Archive for August 30, 2012

Tennessee’s largest solar park under construction

Phoenix Solar is installing over 33,000 PV modules at Volkswagon’s plant in Chattanooga in Tennessee, US.

The ground-mounted project, which costs in the region of US$30 million, is said to be Tennessee’s largest solar park when complete.
The plant will have a total capacity of 9.58MW and is being built on 65 acres of land. Electricity generated from the PV system will be fed directly into the Chattanooga Volkswagon plant and is expected to meet 12.5% of the plant’s energy demands. Citing Thilo Brockhaus, Volkswagon’s manager of the plant construction, WDEF revealed that the solar array would produce 13.1GWh of electricity on an annual basis.

The PV system is expected to begin supplying power to the Chattanooga plant this autumn.
original article

Solar Panels For Sale For Duck River Customers

see news storyThanks to Gary Wolf of Sundog Solar for this new announcement. This is the first community solar project in Tennessee and maybe in the TVA region so precedent has been set and hope it grows.
BEDFORD COUNTY, Tenn.- For the first time Solar Farm panels are up for sale in Bedford County and any Duck River Electric customer can purchase one and whatever energy it brings in will be deducted from their bill.
Several local elementary students got an up close look at a new solar farm working in their own community. The panels are a $600 investment. The more the sun shines, the less that customer will pay on their electric bill.
“Using last month as an example 4,000 kilowatt hours were produced so if you invested in half a panel you would have seen somewhere around a 4.50 credit on your electric bill,” said Brad Gibson, with Duck River Electric Company.
The solar farm is the first of its kind in the TVA Valley. And while the savings won’t put a customer into early retirement, it can take 20 years to truly turn a profit, many said its more about being a part of a bigger push for solar in Shelbyville.
There are 261 panels up for sale and anyone in the 17 counties that use Duck River Electric can purchase one. Officials said if this pilot program is successful they will build more in the future.

Which are the most profitable regions for solar in the United States?

Map of zip codes in the United States

This posting came from PVTECH article and refers to a new method of forecasting regions within the United States that are solar PV marketing targets. What makes this so important is the fineness of the territory examined. The market potential is examined at levels of specific regions as small as a zip code. It will be the new method for marketing solar and is a product called Max-ROI(TM) created by Keiser Analytics. Forget the old method of figuring cost of solar per watt. With the present disparity in regional economics for solar installations we need a new method to compare markets where solar is providing a return-on-investment (ROI) of 20% or will in the near future. ROI considers the cost of solar components, the cost of installing solar, and the compensations offered by either the state or by the power provider varying along with the cost of electricity in each micro-sector of the United States. This method is a valuable tool for installers and distributors which now are having to spend extraordinary amount of time researching where in their marketing area offers the best opportunity for future business. “Unfortunately, there are over 40,000 zip codes in the United States. To calculate ROI correctly, each zip code requires a current electricity price, irradiation value and incentive value. Each of these values in turn may be comprised of several data points and each of these may be changing on an irregular basis (incentives, electricity prices, etc.). As such, the number of data points necessary to calculate an accurate result at the local-level is several orders of magnitude greater than working with state-level data.” A quote from the PVTECH article which can be found here.

Solar Accounting: Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Going Solar

The Solar Foundation funded by a SunShot grant has published a report on the costs of going solar. Installing solar energy systems on municipal or county property can deliver long-term cost savings for a local government. This report gives information to local government so that it can make informed decisions on whether solar installations will be a positive or negative net value. The main options for local governments is direct ownership or ownership by third parties. The report includes sections on estimated costs, project financing, third party ownership and avoided energy consumption costs, solar renewable energy credits and the financial tables simplifying these calculations.

The report can be found here

TenneSEIA’s 1st Annual Golf Tournament

TenneSEIA First Golf Tournament

TenneSEIA will host TenneSEIA’s 1st Annual Golf Tournament on Thursday, October 11, at Gaylord Springs Golf Links Course in Nashville, Tennessee. Efficient Energy of Tennessee, LLC (EETN) is the title sponsor of the inaugural event. EETN is a turnkey installer of solar photovoltaic/solar thermal systems based out of Powell, Tennessee.
All TenneSEIA members and the public are invited for an afternoon of golf, camaraderie and lunch. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with TenneSEIA members and affiliates from around the state while enjoying a round of golf on one of Tennessee’s premier golf courses.
To sign up please visit: or fill in the registration PDF form and return to EETN at the address below. Early bird registration will be available through August 31st. Registration will be available through September 11, 2012.
Hole and Tee sponsorships are available to showcase your company. For more information on becoming a sponsor please review the sponsorship PDF form or go online to sign up at:
Donations for prizes are currently being accepted. To make a donation please call EETN at (865) 947-3386.

NOTE: If you can’t find a team of 4 players, you can still register for the tournament as an individual and we will group you with other players. The individual fee is just ¼ of the team fee ($87.50 per player before Aug 31, $93.75 after Sept 1). Again, if you have a conflict or would prefer not to golf, you can still support the industry and TenneSEIA by sponsoring a hole or tee. Thank you.