Stellar Energy joins the White House Clean Energy Initiative by bringing 50 MW of solar to over 40 farms and food processors in the next 3 years. Bonipak and Taylor Farms are set to collaborate with Stellar and Soligent on the first two projects!
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) released the 2012 Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings Report, which ranks utilities nationally and by utility type for more than 260 of the most solar-active utilities, representing 96 percent of the U.S. solar electric power market. The sixth edition of the report, the 2012 rankings analyzes the amount of new solar power interconnected by U.S. electric utilities.
Three key findings:
1. Annual solar capacity surpassed 2,000 MW-ac for the first time in 2012;
2. The market share for large-scale solar projects grew 160 percent to 1,130 MW from 2011; and
3. Net energy metering (NEM), or customer-sited solar, remains a large part of the solar market, accounting for 99 percent of newly installed projects, with the most growth concentrated in five states (CA, HI, AZ, NJ, CO).
According to the report, utilities integrated almost 2.4 GW-ac or 2,384 MW of solar electric capacity in 2012, which is the equivalent to installing eight natural gas combined cycle power plants. Currently, there are more than 300,000 solar projects and approximately 6,100 MW installed across the United States.
Customer-sited NEM projects grew 46 percent compared to 2011, with utilities interconnecting nearly 90,000 projects totaling 1,151 MW-ac last year. Currently there are more than 3,500 MW of NEM projects in the country, 80 percent of which are concentrated in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, and New Jersey. Non-NEM projects made up more than 52 percent of the total capacity installed in 2012, but only constituted 0.5 percent of the number of projects.
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) just released their fifth annual Utility Solar Rankings, which analyzes the amount of new solar power interconnected by U.S. electric utilities in 2011. It covers more than 240 of the most solar-active utilities representing more than 99% of the U.S. solar electric power marketplace. The research shows that utilities are adapting to solar as their fastest growing electricity source.
In 2011, utilities interconnected over 62,500 PV systems and conservative forecasts expect this number will grow to more than 150,000 interconnections in 2015. And for the fourth straight year, utilities integrated a record amount of new solar power, despite the recession. The nation's most solar active utilities integrated almost 1,500 megawatts (MW-ac) of new solar, equivalent to six natural gas power plants, with commercial rooftop installations accounting for more than 53% of the capacity.
These 2011 numbers represent a 38% growth in the number of installations and a 120% growth in the megawatts installed over 2010. SEPA expects continued growth in 2012, driven by sustained price decreases and a build-out of large solar power plant contracts. Today, the most solar-active utilities are no longer theoretically talking about solar in the future – they are engaged with solar today in substantial ways. As solar markets grow, these utilities are already adapting to this rapid growth and the operational and regulatory changes that it requires, and in the process laying a path that other utilities will soon follow.
On May 24th, 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to give more Californians access to net metering credit for solar power. Net metering makes sure solar customers get fair credit on their utility bills for the valuable clean solar power they put on the grid for others to use. This helps protect this important solar consumer right for tens of thousands of California homes, schools, businesses and municipal buildings.
The hike in the number of systems eligible for what is known as "net energy metering" (NEM) comes as a result of what the CPUC calls a "clarification" of state law. Previously, electric utilities were obligated to offer net metering credits to customers only until the amount of installed solar capacity equaled 5 percent the utility's total peak demand. That limitation could have left at least one big utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, turning away net metering customers as early as next year. Under the new legal interpretation, utilities will calculate their peak demand by adding together each individual customer's peak demand. "This clarification doubles the amount of solar systems that can benefit from NEM, providing the benefits of solar energy to many more homes, businesses, schools and public agencies that can offset their electricity costs by sending excess solar power to the grid.
The decision will enable more Californians to go solar, with the potential to add roughly two gigawatts worth of solar power—twice the amount currently installed on homes, schools, farms and businesses across the state. Commissioners highlight the many benefits of more rooftop solar to the California economy and energy grid. This important solar policy has already delivered tremendous benefits to California: supported 25,000 solar jobs, driven $10 billion in private investment in the state's clean energy industry, given thousands of homeowners, schools, water districts, industrial users, and cities control over their electricity bills, and installed 2 natural gas plants worth of valuable peak solar power generation that our utilities won't have to build and you won't have to fund.
See the instructional video below to learn more about Net Metering.
This is great news for property owners in LA. The city of Los Angeles has more than 12,000 acres of prime space for solar development on the rooftops of local homes, businesses and multifamily buildings, with the potential capacity to create as much as 5 GW of locally generated power, according to a study by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC). This amount of solar-ready rooftop space is equivalent to nearly 20 square miles.
The recent approval by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to move forward with the city's first feed-in-tariff (FIT) program - CLEAN LA Solar - provides the opportunity to create the first 150 MW of rooftop solar in the next three to four years, with a goal of reaching 600 MW by 2020.
An LABC-sponsored study by UCLA found that a 600 MW FIT could result in 18,000 green jobs, spur $2 billion in investment, and produce long-term cost savings for businesses, ratepayers and the LADWP, the LABC adds.
Additionally, the city must meet a state mandate requiring local utilities to generate 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The solar FIT is a proven program to help the utility meet that goal and help the city quickly see the economic and environmental benefits in the limited time frame, according to the LABC.
See http://www.labusinesscouncil.org/sustainability/ for more details and Contact Stellar Energy to get a solar feasibility analysis.
A commercial solar energy installation on your roof or nearby land can greatly reduce your utility electric bill, yet perhaps you delayed the benefits of saving money with solar energy because didn't have the time to go through the process of exploring whether or not solar makes sense for your organization.
Imagine throwing away thousands of dollars of savings potential because you were too busy.
Solar rebates provided by the Federal government, the State of California, and your local electric utilities have been declining and will soon be completely gone. Find out why now is the best possible time to get all the benefits of solar power, before the rebates expire.
One of the Federal incentives, a "bonus" depreciation schedule for the solar energy asset, is still available, but due to expire at the end of 2012. Specifically, your solar photovoltaic (PV) system must "placed in service" before 12/31/2012 in order to qualify for this valuable incentive.
Discover your potential solar savings with a complementary solar and financial feasibility analysis from Stellar Energy. Our solar analysts and project development team are rebate specialists, who can walk you through the exact incentives available in your area as part of our free project evaluation.
It is fast and easy to discover your solar potential with a no-obligation solar proposal.
Contact Stellar Energy today and find out how much you could be saving ... before it's too late.
The U.S. solar energy industry installed a record 1,855 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, more than doubling the previous annual record of 887 MW set in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. The record amount of solar installations is enough to power more than 370,000 homes, and represents a 109 percent growth rate in 2011. It is the first time the U.S. solar market has topped one gigawatt (1,000 MW) in a single year. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, the industry installed 755 MW, up 115 percent from Q4 2010, for a second consecutive record-breaking quarter. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) estimate the U.S. solar market's total value surpassed $8.4 billion in 2011.
This unprecedented growth was spurred in part by declining installed solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices, which fell 20 percent last year on the back of lower component costs, improved installation efficiency, expanded financing options, and a shift toward larger systems nationwide. In addition, the anticipated expiration of the U.S. government's 1603 Treasury Program, which ended Dec. 31, 2011, drove developers to commission projects before the end of the year.
The report also provides an update on the concentrating solar power (CSP) market. While no new concentrating solar thermal electric capacity was brought online in 2011, a total of 10 concentrating photovoltaic projects came online. The year also saw meaningful construction progress on a number of projects with some capacity expected to come online later in 2012 and a surge in 2013. Today, more than 1,000 MW of CSP are under construction, enough to power 200,000 homes.
As of year-end 2011, cumulative PV capacity in the U.S. reached nearly 4,000 MW and cumulative CSP capacity topped 500 MW. Together this represents enough solar capacity to power nearly a million households.
"In 2011, the market demonstrated why the U.S. is becoming a center of attention for global solar," said Shayle Kann, Managing Director of GTM Research's solar practice. "It was the first year with meaningful volumes of large-scale PV installations; there were 28 individual PV projects over 10 megawatts in 2011, up from only two in 2009. Furthermore, the market continued to diversify nationally; eight states installed more than 50 megawatts of solar each last year, compared to just five in 2010. These are all indicators of a vibrant market."
The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report found 800 MW were installed in the commercial sector in 2011, led by the California and New Jersey markets, compared to 758 MW of utility PV and 297 MW of residential installations. Utility-scale project installations, primarily across states in the Southwest, nearly tripled 2010 totals. In the residential sector, California installed 114 MW, with New Jersey, Arizona, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Colorado each contributing meaningfully to the residential total.
According to U.S. Solar Market Insight, 2012 will be another strong year for the PV industry, with installations of more than 2,800 megawatts forecasted. Beyond 2012, the report forecasts installations to continue their ascendancy at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent through 2016.
"The solar industry is the fastest growing industry in America for the second year in a row. What we are seeing in the U.S. is that policies are working to open new markets and remove barriers for solar," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "The industry is now poised for years of multi-gigawatt growth and the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs. But we face a number of challenges that have the potential to slow this growth. That is why SEIA now coordinating the industry's federal and state policy initiatives to present a unified, cohesive voice for the solar industry."
A separate report on 2011 growth of U.S. solar heating and cooling technology is expected midyear.
2011 Q4 U.S. Solar Market Insight key report findings:
• PV installations grew 109 percent in 2011 to reach 1,855 MW, which represents 7 percent of all PV globally, up from 887 MW and 5 percent of global installations in 2010.
• Cumulative PV capacity operating in the U.S. now stands at 3,954 MW.
• There were 28 individual PV projects over 10 MW completed in 2011, up from only two in 2009.
• Eight states installed over 50 MW each in 2011.
• Installation totals in 2011 increased in 18 of the 23 states covered in detail.
• Weighted average PV system prices fell 20 percent in 2011 as a combined result of lower component prices, improved installation efficiency, and a shift toward larger systems.
• There were over 61,000 individual PV systems installed in the U.S. in 2011, bringing the total number of operating systems in the U.S. to more than 214,000.
The U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year in Review 2011 report (www.greentechmedia.com/research/solarinsight) is the most detailed and timely research available on the continuing growth and opportunity in the U.S. The report includes analysis of photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies, identifying the key metrics that will help solar decision-makers navigate the market's current and forecasted trajectory.
Many organizations are both curious and confused about the prospects of using solar energy to their best advantage. Stellar Energy helps them discover what is possible for their unique situation.
School districts, municipal water treatment plants, and smart businesses of every type have already taken advantage of Solar PPA opportunities that are saving them money for the long run.
6. Lead a Green Energy Movement
Hosting a commercial solar power plant inspires your customers, employees, and partners to support businesses that invest in renewable energy and efficiency technologies. Consider Valley Fine Foods, a producer of pasta and gourmet foods "Made with Green Energy". Their business is proud of being green and it helps distinguish their brand.
As it stands now, the wildly successful 30% Grant in Lieu of Tax Credit for renewable energy property (affectionately known as the 1603 or Treasury Grant Program) will not see the light of day in 2012, nor will 100% first-year bonus depreciation. This is not so much a policy development as a lack of policy development, but all is not lost. The clean energy industry will still be able to benefit from the 30% business energy investment tax credit and the residential renewable energy tax credit through the end of 2016, as well as 50% first-year bonus depreciation through 2012. See DSIRE's Database for complete details.
There are many Financial Incentives for Commercial and Industrial Solar Power Plants.
Stellar Energy can work with your Chief Financial Officer and help you maximize depreciation with the Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) + Bonus Depreciation. We can help explain the Corporate Tax Credits, such as the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and the U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants
The new DSIRE search widget allows you an even easier way to search the DSIRE database for incentives in any U.S. state or territory. Simply click the image on the side to access the widget and follow the instructions provided. Enjoy!
Link to the DSIRE system