Posts Tagged "solar for businesses"

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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Utilities and Community Solar: A love Affair

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Utilities and Community Solar: A love Affair

    While we are quietly plugging away at more and more Vermont Community Solar every year, it is important to note that we are not the only ones making this happen. All across the country community solar projects are popping up. Many are even being initiated by the utilities. In a recent article by UtilityDIVE, Herman Trabish explores the relationship that utilities have with community solar. He explains how it has trended from a mostly unknown phenomena, to an invaluable part of how the utilities operate. This is in part because community solar allows people who cannot  -or choose not to- install solar on their property, to benefit from photovoltaic technology. Utilities benefit because anyone can participate. In some cases they retain customers who would otherwise choose off-grid solar solutions. The diagram below shows the growth rate of utility-led community solar programs over the past 10 years. It is reasonable to say that 2015 with be an exciting year for community Solar. Learn more about how utilities are working with community solar by reading the full article here....

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State of Solar 2015

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State of Solar 2015

In last nights State of the Union address, President Barak Obama laid it all out. It was clear that he is unwilling to make compromises if they undermine the progress we have made. That progress is evident in the fact that, “Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008…there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist ten or twenty years ago…” This speaks directly to the solar industry and the incredible momentum it has gained in the past few years. With this success under our belt, we must look to the future and secure it. Part of that security will be found in renewing the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit that is set to expire at the end of 2016. This brilliant policy has supported the growth Obama eluded to in his speech and in turn the millions of new jobs that have been made in this booming industry. Obama went on to say that, “21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.” This will only happen if it is supported by the voters and the voters pocket books. We have to continue to prove that laws like the Solar Investment Tax Credit work. This type of restructuring goes beyond party lines to the people and even the Department of Defense. “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.” There is nothing clearer than the most powerful military in the world saying that the biggest threat we face, is our own addiction to fossil fuels. I paraphrase, but the risks are there. Let’s make sure the incentives stay as well. Before Obama concluded he mentioned that, “In Beijing, we made an historic announcement — the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.” These are necessary baby steps to get everyone on the same page. However, as citizens we don’t need to convince foreign leaders of growing economies, to limit their emissions. We need to put our money where our mouth is and support the development of a new infrastructure that does not continue to threaten our future, but supports it. Read the whole speech transcript here...

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Community Solar for Businesses

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Community Solar for Businesses

Vermont Community Solar is now offering businesses the opportunity to purchase capacity in group net metered solar farms in southern Vermont. Capacity in these solar farms is available to any business that is served by Green Mountain Power legacy. Ideal candidates will have the ability to take advantage of federal and state tax credits, and have at least $130/month in electricity expenses. The solar farm pictured above is located in a field owned by the Scholl family, 1¼ miles north of the Putney General Store on Rt. 5. The site has been secured through a 50-year land lease agreement, which will remain intact in the event the land changes hands. Soveren Solar is the developer and installer of the Scholl Solar Farm, and provides the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility. In addition, Soveren Solar serves as the group administrator, handling all group billing and administrative duties. Businesses who purchase capacity in a Vermont Community Solar Project will become owners of specific solar equipment, and members of the larger net-metering group. The electricity produced by the solar farm will be metered by Green Mountain Power, and net metering credits will be assigned to each group member in proportion to their ownership stake in the solar farm. Prospective member-owners of Vermont Community Solar Projects should be: Located in Green Mountain Power’s utility service territory Includes heritage CVPS customers Must be in good standing with GMP regarding on time payment of bills Able to use commercial tax incentives Business must be registered as a corporation or other acceptable taxable entity Possess federal and state tax liability in order to benefit from tax incentives Committed to working cooperatively with the group of owners Willing to pay share of land lease, taxes, and maintenance costs Net metering credits from these systems may be applied to any utility bill in Green Mountain Power utility service territory. Participants in Vermont Community Solar can be either commercial or residential. However the incentives for commercial participants are significantly higher. Ownership in the solar farm may be sold or transferred at any time. An average system size is 6kW, which will produce an average monthly net metering credit of ~ $130. Capacity in these systems are available on a first-come first-serve basis until the entire project is reserved. Soveren Solar will provide a waiting list for businesses interested in purchasing capacity at a future sites. Soveren Solar is pleased to offer area businesses the opportunity to purchase capacity in an offsite solar farm. Offsite solar preserves all the same ownership and tax benefits as onsite solar, and is an attractive option for any business with an electric bill, a tax bill, and nowhere to put a solar system.   Scholl Solar Farm: Solar Array Layout   Locals know to look for Gary Scholl’s playful and encouraging messages, which he mows into field each summer. In 2012, Gary mowed “PLAY ON.”  [UPDATE: 10/8/14 This array has been installed and all capacity in the system has been sold. Soveren Solar has built three more Vermont Community Solar projects this past summer and is looking for residential and commercial participants. If you are interested in being part of one of these projects, please get in...

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