Posts Tagged "financing solar"

U.S. Department of Energy to allocate $32 million for solar industry

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U.S. Department of Energy to allocate $32 million for solar industry

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that they will fund $32 million towards innovative solar technology and for training a U.S. workforce better equipped to handle the growing solar trend. “Last year, a new solar energy project was installed every two and a half minutes in the United States,” said Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. The Department hopes to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for U.S. residents. To read the full article click...

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Why Spring is the best time to invest in solar…

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Why Spring is the best time to invest in solar…

For many, the end of the year looks like a juicy time to invest in solar. You can squeeze in those tax credits to cover what you owe and make the books look nice and balanced for the coming year. For some this type of thinking isn’t even on the radar. However, when we use a renewable source of energy, the natural cycles come into play in a big way. Everyone who is thinking about going solar, or looking at the state of their solar credits should understand these cycles. Vermont Community Solar makes going solar so simple that many participants forget that their power is actually being generated by the sun. Here’s the scoop… Buying VCS panels is like buying stock in the sun except this market never crashes. It is always in the positive and will always make you money. How much money depends on the season. To put it simplistically, in the stock market, you buy low priced stocks, sit back, watch them grow, and sell them at a higher price. There are similarities when going solar. While the sunshine market is much less volatile, you will see your solar credits grow throughout the summer and dip in the winter. Knowing these cycles is useful when investing in solar. If you buy panels in the fall, you will have minimal return until the following spring when the sun rises higher in the sky and the days get longer. If you buy panels in the Spring, you will watch your return rise to its peak in the Summer. Starting out in the green (or the most green) can be helpful when taking the financing option. This way, you will start out with the maximum amount of credit to weather what minimal volatility there is throughout the year. So, buy panels in the spring and watch your electricity bill dissolve in the...

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PV America Award

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PV America Award

On Monday we were recognized by PV America as having a “Project of Distinction”. This project is the Vermont Community Solar project in Brattleboro, VT: Soveren Community Solar 1. It was recognized for its dedication to local labor and financing, as well as its working relationship with two organizations in Brattleboro, the Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center and Brattleboro Savings & Loan. Without the support of these organizations, this project would not have been possible. Also, thank you to PV America for the chance to bring Vermont Community Solar to a wider audience.                   Read the Press Release here....

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FTC Won’t Investigate GMP

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In the past few years Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) have become a heated topic in Vermont. So much so, that it peaked the interest of Vermont Law School (VLS) and elicited a letter from the Vermont Attorney General. If you have been following the story about the sale of RECs within Green Mountain Power (GMP) territory, this update will be of interest to you. According to a February 10th article in Times Argus, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided not to investigate GMPs marketing of RECs, but said that communication to the public should remain clear. [A GMP Press Release from September 19th 2014 is available here] Kevin Jones, a VLS professor was not happy with these results. Last year VLS challenged GMP handling of their RECs, and specifically aimed this criticism towards Vermont’s SPEED law saying that, “From an environmental and electric rate (perspective), the SPEED program has been a failure”. Kristen Carlson, a GMP representative, addressed this issue by bringing to light that the sale of RECs allows for clean energy to be bought at a lower price. Thus boosting the sale of clean energy and allowing Vermont to become a leader in clean energy production. Rates are in fact lowered through the out-of-state sale of RECs. In turn the environment has greater protection through financial support, not greater pollution. [More about GMP on RECs can be found here] As the issue became more public, it morphed into a criticism of the definition of “credit”. While companies that sell energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro are creating renewable energy, they are selling the “credits”. Thus, selling the right to call them renewable. This is no way negates the fact that these energy sources are in fact creating energy from a source that has renewable attributes, only that the jargon used, must reflect the credit exchange. In essence, this is what the issue has boiled down to. Meanwhile, those of us installing solar and wind generators in Vermont are happy to sell RECs out of state, to insure that Vermont resident’s get lower clean energy rates and that our environment is protected for future generations. Maybe we use “clean energy” instead of “renewable energy”, but the effects are the same. On Thursday a letter was sent from the FTC to a GMP lawyer saying, “Although no findings have been made that these claims [made by VLS] violate the law, we urge GMP in the future to prevent any confusion by clearly communicating the implications of its REC sales for Vermont customers and REC purchasers.” To this end, we attempt to clarify the issues here and educate our Vermont Community Solar participants on the function of RECs. Read the entire article...

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2014: 173,807 jobs and a new installation every 2.5 minutes

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2014: 173,807 jobs and a new installation every 2.5 minutes

This is what the solar industry has brought us in 2014. An article published today highlighted the invaluable progress that the solar industry has had on the market in recent years. Imitating what the president said in his state of the union address, “America installed twenty-two times more solar in 2014 than in 2008”. That is a remarkable increase for an economy just on the brink of recovery. This growth is defined in detail in The Energy Collective’s new article.    The most excitement I get from this article are the numbers in job growth. 80,000 new jobs in the solar industry since 2008. Now this is by no means enough to keep up with the growth required by our current form of economics. However, for a relatively new industry, it begs attention. I am even inclined to argue that it is a step in the right direction for our investment in the future. It is a solid investment, whatever the intentions. Read the full article...

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