August 16, 2017
The Prairie Island Indian Community is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Tribe is seeking proposals from qualified professionals to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for development of solar energy project(s) for the Tribe. The submission deadline is August 30. Read more here.
May 1, 2017
The California Energy Commission is making solar more accessible and more widespread through its New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP). NSHP’s goal is to create a self-sustaining market for energy-efficient solar homes and help homeowners save money on electric bills. To date, the NSHP has installed nearly 67,000 solar systems. Recent changes to the NSHP Guidebook aim to make solar more accessible to low-income communities. These changes include increased incentive rates for affordable housing projects, and extending the permit application deadline from 60 to 120 days, as the former deadline was too tight for some complex projects, particularly multifamily and affordable housing. Read more about the NSHP in CESA's 2015 case study.
April 14, 2017
The District of Columbia has an aggressive RPS that requires 50 percent of electricity to come from renewables by 2032, including 5 percent from solar. To understand the implications of this policy, the DC Office of the People’s Counsel commissioned Synapse Energy Economics to conduct a value of solar study. The resulting report, Distributed Solar in the District of Columbia: Policy Options, Potential, Value of Solar, and Cost-Shifting, has now been released. Among Synapse’s findings is the conclusion that “the value of solar to the utility system exceeds the cost, indicating that solar PV is a cost-effective electricity resource that also provides health and environmental benefits to society.”
April 3, 2017
In 2008, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) developed SolarShares, one of the country’s first utility-run community solar programs. SMUD continues to adapt and promote its SolarShares program to enable solar access for renters and homeowners alike. In a webinar on Thursday, April 13, SMUD’s SolarShares program managers will highlight the lessons learned from designing the utility’s program. Read more and register here.
January 31, 2017
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has released its new proposal to overhaul the state's solar incentive program. The proposed program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), would replace the current SREC program. This new incentive program will lower costs for ratepayers, and provide stability for project developers by letting them know what their incentives will be for a long term period of 10-20 years. The program is structured so that smaller commercial and residential projects will get higher subsidies than larger commercial projects. Low-income and public benefit projects will also get better rates, as will projects built on land that can't be used for another purpose, such as brownfields, landfills, rooftops, or parking lot canopies, and projects paired with energy storage. Several solar advocacy groups released a joint press release in support of the proposed program. The current SREC program will continue through the end of the year while the SMART program goes through the state approval process. Read more here.
October 7, 2016
Two Connecticut Green Bank programs have made headlines recently for their success in promoting clean energy adoption in the state.
In New London, CT, the “Solar for All” program is helping homeowners finance solar power and energy efficiency measures. This program is specifically designed to make solar accessible for low-to-moderate income families, has no minimum credit scores or minimum income requirements, and guarantees that homeowners will save money on their energy bills. New London Mayor Michael Passero is excited about this initiative: “They’re trying to improve the city’s housing stock,” he said. “This partnership brings us to the next level. I’m excited about the jobs this will create and the opportunity for residents to get their homes to be more energy efficient.” Read more here.
Connecticut manufacturers are equally enthusiastic about financing clean energy upgrades through the Connecticut Green Bank. Due to overwhelming interest in their “Energy on the Line” program, which provides grants for renewable energy and energy efficiency building upgrades at owner-occupied manufacturing facilities in the state, the Green Bank is extending their application deadline. Since the program launched in April, nearly 60 companies have expressed interest. Five energy savings projects have already been approved, with another seven applications in review. “Connecticut manufacturers feel the burden of energy costs more than anyone, and we’re excited to see C-PACE put manufacturers back in control of their businesses through the Energy on the Line program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. Read more here.
September 19, 2016
How Solar Stakeholders in California are Making Plans for the Expansion of Clean Energy in Multifamily Affordable Housing
California’s Multifamily Solar Roofs Program, which was authorized by the passage AB 693, is a response to the profound gap in the level of solar installations serving low-income renters and disadvantaged communities. When implemented in 2017, it will be the first program in the country specifically designed to provide low-income renters with increased access to the electricity generated from on-site solar energy systems and ensure direct economic benefits from solar credits allocated to each low-income household. The program will have the capacity to bring integrated solar energy benefits to more than 150,000 low-income households over the next ten years.
In response to a request for AB 693 implementation proposals, a diverse group of the state’s leading low-income, environmental, and affordable housing groups came together to submit a plan to the California Public Utilities Commission. The Nonprofit Solar Stakeholders Coalition (California Housing Partnership, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Brightline Defense Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Housing Law Project) prepared a joint proposal calling for the adoption of an integrated energy strategy combining energy efficiency, solar PV, and energy storage devices to reduce energy use and costs. Further, the joint proposal requests special efforts to target solar energy systems installations in disadvantaged communities and to provide job opportunities in low-income and disadvantaged communities. The plan also recommends that an independent, statewide administrator run the program to improve upon the performance of past solar energy programs.
This comprehensive plan is the first of its kind in the nation. Beyond California, this plan – and its coalition strategy – could serve as a model for how states and communities can take action to build a more sustainable energy future in which low-income tenants can share in the benefits of the new clean energy economy.
More details about the Coalition’s plan can be found in a recent article in Renewable Energy World, prepared by Wayne Waite (formerly with California Housing Partnership Corporation), Lew Milford and Seth Mullendore of Clean Energy Group. Read it here.
Clean Energy Group will be hosting a two-part webinar series on September 22 and 29 featuring guest speakers from the Nonprofit Solar Stakeholders Coalition to discuss the details on this groundbreaking proposal. For more information on these free webinars and to register, click here.
This article was also posted in Renewable Energy World.
September 13, 2016
Homeowners in New York have a new resource to guide them through the complicated process of financing a residential solar installation. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in collaboration with CESA, has released the “Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing in New York," available here. This guide is a modified version of CESA’s 2015 publication, “A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs,” designed to help homeowners make informed decisions about financing solar. CESA has also worked with state agencies in Massachusetts and New Mexico on state-specific guides. CESA will release a Spanish language version of the homeowner’s guide in the coming months.
May 3, 2016
By Todd Olinsky-Paul, CESA Project Director
January 19, 2016
BOSTON – January 19, 2016 –State energy officials today announced the selection of the first five communities to participate in Solarize Mass for 2016. The new municipalities participating in the community-based solar energy group-buying program that lowers overall costs of installing solar electric systems include Somerville and Natick, as well as Shelburne, Colrain and Conway, which have joined as a trio of partner communities.
October 27, 2015
California has the world’s eighth-largest economy and a population that is projected to grow from 39 million today to 50 million by 2050. Providing enough energy to meet the state’s power needs would be a major challenge under stable conditions, but climate change will make it even more difficult. Notably, rising temperatures are projected to increase energy demand for summer cooling. And changing precipitation patterns will reduce spring snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, decreasing hydropower generation, which produced up to 15 percent of the state’s electricity supply before the current multi-year drought.
September 28, 2015
California’s commitment to solar energy development has created a large market for solar energy technologies of all sizes. In Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), enacted in 2006, the state legislature directed the California Energy Commission to establish criteria for which PV equipment would be eligible for rebates under the state’s solar electric incentive programs, along with conditions for those incentives and rating standards for solar incentive programs. Today the commission’s list (http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/equipment/index.php) includes information on thousands of models of PV modules, inverters, and other solar equipment, far more than other databases. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) calls it “the most robust source of [performance and safety] information for PV equipment in the United States,” and “the de facto national eligible equipment list.”
Ensuring High Quality and Performance
SB 1 provided California state energy agencies with $3.3 billion over 10 years to support 3,000 megawatts of solar projects. To support this goal, the bill laid out specific expectations that projects had to meet in order to qualify for ratepayer-funded incentives, including the following:
September 24, 2015
By Georgena Terry, Volunteer Research Associate, CESAHow does a utility cope with peak loads that are stressing its distribution system? It constructs a new substation feeder. Or does it?
September 23, 2015
Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar Program Awarded State & Local Government Achievement of the Year by IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has awarded the Energy Trust of Oregon the State & Local Government Achievement of the Year award for their solar cost reduction initiative. This multi-year plan has helped make solar systems easier to install and more affordable. A large part of this initiative was reducing “soft costs,” the non-hardware costs associated with installing a solar system, which can account for more than 50% of the total system cost for customers. These soft costs include permitting, inspection, and installation labor. “Reducing soft costs ultimately leads to savings for the customer, thriving solar businesses that contribute directly to our local economy and more renewable power produced in Oregon,” said Jeni Hall, solar project manager, accepting the award on behalf of Energy Trust. “We’re already seeing success with this effort,” continued Hall. “As one example, working with the Oregon Department of Energy, we combined the residential solar application process for customers receiving both an Energy Trust cash incentive and a state energy tax credit into one simple online process. A change that contractors say is saving two hours per project.” Read more about IREC’s Best of 2015 award-winning projects here. Read a press release from the Energy Trust of Oregon here.
September 9, 2015
By Georgena Terry, Volunteer Research Associate, CESAIn 1983, Minnesota became the first state to require net metering for distributed generation. More than three decades later, many other states have joined Minnesota in requiring utilities to pay retail rates for the solar power they purchase from customers. The rooftop solar PV market is growing across the country, thanks in part to net metering. But as greater quantities of solar electricity penetrate the grid, some utility companies and energy analysts are questioning whether net metering will still make sense in the future.
September 1, 2015
By Nate Hausman, Project Manager, CESA For renters and for property owners with inadequate roof space, the many benefits of solar electricity may seem out of reach. About half of all households and businesses in the U.S. are not viable candidates to host a PV system. Community-shared solar offers these electricity customers a way to take advantage of solar PV by buying an interest in an offsite shared solar array and receiving a credit on their electricity bills for their ownership interest.
The community shared solar market is growing rapidly, but its success depends on supportive regulatory frameworks and market systems. As community-shared solar has proliferated, a growing number of states have adopted community solar-enabling laws. This is clearly good news for solar, but one issue that has been less clear is whether an individual owner of solar panels installed in an offsite, community- shared array qualifies for one of the primary carrots offered to homeowners adopting solar—the 30% federal residential investment tax credit called the “residential ITC.” This uncertainty has created confusion in the marketplace.
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working on clean energy issues, took this issue head on. Working with stakeholders in Massachusetts and Vermont and with the law firm Foley Hoag, CESA facilitated the submission of a Private Letter Ruling request to the Internal Revenue Service to clarify whether an owner of solar panels in a shared, offsite solar array is eligible for the residential ITC. The IRS recently released its Private Letter Ruling confirming the taxpayer’s eligibility for the residential ITC. While the ruling is only legally applicable to the individual taxpayer in question, the ruling will be taken as a positive development by community-shared solar participants and project developers.
The recent Private Letter Ruling represents the first instance in which the IRS has publicly weighed in on the applicability of the residential ITC to an owner of solar panels in a shared, offsite array. The ruling suggests that the IRS may be receptive to claims for the residential ITC when a project mirrors the structure of the project that was the subject of the Private Letter Ruling. It represents more good news for the burgeoning community-shared solar market.
September 1, 2015
Private Letter Ruling on the Eligibility of an Individual Panel Owner in an Offsite, Net-Metered Community-Shared Solar Project to Claim the Section 25D Tax Credit
In August 2015, the Internal Revenue Service issued a private letter ruling concluding that a particular owner of PV panels in an offsite, community-shared solar array is eligible to take advantage of one of the primary incentives offered to homeowners adopting solar—the 30 percent federal residential income tax credit available under Section 25D of the Internal Revenue Code, sometimes known in the industry as the “residential ITC.” The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), in collaboration with stakeholders in Massachusetts and Vermont, and with attorneys in the Boston office of law firm Foley Hoag, LLP, arranged for the submission of the private letter ruling request.
Community-shared solar allows electric customers to buy an interest in an offsite solar array and to receive credit on their electricity bills for their ownership interest. While the IRS’s ruling is only legally applicable to the individual taxpayer in question—a solar panel owner in Boardman Hill Solar Farm, a member-managed 150 kW off-site solar array in Vermont—the ruling may open up project opportunities for direct ownership of community-shared solar systems by multiple individuals.
July 28, 2015
States have been using group purchasing and special marketing initiatives to bring down the cost of solar. A wide range of campaigns, each called Solarize, have been launched with leadership from state agencies in Oregon, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other states. Solarize initiatives combine four components:
1. Community-Driven Outreach: These methods may include peer-to-peer interactions, social media campaigns, town meetings, and booths at community events
2. Competitively Selected Installers: Through a competitive bidding process, the targeted community selects an installer or installers to service the area throughout the duration of the Solarize campaign. This reduces installers’ customer acquisition and screening costs and saves the consumer from the effort of shopping around for a reputable, price-competitive installer.
3. Discount, Tiered Pricing: Pre-negotiated discounts increase as more people sign up within a target community (i.e., the more people who go solar under a Solarize campaign, the lower the price or overall cost savings for everyone who participates in the community).
4. Limited Time Offer: Solarize campaigns are limited-time offers. This motivates customers to act quickly, or risk missing the window of opportunity to install solar PV at a reduced rate.
Significant cost savings result from coordinated education, promotion, and outreach efforts by town volunteers, and in some cases assistance from professional marketing organizations, along with discounted pricing, which takes advantage of reduced customer acquisition costs. These savings are passed along to homeowners and create a compelling reason to sign up for Solarize.
July 27, 2015
CESA member the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) has released a new guide for homeowners interested in going solar, entitled "A New Mexico Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans and PPAs." This free guide offers a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as a look at how they compare to a cash purchase. In addition, the guide features a set of questions for New Mexico homeowners to ask during the decision-making process, and clarifies the key financing terms that homeowners should be familiar with in order to make an informed decision.
June 30, 2015
Harvard University recently recognized Solarize Portland as a Top 25 program in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition. These awards recognize and promote excellence and creativity in the public sector. Solarize Portland was established in 2009, with support from CESA member the Energy Trust of Oregon, and resulted in 130 solar installations, triple the number of all systems installed in Portland the previous year. Since then, Solarize has become a model for communities across the country. Recently, Solarize Rhode Island has reported great success in the early stages of their program, with much additional market growth expected to follow.
June 20, 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, California installed 718 MW of solar energy, raising the state's total capacity to 10,649 MW. California is the first state in the nation to reach 10,000 MW of installed solar capacity. California's leadership in solar is not just national but international - the state currently has more installed solar that most countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Australia and Belgium. Read more here and here.
March 13, 2015
Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program has achieved remarkable success in its first two years. C-PACE offers financing to commercial property owners in Connecticut for valuable energy improvements with no upfront costs and immediate energy savings. To date, the Connecticut Green Bank has allocated more than $65 million for over 90 projects. Read more about C-PACE in a recent article in The Bridgepost News: C-PACE marks successful first two years.
July 29, 2014
Nine solar projects in Vermont are going to get more than $442,000 in grants to help provide more than 500 kilowatts of power for schools and communities across the state.
May 27, 2014
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has just released a new case study on a successful model for reducing solar costs through collaborative purchasing by public agencies. This case study, “A Model of Collaborative Solar Purchasing: The Alameda County Renewable Energy Procurement Project,” is available here.
For municipalities and local public agencies, there are three main challenges to installing solar energy systems: high transaction costs, a steep learning curve, and fragmented regional demand. The process can be confusing and expensive, requiring more time and energy than a single agency could afford. Collaborative solar purchasing addresses all of these barriers to solar deployment.
Alameda County, California, in collaboration with two local non-profit organizations, is facilitating wide-scale renewable energy adoption across a four-county area through a groundbreaking collaborative solar purchasing project among local public agencies. The Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project (R-REP) is the largest multi-agency solar procurement project in the US. Beyond its size, R-REP incorporates extensive workforce development goals, along with several other improvements on previous approaches to collaborative purchasing. This case study provides an overview of the R-REP project, with an emphasis on best practices that can be used as a model by other public agencies and local governments.
“We want to highlight this project because it is impressive in its scale and scope, and because it is a different model than we have seen before,” said Warren Leon, CESA Executive Director. “R-REP represents a comprehensive approach to collaborative solar purchasing, and there is much to learn from it.”
May 16, 2014
May 13, 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $60 million is now available through the third round of the statewide NY-Sun Competitive PV initiative, as New York State continues to expand its portfolio of clean, renewable solar energy.
April 26, 2014
By Alex Kuffner, Providence Journal
April 2, 2014
PSEG Long Island, which manages LIPA’s electric system, announced today the results for Long Island’s second Clean Solar Initiative. The feed-in-tariff program builds upon Long Island Power Authority’s first feed-in tariff for solar energy and is designed to bring an additional 100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to Long Island.
March 12, 2014
The Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs is offering $30 million in a low-interest loan program aimed at encouraging residential solar projects.
January 3, 2014
Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund encouraged rapid solar deployment in 2013 through its Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program
Vermont’s Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) achieved great success in 2013 with its Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program (SSREI).
December 12, 2013
The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) unveiled its state-of-the-art rooftop solar analysis tool, with the aim of advancing solar education and promoting rooftop solar adoption in the District.
December 4, 2013
High-Tech Test Center, Only One in Northeast, Will Help Promote Growth of Solar Power Business and R&D in New York State
October 29, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. — October 29, 2013 — In a place known for its cloudy weather, Oregon has reached an important milestone that truly makes the most of its sun. Solar panels went up today on the 5,000th home to install solar power with help from Energy Trust of Oregon, a nonprofit that provides cash incentives and services for going solar. By connecting 5,000 solar-powered homes to the grid, the nonprofit estimates it has helped avoid producing 7,100 tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of removing 1,250 cars from Oregon roads for a year.
October 21, 2013
Rocky Hill, CT., October 21, 2013 —The Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority (CEFIA) launched the GoSolarCT web portal and campaign, designed to build awareness of the money saving benefits for homeowners seeking to “go solar”. The website includes a new online tool enabling more than 1 million Connecticut homeowners to obtain specific data regarding their home’s suitability for solar and to compare energy and cash savings for solar leases and loans. GoSolarCT is part of the state’s Energize Connecticut initiative seeking to provide residents and businesses with cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy opportunities.
October 18, 2013
Uniondale, NY – Today the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) issued two, separate requests for proposals (RFPs), asking developers to propose projects to be part of Long Island’s future energy supply. One proposal is for variable-sized renewable energy projects and the other is to begin replacement of Long Island's fleet of "peaking" generation facilities, installed as early as the 1960s and nearing retirement, with newer, cleaner distributed resources. Both RFPs are part of a comprehensive long-term energy strategy approved by the LIPA board of trustees in October 2012.
October 16, 2013
While some California utilities have been in the news lately for blocking homeowners from backing up their rooftop solar panels with batteries, Sacramento Municipal Utility District is working on solar-storage combinations that help the grid and residents alike -- read more at http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sacramentos-path-to-battery-backed-solar-homes.
October 15, 2013
The Maryland Energy Authority's (MEA) Grant Changer program supports the state's first commerical solar microgrid that "brings Maryland closer to reaching its goal of increasing in-state renewable generation to 20 percent by 2022, combines the strengths of Maryland’s booming solar energy market and the power of grid resiliency. In the event of a conventional power grid outage, the innovative solar PV array will stay online through the power of an advanced energy storage system. If grid power grid goes down, the system batteries will keep a “critical load” of 50 kW online for just over four hours at night and recharge the next day."
September 25, 2013
Report: Innovative Program “Cracks The Code” For Residential Solar Power
September 20, 2013
Initiative Will Reduce Solar Project Costs and Support Growth of Solar Industry
September 16, 2013
NYSERDA and LIPA Announce Funding to Restart the LIPA Solar Pioneer Program to Advance the NY-Sun Initiative
$5 Million Allows Photovoltaic Incentives to Continue on Long Island
August 1, 2013
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) has announced the approval of two C-PACE financed solar projects in the City of Hartford. The projects, supported with Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) and financed through C-PACE are part of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s commitment to cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy. Today’s announcement follows the announcement last week that Hartford is one of eight municipalities selected for the Statewide Microgrid Pilot Program.
July 1, 2013
CEFIA Establishes Solar Leasing Public-Private Partnership Providing Open Access to Private Capital for Clean Energy
Rocky Hill, CT, July 1, 2013 – The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) announces the creation of an innovative public-private solar power leasing option for households and businesses in Connecticut as part of the State’s Energize Connecticut Initiative. Building upon the initial Connecticut Solar Lease product, CEFIA and its strategic partners have come together to offer the CT Solar Lease II to the market—new and improved—providing additional opportunities to deploy solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems throughout the state.
April 18, 2013
Goal is to spur more installation of clean energy systems
April 17, 2013
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) announced its list of the Top 10 American electric utilities that have added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012. This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation's power grid, is part of the sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released in May 2013, identifies leading solar industry trends such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates.
April 5, 2013
Governor Cuomo Announces NY-SUN Initiative to Provide $13.5 Million to Reduce Solar Installation Costs and Support Training for Local Officials
Funding Builds Upon Unprecedented Development of Solar Power in New York State
March 28, 2013
NY Announces $46 Million Awarded Through NY-SUN for Large Solar Power Installations to Add 52 MW of Solar Capacity
New Projects Will Significantly Increase New York State’s Leadership in Renewable Energy Production
March 18, 2013
Rocky Hill, Conn., – The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) announces an innovative loan product to make solar PV more accessible to Connecticut homeowners. The loan product, the CT Solar Loan, is the first of its kind, built specifically for residential solar. The CT Solar Loan, in a pilot phase, will provide an opportunity for homeowners to own solar PV with a small down payment and low monthly loan payments. This is the newest residential financing product offered under the State’s Energize Connecticut initiative, which is intended to help consumers save money and use clean energy.
February 13, 2013
CEC Energy Loans to Cities, Colleges Energy Efficient Upgrades Include Lighting, HVAC, and Solar PV Systems
February 11, 2013
New York Solar Market Shows Significant Promise for 2013
January 31, 2013
Pilot Residential Solar PV Capital Competition Announced
January 25, 2013
Solarize Mass created 5.1 megawatts of clean energy in 2012
January 25, 2013
The 5.7 megawatt solar array, known as Outback, that last year started sprouting up along the landscape in southeast Oregon's Lake County is finished and is generating power. The solar power plant is made up of 20,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and is expected to generate approximately 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
January 17, 2013
CEFIA Announces Selection of Communities for Second Phase of Group Purchasing Program
December 13, 2012
BOSTON – December 13, 2012 – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt today announced a new program to assist commercial or non-profit building owners in reducing their water heating bills up to 20 percent by installing solar hot water systems.
November 13, 2012
Ohio University and the Ohio Development Services Agency to market Ohio’s solar strengths
November 9, 2012
September 26, 2012
Solarize Massachusetts contract deadline moved due to high demand
September 24, 2012
California Energy Commission - New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) Program, Fifth Edition, Final Adopted Guidebook (2012) adopted September 12, 2012.
August 30, 2012
The 17.7 MW utility-scale solar farm will produce enough energy to power over 1,700 homes
August 27, 2012Boston Locks in Solar Energy Prices Lower than Traditional Energy SourcesSept. 30 deadline for Boston residents, businesses to participate in solar programBOSTON – August 23, 2012 – Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton McDevitt today announced that residents and businesses in the city of Boston qualify for lower solar energy rates than rates for traditional sources of energy under the Solarize Massachusetts Program (Solarize Mass).Ms. Barton McDevitt made the announcement during a celebration of a new solar project installation at Dry Dock Plaza Park in Boston. As a result of the city of Boston’s participation in Solarize Mass, the average Boston participant who enters into a contract to buy solar electricity will now pay 11 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to the statewide price of 15 cents per kilowatt hour for traditional energy sources, which can be a mix of coal-fired, nuclear or natural gas generation.Residents and businesses have until September 30 to participate in the bulk buying program, which would secure further price reductions as more participants sign up.“A national model, this group pricing program locks in electricity prices and rates, and creates a network of locally-grown energy sources while creating local jobs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan, who also serves as chairman of the MassCEC Board of Directors. “We applaud the city of Boston for its leadership in clean energy adoption.”“I encourage everyone to join the clean energy revolution in Boston,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who announced he plans to install solar panels on his home. “Solar power is now more affordable than ever in the City. It’s being installed on residences, businesses and municipal buildings at an increasing rate, and we are on the way to meeting our 2015 goal of 25 megawatts of solar energy in Boston.”Under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts set a goal of achieving 250 megawatts of solar by 2017. As a result of the Solarize Mass program and other incentives, the state is more than halfway to its goal – with 129 megawatts of solar installed to date – the equivalent of powering more than 20,000 homes and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 13,870 cars per year.“I hope Boston’s renewable energy leadership will inspire residents in this community and beyond to take advantage of this program that not only cuts energy costs, but creates local jobs,” said MassCEC CEO and Executive Director Alicia Barton McDevitt.To date, a number of residents and businesses in Boston have banded together to participate in the program, contracting 18 solar systems for a total capacity of 89 kilowatts (kW).Solarize Mass, which is available in 17 Massachusetts communities including Boston, offers five tiers of discounted pricing based on the total solar capacity contracted under the program. As more residents and businesses contract for solar, the price for solar energy drops. Solarize Mass is administered by MassCEC and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).“This is a bright day for Boston residents and businesses, as well as for the Menino family,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “Solarize Mass and the 103 Green Communities are helping spread solar power across the 339 of 351 communities that now have at least one state-supported solar electricity project.”The average Massachusetts household uses 667 kilowatt hours per month, equivalent to an average $100 monthly bill for traditional energy sources. By installing a solar electric system, Boston homeowners entered into contracts to purchase solar would pay $73 with locked in pricing that hedges against potential future electricity price increases.If a Boston participant wants to purchase a solar electric system under the program, the price for a 5 kW system (the average size for a home) is currently $21,000, rather than the state average at the beginning of the program of over $26,000.A combination of federal and state incentive programs like Solarize Mass cover the costs of the investment over the lifespan of a solar installation. Under the current pricing, business and homeowners that purchase a 5 kW system could save $7,300 through federal and state tax credits and up to $4,250 in MassCEC rebates. The remainder of the costs would be recovered within approximately five years.A committee of Boston volunteers and municipal officials selected a designated installer, Marlborough-based SolarCity.Other solar installation incentivesTo offset the cost of installing solar panels, residents and businesses are eligible for a combination of renewable energy incentives including a federal tax incentive of 30 percent and a state tax incentive of 15 percent of the total installation cost, up to $1,000. MassCEC also provides solar rebates through its Commonwealth Solar II Program. Solar projects are also eligible for no and low money down programs through solar installation companies.Solar energy systems provide residents and businesses with two possible income streams. First is net metering, which allows residents and businesses to deposit any excess energy they generate as a credit into their utility account. The utility, much like a bank, would house credits that can be drawn down against existing or future energy costs. Second, there is an opportunity – under the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program (SREC) – for utilities to pay homeowners and business for the solar power they generate.About Solarize MassSolarize Mass, which is a partnership between the MassCEC and DOER’s Green Communities Division, encourages the adoption of smallscale solar projects. The program is available to 17 Massachusetts Green Communities, which were designated by DOER after those communities committed to reducing municipal energy use by 20 percent. The communities are Acton, Arlington, Boston, Hopkinton, Melrose, Mendon, Millbury, Montague, Newburyport, Palmer, Pittsfield, Lenox, Shirley, Sutton, Wayland, Sudbury and Lincoln. Follow the Twitter hash tag #SolarizeMass for more information.About MassCECCreated by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has as its mission to foster the growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry by providing seed grants to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; funding job training and workforce development programs; and, as home of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, supporting the installation of renewable energy projects throughout the state.Visit our website:....................................................... www.MassCEC.comFollow MassCEC on Twitter:........................... www.twitter.com/MassCEC55 Summer Street 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02110 — Office: (617) 315-9355 office / Fax: (617) 315-9356
August 24, 2012
Nation’s Largest Solar Highway Project Opens to Rest Stop Visitors - Seven-acre Baldock Solar Station features educational displays, sustainable garden
August 22, 2012
Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Make Solar Power More Affordable for Homeowners and Businesses - As Part of the NY-SUN Initiative, Bills Will Increase Solar Installations and Lead to New Investments in New York’s Growing Solar Energy Sector
August 21, 2012
NY-Sun Initiative Makes $107 Million Available for PV Installed at Business, Factories, Municipal Buildings, and C&I Customers
Governor Cuomo Announces $107 Million Available Through NY-Sun Inititiative for Large Solar Power Installations As Part of NY-Sun Initiative: Available Funding Doubled Through 2013 to Increase Rate of Solar Power Installations and Reduce and Stabilize Electricity Costs for Businesses
July 26, 2012
Rocky Hill, Conn., July 26, 2012 —The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) today launched the second round of project solicitations for the Commercial Solar Hot Water Program (Program). The Program has a $2,000,000 budget that will support approximately forty-five solar hot water projects on schools, restaurants, apartment houses, hospitals and other establishments that use a significant amount of hot water.
July 23, 2012
Governor Christie Builds on Record of Growing Renewable Energy Sources with Action to Strengthen Solar Market
July 17, 2012
For Immediate Release: July 17, 2012
July 12, 2012
Rocky Hill, Conn., July 12, 2012 —The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), The John Merck Fund, and SmartPower announce the launch of Solarize Connecticut, a pilot residential solar program (Program) that aggregates homeowners across communities to offer discounted prices for residential solar power.
July 3, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, July 2, 2012 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today issued its 2012 California Solar Initiative (CSI) Annual Program Assessment, showing that in 2011 California reached a major milestone by becoming the first state in the nation to install more than 1 gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) of customer-generated solar energy; a record 311 megawatts (MW) were installed in the investor-owned utility territories in 2011 alone.
June 15, 2012FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2012
May 17, 2012
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority Hosts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Windsor High School
May 10, 2012
For many residents and business owners throughout Massachusetts, installing a solar PV system is a smart investment that converts clean, free sunlight to electricity, reduces air pollution, reduces or eliminates monthly electricity bills, and contributes to the local economy by creating local jobs and supporting local businesses.
April 4, 2012
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is seeking proposals from solar installers for the 2012 Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass) program, which encourages the adoption of small scale solar PV by deploying a coordinated education, grassroots marketing and outreach effort, combined with a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings as more people in the community go solar.
September 15, 2011
“Tracking the Sun IV: An Historical Summary of the Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the United States from 1998 to 2010.”
August 11, 2011
by Joel N. Shurkin | August 11, 2011
August 3, 2011
NYSERDA Announces $20 Million in First Round of $150 Million Program to Help Fund Solar Energy Projects in New York City and Westchester
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in conjunction with the state Public Service Commission (PSC), announced today the award of $20 million in large-scale solar power projects to help facilities in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley generate electricity for their own use. This is the first round of a $150 million, five-year funding program. Another $10 million is available for a second round of proposals due Aug. 10, 2011.
August 2, 2011
A new online tool launched today by the California Energy Commission now helps the housing market evaluate the value of solar on California homes. The Solar Advantage Value Estimator (SAVE) will give the industry a long term and cost-effective method for calculating the added value of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on new and existing solar homes.
July 29, 2011
Press Release by the New Jersey Public Utilites Commission, July 25, 2011.
April 22, 2011
Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP)
A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-Profit Project Development (March 2011). This fact sheet summarizes A Guide to Community Solar, a new publication that provides options, examples, and legal and financial considerations for community solar projects.
March 10, 2011
By Ehren Goossens, Bloomberg
The amount of new solar energy capacity in the U.S. doubled last year and may double again in 2011 because of government incentives, stronger demand and falling prices, a trade group said.
February 9, 2011
A new guidebook that shares best practices from recent volunteer-driven Solarize projects about volume purchasing of solar energy systems aims to help other communities grow clean energy programs and create family-wage jobs. The Solarize Guidebook, developed for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the City of Portland, is now available at: www.portlandonline.com/bps/solarizeguide.
January 1, 2011
The U.S. Department of Energy developed Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments - Second Edition to assist local governments and stakeholders in building sustainable local solar markets. This second edition of the guide was updated to include new market developments and innovations for advancing local solar markets that have emerged since the first edition was released in 2009. January 2011.
January 1, 2011
A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development is designed by the U.S. DOE to be used as a resource for those who want to develop community solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community solar projects, this guide will help communities to plan and implement successful local energy projects. In addition, by highlighting some of the policy best practices, this guide suggests changes in the regulatory landscape that could significantly boost community solar installations across the country.