Archive for Grants and Incentives
Unfortunately, the school system is unable to reap the tax benefits available.
“We’ve come up with a system for someone who can capture those benefit to purchase the system and put it on your roof,” Velker told the board. “You can get into solar with someone else buying the equipment and no money out of your pocket.”
Velker proposes a 49.92 kilowatt system at 14 school sites with a 20-year agreement. Funding for purchasing the equipment and installing it would come from a third partner, TerraShares, a company that offers project planning, analyses and innovative funding approaches to attract third-party financing for projects such as this. The company worked with Hawkins County school system to install 11 solar power sites on school property.
John Adkins, with TerraShares, said, “Eighty percent of new commercial installations are funded by third parties. Why? Nobody has the money. This provides an opportunity to bring in people interested in taking on the risk in exchange for earnings.”
In the state of Tennessee several grants were issued for 2012. They are:
G and L Bullen Nursery $25,731 Installation of a 200kW Solar PV System
B&R Holding Partnership $19,293 Installation of a 200kW Solar PV System
Stan Bullen $12,862 Installation of a 200kW Solar PV System
TVA has scheduled a board of directors meeting in Knoxville for 8:30 am on August 16th. We have made a series of calls and emails trying to sign up for their listening session. We have not received a reply to our request to speak up to the end of business. Their was a notice stating that those wishing to address the board could sign up starting today, August 9th. This is an important meeting based on what has been proposed as potential changes lowering the feed-in tariff for solar making it unattractive to homeowners wanting a reasonable rate of return. If you are so inclined you can go to the board email site at email@example.com and sign up to speak.
“The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy,” President Clinton said, “the more success it will have in Washington.”
In a keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit, former President Bill Clinton recounted a visit to BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar power plant at which he observed many of the 370-megawatt project’s all-union construction crew to be both enthusiastic about renewable energy — and visibly tattooed.
“The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy,” President Clinton said, “the more success it will have in Washington.” And, he added, “You win the tattooed vote and we’ll have the damnedest environmental policy anybody ever saw.”
Latest NREL Report Suggests that Tennessee Has a Solar PV Potential of 20 Times the Amount of Electricity Used in the State
In a government report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrates the tremendous potential for solar energy generation in Tennessee. The report estimates the technical potential of solar PV as well as other renewable power sources for the production of electrical power. It is a study of the potential based on renewable resource availability and quality, technical system performance, topographic limitations, environmental, and land-use constraints only. The study does not consider the economic, political or market constraints. In 2010, Tennessee used 103,522 GWh (103,522,000,000 kWh). The report estimates that the total solar potential including rural and urban utility-scale PV as well as roof-top solar would amount to 2,295,918 GWh.
TSEA is grateful to our Senator Alexander for the keen and meaningful remarks of a fellow Tennessean about the well being of our valley. In the remarks he also mentions our other estimable Senator Corker, the former mayor of Chattanooga, actions to improve the air quality of his city. It would seem to me that both should be strong advocates of solar energy and its impact on our air and water quality.
Both are correct in saying that we got to get solar prices down before we can get wide acceptance. Both our senators know that the vast majority of our citizenry want solar. How to we make it all happen? We believe that the goal of improving our solar adoption is not price alone, but that public adoption of clean energy is paramount.
At the moment TVA customers are asked to donate money to purchase pure solar at $8 per unit. What if we use old fashioned American wisdom and modified the program from a donation to an investment? We do not expect a business to donate money so that some bank can reap the profit, so why should we expect the average citizen of the Tennessee valley under the current economic situation to give us its disposable income other than the belief that it is good for our nation? TSEA will be posting its submission to the Department of Energy for a Sunshot grant to show how we can create a program that will allow the average citizen to invest in solar and reap a return on that investment. More on this later.
Right now TSEA wants you to read the excellent comments of our senator regarding the clean air bill.
I would agree the EPA has become a happy hunting ground for goofy regulations. But as the late William F. Buckley once said, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And on this rule — this clean air rule and the earlier interstate rule — I believe EPA is right.
The effect of upholding this rule will be to finally require that most coal plants in America will have to install two kinds of pollution control equipment: scrubbers and SCRs. This will basically finish the job of capturing sulfur and nitrogen oxides, fine particles, and the 187 toxic pollutants that were specifically identified by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has already committed to install this equipment by 2018. But TVA alone can’t clean up Tennessee’s air, because dirty air blows in from other States. So let me say what upholding this rule will do for the people of Tennessee.
First, it will hasten the day when Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville are not three of the top five worst asthma cities — which they are today — and Nashville is not competing to be in the top 10.
Dr. William Lawson of Vanderbilt University, who treats patients with respiratory diseases in Nashville said in a recent article that: “Pollution from these power plants means my patients suffer more. Pollution increases their chances of being hospitalized. Some of these toxic emissions even cause cancer and can interfere with our children’s neurological development.”
Secondly, upholding this rule means that visitors will soon not even think of calling the Great Smoky Mountains the Great Smoggy Mountains because it is one of the most polluted national parks in America.
Third, this rule should mean fewer health advisory warnings for our streams that say “don’t eat the fish because of mercury contamination.” Half of the manmade mercury in the United States comes from coal plants, and as much as 70 percent of the mercury pollution in our local environment, such as streams and rivers, can come from nearby coal plants.
Fourth, we have seen that had Nissan been unable to get an air quality permit in Nashville in 1980, it would have gone to Georgia. And if Senator Corker had not, as mayor of Chattanooga, improved the air quality in that city in the mid 2000’s, the Volkswagen site there would be a vacant lot today.
From the heart, thank you Senator Alexander
It seems that the opponents to widespread use of solar are fighting a battle of devine power versus the tide of solar growth and are losing. The banking industry hurt by scandal and bad judgement have turned to “go with the flow” and are backing solar energy as a good investment for their clients. With this model in mind, why can’t all of us who are not major investors reap from the same model? That is the premise that the Tennessee Solar Energy Association is using for a concept paper to be submitted today to the Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative. Our idea is to offer the same concept of a secure investment to the all the ratepayers of electricity in this country so that they can reap the same investment potential as the major financial investors. We will release excepts from the concept paper in a future blog.
From PVtech news release: The US Senate’s recent vote to not extend the Department of Treasury’s solar energy tax incentive has resulted in a creative alternative by underwriters from financial institutions like Bank of America to Credit Suisse and Citigroup. This option would convert “sunlight into cash to pay bond investors,” reports Bloomberg. The SEIA predicts solar installations could increase by 75%, exceeding the 3,200MW goal for 2012.
Credit Suisse is seeking to develop solar-backed securities, which will offer “a predictable source of liquidity as the industry continues to grow,” said Russell Burns, managing director of asset finance, at Credit Suisse Securities USA.
Tanguy Serra, president of Vivint’s solar unit, believes securitization, which Citigroup is in the process of developing, is less risky than other bonds. “Your home’s electricity is an absolute necessity that comes ahead of everything else. Even if you’re giving up your car, you’re still paying your power bill,” Serra said in an email to Bloomberg. “Investing in solar securities is one of the least risky investments you can make.”
Electricity Prices in Germany have Declined – Increasing supply of Renewable Energy is one of the Main Reasons
Have you noticed the increasing frequency of ads promoting oil, coal and natural gas? Wonder why? The answer is the fuel costs, on the average, keep rising. Billions are being spent by the companies that sell fuel to the public for energy generation to promote their products.
Ask yourself what is the cost of fuel for the electricity industry per year? Well, for coal, Tennessee purchased $366 million for imported coal in 2010 according to EIA. Money leaving the valley. I am not saying that all our electric power can be generated by renewables, but the more renewables we have, the lower will be our fuel bill. That has a stabilizing effect on our electricity bill each month. So it comes at no surprise that electricity prices in Germany have declined. Is it possible that we pay more for electricity than Germany? Average day-ahead electricity prices in Germany fell 18 percent to 43.49 euros ($54.36) a megawatt-hour in the first five months of this year compared to last year, according to data from European Energy Exchange AG compiled by Bloomberg. According to the Institute for Energy Research, Tennesseans pay $87 a megawatt-hour. When fuel is free the cost of electricity will begin to decline.
Electricity generation from renewable energy in Germany is reducing power prices and has left the country with a (fuel) market whose design no longer works, according to Stadtwerke Leipzig GmbH, a energy consultant firm. Increasing supply of renewable energy is one of the main reasons electricity prices in Germany have declined, Teresniak from Standtwerke said that Germany saw peak solar production in May and this summer will probably see some negative prices during weekends when there is low demand.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Texas braces for predicted tighter electricity reserves and higher electricity rates in the state this summer, a new report shows that adding solar capacity to the Texas electricity grid would result in lower wholesale electricity prices for Texas customers.
Analysts at The Brattle Group energy consultancy reviewed Texas electricity market data from the summer of 2011 and analyzed how prices would have been impacted if solar photovoltaic (PV) systems had been added to the generation mix. Their report concludes that adding photovoltaic solar to the Texas electricity grid in the summer of 2011 could have saved customers an average of $155 to $281 per megawatt hour (MWh) and that avoiding fuel, operations and maintenance costs associated with fossil fuels plans could have saved customers an additional $52 per MWh. Taken together, the total customer benefits of adding solar PV to the Texas grid was valued at more than $520 million.
When do you think that TVA will start lowering the price we pay for electricity?
DeBord Family Partnership plans to install an 11.73 kW solar PV project on the rooftop of the 144 West Main Street building in Historic Downtown Morristown. The project will use aesthetic and innovative solar technology that can be installed within the design requirements of the local Historic Zoning Commission and will add to the historic building’s complete renovation.
Randy DeBord, owner of DeBord Family Partnership, stated, “This will be my second solar energy project in the historical Morristown district, proving solar can be cost effectively incorporated into a historical district. We are excited about this project because of the success of our first solar project. We are providing clean energy and lowering our utility bills while preserving the aesthetics of our beautiful downtown architecture.” In addition he stated, “We have partnered with ARiES Energy, a leading energy contractor, to deliver this turnkey, clean, and renewable energy solution.
The New Jersey State Assembly has passed a bill that would increase the state’s solar energy requirements under its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program, as well as allow additional facilities to qualify for virtual net metering.
The State Senate passed an earlier version of the bill last month by a vote of 23-8, and a modified version cleared the State Assembly Monday by a vote of 68-4.
Under the bill, utilities would be required to obtain 2.05% of their electricity sales from solar by 2014 – a mandate that would be ramped up on a tiered basis to 4.10% by 2028.
New Jersey’s current RPS requires that each utility obtain 22.5% of its power from renewables by 2021, and features a tiered solar carve-out of 306 GWh beginning in 2011 and increasing to 5,316 GWh by 2026.
“We’re hoping that it will create an environment for more long-term contracts at SREC price levels that will allow projects to get financed,” Naik, co-owner and principal at Old Bridge, N.J.-based solar integrator GeoGenix, explains. “Today, with high electricity [prices] in New Jersey (10.97¢ – 11.90¢) and the current cost of the technology and systems, our model shows that you need $250 SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credit) in a 10-year long-term contract to make financial sense for a 500 kW commercial system.”
According to the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, there are more than 10,000 New Jerseyans working in the solar industry.
The legislation also would make public projects (i.e., solar installations on municipal buildings, schools, etc.) eligible for virtual net metering, which would allow them to use solar credits to pay for the power used by non-connected buildings under their jurisdiction.
The bill now awaits the approval of Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is expected to sign the legislation into law.