Posts Tagged ‘PPA’

23 June

Florida Solar


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Lake Butler Chain (photo by Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at:

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

Below, is a re-post from a sister publication, Windermere Sun:

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

With the Florida Sun, low cost of solar and improved battery technology, even without pro-solar policies such as renewable portfolio standard or power purchase agreements, Florida currently ranks 12th for cumulative solar capacity installed and is expected to continue to advance its position in light of the dramatic drop in cost of solar and improved battery technology.

Below are data gathered from FLSEIA (Florida Solar Energy Industries Association), on Florida Solar Industry:

  • Solar Installed: 725.1 MW (404.7 MW in 2016)
  • State Homes Powered by Solar: 79,000
  • Percentage of State’s Electricity From Solar: 0.31% (that % keeps increasing)
  • Solar Jobs and Ranking: 8,260 (5th in 2016)
  • Solar Companies in State: 492 companies total; 69 manufacturers, 261 installers/developers, 153 others
  • Total Solar Investment in State: $1,459.85 million ($523.64 million in 2016)
  • Price Declines: 64% over the last 5 years
  • Growth Projections and Ranking: 2,559 MW over next 5 years

Florida Annual Solar Installations between 2010-2017 (with forecast into 2021) (credit: FLSEIA)

For more solar data, click HERE.

Some Notable Solar Installations in Florida, below:

  • Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center: It is the solar parabolic-trough component of an integrated solar combined cycle 1150 MW plant, in western Martin County, Florida, just north of Indiantown, built by Florida Power & Light Company in 2010, with enough electricity to power 8,216 homes.
  • Several large retailers in Florida have gone solar: 6th Street, Ace Hardware, Bronson and AMJ, Inc., General Growth Properties had installed one of the largest solar installations with 1 MW of solar capacity at their Altamonte Springs location.
  • TIA Solar in Tampa also installed 1 MW of solar capacity in 2016, among the largest solar installations in Florida, with capacity to power more than 175 homes.

Florida State Solar Policy Resources, below:

  • Florida Public Service Commission-(FPSC) regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities. In the telecommunications industry, the FPSC facilitates competitive markets, has authority over intercarrier disputes, and oversees pay telephones, the federal Lifeline Assistance Program and Telecommunications Relay Service. The Florida Public Service Commission consists of five members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners serve four-year terms. One commissioner is a designated Chairman, elected by the Commission for a two-year term.The commissioners are Chairman Julie I. Brown, Ronald A. Brisé, Art Graham, Jimmy Patronis, and Donald Polmann. In essence, FPSC learn about the governing body that regulates electricity rates and services of Florida Public Utilities.
  • Florida State Legislature-It is the two houses that act as the state legislature of the U.S. state of Florida. The Florida Constitution states that “The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a legislature of the State of Florida,” composed of a Senate and House of Representatives. The legislature is seated at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. Both chambers have been under Republican control since 1996. The Legislature is composed of 160 state legislators (120 in the House and 40 in the Senate). Members are term-limited to eight consecutive years; however, there is no limit on the total number of terms (after sitting out two years, a member may run again). The state legislature meets beginning in March for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days. Special sessions are called as needed. In essence, FSL track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Florida.
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-FDACS is an executive department of the government of Florida.The Commissioner of Agriculture (directly elected by voters statewide for a four-year term, and a member of the Florida Cabinet) is the head of the department. The current commissioner is Adam Putnam. In essence, it finds/provides a wide range of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics.
  • Florida Energy System Consortium-The Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) was created by the Florida State government to promote collaboration among the energy experts at its 12 supported universities to share energy-related expertise. The consortium assists the state in the development and implementation of an environmentally compatible, sustainable, and efficient energy strategic plan. The Consortium was charged to ‘perform research and development on innovative energy systems that lead to alternative energy strategies, improved energy efficiencies, and expanded economic development for the state‘. The legislature appropriated funding for research at five of the universities as well as support for education, outreach, and technology commercialization. The Consortium reports to and provides guidance on an as needed basis to the Florida Legislature, Executive Office of the Governor, and the Florida’s Office of Energy housed in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In essence, it assists the state in development and implementation of an environmentally compatible, sustainable, and efficient energy strategic plan.
  • DSIRE Incentives Database Florida-It is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility,and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE was established in 1995 and funded by the US Department of Energy and is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. It is essentially a public clearninghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Florida and across the United States.
  • U.S. Energy Information Administration-Florida State Profile– (EIA) is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information to promote sound policy-making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. EIA programs cover data on coal, petroleum, natural gas, electric, renewable and nuclear energy. EIA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. It explores official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand from the U.S. government
  • EnergySage Solar Data Explorer-Florida-It reviews the costs and benefits of installing solar panels in Florida, based on real price data from solar quotes.

More posts on solar topics will be coming in our future posts at Windermere Sun.

Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at

We Need Fair Value of Solar

~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at

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


Windermere Sun website Header small


10 September

Are You Ready For The First Wave of Solar Tsunami-First Solar PV Plant in TX w/o PPA


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Generous SunShine Is Ready To Rock (credit:sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Recently (Sep. 4, 2014), First Solar has completed the initial 18MW phase construction of the 22MW Barilla Solar PV plant in Pecos County of TX.  18 MW is not a big deal, you might think…why is it being covered in various Solar news agencies? Well, it is a big deal because this represents a major Game Changer for Texas solar due to its unique position of being the first plant in the state to be constructed and financed without a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) as a backstop.  The power generated from this plant will be offered into the wholesale market, competing with other power generation sources effectively without a contract. This type of ‘merchant’ PV power plant of Pecos County will sell electricity on Texas’ ERCOT (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) grid spot market.  Even though  merchant power projects have become more common in countries (such as Chile) where solar offers a viable alternative to costly fossil fuel generated power, but it is essentially untested here in U.S. With years of experience as world’s largest contracted solar project  development (approximately 3 GW up to this point) and proven track record of execution in converting more PPA’s to energy than any one else in the industry,

First Solar PPA Development Timeline (credit: First Solar)

First Solar would have its pulse on the moment if/when Solar Energy is ready for mainstream.

Below is an interview of First Solar CEO, Jim Hughes, at Future of Energy Summit 2014. Mr. Hughes believes that the cost of solar will continue to plummet:

Below, are some statements made by various people, regarding this project’s announcement:


Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster, commenting on the announcement said: “First Solar is a pioneer in bringing West Texas solar into the diverse energy portfolio of Texas. In West Texas we’ve got plenty of land, some with a lot of oil under it, and all of it with sunshine which makes it perfect for solar plants like this. I’m excited to see Barilla as the first project in what I hope will soon be the ‘Texas solar patch.'”

“It is exciting to enter the Texas market with a clean, renewable energy source that is competitively priced against traditional high-cost peak resources,” said Tim Rebhorn, Senior Vice President of Business Development for First Solar. “This project demonstrates First Solar’s capability to rapidly develop, construct and commission a solar asset offering clean, renewable energy at competitive rates to the grid when and where it is needed.”

Rebhorn said that the Barilla power plant will contribute to lower electricity prices for Texas consumers, while providing a reliable resource to power providers.

According to the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Texas has the greatest technical potential for solar development in the U.S. The Barilla Solar Project takes advantage of one of the best solar resource geographies in the state, with the added benefit of tying into nearby existing power transmission infrastructure in the West Texas region. The solar power plant utilizes no water for electricity generation, an important additional benefit in an area where scarce water resources must be preserved.

Regarding the Barilla project, state Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D – Eagle Pass) said, “We are blessed with sunshine in Pecos County and West Texas. Harnessing it would give us an opportunity for clean and efficient power for Texas’ future. What a great investment!”


This Game Changing position of First Solar indicates to us, that we are observing the first wave of Solar Tsunami. Solar Energy is ready for mainstream. I’d like to ask rest of the sunny states of USA, are you also ready for the Solar Tsunami? Are you ready to take advantage of the generous sunshine bestowed upon you?

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at

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

Homepage: HTML adl


7 October

What Impact Do Decreased Solar PV Cost and Carbon Tax Have On Solar Dawn Project of Australia?


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

When I first heard about the Australian Solar Dawn Project coming to a halt, in the limbo stage, I was both shocked and disappointed.  Upon further investigation, I have a better grasp of the situation and please allow me to share some of these details with you.

For some background information on the Australian Solar Dawn Project:   the originally proposed 250 megawatt Solar Dawn power plant project was the preferred solar thermal power project of the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships Program.  It  was to be built near Chinchilla in South West Queensland to provide clean and safe energy, using Australia’s abundant solar resource to contribute to a sustainable solar industry in Australia, by offering an international showcase for utility scale, standalone CLFR (Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector) technology power project.  In the process of positioning Australia as a global leader in utility-scale solar thermal power generation, Solar Dawn Project would provide significant local employment and training opportunities and also involve long-term research collaboration with the University of Queensland.  This project would have consisted of approximately 450 hectares of infrastructure including a ‘solar field’ containing the mirrors and steam boiler tubes and a ‘power block’ with the steam turbine generators and ancillary equipment.  Originally, it was expected that the proposed project would have commenced operation in early 2015 following a three-year construction time frame. Below, is a video on AREVA’s Solar Thermal Technology, Solar CLFR (Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector) solar steam generators producing super-heated, high-pressured steam directly from the sun. The steam can then be used to spin an electricity-producing turbine:

But my friends, when one lives in an extremely dynamic time and dynamic industry (solar), there may be fluctuations and changing factors entering on scene: Firstly, the Australian Carbon Tax/Price ( $23 AUD per tonne of emitted CO2 on selected fossil fuels consumed by industrial emitters only) entered the scene on July 1st of 2012. This new development renders it unnecessary for solar energy to have government subsidies by the shear fact that the carbon tax/price has leveled the playing field for all energy forms (the original argument to have solar subsidies was due to uneven playing fields resulting from external factor, such as the cost of environmental cleanup, not being considered) . Secondly, the fact that solar PV panel price has been declining relentlessly in recent years;a critical decision in any business or policy decision is to minimize the cost of production.  Energy/electricity production via solar PV is now much lower than the cost of energy/electricity production via solar thermal using CLFR. (At this point, please allow me to clarify: solar thermal directly producing hot water is at a cost lower than that of solar PV producing hot water, but solar thermal converting into electricity is at a cost higher than the cost of solar PV producing electricity).   Thirdly, the Solar Dawn was unable to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Queensland government-owned electricity utility Ergon Power to meet the June 30 deadline, and so could not attract bank finance.  The question I pose here is how was the decision arrived by Ergon Power? If it were purely due to minimizing cost, the current lower cost of solar PV does weaken solar thermal’s position;but in our changing world, the cost of energy production in any form may still be subject to change, depending on how much R & D  support there will be ( electricity produced from  solar thermal via CLFR may cost more than solar PV now, but this may not hold true in the future) . If Ergon Power’s unwillingness to negotiate a PPA were due to concern/unfamiliarity with large scale solar thermal, then will it be possible for Solar Dawn to modify its plan into series of smaller scale solar thermal projects?  In the final analysis, in order to assure the success of any energy/power business,  it is necessary to have a purchaser/client once the power is produced.

Now, let’s look at the other side of the coin.  I believe that I am a rational solar advocate.  It is important to keep the cost in mind, but also make the argument for the need of more favorable playing field for solar.  Personally, of many many reasons in favor of solar, the two most critical reasons for me are: 1.  the speed at which our Arctic Ice is melting 2. potential  wars among nations fighting over the oil reserves.  Both of these will dramatically impact the lives of countless human beings.  One of my detractors commented, “my parents and I have all lived through wars, so what….”  I contend that we are living in a very different time from previous generations (WWI or WWII).  It is quite possible that any future large-scale war will cost the lives of billions of earthlings and make over half of our planet uninhabitable for decades.  So, my questions here are: How quickly is our Arctic Ice melting? How likely are we going to be at large scale war? By providing more favorable playing field for solar/renewables through policies/incentives, will these efforts avert my two main concerns ? Again, from the bottom of my heart, I have to thank Hermann Scheer of Germany for having made the most moral and ethical decision decades ago in having convinced the German Parliament to establish the equivalent of Feed-In-Tariff and German Renewable Energy Act.  He made an ethical decision, although not necessarily an economic one at the time…decades later, now people of Germany have benefited from that decision economically and renewably. Germany is a leader in Renewable Energy world/industry and has an extremely low unemployment rate compared to other developed nations (Please refer to European Commission Eurostat’s Unemployment Statistics)

Solar Dawn project director Anthony Wiseman said discussions would continue with the Queensland government, and with ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency). “It’s important to understand that we have not ceased work on project,” he said.  He also commented that while the project delay represented a set-back, the consortium made up of AREVA Solar and Wind Prospect, University of Queensland, after CS Energy pulled out, will pursue discussions with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Queensland Government to move Solar Dawn forward based on the project’s advanced status and the strong economic and environmental benefits it offers to the state and the country.  The Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) said that it is deeply disappointed with the Queensland Government’s decision to axe funding to the project, as it will put Australia at the forefront of the global solar thermal industry. Here, at Sun Is The Future, we wish Director Wiseman the best in coming up with a modified plan that will be able to attract an agreeable purchaser.  Then pursue the negotiation with Queensland government and ARENA. We have learned that time and time again, people in solar industry tend to have that extra ounce of optimistic energy, supplied by the magical dust from the Sun….

~have a variation of bright and sunny day~

Any of your comments or suggestions for any of the above questions are welcomed at

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

HTML adl

15 September

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


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,


HTML adl


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