Posts Tagged ‘solar garden’

12 May

California, Leading the Country In Clean Energy, Requires New Homes To Have Solar in 2020


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

The post below is a re-post from our sister publication, Windermere Sun (

Googleplex rooftops and car parks blanketed with solar cells (attribution: Steve Jurvetson, presented at:

Solar Rooftop (presented at:

Solar panels atop a house in Riverside, CA (photo attribution: Jim Sun, presented at:

Community Solar Garden or Solar Farm of Clean Energy Collective at Cowdery Meadow Community Solar Gardens (attribution: Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at:

Visitors at a Westmill Solar Cooperative Open Day at Westmill Solar Park (attribution: MrRenewables, Westmill Solar Cooperative, Ben Cavanna, presented at:

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

(Please click on red links & note magenta)



Today, California has become the first U.S. state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes and low-rise apartment buildings, starting in 2020. The California Energy Commission voted 5 to 0 to approve the new building standard/requirement that residential buildings up to three stories, including single-family homes and condos, be built with solar panels installations starting in 2020.  About 117,000 new single-family homes and 48,000 multi-family units will be built in 2020. The commission endorsed this requirement after building representatives, utilities, and solar manufacturers and advocates voiced their support. It still needs the final approval from California’s Building Standards Commission (which usually adopts the energy panels’s recommendations when updating the state’s building codes). This is California’s latest step to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The technical director for the California Building Industry Association Robert Raymer called it a “quantum leap.”This requirement would only be applied to newly constructed homes, although many homeowners are choosing to install rooftop solar panels with help from various rebate programs. The California Energy Commission estimated that adding solar panels would boost construction costs by $9,500 for a single-family home but save homeowners about $19,000 in energy cost and other expenses over 30 year period. The price of solar has dropped dramatically in recent years, therefore, it is a no-brainer that it is cost effective for all homeowners to install solar. The  amount of solar power required by the new standards is minimal and not enough to meet all the energy needs of most homes, therefore, most homes would still have to draw some of their power use from the power grid.

The regulations exempts solar panels installations when it is not cost-effective or feasible (such as for homes shrouded in shade). Community solar generation would be an option for such circumstances.

According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), California is already the nation’s leader in solar installation, with more than 5 million homes in the state using solar power. California has set the goal of all residential buildings being “zero net energy”, meaning producing as much energy as they consume. California has positioned itself as the leader for clean energy in USA, pushing more electric vehicles on the roads and lower emissions from homes and commercial buildings.

California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister said, “This is a step, a very important step, in a long trajectory that we have been planning for and telling the world….This is not a radical departure. It’s a step in the right direction to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve our air, which for many, many decades California has been doing better and better each time.”

Perhaps it is high time for rest of the 49 states to also follow the California lead, for it is both economical and environmentally friendly for homeowners to install solar.


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

More about the community at

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


We Need Fair Value of Solar

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Gathered, written, 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:


Windermere Sun website Header small


17 June

Community Solar Through SEPA & Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective


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!

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 :

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)

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.


~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 (be sure to note in the email if you do not want your email to be shared).


HTML adl


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