Clean Energy Business Network March 26 Newsletter

Source: Clean Energy Business Network, March 26, 2020

The Senate has passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 disaster aid bill that the House is expected to consider by the end of the week. Learn about provisions that may help your business and employees weather this crisis. Also, it’s the last chance to sign onto our FY21 appropriations letter before delivery ahead of a House subcommittee deadline.  


Senate passes $2 trillion COVID-19 aid bill 
Late on March 25th, the Senate voted 96-0 approving the “CARES Act“–a $2 trillion disaster aid package in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Provisions include assistance to hospitals and state and local governments, rebate checks to individuals and families, loan forgiveness to help small businesses meet payroll and other expenses, expanded unemployment benefits, and funds for airlines and other impacted industries. The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow morning. Read CEBN’s summary of key provisions impacting your business.

COVID aid package omits energy provisions – for now 
Despite early negotiations considering aid to oil companies and modifications to clean energy tax credits, the COVID aid package advancing through Congress this week does not include any energy provisions. However, further action on such provisions is possible in a subsequent stimulus package. Items on the table could include altering the schedule of phase-downs for clean energy tax credits, making credits refundable, or extending safe harbor rules for claiming them.

Potential phase four stimulus package expected next
Members of Congress have signaled that a fourth Coronavirus relief bill may be forthcoming. Speaker Pelosi framed the phase three bill as “mitigation” of the immediate health and economic impacts of the virus, while phase four would be “recovery” from longer-term economic impacts. CEBN will continue to monitor these discussions and how they might impact clean energy and small businesses.  


ICYMI: M4Edge Podcast features startup Chaac Technologies
Samuel Kimzey, Co-founder of Chaac Technologies, joined Marco Annunziata & Michael Leifman on the M4Edge podcast recently to discuss potentially game-changing technology in the cleantech & water space. Learn about the startup’s story & progress!


Sign on to CEBN FY2021 funding letter before House deadline
The previously-scheduled committee hearings and legislative markups on FY 2021 appropriations and SBIR reauthorization have been postponed in light of the COVID-19 crisis. However, the committees have maintained their deadline for external comments and we will be submitting the FY21 appropriations sign-on letter in advance of a House Energy & Water Subcommittee deadline on March 31. The committees will resume action on these issues once the immediate public health crisis abates, and we will keep you posted on opportunities to reiterate your priorities to your Congressional delegation.  


IRS pushes tax payment deadline to July 15
The IRS has extended the deadline for tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This relief applies to all individual returns, trusts, and corporations, and also includes an extension of the deadline of Q1 2020 estimated tax payments. The extension only applies to federal income returns and tax payments (including tax on self-employment income), not other types of federal tax or state/local taxes. Resources on state tax agencies can be found here.

SBA offers loans to small businesses impacted by Coronavirus
The SBA is working directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. Small business owners in many states are now eligible to apply. Additional forms of assistance will be forthcoming in implementation of the disaster aid package poised for enactment this week.

Cleantech Open Accelerator 2020: applications now open
Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, providing entrepreneurs and corporate innovators the resources they need to launch and grow successful cleantech businesses. It provides 100-150 companies each year a program of customer discovery, mentoring, training, investor meetings, startup-corporate matching, and showcasing.

Most events have been canceled or moved to virtual platforms. Visit the sites below regularly for updates on content that will be made available digitally.

Women’s Energy Entrepreneurship: March 27 (W ebinar) 
The fifth of a six-part webinar hosted by Clean Energy Solutions Center and the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment International initiatives, this virtual event focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship by women in the energy sector. 

Energy, Utility & Environment Conference: April 20-21 (Virtual)
EUEC’s annual professional networking and educational event will take place through their mobile app this year. The conference prioritizes cooperation and information exchange between government, industry, and stakeholders working toward a future of energy security.

Other Events and Activities:


FL: Public Service Commission approves solar program
Renewable Energy World

MA: State will implement nation’s first clean peak standard
Utility Dive

ME: Islands look to microgrids for energy independence
Energy News

RI: Offshore wind hub could be center of blue tech growth 
Energy News

TX: Lightsource BP closes solar deal despite COVID-19
Green Tech MediaWA: PNNL to build $90 million energy sciences research center
Tri-City Herald