Below is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun:
Sun Rays (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
December 19, 2011- Kyle Travis, left and Jon Jackson, with Lighthouse Solar, install microcrystalline PV modules on top of Kevin Donovan’s town home. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder)
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The stage is set. The time is ripe. With the cost of both solar and wind having dropped tremendously in the past three years, solar technology having enabled greater efficiency, the incoming Tesla’s Powerwall, Powerpack solving the storage problem, and Tesla’s integrated and cost effective solar roof… the inevitable Solar-Renewable Tsunami is knocking on our door. Astute green investors and lenders could all hear the knock and are ready to finance solar energy projects and fund power developments of renewable-sustainable energy resources. In the U.S., a mix of federal production tax credits and individual state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) are definitely pushing the market. To better understand various policies and incentives for renewables and efficiency by states, please click HERE. For example, state of CA has 187 such policies and incentives whereas state of FL has 77. Of course the incentives of some of the E.U. nations are also fueling the market. But most importantly, it is the simple fact that the cost of solar have dropped so much that it is now a more secure investment than putting one’s money in the bank (bank has a rate of return of about 0.8%-1.1% without inflation protection whereas investing in solar provides a rate of return ranging from about 3% (in AK without any tax credit or incentive, it is 4.4% with tax credit and incentives) to 24.4% (in HI with tax credit and incentives, location-climate-incentive dependent, and this is with inflation protection).
For a simple Solar Investment Payback Formula:
Total System Cost/Value of Electricity Generated/Your Annual Electricity Usage = Payback Time
1/Payback Time = Rate of Return on Investment
a 6 kW grid-tied system that costs about $10,000 (subject to market fluctuation, excluding fees and incentives)
The average American household uses 10,932 kWh of electricity per year (source: EIA)
They pay an average of $0.12 per kWh for it
Therefore, using American national averages: $10,000 system price/$0.12 per kWh/10932 kWh per year = 7.62 years = Payback Time
Therefore, 1/Payback Time = 1/7.62 =0.13 1 or 13.1% = Rate of Return on Solar Investment, keep in mind that this is with inflation protection (utility bills are always going up).
At this point, I’d like to share with you all a site that had already done the work for you, state by state, Solar Power Rocks., in figuring out the Investment Return (IRR), with consideration of respective state’s tax credits and incentives.
As a result, there are much opportunities for high yielding rates of return on investment in solar as well as other green renewable sources. In the coming decades, there will be so much transformational developments waiting to be planned out and completed. If you have a project ($multi-million project) in mind, with a plan but insufficient funding, please contact me via: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so Windermere Sun may be able to introduce you and your plan/project to potential investors/lenders. If you are an angel investor, potential investor or lender for solar projects, please feel free to contact me at: info.WindermereSun@gmail.com so we can spread the sunshine globally while saving our planet earth!
Investment Criteria for Joint Venture Financing: financing for all types of commercial real estate and alternative energy projects. In general, they must meet the following criteria: • The project 5% down or more; • The project must be shovel-ready–defined as ready to break ground in 90 days or less; • The project must be sponsored by an experienced developer with a significant financial stake. • Asset-based loans, including In-Ground Assets; • Corporate expansion loans; • International Funding; and • Hard money loans. Joint Venture Financing Project Types: (NEW DEVELOPMENT ONLY) • Hotel Resorts and Casinos • Assisted Living/Senior Housing • Apartment Buildings/Multifamily Housing • Alternative/Renewable Energy (i.e., solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, etc.) • Green Energy (i.e., biofuel/biodiesel, biomass, waste-to-energy, etc.) • Hospitals and Health Care Facilities • Infrastructure (roads, highways, rail, etc.) • College and University Buildings • Public-Use and Recreational Facilities • Industrial Projects • Other Related Types Locations: USA and International, Joint Venture Financing Terms: • 95% equity financing • Typically three to five year term • Non-recourse financing • No interest payments during term of investment • Minority equity stake in lieu of interest • Take out with permanent financing or sale Time to Closing: 90 to 120 days.
Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November because Amendment 1 Will Block Out the Sun (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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This is a repost from one of our sister publication, Windermere Sun, below:
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Dear Friends & Neighbors,
Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
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I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for Florida to welcome Solar Energy into our state!!!Then Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November!!! Reasons are explained in the posts and videos in the two posts below (please click & view):
This article contains material that would help to explain why Amendment 1 is anti-solar: Amendment 1 May Block Out The Sun (Similar measure in Amendment 1 has already destroyed solar industry in the state of Nevada. We do not want a repeat of what happened in Nevada here in Florida!!!)
Amendment 1 part (a) promises the right Floridians already possess (the right to own or lease solar equipments on their property) but prevents Floridians from selling any excess solar energy produced to be sold to others outside of the property owner. Amendment 1 part (b) may potentially allow utilities to create another fee to be charged to solar installation owners or solar power users even if these solar power users are not customers of the utilities. So a votes of “yes” on Amendment 1 would: a. establish constitutional right rather than keep it statutory. b. eliminate free market potential for electricity c. create assumption that solar power users are subsidized by utility customers. Passing Amendment 1 would potentially destroy the solar businesses in Florida (as a similar measure did in Nevada).
Especially after the recent visit from Hurricane Matthew, it is critical for us to promote both utility scale and distributed solar throughout our state and our U.S.A.! This is not only for the fact that Florida needs to live up to its name sake, The Sunshine State, but the fact that much of our state revenues depend on tourism, and therefore our air and water quality plays an important part of our state’s income. Furthermore, the climate change or warming of our planet earth would speed up the process of our disappearing coastal cities (esp. Miami). This is another reason why Florida should make strong effort in supporting solar energy to flourish, to slow down the climate change and warming of our planet. Don’t forget the fact that solar energy is the source of energy that cannot be exclusively possessed by few nations on earth. Therefore widespread use of solar energy would prevent potential warfare among nations for the sake of fuel. Finally, it is undeniable that we are progressing toward the Clean/Renewable Energy Future, whether the politicians like it or not. The sooner our politicians accept this fact and learn to adapt to the Clean/Renewable Energy Age, the better off we all will be, in terms of state economy, business, individual standard of living, and our beautiful environment of state of Florida .
Therefore, it is particularly frustrating that my and your dollars spent on our utility bills are being spent on promotion for something that will potentially destroy the solar industry in Florida, the Amendment 1! So, please bear with me for continuing to post about Amendment 1, reminding Floridians to VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER !!! I may not have multi-million dollar advertising budget, but I do have Windermere Sun….so, let’s help our beloved Florida to be worthy of its name sake by spreading this message of need to Vote “NO” on Amendment 1 in November ! We don’t want the solar growth and solar industry to be destroyed as it did in Nevada by a similar measure in Amendment 1.
If you care about The Sunshine State and would like to insure our worthiness of this name, want to see solar industry and economy to flourish in Florida, forever be able to enjoy our wonderful air quality, and usher Florida into the Clean/Renewable Energy Age, VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 1 IN NOVEMBER !!! Because……
Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva ranked 4th place on Sep. 3, 2016
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Hurray! Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva ranked 4th place today, after: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, The Mindful Bunch, and Carnegie Mellon University teams! Thank you, team members, for a job well done! With Amendment 4 being passed in Florida and Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva placing in top ten teams at Kiva, it is a Fantastic Week for Solar future!
We want to spread more sunshine throughout the planet earth by increasing opportunities that would make this planet earth a better place to live. This is accomplished via micro-finance. With as little as $25, any one is able to participate in helping another entrepreneur on planet Earth via the platform of Kiva.
We are hopeful and optimistic that sun, water, wind, and geothermal energy will lead us into a world free from pollution and war. Let us earthlings look for ways to make this a reality! Sunisthefuture Team supports entrepreneurs from USA and various developing nations in starting/maintaining businesses in solar energy/renewable energy/recycling/energy efficiency.
Click on “Loans” and “Members” at Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva web site to see which small businesses we’ve supported and who are members on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva.
To see what Green Loans are currently needing help to be funded, click on “Lend” on top of the page, then select (placing a check mark inside the box next to…) for “Green” under ATTRIBUTES in the left hand margin. At the end of the transaction, be sure to click on “complete order” in order to complete the transaction. Then check to see if the number of loans has been correctly added for your individual profile and for the team you’ve attributed the loan to.
Dear Fellow Floridians, for more information about Early Voting, please refer to our Previous Post . If you have any questions about voting, please call the Election Protection hotline at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682-Espanol.) Assistance is available in English or Spanish.
We, the Floridians, have been blessed with generous sunshine, residing in the SunShine State. In the August Primary, Floridian voters will have the opportunity to lower energy cost and boost future solar energy production in the Sunshine State by voting YES for Amendment 4 on the Primary Ballot. Amendment 4 will amend Florida’s Constitution to exempt the value of solar panels and other renewable energy equipment from both the tangible personal property tax and the real property tax. In order for Amendment 4 to become law, it must be approved by YES vote from at least 60% of the Floridian voters for the August 30 Primary Ballot.
The exact wording of Amendment 4, below (in italics):
Solar Devices or Renewable Energy Source Devices;Exemption from Certain Taxation and Assessment.
Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to exempt from ad valorem taxation the assessed value of solar or renewable energy source devices subject to tangible personal property tax, and to authorize the Legislature, by general law, to prohibit consideration of such devices in assessing the value of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes. This amendment takes effect January 1, 2018, and expires on December 31, 2037.
Firstly, ad valorem simply means in proportion to the value. So, Amendment 4 is proposing to remove the tax based on the value of the solar panels/renewable energy source devices and also to prevent the inclusion of these devices when assessing the value of the real property. This amendment, if passed, will enable solar energy in Florida to be much more affordable for every one (commercial, as well as residential), help to increase the number of solar jobs and further solar development in Florida tremendously , and at no cost to Florida’s taxpayers because these taxes are not being collected now.
As we come to the final stage of fossil fuel period in history…
as more natural disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy and Louisiana flood) occur…
and increasing suicide rate of farmers from different parts of the world (India, Australia, etc.) resulting from extreme weather conditions due to increased rate of climate change….
and the cost of solar and renewable energy and battery storage technology continues to decrease
It is our moral imperative to do everything possible in slowing down the current rate of climate change. It is also our sense of practicality that should direct us quickly toward transition into solar and renewable energy. The great irony in life is that: those of us in the developed nations have been contributing far more than those in developing nations to this dramatic increased rate of climate change. But when the chips are down, it is those in the developing nations and the poorest who will be suffering more. There is something terribly wrong with this picture. It would have been far more impactful if Amendment 4 were passed more than a decade ago. Voting YES for Amendment 4 now is the least that we can and should do. In addition to installing solar, I believe we should also be thinking of switching to electrical vehicles, recycle more, bike and walk more, eat less meat, etc. It is economical/practical and ethical to encourage the growth of solar and renewable energy in the Sunshine State!
Keep in mind that there are three ways to vote:
At the polls on August 30, 2016
Early Voting between August 15-August 28 or August 20-August 27 or……., depending on which county you are in.
By mail starting from July 26, 2016 and be sure your mail-in ballot is received by 7:00 pm on election day, August 30, 2016. So, those of you who are planning on mailing in your ballot, be sure you do so ASAP.
For those of you interested in clean energy future, you may like to know that Florida Solar Voter is a project of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy dedicated to providing all Florida voters an easy way to sign up to vote by mail. Please feel free to contact Southern Alliance For Clean Energy via 813-252-1751 or www.CleanEnergy.org .You may also be interested in visiting Floridians For Solar Choice.
Wow, truly, we are at the final frontier! Facebook has just announced the first successful test flight of a high-altitude solar plane to bring internet access to remote parts of the world (where 1.6 billion people reside) currently without mobile broadband network. Back in March of 2015, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook had been testing drones in the skies over UK. The Aquila drone has the wingspan of an airliner, weighs about a third as much as a car, and consumes only 5,000 watts (equivalent to 3 hairdryers or a powerful microwave ) when cruising. It was developed in Bridgwater, Somerset, by Ascenta, a designer of solar powered drones that Facebook bought in March of 2014. Facebook plans on having Aquila as a fleet of solar powered aircraft that will provide internet to people in sub-Saharan Africa and other remote regions currently without online access. Once they are fully operational, these high altitude planes will stay airborne for up to 90 days at a time and beam broadband coverage to a 60-mile wide area on the ground, availing internet to people in under-connected regions.
After months of flying scale models, the Facebook Connectivity Lab finally completed first full-scale test flight and provided much data on Aquila’s performance on autopilot, batteries, motors, radio, displays, ground station, aerodynamic handling, structural viability, and crew training. The low altitude test flight lasted for 96 minutes (more than three times the originally planned mission length).
Some of the future challenges will need to be faced are:
During the winter, solar panels need to collect sufficient energy during short days to keep the batteries charged over long nights (up to 14 hours at a time).
Higher energy efficiency and lower mass battery systems continue to be needed
Aquila continues to be optimized
Overall need to reduce the cost in order to insure that the project would be viable.
Jay Parikh, Facebook’s head of engineering and infrastructure, said in a blog: “We’re encouraged by this first successful flight, but we have a lot of work ahead of us … In our next tests, we will fly Aquila faster, higher and longer, eventually taking it above 60,000 feet.”
Is it true that the wealthy elites do not want you to go solar?
In the interview with Brendan Fischer, General Counsel of Center For Media and Democracy, Screwed News reporter commented, there is a new solar power installation every 3 minutes in United States (according to SEIA, Solar Energy Industry Association) and much of the growth of solar power is on the local level. The above is a candid discussion in why and how individual rooftop solar is seen as a threat to the centralized production business model and therefore has been running into much resistance. More in-depth discussion on various topics pertaining to distributed individual rooftop solar may be obtained from Institute For Local Self-Reliance.(such as Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Finds, Energy Self Reliant States.) As we progress from an outdated centralized utility model into a new age of more distributed and greater local self-reliant model, be it applied to power generation or broadband, I encourage any one and every one to increase understanding how important local self-reliance in these matters is. I would further implore those truly interested in the future of solar/renewable energy to have better understanding of Value of Solar, for this is a much more fair and efficient way to distribute power than Net Metering. For better understanding of Value of Solar, please refer to these posts below:
The floating array on Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture (Southeast of Tokyo), will measure 180,000 sq meters and 13.7 MW, upon completion. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan has created a number of solar farms on water as it has turned away from nuclear power, and land is in short supply. Considering the desirability of reducing evaporation from the reservoir through having solar panels above and cooling of the solar panels from water below, the concept of floating solar farm is simply a Win-Win phenomenon! In the case with a dam, there is also the added appeal in taking care of the solar intermittent energy source by using power generated from the dam.
Rendering of the 13.7MW plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir (photo credit: Kyocera)
The Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture publicly sought companies to construct and operate a floating solar power plant to help reduce environmental impact in October, 2014. Scheduled for launch in FY2018 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2018), the plant will be comprised of approximately 51,000 Kyocera modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000 sq meters. The project will generate an estimated 16,170 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, enough electricity to power approximately 4,970 typical households. This would offset about 8,170 tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is equal to 19,000 barrels of oil consumed.
Thames water EU’s and World’s (as of April, 2016) largest floating solar farm QE-press-release credit Thames water
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A quick note to let you know that the currently (as of April, 2016) World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm/Panel Array had been installed on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames, as part of Thames Water’s goal to self-generate a third of its own energy by 2020. The array features 23,046 solar panels and measures 57,500 sq meters ( or 618,925 sq ft). The reservoir is run by Thames Water. The solar farm is funded and operated by Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy. The low carbon, solar energy produced will be used to power the nearby water treatment works to help reduce the power bills for drinking water. It will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year – equivalent to the annual consumption of around 1,800 homes.
Thames Water’s energy manager, Angus Berry said: “Becoming a more sustainable business is integral to our long term strategy and this innovative new project brings us one step closer to achieving our goal – this is the right thing for our customers, the right thing for our stakeholders and most importantly the right thing for the environment.”
The advantage of a floating array is the fact that the water would provide the welcomed benefit of cooling the solar arrays, in addition to not taking up space from agricultural area.
The British may still have the largest floating solar farm in Europe by 2018, but the title for the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm may soon be replaced by the Japanese floating reservoir (the floating array on Yamakura Dam) with twice the size of Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in 2018.
The floating array on Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture, will measure 180,000 sq meters and 13.7 MW, upon completion. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan has created a number of solar farms on water as it has turned away from nuclear power, and land is in short supply. Considering the desirability of reducing evaporation from the reservoir through having solar panels above and cooling of the solar panels from water below, the concept of floating solar farm is simply a Win-Win phenomenon!
Watching the list of solar energy companies to appear and disappear over the years is almost like watching a revolving door….as solar energy industry continues to evolve. Yes, cost and efficiency are the two areas where many solar companies are concentrating their energy and effort in at the moment. In recent years, many companies are directing their effort toward kerfless technology. One of these companies, 1366 Technologies, is worth keeping an eye on. The company’s name is referenced to the solar constant, representing the watts of solar energy that hits each square meter of the surface of the earth. It is a company based in Bedford, Massachusetts that has developed a technique to produce siliconwafers by casting them in their ultimate shape directly in a mold, rather than the prevailing standard method in which wafers are cut from a large ingot. The company aims to manufacture multi-crystalline silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar cells, at half the cost of current methods.
Traditional solar technologies may be replaced by thin and kerfless wafter technologes (credit: Smallman12q/Wikipedia)
1366 Technologies casts wafers with a conventional thickness from molten silicon, creating a more uniform wafer quality than the current industry standard. (credit: Bob Frechette of 1366 Technologies)
The company used a $4 million grant obtained from the United States Department of Energy‘s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program in December 2009 to fund research over an 18-month period. Grants from ARPA-E are designed to provide money to relatively small projects offering the potential for high-payoff results in fostering advanced techniques. 1366 Technologies was able to announce eight months into the grant period that it had achieved success in its casting technology, in which molten silicon is poured directly into a mold to produce wafers in their final form, a square 6 inches (15 cm) on each side that is 200 micrometers thick and are then extracted from the mold using a proprietary technique to ensure that the wafer doesn’t break while being removed from the mold. In traditional methods, wafers of this size are cut from a large single ingot or crystal, in an approach that leaves as much as half of the original silicon ingot as waste.
Below, a video that was published back in 2009 on the basics behind silicon-based solar cell technology by 1366 Technologies:
David Danielson, program director for solar energy at ARPA-E said that “early indications show this could be one of our great success stories.” ARPA-E’s first director Arun Majumdar estimated that current techniques generate solar power at a cost of $4 per watt, and that bringing down that cost to $1.50 per watt could lead to the widespread adoption of solar energy (solar industry is evolving very fast and is currently already at the cost level of slightly over $1.00 per watt). Company president Frank van Mierlo estimated that solar power generated using wafers from 1366 Technologies would be cheaper than power generated using coal. The company is now on their third generation of wafer-producing machines, which are full-sized, industrial line machines. The company will open a commercial-scale factory in upstate New York, slated for completion in 2017. This plant will start producing 50 million wafers annually, totaling 250 megawatts of output. It will eventually scale to 600 million wafers and 3,000 MW of annual production.
1366 Technologies has raised $70 million in capital to commercialize their innovation, from such investors as South KoreanHanwha Chemical, a major user of silicon wafers, as well as from Ventizz Capital Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.
As the revolving door continues to rotate during Solar Evolution/Revolution, perhaps the name of a solar constant will bring forth a longer stay than other abbreviated variables.