Posts Tagged ‘Clean Energy Collective’

18 February

What To Do For Floridians To Go Solar

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

I am getting more messages from people in different parts of the state of Florida wanting to go solar, but do not know how. So, I’d like to repost part of an earlier post to help forage the path, below:

Here are some points to consider in order to help you to take part in solar energy use

I.   I want you to be aware of all the incentive programs (to save money) for installing renewable/solar energy & energy efficiency in USA and FL.

II.  Find a local installer to receive an estimate of what type or how big of a solar system is suitable for your particular needs. All solar installers I’ve come across so far would be able to provide such an estimate free of charge. If you live in Tampa, FL area, mention that you’ve found out about SEM and solar co-op from Windermere Sun, then you can get a discount with SEM. For those in other parts of the Florida, mention Windermere Sun first before negotiating for a discount.

*Keep in mind that if you can get your money back:

  1. in 7 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 14.3% rate of return (1/7 = 0.1428)
  2. in 8 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 12.5% rate of return (1/8 = 0.125)
  3. in 9 years by installing solar system, that is equivalent to about 11.1% rate of return (1/9 =0.111…)

The stock market cannot guarantee such a good deal. It’s a no brainer! Any one who plans on being alive in 10+ years would do well to install solar.

III. To help reduce the cost of installing solar panels (perhaps by as much as 20%), you may want to consider joining or starting a Solar Co-Op.  In Central Florida, there is a West Orange Solar Co-Op and an Orlando and Winter Park Solar Co-Op that is also open to homeowners East of I-4. In a recent Central Florida Solar Advocates meetup meeting that took place on Dec. 2, 2015, these are discussed, below:

Here are the steps for the Solar Co-op Process, suggested by the Central Florida Solar Advocates:

  1. Attend an Information Session:  Learn about going solar and how solar co-ops work.
  2. Join Your Local Co-op: Sign up on line! Any one can participate. The only requirement is that you want to go solar!
  3. Get a Roof Review: Your roof is reviewed via satellite to make sure it’s a good fit for solar energy.
  4. Solicit Local Bids: Once the co-op has 20-30 members, a request for proposal is created based on co-op members priorities and bids are solicited from installers.
  5. Review Bids as a Group: Co-op members form a selection committee to review bids and select a single installer to complete all of the projects.
  6. Get Individualized Proposal: Homeowner meets with the chosen installer to get an individualized proposal for a solar system for your home. This proposal will reflect the group discount.
  7. Sign an Individualized Contract: Homeowner signs a contract directly with the installer.
  8. Installation: Have your solar panels installed on your home!
  9. Celebrate: Celebrate with the co-op and help start other co-ops in your community!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email: cfsolaradvocates@gmail.com

To learn more about these co-ops or join a solar co-op, visit: www.cfsolaradvocates.org

IV. If you live in an apartment or in a house that is shaded, even though you may not be able to take advantage of the solar energy via your own rooftop, you may still be able to participate in solar energy use via Community Solar Garden/Farm. Check out what’s been accumulated at Sun Is The Future about Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm

Please feel free to contact Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective or Joy Hughes of Solar Gardens for the benefit of their experience in developing Community Solar Gardens/Farms.

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

V. If you need to get a loan or any financial assistance in order to participate in solar energy use, please consider these avenues, below:

  • Obtaining  a loan via Kiva, then contact Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva  by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a loan via Mosaic, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a grant via one of the crowdfunding platforms, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will be able to help promote for your campaign.  Different platforms have different conditions. So be sure to take care in choosing the appropriate ones for you.
  • If you live in Windermere, FL area and is obtaining either a solar loan or a solar grant via any of the avenues above, be sure to contact Windermere Sun by email: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun will be able to help promote for your loan or grant.

VI. For those of you who truly have difficulty in affording the installation cost of solar or do not have property suited for solar installation, do not forget the recent victory at the Florida State Supreme Court, explained in this post. There is something you can do to help improve the chance of lowering your future utility bills, by obtaining more signatures to improve the chance of Floridians For Solar Choice ballot .

May you/we all be able to enjoy the warmth and energy of Sunshine for many decades to come….

~Let’s Help One Another~
~have a bright and sunny day~
Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written, photographed, video-recorded, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.cafepress.com/sunisthefuture

HTML adl

Google+

Windermere Sun website Header small

 

Share
4 January

Many Ways For Floridians To Go Solar

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Here is a re-post from Windermere Sun:

Let The SunShine In The Sunshine State! (photo credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Let The SunShine In The Sunshine State! (photo credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Below, is part of a message (in italics) from one of our readers, C, in Central Florida region:

I need solar panels.

Solar Panel

Solar Panel

I pay $200 every month for electric, and we will have only warmer weather as the planet gets warmer. No more of going for 6 months without AC. The humidity is the cause of the mold that made me sick this summer. I don’t know how to pay for them, but we can figure it out….

—————————————————————————————————————————————

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Dear C.,

Here are some points to consider in order to help you to take part in solar energy use:

I. I want you to be aware of all the incentive programs (to save money) for installing renewable/solar energy & energy efficiency in USA and FL.

 

II. To help reduce the cost of installing solar panels (perhaps by as much as 20%), you may want to consider joining a Solar Co-Op. There is a West Orange Solar Co-Op and an Orlando and Winter Park Solar Co-Op that is also open to homeowners East of I-4. In a recent Central Florida Solar Advocates meetup meeting that took place on Dec. 2, 2015, these are discussed, below:

Here are the steps for the Solar Co-op Process, suggested by the Central Florida Solar Advocates:

  1. Attend an Information Session: Learn about going solar and how solar co-ops work.
  2. Join Your Local Co-op: Sign up on line! Any one can participate. The only requirement is that you want to go solar!
  3. Get a Roof Review: Your roof is reviewed via satellite to make sure it’s a good fit for solar energy.
  4. Solicit Local Bids: Once the co-op has 20-30 members, a request for proposal is created based on co-op members priorities and bids are solicited from installers.
  5. Review Bids as a Group: Co-op members form a selection committee to review bids and select a single installer to complete all of the projects.
  6. Get Individualized Proposal: Homeowner meets with the chosen installer to get an individualized proposal for a solar system for your home. This proposal will reflect the group discount.
  7. Sign an Individualized Contract: Homeowner signs a contract directly with the installer.
  8. Installation: Have your solar panels installed on your home!
  9. Celebrate: Celebrate with the co-op and help start other co-ops in your community!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email: cfsolaradvocates@gmail.com

To learn more about these co-ops or join a solar co-op, visit: www.cfsolaradvocates.org

 

III. If you live in an apartment or in a house that is shaded, even though you may not be able to take advantage of the solar energy via your own rooftop, you may still be able to participate in solar energy use via Community Solar Garden/Farm. Check out what’s been accumulated at Sun Is The Future about Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm

Please feel free to contact Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective or Joy Hughes of Solar Gardens for the benefit of their experience in developing Community Solar Gardens/Farms.

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm-(Westmill_Solar_Cooperative_1 Creaive Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Community Solar Garden/Farm of Clean Energy Collective in Cowdery Meadow Community Solar (credit: Sun Is The Future-Susan Sun Nunamaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV. If you need to get a loan or any financial assistance in order to participate in solar energy use, please consider these avenues, below:

  • Obtaining a loan via Kiva, then contact Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a loan via Mosaic, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will help to promote for the funding of this loan.
  • Obtaining a grant via one of the crowdfunding platforms, then contact Sun Is The Future by email: sunisthefuture@gmail.com so Sun Is The Future will be able to help promote for your campaign. Different platforms have different conditions. So be sure to take care in choosing the appropriate ones for you.
  • If you live in Windermere, FL area and is obtaining either a solar loan or a solar grant via any of the avenues above, be sure to contact Windermere Sun by email: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun will be able to help promote for your loan or grant.

 

V. For those of you who truly have difficulty in affording the installation cost of solar, do not forget the recent victory at the Florida State Supreme Court, explained in this post. There is something you can do to help improve the chance of lowering your future utility bills, by obtaining more signatures to improve the chance of Floridians For Solar Choice ballot initiative to be passed in February of 2016.

May you/we all be able to enjoy the warmth and energy of Sunshine for many decades to come….

~Let’s Help One Another~
Any comments, suggestions, or concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com
 

Gathered, written, photographed, video-recorded, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
~have a bright and sunny day~
More about solar energy topics of this site at: www.sunisthefuture.net
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.sunisthefuture.com

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

HTML adl

Google+

Windermere Sun website Header small

Share
12 July

Obama Administration Is In Favor of Solar Access For All Americans

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,


(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Below is the press release from the White House:

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Administration Announces New Initiative to Increase Solar Access for All Americans

Including Actions to Scale Up Solar Access and Cut Energy Bills in Communities Across America

The Obama Administration is committed to addressing climate change, promoting clean energy, and creating good paying jobs.  That is why the Administration is announcing a new initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low- and moderate- income communities, while expanding opportunities to join the solar workforce.

Last year, the United States brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.  And since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent.  The executive actions and private sector commitments that we are announcing today will help continue to scale up solar for all Americans, including those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy.  The key components of the initiative that the Administration is announcing today are:

  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems, including issuing a guide to Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs;
  • Setting a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and providing technical assistance to make it easier to install solar, including clarifying how to use Federal funding;
  • Housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 20 states across the country are committing to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects, including projects to help low- and moderate- income communities save on their energy bills and further community solar; and
  • More than $520 million in independent commitments from philanthropic and impact investors, states, and cities to advance community solar and scale up solar and energy efficiency for low- and moderate- income households.

To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans in the solar industry, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments, including:

  • AmeriCorps funding to deploy solar and create jobs in underserved communities;
  • Expanding solar energy education and opportunities for job training; and
  • The solar industry is also setting its own, independent goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, and a number of companies are announcing that they are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.

These new actions build on President Obama’s goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and the Solar Ready Vets program that will train transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar industry at 10 military bases.

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS TO SCALE UP SOLAR AND DECREASE ENERGY BILLS

To continue supporting all American communities in deploying clean energy while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions:

  • Setting A Goal To Install 300 Megawatts Of Renewable Energy in Federally Subsidized Housing: In the Climate Action Plan, the President set a goal of installing 100 megawatts (MW) of solar and other types of renewable energy in Federally subsidized housing.   The Administration has already surpassed that goal, through commitments to install more than 185 MW of renewable energy.    Today, we are announcing that the Administration is tripling its current goal and setting a new goal to install 300 MW of renewable energy on affordable by 2020, as well as expanding the goal to include community and shared solar installations.
  • Providing Technical Assistance to Make It Easier to Install Solar on Affordable Housing: One of the largest barriers to deploying onsite solar on affordable housing is the lack of knowledge on how to initiate the process.  To overcome this barrier, the U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is announcing that it will offer direct technical assistance to affordable housing organizations making a commitment toward the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  As part of this assistance, HUD is launching a website to provide policy guidance, tools, and other online resources to help advance solar deployment and the installation of other renewable energy in affordable housing.
  • Developing a Toolkit to Increase the Ability of States to Use Federal Funding to Deploy Solar on Affordable Housing: To make it easier to use Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funds for solar energy systems, next month, HUD is releasing a renewable energy toolkit for use by Community Planning and Development (CPD) grantees.  The toolkit will provide program compliance information, tools, and case study examples to help communities integrate renewable energy components such as solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, and cogeneration into the program in an efficient, cost-effective, and impactful way by using CPD funds.  This action builds on an announcement last year during which, HUD’s CPD office affirmed that under current guidelines, Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funding can be used for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • Enhancing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)’s PowerSaver Policy to Make It Easier to Borrow Up To $25,000 For Solar and Energy-Efficient Improvements:  FHA is planning updates to its second-mortgage program that will make it easier for homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for solar and energy-efficient improvements by cutting red tape and making improvements more affordable.  Key features of the second mortgage program will include: 1) providing flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced cost of utilities for energy efficient homes; 2) allowing homeowners to control the disbursement of loan funds to the contractor; and 3) permitting contributions to lower out-of-pocket expenses and/or reduce borrower interest rates.
  • Clarifying Policy to Pave the Way for Increased FHA Solar and Energy Efficient Financing on Federally Assisted and Insured Housing.   FHA recently clarified its policy on first mortgages to allow flexible financing options and the ability to obtain larger loan amounts for solar systems.   FHA is conducting forums on the updated Single Family Handbook to help increase lender awareness of these financing options, which will be effective September 14, 2015.
  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership: The U.S.  Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with HUD, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), representatives from solar companies, NGOs, and state and community leaders are launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems.  The partnership will leverage the interest in the public and private sector to expand access to community solar, in particular, for low- and moderate- income communities, while utilizing the technical expertise of DOE and the National Laboratories.
    • BARC Electric Cooperative
    • Black Rock Solar
    • State of California
    • Clean Energy Collective
    • Citi
    • Colorado State Energy Office
    • District of Columbia Department of the Environment
    • First Solar, Inc.
    • Grand Valley Power
    • Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
    • GRID Alternatives
    • Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
    • National League of Cities
    • State of New York
    • RE-volv
    • Solar Energy Industries Association
    • Solar Electric Power Association
    • Spear Point Energy
    • SunShare
    • The Solar Foundation
    • Vermont Public Service Department
    • Vote Solar
  • Issuing A Guide To Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs: The DOE SunShot Initiative and the National Renewable Energy Lab are releasing a new guide, which answers key program design questions collected from states that have implemented shared solar policies and programs around the country.  The guide will also explain how shared solar polices work in conjunction with other polices and provides links to relevant shared solar publications.
  • Launching a Solar Working Group To Save Households on Their Energy Bills: The DOE SunShot Initiative, with assistance from Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is forming a new working group to disseminate information to new homebuilders that want to offer customer-owned solar PV.

STATE AND PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS INCREASE SOLAR ENERGY AND CUT ENERGY BILLS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS AMERICA

States, cities, businesses, and organizations from more than 20 states across the country are making their own, independent commitments to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar.   These announcements include:

  • 22 additional Public Housing Authorities and affordable housing providers from around the country are committing to install solar and other type of renewable energy on their facilities, to help meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  This include:
    • Allegheny County Housing Authority, PA
    • Asheville Housing Authority, NC
    • Boulder Housing Authority, CO
    • BRIDGE Housing, CA
    • Cambridge Housing Authority, MA
    • Community Housing Partners, VA
    • Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, OH
    • Fresno Housing Authority, CA
    • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, CA
    • Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, CA
    • King County Housing Authority, WA
    • Knox County Housing Authority, IL
    • Mercy Housing, Washington, D.C.
    • Metro West Housing Authority, CO
    • New York City Housing Authority, NY
    • New Bedford Housing Authority, MA
    • Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation, NY
    • San Antonio Housing Authority, TX
    • Tampa Housing Authority, FL
    • The Core Companies, CA
    • Vistula Management Company, OH
    • York Housing Authority, PA
  • RE-volv, a nonprofit organization, is announcing a goal of financing 200 community-based solar energy projects over the next three years.  As these communities pay RE-volv back through a solar lease, the money is “paid forward,” setting in motion a self-sustaining revolving fund that will finance a new solar project every month.  Already, RE-volv has already crowdfunded $120,000 from people in 38 states and 22 countries to finance 65 kilowatts (kW) of solar on three nonprofits and cooperatives that collectively serve over 1500 families.
  • Private sector companies announcing new projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar:
    • More than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.  This builds on the nearly 20 co-ops nationally that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year.
    • Spear Point Energy, is committing to develop nearly 10-15 solar projects for rural water companies in the next year.  The program will include green bank financing and create jobs in low-income rural communities.
    • Clean Energy Collective is announcing three new community solar projects:
      • The first community solar to be built in Texas, CEC will develop a 900kW project in partnership with Nueces Electric cooperative, which will be located near Corpus Christi, Texas, and serve Nueces’ full customer base across the state of Texas.
      • A 120 kW community solar project located in Pueblo, Colorado with Black Hills Energy.  A significant portion of the array will serve low-income households through a partnership with Posada Pueblo.
      • A new partnership with CPS Energy to develop a 1.2 MW community solar project in the San Antonio area.   The project will be the first for CPS Energy and make CPS the largest municipally-owned utility in the nation with a community solar project.
      • Freetown, MA will soon complete a shared solar installation.  The project – the first to be fully funded and managed by NRG Energy, Inc.  in Massachusetts – will provide one megawatt of clean electricity, enough to power nearly 200 homes.  This project will provide solar power to residents who would typically not have access solar energy, while reducing the overall cost of their utility bill.
  • The Colorado Energy Office is launching a shared solar project for low-income households as part of its strategy to comprehensively reduce their energy burden.  The project complements Colorado’s Weatherization Assistance Program by giving low-income households the ability to reduce electricity costs.   The Office has released a Request for Application for a Community Shared Solar System Demonstration Project consisting of varying size and scale that will cumulatively provide more than 1 MW of solar generation solely for low-income shareholders.
  • Vote Solar is announcing Shared Renewables HQ, a web resource providing state-by-state policy analysis and resources to help communities design programs that work for all income levels.
  • SunEdison and NASCAR are announcing a partnership to promote distributed residential and commercial solar power through “NASCAR Green,” a platform created in 2008 to educate and promote sustainable solutions to fans and stakeholders on initiatives such as biofuel use, recycling programs, and solar energy adoption.   Over the next three years as part of this collaboration, SunEdison and NASCAR will educate the NASCAR fanbase about the benefits of home solar.  Additionally, SunEdison will work with NASCAR partners, race track properties, and race teams to design and propose commercial scale solar solutions.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS FROM STATES, CITIES, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO SCALE UP RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Today, leaders from across the country are also committing to invest more than $520 million to advance community solar or scale up solar and energy efficiency in low- and moderate- income communities.

  • Community Capital Management is committing to investing $100 million in government-assisted rental housing that support environmental and energy efficiency initiatives, including deploying solar energy systems to meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal, indoor environmental quality, and site remediation in the next year.
  • Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is announcing that it has secured over $400 million in cumulative financial backing to help scale up community solar nationwide.
  • Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial institution, is committing $12 million to expand its on-bill repayment loan program to help homeowners convert from high-carbon oil heat to natural gas and electric heat pumps, including financing oil tank decommissioning, the installation of high-efficiency gas furnaces, heat pumps and weatherization measures.   The program will focus on low to moderate income households that do not qualify for low-income weatherization support where borrowers will repay their loans through their utility bill.  Today’s announcement builds on Craft3’s March commitment to work with MPower, a non-profit company dedicated to provide $4 million in financing for building-wide energy efficiency services to qualified affordable housing facilities.   Since 2009, Craft3 has provided over $40 million in energy efficiency financing to 3,000 Oregon and Washington households.
  • The District of Columbia Department of the Environment is announcing that it will launch a plan to invest up to $6 million in community solar for low-income residents this fall.  Today’s announcement builds on their existing initiative to install 130 solar panels on low-income homes in 250 days by September 30, 2015.
  • California is announcing a new $3 million pilot program for multi-family homes that provides credit support to facilitate energy improvements.  The program will offer multi-family affordable housing credit support for energy efficiency improvements, including solar water heating.  The program is expected to facilitate improvements in 1000 housing units.  This builds on the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership, a program that encourages solar on new construction, currently has $3.5 million in reservations for future solar on affordable housing, representing 2.26MW.  To date, the program has provided $23 million in incentives for 883 affordable housing systems, representing 7.69 MW.
  • The State of Hawaii, is committing to open up financing for solar energy systems for renters, through the financing of community-based renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency projects to non-profits and small businesses in the coming months.  Through the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, the State has already committed to financing $150 million of clean energy technologies for underserved Hawaii homeowners, renters, non-profits and small businesses by the end of 2016.   In March 2015, the Authority launched financing for solar PV to underserved non-profits and small businesses, with financing for solar PV to underserved homeowners available by July 2015.
  • The State of Massachusetts is committing to exploring new models to support community solar projects through the Massachusetts Solar Loan Program.  Through the program Massachusetts will work with the solar industry and lenders to provide affordable financing for solar electricity, with specific support for low- and moderate- income residents as well as community solar projects.  MassCEC and DOER will also continue to work collaboratively with the private sector to create pathways towards innovative community solar models and projects that increase access to solar electricity for Massachusetts residents.
  • The Vermont Public Service Department is announcing that it will launch a new statewide program to support customers that want to participate in community solar through an interest rate buy-down fund, with support from the DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II.  The buy-down program will boost access to group net metering systems, in particular for those that cannot afford their own solar systems, and will enhance the state’s efforts to reduce barriers to going solar.  These include the financial incentives such as the state’s solar adder and regulatory initiatives such as the statewide 10-day registration form for projects under 15 kW.  Today’s announcement builds on the lessons learned through a pilot program in Windham County.  Vermont is also enhancing access to solar for public entities by working with them to create tools such as the recently released Solar Group Net Metering Agreement Template for Vermont’s Municipalities and Schools.
  • Washington State Housing Finance Commission is announcing theEnergySpark Home Loan, a new home-loan program from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  EnergySpark  gives homebuyers an incentive to buy a home that is constructed to high efficiency standards that are at least 15 percent above code, or to make efficiency improvements to an existing home that cut its energy use by at least 10 percent.  The program offers a quarter-percent off the interest rate, and also allows buyers of older homes to finance the cost of modest improvements, for example, installing renewable energy, adding insulation, replacing windows or upgrading to an efficient furnace, right into the cost of the mortgage at the time of purchase.  When added to the Commission’s downpayment assistance, EnergySpark gives low- and moderate-income homebuyers not only savings on their home purchase, but savings on utilities over the long term.

BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE ENERGY WORKFORCE

The solar industry is adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.   They are good paying jobs that are helping Americans enter into the middle class.  In fact, earlier this year, President Obama announced a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and a Solar Ready Vets program to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at 10 bases.  To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans, including low-income and minority communities, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments:

  • Announcing Funding through AmeriCorps that will Deploy Solar and Create Jobs in Low-Income Communities: The Corporation for National and Community Service is supporting GRID Alternatives’ SolarCorps program.  Through the program, 40 AmeriCorps members will gain hands-on training and skills to access jobs in the booming solar industry, while providing clean energy to low-income families who need the savings to pay for basic expenses, through service at GRID Alternatives affiliates and offices throughout the country.  At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping retrofit 1500 low-income homes with solar power and will help 200 economically disadvantaged individuals gain jobs in the solar industry, while securing jobs for themselves at the end of their years of service.  In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 4000 volunteers who will be engaged in installing solar for low-income families.
  • Expanding Renewable Energy Education and Job Training: HUD, DOE, and the Department of Education launched “STEM, Energy, and Economic Development” or “SEED.”  SEED is a place-based initiative, currently operating in five cities; DC, Cleveland, Tampa, San Antonio, and Denver.  This project will leverage Federal investments and partnerships to support workforce development and educational opportunities in the energy sector for public housing residents.   Today, we are announcing a key part of this initiative will be focused on the solar industry.
  • Launching a Webinar Series to Provide Information about Job Opportunities: DOE is launching an eight-part webinar series through its Minorities in Energy Initiative to discuss the regional impacts of climate change on minority and Tribal communities and job opportunities in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency sectors to support a growing, next-generation workforce.   In addition, experts will discuss findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and outline Federal energy policy objectives as they relate to climate resilience, including underserved communities.   Authors of the National Climate Assessment will discuss their findings and the regional applicability to communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change.
  • Announcing a New Goal by the Solar Industry to Become the Most Diverse Sector of the U.S.  Energy Industry: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is announcing a new goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, promoting greater workforce diversity – from gender, nationality, and race to veteran status, sexual orientation and beyond.  According to the to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2014, “the solar workforce is increasingly diverse, with select demographic groups (i.e., Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American solar workers, along with women and veterans of the U.S.  Armed Forces) representing a larger percentage of the solar workforce” than was observed in 2013.  The Solar Foundation report indicates the solar industry has already surpassed a number of other energy sectors when it comes to both ethnic and gender diversity.  To ensure that the solar industry can achieve its new goal, the solar industry plans to ramp up its training and recruitment opportunities nationwide.
  • Individual Private Sector Commitments: A number of individual companies are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.   Their independent commitments include the following:
    • As part of a $5 million philanthropic partnership called the Realizing an Inclusive Solar Economy (RISE) that SunEdison entered into with GRID Alternatives earlier this year, today, GRID Alternatives, in collaboration with Civic Works, is training residents in East Baltimore to enter the solar industry.  RISE aims to train 4,000 applicants from underserved communities to begin solar careers.  GRID Alternatives and SunEdison will work with over 70 job training organizations and community colleges over the next two years and offer recruitment venues, hands-on solar installation training, one-year paid fellowships, webinars, and other opportunities for applicants from underserved communities to begin a solar career.  Training opportunities will be available across the country, including through extensive outreach that drives job applicants to job fairs at major solar industry events like Intersolar in San Francisco in July 2015 and Solar Power International in Anaheim in September 2015.
    • PosiGen, commits to increase the diversity of its workforce and unlock employment opportunities for low-income households, including by hiring 40 percent of their employees from low- and moderate- income communities by the end of 2016.  To realize this goal, PosiGen is also committing to increasing its infrastructure investment in low- and moderate-income communities by more than $100 million by the end of 2016.
    • Nautilus Solar Energy proudly commits to expand solar installations in low-income communities and to continue working towards creating a brighter future for communities everywhere.  Both woman-owned and veteran-owned, with females comprising approximately half of its employees, Nautilus Solar Energy provides businesses, schools and not-for-profit organizations across the United States and Canada with solar power

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Please keep in mind that there is another valuable source at: DSIRE, providing various federal and state incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.  Take advantage of them and join the New Renewable Energy Age!

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

HTML adl

Google+

Share
3 May

Landfills+Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

In response to what I’ve discovered and posted in “Hurray For Solar Landfills!” and The “Magic of EGSC (Exposed Geomembrane of Solar Cover) Technology of Solar Landfills“, I would like to share the information obtained from FL DEP (Florida Department of Environmental Protection):

I am hoping to encourage residents of Florida to take advantage of the closed landfill surface area to protect our environment while generating solar power and reducing carbon footprint. Below is the link to all the closed landfills in state of Florida:

CLOSED  LANDFILLS  in  STATE  of  FLORIDA

Combining what we’ve learned previously from Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective in our post “Chatting With Paul Spencer, President and Founder of Clean Energy Collective, On Community Solar Garden” and video below,


I hope many of you out there will be interested in taking the initiative to embark on the journey of establishing Community Solar Gardens/Farms (including/utilizing surface area of landfills) to reduce the cost of your future power bills. Potentially, millions and millions of dollars may be saved. If you need better understanding of what and how Community Solar Garden/Farm works, please feel free to visit various links at A. Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm available at Sun Is The Future.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Related Post: The Amazing EGSC (Exposed Geomembrane Solar Cover)

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net HTML adl
Google+

Share
31 January

What Is Community Owned Solar-By Clean Energy Collective

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below)

Just got an email from our friend, Paul Spencer, from Clean Energy Collective, sharing a new video clip on community solar farm or garden, below.


Share this post with people in your community and you can reduce your energy bills too.
Check out Clean Energy Collective
Similar Topics:

 

1. How Does Community Solar Work ?

2. Chatting With Paul Spencer, President and Founder of Clean Energy Collective, on Community Solar Garden.

3. Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm

4. Let Community Solar Garden Bloom!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.instagram.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.sunisthefuture.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net HTML adl Google+

Share
3 August

How Does Community Solar Work?

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

Since our Aug. 1, 2013 post, there’s been quite a few people asking questions about some basic mechanics in how Community Solar Garden works. I’d like to direct you to the page on Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm under the Information section at www.sunisthefuture.net. I would also like to share another video clip that will help with this explanation, below.


Our research and interviews suggest that CEC (Clean Energy Collective)‘s community solar model leverages economies of scale, along with fully maintained array for maximum power production, to deliver  very low price for renewable energy. This would allow consumers/purchasers to bypass the research, construction, maintenance, and ongoing repair of building a costly system of their own. It would also allow renters and owners of poorly sighted properties for solar to participate.

 

This is why community solar (gardens/farms) is important in spreading the solar energy use (Sources: NREL, DOE, IREC, HUD)

Furthermore, as long as they stay within the region serviced by the same utility company, there is the flexibility of having their bill credits move with them. If purchasers need to move out of the region, they may sell their panels any time.

 

I  found  that CEC also had been partnering with SunFarm to establish Vermont’s first community-owned solar garden at Putney, VT, the Putney Community Solar Array (or SunFarm Community Solar), a 147 kW & 588-panel photovoltaic system servicing Green Mountain Power (GMP) utility customers. Solar panel owners in the Putney Community Solar Array will receive all available rebates and tax incentives, as if the system were located on their roof, and will be credited for the power their panels produced on their monthly GMP electric bills. Each panel in the Putney Community Solar Array costs $813 and is expected to pay for itself in about 10-12 years; but owners of the panels will be able to continue receiving power from these solar panels for as long as 50 years or more. To date, over half of the array have been reserved and each of the panel owners will see a power credit on their utility bill as soon as the array goes online this month (August of 2013).

More information on the Putney Community Solar Array:  www.VTSolarGardens.com , email: info@VTSolarGardens.com, or (802) 536-4471.

For more information on Clean Energy Collective: www.easycleanenergy.com or (800)-646-0323.

The future looks bright for solar energy as more and more of these community solar gardens will be springing up throughout our planet earth.  What are you/we waiting for? Let’s start planting our community solar gardens!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments and suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

HTML adl

Share
1 August

Chatting With Paul Spencer, President and Founder of Clean Energy Collective, On Community Solar Garden

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

I have a real treat on community solar garden for you all today, for there will be view of the beautiful Colorado Rockies and the site/sight of an unused land becoming useful through the generation of solar energy.

This interview was conducted on July 16, 2013, with Paul Spencer, the President of Clean Energy Collective, at Boulder County Cowdery Meadows Solar Array (1600 S. 66th St., not far from Denver), the first Community Solar Garden in Xcel Energy’s Colorado service area.

Paul Spencer, President & Founder of Clean Energy Collective, at Boulder County Cowdery Meadows 500 KW Solar Arrays, the first Community Solar Garden in Xcel Energy’s Colorado service area (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

This 500-kilowatt Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array is located in the unincorporated Boulder County adjacent to an Xcel station just outside Superior, serving about 100 residential, commercial, and non-profit users. The program Solar Rewards Community program by Xcel, allows people who otherwise would not be able to optimally participate in solar (because they are renters, or owners of properties without optimal orientation to receive direct sunlight) to access PV power and rebates.The program was introduced in the House Bill 10-1342 in 2010 by Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder), and signed into law in June of 2010 by former Governor Bill Ritter.

Below, you will see the video portion of this interview:


This first Community Solar Garden under the solar Xcel program, Cowdery Meadows array, was installed through Clean Energy Collective (previously based in Carbondale and now in Boulder). Clean Energy Collective has been responsible for installing multiple arrays throughout Xcel’s service area. Under this program, any Xcel customer can purchase solar panels in the shared array and receive credits directly on the Xcel electricity bill for the power produced.

Clean Energy Collective contact info at Cowdery Meadows Community Solar Garden (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Renewable/Solar Energy produced by creatively utilizing landfill site (inverter  at left) is a perfect example of thinking outside of the box by leadership such as Paul Spencer (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the first round, when Xcel opened up the process to accept applications for developers wanting to build the solar gardens in August of 2012, it received proposals to build three times the allowed capacity within 30 minutes. Xcel ended up accepting 10 applications on a first-come, first-served basis for projects totaling 4.5 MW, with projects ranging from 108 KW to 500 KW of generating capacity. In 2012, during the second round, another 4.5 MW targeting proposals between 501 KW and 2 MW and three applicants in that second round were approved. The utility will open bidding again this August for another 9 MW of solar generation, broken into two rounds (first round will be for proposals up to 500 KW, the second round will target those ranging from 500 KW to 2 MW). The Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array, with approximately 500 KW, is large enough to service about 100 average sized homes, with 5% of the capacity serving low-income families, benefiting 10 to 15 low-income families in the city of Boulder.

Clean Energy Collective, Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array, Tian Tower (Photographer), 2013

Clean Energy Collective Cowdery Meadows Community Solar Garden (credit: Clean Energy Collective, Boulder Cowdery Meadows Solar Array, Tian Tower (photographer), 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were very fortunate to have Paul Spencer, the President of CEC (Clean Energy Collective) with us, sharing various aspects of the Cowdery Meadows Community Solar Garden: from the fact that it is built on an old Boulder landfill site (otherwise an under-utilized area), to how Clean Energy Collective services its investors 24/7.  The CEC provides its cooperatives with “RemoteMeter” software that

Methane Burner of the landfill across the street from Boulder Cowdery Meadows Community Solar Garden…a great way to generate Solar Energy from under-utilized site (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

calculates production and monthly credits for participants (and includes a smartphone app), provides approximately 7% rate of return,  and continues to grow from its home state in Colorado to four states at the moment (and will continue to branch into other states), all accomplished through the community solar garden concept and policy. Furthermore, Paul Spencer points out that community solar gardens may be implemented in states without the community solar garden legislations (more easily in municipalities and cooperatives than investor-owned utilities). But as more information and data are coming forward (such as that of IREC’s Community Solar Guidelinesat http://www.sunisthefuture.net/2013/06/19/community-solar-resources/ & SEPA’s report at http://www.sunisthefuture.net/2013/07/21/sepa-unveiling-the-curtain-for-a-new-era-the-solar-energy-era/), it becomes quite evident that investing in solar is not only the right thing to do from the perspective of saving our planet, but it also makes perfect economic sense. As the solar industry continues to expand, Paul Spencer reminds us that Feed-In-Tariff will be more feasible than net metering for all parties (solar power generators and utilities) involved.

As Sun Is The Future continues to report on Solar Energy, it is evident that it is due to the creativity and ability of leaders such as Paul Spencer to look for solutions outside of the box that enables solar industry to grow exponentially and to reach all sectors of our society. It is no wonder that U.S. Department of Energy has recognized the Clean Energy Collective “…for expanding the market for electricity produced from renewable energy sources during the 11th annual Green Power Leadership Awards in San Francisco, California“.

For additional information on security law & tax credit, please also refer to podcast with Paul Spencer & ILSR‘s John Farrellhttp://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Paul-Spencer-LER-b.mp3

To learn more about Clean Energy Collective, please refer to: www.easycleanenergy.com

To learn more about community solar, please also refer to: http://www.ilsr.org/master-limited-partnerships-lousy-policy-solar-or-business/ ,  http://www.ilsr.org/5-barriers-solutions-community-renewable-energy/

http://www.sunisthefuture.net/a-community-solar-gardenfarm/

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments and suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

HTML adl

Share
18 June

A Guide To Community Solar:Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

After having received many questions about Community Solar program as a result of our June 17, 2013 post, I’ve searched and found a very informative report, A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development . This report was developed for the NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) by Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Keyes and Fox, Stoel Rives, and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. This Guide builds on the research and writing from the Northwest Community Solar Guide, published by Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Northwest SEED. It was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities program. To learn more, please visit: www.solaramericacommunities.energy.gov .

People are looking for alternative energy sources in communities across America, for various reasons: to increase energy independence, to hedge against rising fuel costs, to cut carbon emissions, and to provide local jobs. They are looking to community scale renewable energy projects for solutions. Advances in solar technology and lowering of its cost, increase in federal and state tax incentives, and creative new financing models have made solar projects such as community solar projects more economically feasible.

I welcome you to click on and use A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development . The information in this guide is organized around three sponsorship models: utility-sponsored projects, projects sponsored by special purpose entities (businesses formed for the purpose of producing community solar power), and non-profit sponsored projects. This guide addresses issues common to all project models as well as issues unique to each model.

If you are interested in starting a community solar program/farm in your community and have any questions after viewing this guide, then I’d recommend that you consider signing up for the upcoming webinars that will be presented by SEPA and sponsored by Clean Energy Collective. Details regarding registration for these webinars (June 27, 2013 & July 11, 2013) is available at our June 17, 2013 post.

Webinars are very user-friendly. If you have never participated in any webinars in the past, I have embedded an example of a webinar  “Community Solar 101” below for you to become familiar with how webinars may be presented and operated, below:

Yes, together, we can! Let’s find a way to combine our effort to GO SOLAR!
To find out more about your federal and state solar incentives available (of USA), please click on DSIRE SOLAR.
~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your questions or comments will be welcomed publicly in the comment box below or privately via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note in your email if you do not want the content of your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

HTML adl

Share
9 March

Let’s Take A Look At Solar Feed-In-Tariff WorldWide

Share

Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Reader,

(Please click on red links below)

I’ve been quite busy this past week setting up Sun Is The Future Online Stores, which may also be found in the right hand margin under Information (below the search box). There has been so much news and activities in the solar world that I shall be posting frequently in the coming week. For those of you who have been with Sun Is The Future for over two years, you probably realize that I am a strong  proponent/ supporter for Solar/Renewable Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) policy.  To refresh our memory of some of our past posts:

Why FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) ?

Periodically, I still receive emails from viewers/visitors asking “what is feed-in-tariff?” Below is a clip of explanation of what FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) incentive policy is in its simplest form, by R. James Woolsey, on July 15, 2011.


Who Supports FITs (Feed-In-Tariff) ?

In addition to my collection of posts at www.sunisthefuture.net , I would like to share with you some valuable links/articles sent by my renewable/wind energy friend, Paul Gipe, below:

Finally, a wonderful resource from NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory): A Policymaker’s Guide To Feed-In-Tariff Policy Design and the latest addition to my treasure chest for Feed-In-Tariff, a web site that contains worldwide updates on Solar Feed-In-Tariffs (below, its screenshot): http://www.solarfeedintariff.net

www.solarfeedintariff.net

With the dramatic decrease in cost of solar modules/panels and various natural disasters in recent years, even without any subsidies, there are plenty of reasons to utilize solar energy. But if FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) were implemented, this policy would provide greater incentive for people, in general, to remain connected to the grid and increase the chance of greater economic stability for our society. Since there are varied circumstances from state to state, I would like to implore all state legislative bodies to seriously consider FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) for Renewable Energies within his/her particular state.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net

HTML adl

Share
15 September

More Sunshine For Every One-Answered By Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective

Share

Greetings, Dear Freinds, Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

(please click on red links below)

Great News! On the last day of the SPI (Solar Power International) 2012, I actually reached a Eureka moment while interviewing Mr. Paul Spencer, President and Founder of CEC, Clean Energy Collective. Periodically, I’ve received emails from those of you who also want to participate in solar yet may be living in apartment complexes, condos, within strict homeowner association rules,  in a house with more shaded orientations, or uncertain of the future location, your questions will be answered by today’s post/interview.

Through a progression of events, from an electrical engineering background, to building software companies and  an off-grid home,  then expanding into building community home projects (from which Mr. Spencer had the opportunity to work with the CO utility company in dealing with some heavily shaded homes in a net metering community), he came to realize that since only about 15% of electrical customers in U.S. can put solar on their homes directly, the true solution to making a dent in the renewable energy world would require a more pervasive and fractional/part ownership of solar, based on partnership. Below, Mr. Spencer will explain how CEC accomplishes this in the interview:


Eureka! The light bulb went on for me! To truly solve our energy problem, having significant amount of our power coming from renewable energy source, we all need to be in partnership, be it utility companies with individual home owners/renters, be it developed nations with developing nations, be it manufactures  with distributors, interdependent and cooperative partnership is crucial in our transitioning into the renewable energy age. Out of this realization Clean Energy Collective (CEC) was born, started in Carbondale, CO and now in three states (CO, NM, MN) and will continue its expansion.  The CEC set up does not only respond to the concern toward variability from distributed power (small users) by utility companies, but also assists individuals who want to participate in solar (but cannot due to different reasons mentioned in the above paragraph) to overcome much hurdles and  insures that solar panels will continue to be maintained properly by experienced solar professionals .  Furthermore, CEC is the perfect solution that addresses  all concerns/obstacles toward Feed-In-Tariff  incentive policy.  To truly transition into renewable energy age, we need to see far more than just the 15% electrical customers to participate in solar.  We need to cover as many rooftops, as much of the surface areas available, with solar installations. CEC (Clean Energy Collective), partnered with FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) will enable us to spread the sunshine multi-fold!  This would also help consumers to reduce the amount of paperwork or legal maze individual consumers would have to deal with because the collective organizations would handle initial legal agreement with the utility company or later daily maintenance issues.

In an ideal world, with more participation, eventually utility companies will also be able to function as power storage for the solar power that people generate through their collective panels.  FIT (Feed-In-Tariff), implemented properly and effectively, will help to provide consumers with incentive to remain connected to the grid because they will be able to gain/produce/earn/benefit from the connection.  With Sun being part of my name, I have a particular fondness for the solar industry of all renewables, in addition to the fact that it is the cleanest, safest, and least likely to instigate war among nations. The way to insure solar industry’s position in the future is continued drop in cost through massive implementations, requiring incentive.  This would also increase job creations and economic growth.  Another mechanism, PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) is presented at Solar Power International 2012. But FIT is a more inclusive and more effective mechanism than PPA because FIT provides a clearly defined feed-in rate,  applicable to all users (small as well as medium) without need to negotiate for each contract.  As long as there is need to negotiate the rate for each contract, there may be a wide range of variability in rates even within the same district, translating into potential fairness issue or sellers (solar generators) being at the mercy of buyers (utility companies).  So, I was really happy to have learned about CEC (Clean Energy Collective), potentially solving the difficulty in variability FIT may have originally presented to utility companies.  CEC, combined with FIT, does appear to provide the path that will  maximize the possibility of our future expansion in solar energy use. Thank you, Mr. Spencer, for helping to shed the light and providing us with this workable solution, very succinctly presented. With CEC, I will look forward to more sunshine for every one in the future.

*I should qualify that any/all editorial remark(s) regarding Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) in this post were by yours truly, sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker alone. Mr. Spencer only concentrated on presenting Clean Energy Collective. I felt the need to make this clear because I distinctly got the feeling that FIT is a topic that should only be whispered in one’s ear and not a favored subject for discussion during SPI2012. I certainly do not want Mr. Spencer get in trouble on my account. This is all quite perplexing to me, for FIT had been an overwhelmingly accepted incentive policy in many other countries and had proven to be successful in creating jobs and bringing local economic prosperity (for any region that had effectively implemented it). FIT, effectively implemented, may potentially increase the longevity/need of utility companies and vast growth of solar implementations. Then why only whisper FIT? It should be discussed and welcomed! It should be shouted out loud! THIS/(FIT) MAY POTENTIALLY BE THE POLICY THAT WILL INSURE THE VIABILITY/LONGEVITY FOR UTILITY COMPANIES, providing incentive for people to remain connected to the grid.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


HTML adl

Share

Copyright © 2011-2018 · Susan Sun Nunamaker All Rights Reserved · Sunisthefuture.net