and asks “what mechanisms exist to help the national laboratories commercialize their scientific and technological prowess.”
The Energy Information Administration, the department’s statistical arm, is the subject of at least 15 questions that probe its staffing, data and analytical decisions, including whether its forecasts underestimate future U.S. oil and gas production. EIA staff also are asked how they account for added costs to transmit and back-up renewable power.
The Trump transition advisers also want to know in what instances the EIA’s independence was most challenged over the past eight years.
While the request for information hints at areas the Trump administration will address in terms of energy, it doesn’t actually specify policy, and administration plans may be shaped in part by the Energy Department’s responses. 

Nuclear Plants

The document shows Trump advisers contemplating ways to keep aging U.S. nuclear power plants on line, including by addressing concerns about the long-term storage of spent radioactive material. “How can the DOE support existing reactors to continue operating,” and “what can DOE do to help prevent premature closure of plants?” the transition team asks.
Trump advisers have been weighing how to revive a long-stalled plan to stash radioactive waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. In the document, they ask if there are any statutory restrictions to restarting that project or reinvigorating an Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management that was responsible for disposing of spent nuclear material.
In the transition document, Trump advisers ask for "a full accounting" of DOE liabilities associated with DOE’s Loan Program Office, criticized by Republican leaders over its part in bankrolling Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that went bankrupt and left taxpayers on the hook for $535 million in federal guarantees. The documents seeks lists of outstanding loans, their terms and objectives, and the parties responsible for repaying them. 
In addition to Pyle, Trump’s Energy Department landing team includes national security lawyer David Jonas; Michigan Republican Party vice chair Kelly Mitchell; Jack Spencer, vice president of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at the conservative Heritage Foundation; Martin Dannenfelser Jr., previously with the Energy Innovation Reform Project; and Travis Fisher, with the Institute for Energy Research.


Red States Are Leading the Way in Renewable Energy

What are we to make of this stat?  Is it important and will it lead to politicians from these states embracing change? 

We think it is and it will.  In Washington the focus needs to be on the economics around migrating away from fossil fuel.  The arcane discussions around the science of climate change, by non-scientist, should stop.  Over and over we've proven the financial value of investing in a business world that can balance a healthy eco-system with a healthy financial system.  Costs are down, returns are up.  Happily, the concurrent improvement environmental improvement brings great value to quality of life.

Next we follow with an article on Trump's transition team tearing apart the Dept of Energy and their work under Obama to innovate and model energy changes.  On the surface his team looks to be on a witch hunt.  But, we hope that the deeper they dig, the more they will love the inspiring story of the green economy that is booming right before their eyes.

Red States Are Leading the Way in Renewable Energy



And they’re home to some of the leading critics of climate science in Congress.

Wind turbines and solar panels accounted for more than two-thirds of all new electric generation capacity added to the nation’s grid in 2015, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy. The remaining third was largely new power plants fueled by natural gas, which has become cheap and plentiful as a result of hydraulic fracturing.

It was the second straight year U.S. investment in renewable energy projects has outpaced that of fossil fuels. Robust growth is once again predicted for this year.
And while Republican lawmakers in Washington have fought to protect coal-fired power plants, opposing President Barack Obama’s efforts to curtail climate-warming carbon emissions, data show their home states are often the ones benefiting most from the nation’s accelerating shift to renewable energy.

Leading the way in new wind projects are GOP strongholds Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, home to some of the leading critics of climate science and renewable energy incentives in Congress. Republican-dominated North Carolina trails only California in new solar farms, thanks largely to pro-renewables polices enacted years ago under a Democratic legislature.

The most dramatic change has been seen in the plummeting cost of emissions-free wind energy, which has declined by two-thirds in the last six years thanks to the availability of cheaper, more efficient turbines. An annual analysis by the investment firm Lazard determined that wind energy is now the lowest-cost energy source, even before federal green-energy tax incentives are factored in.
“We are entering the era of renewables,” former Vice President Al Gore said Thursday at the Climate Action 2016 conference in Washington. “It’s a very exciting new reality.”

Billions of dollars in private equity are going to construct massive new renewables projects, especially in the Sun Belt and Great Plains. Thousands of miles of new high-voltage transmission lines are also under construction to send power from the wind and sun from the sparsely populated areas where it is collected to the urban centers where it’s needed.
Even with the surge in new projects, energy from such renewable sources as wind, solar and water accounted for only about a tenth of total U.S. power generation last year.
 
Still, the U.S. leads the world in wind energy with about 48,800 utility-scale turbines operating across the country, generating enough electricity to power about 20 million homes. By 2030, the Energy Department estimates wind will provide a fifth of the nation’s electricity.

“Wind energy is very low-cost and not subject to the fuel price risk that both natural gas and coal face,” said Michael Goggin, senior director of research at the American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group. “Adding wind is cheaper than new gas or new coal. It is by far the lowest-cost resource.”

Coal has dropped over the last decade from providing half of all U.S. electricity to about one-third.

Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, last month joined a growing list of major mining firms forced to seek bankruptcy protection. Wall Street appears to also be writing coal’s financial obituary. JPMorgan Chase recently announced it will no longer finance new coal mines or coal-fired power plants, following similar announcements from other big banks.

While new clean-air regulations and tax incentives for renewables are having a negative impact on coal, the plummeting cost of cleaner-burning natural gas made possible by fracking is largely driving the closure of many old coal-fired power plants. Exports of coal to foreign customers such as China also are down.

“We didn’t see the decline coming this fast and this deep,” said Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association, an industry trade group.
Meanwhile, the long-promised potential of Clean Coal technology has yet to be realized. A model power plant in Mississippi designed to capture the carbon dioxide generated from burning coal has encountered repeated delays and multibillion-dollar cost overruns.

Closures mean America’s coal mines now employ about only about 56,700 people, down from a peak of more than 10 times that. By contrast, the fast-growing solar industry now employs more than 210,000 workers. Wind energy accounts for another 77,000 by federal estimates.

Political giving by the big coal companies and their executives has declined, but the industry still spends heavily to protect its interests in Washington. Pro-coal interests spent at least $11 million to influence the 2014 Congressional midterm elections, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. More than 95 percent of that went to support Republican candidates.

Among them is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who rarely misses an opportunity to blame Obama’s “War on Coal” for killing mining jobs. Nearly all of the 27 states that have sued to stop the administration’s carbon emissions-cutting Clean Power Plan have GOP governors.

For Republicans from areas benefiting from renewable energy, the political calculus can be complicated. An increasing number of them try to balance criticizing Obama’s environmental efforts with quietly supporting the federal tax incentives helping drive investment in renewables.

GOP leaders compromised with Democrats and a growing number of pro-renewables Republicans to include a five-year extension of tax breaks for wind and solar projects as part of a federal budget agreement approved in December.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, among the earliest boosters of government support for wind power, points out that fossil fuels and nuclear plants have long benefited from tax credits. Last month, MidAmerican Energy announced plans to invest another $3.6 billion to add new turbines in Iowa, which already gets about a third of its electricity from the wind.

“We’ve seen the economic success story behind renewables up close and personal,” Grassley said as the new project was announced. “There are more than 6,000 good wind jobs in Iowa.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

How Costa Rica Went 75 Days Using Only Clean Electricity

We may have run this before, but it is worth repeating.  This simply wets our appetite for pushing each nation to the same levels of clean, energy independence.  

How Costa Rica Went 75 Days Using Only Clean Electricity


Costa Rica Hydropower


While governments from countries around the world this week have outlined how they plan to curb their carbon emissions, Costa Rica may seem like it’s showing off. The Central American country’s state utility company announced last week that it went the first 75 days of 2015 without using fossil fuels like coal or oil for electricity. The country expects to rely on renewable energy for more than 95% of the total electricity consumed this year.

It’s good news, but as is often the case with climate policy, the devil is in the details. A number of factors make the accomplishment less significant than it appears at first glance. Fossil fuels have been used to produce only a tiny fraction of Costa Rican electricity for decades—today, renewable energy accounts more than 85% of the total electricity produced—and popular support for climate change measures is strong. More importantly, trumpeting the elimination of fossil fuels for electricity elides the tougher reality that Costa Rica—like nearly every other country in the world—relies heavily on the use of fossil fuels for transportation.


“We don’t want this be a 75-day story, we want this to be a 365-day story,” said Monica Araya, executive director of Nivela, a Costa Rica-based climate change think tank. “We need to have a conversation about how to go beyond hydro, and not just about clean electricity, but clean energy.”

F0r Costa Rica, the road to eliminating fossil fuels in electricity has been decades long. Even before climate change became a global concern, Costa Rica has long been able to rely on clean energy sources for nearly all of its electricity, thanks to a tropical location well suited for carbon-free hydropower. In fact, the majority of Costa Rica’s electricity has been generated by hydropower in every year since 1989, according to data provided by Nivela.


Energy experts praised the use of renewable resources, but they also warned that hydropower may not be reliable in the future as climate patterns change. Today, other renewable energy sources in Costa Rica—particularly, geothermal and wind power—provide a significant proportion of energy, but hydropower still reigns supreme. Costa Rica needs to prepare for a climate that may not receive as much rain—which would dilute hydropower—by adding solar and wind power capacity.

Much more needs to be done, even beyond the utility sector. “It’s important to be precise—you’re only talking about electricity,” said Carolina Herrera Jáuregui, Latin America Advocate at the National Resources Defense Council. “The majority of the energy of used is through the transportation sector.”

Unlike many of its regional counterparts, nearly 75% of the Costa Rican economy is based on service businesses that rely much more on energy for transportation than for electricity. And transporting people and goods around Costa Rica—especially for the booming tourism industry—generally means traveling in a car or another personal vehicle, which emits more carbon than other means like trains, which are largely absent in the country.

Still, Costa Ricans show widespread support for efforts to curb climate change. Around 80% of the population has heard about climate change and essentially all of those who have heard of climate change believe in it, according to a United Nations report. A wide majority also supports new renewable energy projects, including 87% who support wind power plants and 77% who support geothermal plants. Less than a quarter support the further use of oil.

Popular understanding of climate change may not be surprising in a country known for designating more than a quarter of its area as national park land and for eliminating its army and subsequently investing heavily in education. “These things put us on a pathway that was friendlier to people and eventually friendlier to our natural capital,” said Araya.

In the decades-long battle against climate change, the significance of Costa Rica’s achievement will likely rest in the example they set for other countries as this December’s climate change conference in Paris approaches rapidly. “The movement that you see in Latin America is a very positive thing,” said Araya. “It’s easier in the U.S. and elsewhere to move if you see others moving.”

“We don’t want this be a 75-day story, we want this to be a 365-day story,” said Monica Araya, executive director of Nivela, a Costa Rica-based climate change think tank. “We need to have a conversation about how to go beyond hydro, and not just about clean electricity, but clean energy.”

Read More: White House Outlines Plans to Cut Carbon Emissions by up to 28%
F0r Costa Rica, the road to eliminating fossil fuels in electricity has been decades long. Even before climate change became a global concern, Costa Rica has long been able to rely on clean energy sources for nearly all of its electricity, thanks to a tropical location well suited for carbon-free hydropower. In fact, the majority of Costa Rica’s electricity has been generated by hydropower in every year since 1989, according to data provided by Nivela.
Energy experts praised the use of renewable resources, but they also warned that hydropower may not be reliable in the future as climate patterns change. Today, other renewable energy sources in Costa Rica—particularly, geothermal and wind power—provide a significant proportion of energy, but hydropower still reigns supreme. Costa Rica needs to prepare for a climate that may not receive as much rain—which would dilute hydropower—by adding solar and wind power capacity.

Much more needs to be done, even beyond the utility sector. “It’s important to be precise—you’re only talking about electricity,” said Carolina Herrera Jáuregui, Latin America Advocate at the National Resources Defense Council. “The majority of the energy of used is through the transportation sector.”

Unlike many of its regional counterparts, nearly 75% of the Costa Rican economy is based on service businesses that rely much more on energy for transportation than for electricity. And transporting people and goods around Costa Rica—especially for the booming tourism industry—generally means traveling in a car or another personal vehicle, which emits more carbon than other means like trains, which are largely absent in the country.

Still, Costa Ricans show widespread support for efforts to curb climate change. Around 80% of the population has heard about climate change and essentially all of those who have heard of climate change believe in it, according to a United Nations report. A wide majority also supports new renewable energy projects, including 87% who support wind power plants and 77% who support geothermal plants. Less than a quarter support the further use of oil.

Popular understanding of climate change may not be surprising in a country known for designating more than a quarter of its area as national park land and for eliminating its army and subsequently investing heavily in education. “These things put us on a pathway that was friendlier to people and eventually friendlier to our natural capital,” said Araya.
In the decades-long battle against climate change, the significance of Costa Rica’s achievement will likely rest in the example they set for other countries as this December’s climate change conference in Paris approaches rapidly. “The movement that you see in Latin America is a very positive thing,” said Araya. “It’s easier in the U.S. and elsewhere to move if you see others moving.”

Standing Rock: is it a win or a temporary pause?

Great question posed within this story running on our main network site at Renewable Now.biz.  To us it looks like a temporary victory.  One that might get overturned quickly as the new administration puts their people in place.

AT RN we have mixed feelings on expanding natural gas production.  Yes, their environmental risk.  But we think that is mitigated by today's better technology, and the shift of energy back to domestic sources is great for jobs and the economy.  Would we prefer all resources go into expanding renewables?  Yes.  But that is not realistic.  Gas will continue to be a significant part of our fuel mix.  Hence, there has to be reasonable regulations, and expectations, around the development of new sources.  As with any project, government cannot choke it to a stand still with burdensome compliance.  Until we stop importing oil and mining coal, natural gas is a viable alternative:



Can the Standing Rock coalition claim victory, or is it just a temporary pause to defuse tensions by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers? On Sunday December 4, the U.S. Army released the following:

"The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today.

Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Her office had announced on November 14, 2016 that it was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing. Tribal officials have expressed repeated concerns over the risk that a pipeline rupture or spill could pose to its water supply and treaty rights.

"Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do," Darcy said. "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing."

Darcy said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis."

This decision came with many cheering, including actor and long time environmental activist, Mark Rufalo, who said, “DakotaPhoto Credit Fibonacci Blue Access Pipeline Denied by Army Corps of Engineers! No win is ever permanent but we can rejoice today because together we created greater justice in the world, we opened the door to heal the old wounds sustained by our indigenous people. President Obama will leave the White House as a great chief of America for this. We must all thank the Native Youth who started this movement who started the camp and ran all over the USA to stop this from happening. It is for them, the unborn and the voiceless that we persist in the struggle. We must also have compassion for the Police who were on the other side of this struggle but are still our brothers and sisters.”

As far as the developer’s concerns, Energy Transfer Partners remained committed to the project without a reroute. "The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions," the statement read, "by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency."

We’ll continue to watch how this story evolves it seems that this ultimately will play out in court and what ever decision prevails one side will feel the loss.

- See more at: http://renewablenow.biz/sustainable-law.html#sthash.FNckW8ka.dpuf



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Can Ivanka Trump create the ODD COUPLE of Sustainability? See more at Renewable Now.biz

We say, of course.  If Donald Trump is a true, wise business man he has learned to be open to every option of smart growth and improved profitability  We know investments in green bring just that.

As Mr. Trump gets more familiar with the ROI on such investments, and the concurrent environmental improvements and reduced stress on our eco-capital, we have no doubt he will embrace the smarts of building a green economy while addressing restoring the needed balance between our beautiful, robust eco-system and economy.

.  

If it didn’t really happen we would have never thought it possible- Al Gore working with Donald Trump on climate change! It’s like Felix Unger trying to get Oscar Madison to work on cleaning his room. Not happening! But one thing Felix didn’t have in his cornerThe Odd Couple, 60's Sitcom was Oscar’s daughter trying to get her farther to listen to Felix.

Al Gore may have all he needs in getting the Trump Administration to pay attention to climate change, and that’s thanks to Ivanka Trump. It’s no secret that Ivanka and her husband’s opinions and counsel are well respected by Trump. This week, Ivanka was credited with organizing a meeting between her father and Al Gore to discuss climate change.

Mr. Gore said the meeting "Was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” which, in our mind, is a step in the right direction.

If we look deeper at this, what should we think? Well, Trump has been building his administration with conservatives, and many of the possible names for his environmental posts are not in favor of current policy. If Ivanka Trump pushes the issue and Al Gore continues his "interesting conversation" with the president, however, this could become a test of how willing President Trump is to cross party orthodoxy.

In the end, how this plays out may have more to do with how influential Ivanka is rather than how persuasive Al Gore is. Ivanka Trump is perceived to be a more progressive voice on her father's transition team, compared to his other advisers. Being a mother of three children Ivanka may have a much greater interest in making sure that her children will live in a healthy and clean environment.

We’ll continue to cover this story and we’re hoping that this “odd couple” can help keep our planet clean.
- See more at: http://renewablenow.biz/governmental-green.html#sthash.Vn9OSoGq.dpuf

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy It Had to Pay Customers to Use It

Trying to give you a few quick updates this morning.

Perhaps, at times, there is too much of a good thing.  Germany is an industrial giant that has transitioned beautifully to renewables and embracing the new, green economy.  They are well on their way to 100% renewables.  Yet, this is clearly a bump in the road.  We can't change the fundamental economics of energy--suppliers getting paid for their power--and expect to have lasting systems.  Getting a glut, and seeing consumers enjoy financial benefits, is not productive.  

Utilities and grids facing some daunting challenges of building smart and micro grids and clean energy systems that deliver dependable electricity while giving the market back reasonable returns.  We've seen wind turned off in Iowa, at times, because of too little demand.  We love efficiency and the goals of substantially driving down consumption.  But, we don't want to leave providers out in the cold.  We have too much riding on this historic industrial revolution as we migrate forever, we hope, away from fossil fuels.

Germany Had So Much Renewable Energy It Had to Pay Customers to Use It


wind-turbines-renewable-energy

Power prices went negative for a few hours, paying industrial consumers


Renewable energy generation hit a high in Germany Sunday, with commercial power consumers being paid to use electricity for a few hours.

Around midday the country’s wind, solar, hydro and biomass plants were supplying 87% of the power being consumed in Germany, according to a report by Quartz.

Germany’s renewable energy mix was 33% last year and is expected to climb this year due to new wind power generation, as the country looks to convert to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

The power surplus may have been good for consumers, but power suppliers suffered, according to Quartz. While some gas power plants were taken offline, other plants—such as nuclear and coal—couldn’t shut down as quickly, so industrial customers were earning money as they used electricity.

Here's Why First Solar Just Slashed Its Revenue Outlook

The question of course is, why?  During a time when solar is booming, First Solar is slashing revenue projections?  What is the disconnect?

Our guess, and it is pure speculation, is that perhaps their product, maybe pricing, has not kept up with the incredible advances enjoyed by the industry.  R & D, new technology, much better production and manufacturing have leapfrogged solar's remarkable ascent into better pricing and value.  Is First Solar struggling to keep up?

We hope this is an anomaly.  That renewables continue to boom and, perhaps, First Solar can get back on track with sales as well.  We need winners across the board and high numbers for growth in revenue and jobs.

Here's Why First Solar Just Slashed Its Revenue Outlook



These projects have been delayed.

First Solar, the largest U.S. solar equipment manufacturer, reported a 55.9% drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, and the company cut its full-year revenue forecast for the second time.

The company cut its revenue guidance to $2.8 billion-$2.9 billion from $3.8 billion-$4 billion as it revised the sale timing for its California Flats and Moapa projects. The projects are now expected to be sold in 2017.

First Solar’s net income fell to $154.1 million, or $1.49 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $349.3 million, or $3.41 per share, a year earlier.

Net income in the quarter was hurt by pre-tax charges of $4 million.

First Solar, the first major U.S. solar company to report quarterly results, said net sales fell 45.9% to $688 million due to the completion of multiple systems projects during the quarter.