Posts Tagged ‘SEPA’

4 March

Upcoming SEPA’s Webinar Series

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Florida Sun (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Just received this announcement about the upcoming SEPA Webinar Series

Join us for the next SEPA Webinar Series

Focus on Forecasting with SEPA’s March 6 Webinar

Join SEPA Thursday at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern for Predicting Solar Power Production: Irradiance Forecasting Models, Applications and Future Prospects. Learn about forecasting methods; evaluate factors that impact accuracy; assess challenges and hear how solar forecasting can be a tool to accommodate expanding solar deployment. Register here.

 

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4 January

Expanded Discussion on Value of Solar

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Capturing The Sun (Credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker). This design may also be found at www.sunisthefuture.com

After posting the interview with Karl R. Rabago regarding The Value of Solar, some of the viewers’ /readers’/visitors’ questions made me realize that I needed to summarize the two articles I have linked to in the post in more details.   I apologize, because Mr. Karl R. Rabago did such a fantastic job in presenting the topic of The Value of Solar, I did not want to detract any attention from the interview. But, as long as we do have visitors/viewers who would like to be reading synopsis on the topic in addition to viewing the video, I’d be happy to oblige. I also found out that Youtube seems to be having some storage issue with regard to the video interview with Mr. Karl R. Rabago momentarily. Please be patient and Youtube is working on the issue at the moment. So be sure to check back at the post of Jan. 1, 2014 for the interview with Karl R. Rabago for the video interview later. In The ‘Value Of Solar’ Rate: Designing An Improved Residential Solar Tariff , authored by Karl R. Rabago,  Net metering is a law derived from PURPA (Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) passed in 1978 such that the original struggle for net metering was the fight to remove the screw, therefore allowing the meter to spin backward so customers could get credit or self-generate (being allowed to make their own electricity through solar energy or generator system) and receive a fair price (otherwise known as the avoided cost) from the utility company for the excess energy being fed back into the grid. This straight forward (use of a single meter with no separate calculation) policy was adopted in 43 states. Although elegantly simple, net metering has its limitations: the assigned retail value for local solar energy is not necessarily reflective of the true value of solar. For example:

  1. There is no distinction between energy due to consumption vs. energy that is excess to consumption during the netting period.
  2. There is no provision for ensuring that the utility recovers the full cost of serving the solar customer.
  3. Much reduced payment for excess generation at the “avoided cost” tends to incentivize solar customers to size solar systems at their baseline energy demand, therefore not fully optimizing the potential in generating valuable excess on-peak or near-peak energy for the network, leaving the utility still having to procure energy for other customers at a higher-than-average cost.
  4. The tiered rate structure of net metering: the more energy a customer uses, the more value that customer receives for solar generation. The traditional net metering coupling solar energy value to the level of a customer’s energy consumption, even in the absence of tiered structure, has the effect of discouraging energy efficiency and encouraging on-peak consumption. When a unit of energy offset by solar generation is worth much more to a customer than a unit of excess generation, the economic signal to the customers is out of sync with other policy and economic objectives.

The Austin Energy of Texas has taken on the task of redesigning the net metering structure. The resulting new Value of Solar residential solar rate is splendid! It has two basic components:

  1. The annually updated value of solar calculation is essentially the price at which the utility is neutral to the solar energy
  2. The value of solar ensures that the utility recovers its full cost of serving the solar customer before any credit for solar generation is applied.

These two components result in a residential solar rate that is more fair to the solar customer, the utility,  and other utility customers.  This also decouples solar energy compensation from both consumption and incentives while being administratively simple. Austin Energy developed a Value of Solar calculation, generating a 30-year levelized value of solar in cents per kilowatt-hour, based on five components:

  1. energy
  2. capacity
  3. transmission capacity
  4. transmission and distribution losses
  5. environmental value

Energy and capacity value make up the bulk of the value and are heavily influenced by natural gas prices. Environmental value is derived from the price premium for Austin Energy’s GreenChoice renewable energy product offering. End result, the Value of Solar rate is about three cents higher than the average residential energy rate. The goal of the calculation is to estimate the total value of a unit of solar energy generated in the distribution grid, or near the point of consumption. That is, the utility would have to buy some energy, including some capacity value such that it would have to be transmitted, with losses, over a delivery system, and pay transmission costs and system charges, and finally with some kind of renewable energy credit or certificate. The calculation if rather conservative for it does not include externality values related to local economic benefits, local environmental benefits or other valuable attributes of distributed solar. Such levelized value needs to be re-evaluated annually so to adjust up-to-date  utility costs and prevent overpayments when system prices fall, not to mention the changing fuel factor. This new Value of Solar rate is expected to reduce the simple payback period for customers, provides stronger incentive for customers to use energy efficiently, and leads to more  on-peak energy available to the utility. Of course, annual recalculations would ensure that both customer and utility are treated fairly as the market costs change. Furthermore, the netting methodology ensures that utility would recover its cost of serving the customer and eliminates the argument that other customers subsidize solar. Austin Energy’s Value of Solar rate was implemented on Oct. 1, 2012 and had already earned recognition and interest from utilities and solar experts. For example, SEPA (Solar Electric Power Association) has recognized Austin Energy as Public Power Utility of the year in 2012 and IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) has given one of its annual Innovation Awards to Austin Energy in September of 2012. It would be great if the Value of Solar will also be applied in other states and regions. With publicly available data, Value of Solar may have expanded use such as in commercial solar rates and in other states and regions. Ultimately, this would translate into a collaborative relationship between the utility and consumers, leading to a more stable grid for all consumers while increasing the longevity of the utility. We look forward to further spreading of use of Value of Solar for it is that final link to the fair and effective way for our world to transition into a sustainable future quickly. Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: www.sunisthefuture.net

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

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12 September

Upcoming SEPA Webinar: Solar Value Basics and Net Energy Metering

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Focus on How Utilities and Customers Value Solar in SEPA’s September Webinar

On Thursday, September 19, 2013,SEPA will be presenting a can’t-miss webinar, Solar Value Basics and Net Energy Metering: What it Is… and Isn’t . Eran Mahrer, SEPA’s Executive VP of Utility Strategy, will share the basics of how utilities, and their customers, value solar and how that is changing. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the issues behind solar valuation; how utilities are approaching VOS; and why it is important. The presentation will highlight Net Energy Metering (NEM) as a tool and will clarify exactly what is included in the concept – and how this has evolved to encompass a number of related issues and perspectives. This is a great opportunity to get an overview of these hot solar and utility topics. The presentation will be followed by Q&A.

Attendees to this basics webinar will learn:

  • High level overview of the Value of Solar

    Sun Shines Through...Value of Solar (credit:sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

  • Net Energy Metering basics
  • Utility drivers and the evolving utility business model
  • Industry perspectives and impacts

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013, 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. Estimated duration: 60 minutes.

Speakers: Eran Mahrer, Executive Vice President, Utility Strategy, SEPA; John Sterling, Director, Utility Programs & Planning, SEPA (Moderator)

Cost: Free to SEPA members and the media (subject to verification); $199 for non-members

Target Audience: Utility staff in planning, policy, renewable programs, customer support, communications and solar industry staff working in distributed generation, customer service, marketing, corporate communications, and other interested stakeholders.

To Register for this webinar, please click–>http://www.solarelectricpower.org/events/webinars.aspx

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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21 July

SEPA Unveiling the Curtain For A New Era, The Solar Energy Era!

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I’ve been away for a while and was really tickled pink when finally got around to read this email and report.  Truly, this is the kind of report that brings hope and optimism to the future of solar energy, for now there is the chance that consumers, utility companies, and regulators will be able to come to the table with the common frame work and understanding to begin working together rather than against one another. Be sure to click on the primer and report below. My fellow Solar Enthusiasts,  we are finally progressing beyond the simplistic net metering and moving toward a more complex but fitting pricing structure necessary to become a mainstream player.  I am particularly excited to read about the consideration of Value-of-Solar Tariff or SmartFIT (page 20 of the primer below). We are finally unveiling the curtain for a new era! Yes, the Solar Energy Era!

The Upcoming Solar Energy Era (photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Way To Go Julia Hamm & Eran Mahrer!   Way To Go SEPA!

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NEM Primer Focuses on Defining Key Terms and Concepts to Provide Common Understanding

SEPA has released a new report: “Ratemaking, Solar Value and Solar Net Energy Metering – A Primer .” In a rapidly changing solar environment and as the penetration of distributed solar generation (DG) is increasing, the primer is designed to offer a balanced viewpoint on net energy metering (NEM) by providing a basic understanding of state utility regulation, with a focus on rate-setting and distributed solar-value research.

“The report highlights the different approaches taken by state regulators for ratemaking, and underscores that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for all situations,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm.

The primer integrates a variety of expert opinions from a full range of solar stakeholders, including regulators and utility staff, who together seek to set the foundation for constructive and sustainable distributed solar transactions. Utilities that previously could not envision significant amounts of grid-tied solar on their systems are now more interested in potential distributed-solar impacts, and are examining immediate and long-term policy and rate design options. Conversely, solar stakeholders are evaluating mechanisms to support solar market growth and recognizing the need to work with utilities to maximize the value of this renewable resource.

“SEPA worked with multiple stakeholders representing all facets of the NEM discussion to balance perspectives from across the growing solar distributed generation and net metering markets,” said Eran Mahrer, Vice President of Utility Strategy at SEPA. “The goal of the primer is to give readers a common understanding of key industry terms that can benefit discussions aimed at creating a sustainable future for distributed generation.”

Download the Report for this comprehensive and insightful look at net energy metering.

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

Any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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18 June

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

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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!
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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)

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17 June

Community Solar Through SEPA & Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective

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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!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

What a great way to share and obtain valuable information without increasing carbon footprint or cost! SEPA (Solar Electric Power Association ) is now presenting a series of webinars that will help to provide better understanding of how Community Solar can help Utilities to achieve their goals, sponsored by Clean Energy Collective. This is a two-part community solar webinar series where SEPA staff share insights and findings from the recently released Utility Community Solar Handbook. The first  episode of this series took place on June 13, 2013, on Utility Managed Community Solar. The second episode of this series will take place on June 27, 2013 , Highlighting Trends From SEPA’s 2012 Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings and the third episode will take place on July 11, 2013, Leveraging Community Solar to Meet Utility Goals – Experience and Insights from Clean Energy Collective and Xcel Energy.You may sign up for the remaining episodes of this series here.

During the first episode, in the short 30 minutes, Bob Gibson (VP of Education and Outreach at SEPA) and Mike Taylor (Director of Research at SEPA) presented very succinctly why utility companies would want to work with community solar program:

Community Solar @ Westmill Solar Cooperative (Creative Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

  1. Increase customer access to and participation in solar
  2. Support the local PV industry
  3. Proactive customer engagement with the utility
  4. More cost effective than smaller, distributed projects
  5. Meet regulatory requirements at lower cost
  6. Increase customer equity from solar projects

and highlighted key considerations for utilities interested in designing or optimizing utility-managed community solar programs and for stakeholders looking to support them.

The participant take-aways included:

  1. Motivations and drivers for community solar
  2. General guidance categories when moving forward with a community solar program
  3. Chief considerations when implementing community solar
  4. Utility-managed community solar decision points, lessons-learned and what to do differently in future projects to optimize result

In case you’d like a deeper understanding of what community solar program/farm represents, explained below (in italic form, source: Wikipedia) and also by Clean Energy Collective President Paul Spencer in the video :


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A community solar farm or solar garden is a solar power installation that accepts capital from and provides credit for the output and tax benefits to individual and other investors. The power output of the farm is credited to the investors in proportion to their investment, with adjustments to reflect ongoing changes in capacity, technology, costs, and electricity rates. Companies, cooperatives, governments or non-profits operate the farms.

Centralizing the location of solar systems has advantages over residential installation that include:

  • Trees, roof size and/or configuration, adjacent buildings, the immediate microclimate and/or other factors which may reduce power output.
  • Building codes, zoning restrictions, homeowner association rules and aesthetic concerns.
  • Lack of skills and commitment to install and maintain solar systems.
  • Expanding participation to include renters and others who are not residential property owners

(Source: Wikipedia)
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Community solar program/farm is a great way to enable the segment of population (mentioned above) that otherwise would not have been able to participate in solar to share the benefit of sunshine effectively and responsibly. It would also be able to work in conjunction with incentive program such as Feed-In-Tariff. If you’d like to find out more and missed the first episode of this series, recordings and slides from the first episode (June 13, 2013) are available at SEPA website for webnars.  If you want to Learn How Community Solar Can Help Utilities Achieve their Goals, registration for future webinars are available here. If you’d like some help in starting your community solar farm/program, you may want to contact Clean Energy Collective to get some answers.

This is a great opportunity for any one assessing whether community solar is a viable option for them and how to create a program that optimizes project development and results. Utility project case studies will help illustrate lessons learned. There will be a Q&A session following the presentation.

Participant take-aways (provided by SEPA, below) will include:

  • How community solar can be leveraged to meet utility goals – RPS, customer satisfaction, etc.
  • Key considerations for making smart community solar decisions and a successful program design.
  • Considerations for deciding whether community solar should be developed alone or with a third party.
  • How to evaluate the available roles, options and variables that might impact your decision

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013. 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. Estimated duration: 1 hour.

Speakers: Fran Long, Product Developer – Renewable Energy, Xcel Energy; Paul Spencer, Founder and CEO, Clean Energy Collective; Becky Campbell, Senior Research Manager, SEPA (moderator)

Cost: Free to SEPA members and the media (subject to verification); $199 for non-members

Target Audience: Utility strategic planners, renewable program staff and other interested solar and community stakeholders

All registered attendees will receive the presentation slides and recording within two business days after the webinar. The recording and slides from the first part of the series are also available on the website.

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~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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

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7 February

President & CEO of SEPA, Julia Hamm, Shed Some Light For Our Solar Future

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Today I want to share an interview with you, of Julia Hamm, President and CEO of SEPA (Solar Electric Power Association), at Pennsylvania Convention Center of Phildadelphia, PA, on Thursday, February 7, 2013, below:

During the interview, President Hamm re-emphasized the importance of collaboration between utility companies and consumers during this time of transition. She’s been with SEPA since 1992 when the organization was Utility Photovoltaic Group (renamed as SEPA in 2000), left and rejoined the organization in 2004. The focus of SEPA has been to help the traditional utility sector to integrate more solar into their energy portfolio through education, research, programs and projects that enable better understanding and learning of mutual experience from various utility companies. The emphasis is in creating a bridge between the utility companies and solar industry. SEPA has been instrumental in bringing various US utility companies abroad, since 2008, to learn how utility companies have been able to adapt to greater solar penetration in other countries such as Germany, Spain, Japan, and Italy. SEPA and SEIA co-own SPI (Solar Power International, ) and recently SPI formed an alliance with Solar Expo show (SES, May 8-10, 2013 in Milan, Italy) and Shanghai New Energy Conference (SNEC PV Power Expo, May 14-16, 2013, Shanghai, China). These three largest solar trade shows (SPI, SES, SNEC) in the world come together to form the Global Solar Alliance and will be hosting the Global Solar Summit in the coming Spring in Milan, Italy, to provide better exchange of information and communications among utility companies internationally.

Julia Hamm foresees continued growth of solar industry and greater use/adoption of solar by consumers;this will translate into need for future change in regulatory structures in order to fulfill the need of consumers and utility companies. Such change in regulatory structure will be occurring on state by state basis. With distributed PV (and other sources) quickly being adopted by consumers, utility companies now realize the need for changing the nature of the grid. Time and collaboration are the keys. It would appear that better chance of success in bringing about any regulatory improvement/changes that will benefit both consumers and utility companies is through collaboration.  So, it’s time for all parties involved to sit down at the round table and work out the details collaboratively, for our mutual benefit.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, interviewed, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
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5 February

First Day of PV America East 2013

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This is an interview of Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), during first day of PV America East 2013, on Feb. 5, 2013, in Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.  Mr. Resch recapped the importance (brought up during the PVA power session during the morning) for various groups working collaboratively within the solar industry to gather strength as a single voice in approaching policy makers.  Historically net metering has been a successful policy to aim toward when the solar energy/industry represented only very small (less than 1%) portion of the energy industry.  It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for solar industry as its proportion increases tremendously within the overall energy industry. Mr. Resch also applauded many of the accomplishments by DOE(Department of Energy) during Secretary Steven Chu‘s tenure.  Mr. Resch has very optimistic outlook toward the future of solar industry in 2013 and in the years to come, encouraging our viewers/visitors in considering opportunities in solar energy industry in the future. Below is the interview with Mr. Resch:

On the first day of the PV America East 2013, the 2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award winners are also announced, below:

2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award Winners Announced at PV America East 2013

Nine Additional Awarded Honorable Mention Citations
Philadelphia, PA, February 5, 2013 – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today announced the three winners of the 2013 Photovoltaic (PV) Projects of Distinction Awards at PV America East 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Recognizing major achievements in U.S. PV solar energy, the awards were presented to the Generating Clean Horizons Solar Project, Keystone Solar and the Union County (NJ) Solar Initiative. For the first time, nine projects were awarded honorable mentions in recognition of their impressive accomplishments.
More than 100 submissions were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers and utilities. To qualify for an award, each project had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project’s impact.
“Each year these project submissions are more impressive than the last and this year is no different. Today’s award recipients portray the innovative spirit that is driving solar energy growth in the U.S.,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “We are very pleased to present these awards and congratulate our three winners for their achievements and excellence in PV solar energy.”
“These installations exemplify how collaboration and partnerships can create successful solar energy projects,” said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. “The three winners and the nine honorable mentions brought teams together to develop solutions to achieve their communities’ renewable energy goals.   Generating Clean Horizons project is the largest solar facility in Maryland and is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, Keystone Solar brought together area colleges and the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, while the Union County Solar Initiative is bringing renewable power to 30 facilities including schools, libraries and a community center for seniors.”
The winning projects are:
Generating Clean Horizons, Emmitsburg, MD
Located on 100 acres leased from Mount St. Mary’s University, this 16.1 megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar power system is one of the largest operational solar facilities in Maryland. The $50 million solar facility was completed with no upfront costs to the state of Maryland, and it demonstrates the potential of public-private partnership to advance renewable energy. This project serves as a prime example of how to successfully finance, develop, construct and operate large-scale solar projects. Constellation, an Exelon company, was the financer, developer, owner and operator; First Solar Electric was the EPC contractor and panel manufacturer; and Mount St. Mary’s University owns the land being leased to Constellation.
Electricity generated by the system is purchased by the state’s Department of General Services and the University System of Maryland under 20-year solar power purchase agreements with Constellation. The system is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity per year. According to the EPA, this could prevent the release of 17,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. In addition to the 16.1 MW system, Constellation owns and operates a 1.6-megawatt solar power system at the site that supplies power directly to the university. In addition to furthering Maryland’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative, the solar project’s construction created approximately 165 green jobs.
“Constellation is honored to be recognized by SEIA and SEPA and to bring online one of Maryland’s largest solar installations,” said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and energy efficiency sales for Constellation. “The project contributes to the state of Maryland’s leadership role in renewable energy and is an example of our commitment to provide customers clean, affordable energy choices.”
Keystone Solar, Lancaster County, PA
The Keystone Solar farm is a tribute to innovative energy marketing and exemplary project development.   Developed by Community Energy and built by gro-Solar, Pennsylvania’s largest solar project is secured by a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Exelon Generation and backed by retail solar purchases by Drexel University, Eastern University, Franklin & Marshall College, Clean Air Council, Juniata College, Marywood University, Millersville University, the Clean Air Council and the Philadelphia Phillies major league baseball franchise.
Community Energy worked closely with the fabled Lancaster County farming community and local officials to support both farmland preservation and agricultural soil restoration in the project design, and EPC contractor, groSolar, built the project to those exacting standards. Solar panels were installed on driven posts without concrete to avoid soil disturbance and allow removal at the end of the 25-30 year life of the project, and the site will be maintained with selected cover vegetation to preserve and improve organic soil content.   After three years of community building, 250 team partners celebrated on October 16, 2012 with a “Turn the Power On” dedication event.
The solar project received financing and funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund and the State of Pennsylvania. The project has 6 megawatts DC capacity and provides approximately 8,000 megawatt hours (MWhs) of clean, fuel-free electricity per year, enough to power over 950 homes, and eliminates 5,516 tons of Carbon Dioxide.
“Keystone Solar brought together the best of the best to build solar at scale in a challenging market.  It was a pleasure to join experienced teams, from design, construction, utility, to finance—and everyone delivered.   We particularly appreciate our long-term solar partners in colleges and universities that stepped up to buy SRECs and incorporate our PRAXIS solar teaching modules in their studies,” said Brent Alderfer, president and CEO, Community Energy Inc.
Union County Solar Initiative, Union County, NJ
In 2012, solar developer Tioga Energy undertook a project to bring renewable power to 30 facilities across New Jersey’s Union County, including schools, libraries, and a community center for senior citizens. The 3.34 MW of solar installations represent the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the U.S.  Dozens of government agencies, facility managers and vendors were needed to bring these systems to life.  To finance the project, Tioga Energy employed a unique structure dubbed the “Municipal Financing Model,” which combined low-interest municipal bonds with state utility and federal tax incentives to significantly lower the cost of solar electricity. With Tioga’s SurePath Solar power purchase agreement (PPA) in place, Union County will receive guaranteed energy savings over the next 15 years, paying rates for electricity that are approximately 50 percent less than those of the local utility. The systems—ranging in size from less than 10 kW to almost 500 kW—were installed through a joint venture between Pro-Tech Energy Solutions and Huen Electric with environmental and engineering management firm Whitman providing design services.
Although Tioga Energy designed these systems to withstand extreme weather, nobody expected they’d be put to the test so quickly. Hurricane Sandy ripped through Union County in late October, forcing 13 towns in the region to declare states of emergency. In the aftermath of the storm, each of the 30 solar installations emerged unscathed.
“Our project in Union County is a powerful testament to how different organizations can pull together, working collaboratively to their mutual benefit,” said Paul Detering, CEO, Tioga Energy. ”The success of this partnership reflects the hard work of many, and we’re honored to be recognized for our efforts by the solar industry’s most esteemed organizations.”
The honorable mention winners are:
Berkshire School Solar Project, Shefield, MA – 2 MW
Camden Solar Center, Camden City, NJ – 1.8 MW
Long Island Solar Farm, Long Island NY – 32 MW
Melink Solar Canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati, OH – 1.564 MW
Saint Paul River Center Parking Ramp, Saint Paul, MN – 82 kW
St. Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ – 2.1 MW
SunGen 1 Sharon, Sharon, VT – 2.2MW
SunSmart E-Shelter Program, -100 10 kW throughout Florida
Toms River Regional School District, Toms River, NJ – 4.5 MW
For more information on PV America East 2013 visit: http://www.pvamericaexpo.com/east/
Elite PV America East 2013 sponsors include: ReneSola, Canadian Solar and Suntech.
Upcoming PV America East:
PV America East 2014 – June 23-25, Boston, MA
# # #
About PV America East 2013
PV America East is presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)®, whose combined efforts have created a world-class, regionally focused and vertically integrated event for installers, designers and suppliers of photovoltaic (PV) technology and services. Unlike other PV conferences, all proceeds support the expansion of the U.S. solar energy market through SEIA’s and SEPA’s year-round research and education activities, as well as SEIA’s® advocacy efforts.
About SEIA®
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org
About SEPA
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios for the benefit of the utility, its customers and the public good. With more than 1,000 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction. From hosting national events to utility strategies, SEPA helps utilities make smart solar decisions. For more information, visit www.solarelectricpower.org.


More interviews and video recorded session of the PV America East 2013 will be coming in future posts and in sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. Keep checking!

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

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

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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15 October

Julia Hamm & Rhone Resch Spoke With Gusto at Solar Power International SPI2012

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

I’ve reserved this piece for a special and later spot than other SPI videos because it deserves some special attentions.  The two speakers below spoke with clarity and gusto, summarizing the path of past and present solar energy industry, then call for action for the future direction in a unified voice for solar industry.


This is a video recording of the introduction speeches by Julia Hamm (President and CEO of SEPA, Solar Electric Power Association) and Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA, Solar Energy Industry Association) on the first day of Solar Power International SPI2012 on September 10, 2012, at Orange County Convention Center of Orlando, FL.  As the President of SEIA, Rhone Resch, indicated the solar industry has more than doubled during 2011 and is the fastest growing industry in USA, installing more than 1.8 gigawatt last year. Julia Hamm, President of SEPA, also announced that our utility has interconnected more than 62,000 PV systems in 2011 and quite possibly even more in 2012.

One of three possible future scenarios (<2%, 5-10%, 30%) presented by President of SEPA Julia Hamm,  where the solar energy would reach its true potential, providing 30% of nation’s electricity needs, involves four main driving forces: social dynamics, political issues, technological issues, and economic issues. President Hamm clearly presented and summarized why  we need a widespread comprehensive support and partnership culture for solar energy, therefore we need future policy direction to be supportive of solar energy.  Julia Hamm ended her portion of the speech reminding us of former President Clinton’s quote, “The future is not an inheritance. It is an opportunity and an obligation.”

President of SEIA, Rhone Resch, opened his speech with the classic quote in A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times;it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity;it was the season of Light,it was the season of Darkness;it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us“.  This truly reflects the position of our current solar industry. There has been tremendous growth both in residential and utility solar installations in the past year and expectation of 3.2 gigawatts of solar installations in USA during 2012.  But at the same time, solar energy/CLEAN energy is under attacks by SuperPacthere;there is also attacks on CLEAN energy tax credits (bills introduced to eliminate investment tax credits for renewable energy); CO RPS is under threat; Net Metering is also under challenge in CA.  A unified voice is needed, especially in key swing states. Rhone Resch is calling for : Let’s not let solar industry go down the path of the dark days of solar industry of the late 1980’s. Let’s make sure that all members in the industry are legitimate and not there just for a quick buck.  Working together with the utility companies, there will be a greater certainty that the solar industry will complete its journey toward its true potential of providing nation’s 30% power needs.  Then we should lead our nation down the path toward the best of times (rather than the worst of times).

~have a bright and sunny day~

There is always more on solar energy at http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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11 September

Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 CEO Panel Discussion

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Dear Friends & Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

(Please click on red links, below)

I’d like to share with you some of the highlights during the General Session of Monday, September 10, 2012, at Solar Power International (SPI) 2012, of the CEO Panel discussion: Growth In An Uncertain Market. Moderators & Panelists are:Julia Hamm, President & CEO of Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA); Rhone Resch, President & CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); Tom Boyle, P.E., EVP, NRG Energy CEO of NRG Solar and President of West Region;Jurgen W. Krehnke, President and General Manager of SMA America, LLC and President of SMA Canada, Inc.;Peter H. Marte, President & CEO of Hannah Solar, LLC;Nancy E. Pfund, Found and Managing Partner of DBL Investors;Eric Silagy, President of Florida Power & Light;Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corporation.

Solar Power International 2012 began its four-day run in Orlando with a dynamic panel of industry thought leaders stressing that now is the time for collaboration and cooperation to establish a level playing field to create a marketplace where all energy can compete including solar. The wide ranging discussion explored renewable portfolio standards, net metering, regulation, storage, grassroots support for solar and the future of the investment tax credit. The executives agreed that it is imperative to create a partnership between the industry and utilities to create the necessary stability to make solar a larger share of our energy mix. Julia Hamm urged the “solar industry and the utility industry to invest in the development of a regulatory structure that allows for a new long-term, sustainable utility business model that encourages customers capable of installing solar to do so and rewards utilities that innovate and create a platform on which solar is fully leveraged for its strengths and which ensures the costs and benefits are fairly distributed.” Rhone Resch reported that the U.S. solar market had achieved its second best quarter in history having installed 742 megawatts of solar power, while the utility segment registered it best-ever quarter with 477 megawatts. Through Q22012, the U.S. now has 5,700 MWs of installed solar electric capacity, enough electricity to power nearly a million homes with a total projected 3.2 gigawatts of new installed solar for 2012.(Source:SPI2012 news release)

In the video clip below, you might hear a whispered comment about Feed-In-Tariff (FIT). Effective FIT is the perfect incentive policy for renewables/solar that would provide the certainty and weaning away from subsidies. If you would like to learn more about FIT, please check out sunisthefuture Youtube Channelor item F at right. Without further ado, this discussion is below:

 

Please feel free to visit http://www.sunisthefuture.net for more on solar energy and more on Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 will be revealed at sunisthefuture Youtube Channel and at http://www.sunisthefuture.net . As always, any of your comments/questions/suggestion/concerns are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

~have a bright and sunny day~
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com
Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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