Solar is everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start or what any of it means.
If you’re a Long Island homeowner, you should be aware of the options available to you – and which you should take advantage of.
What is a Solar Lease?
A solar lease is an agreement between a homeowner and a solar company that contractually provides solar panels to a homeowner for a designated period of time in exchange for a monthly payment.
Leases appear to be a great investment from the jump: A promised monthly savings on your electric bill and a hand in helping the environment.
Plus, when the lease term is up there will be better technology to replace it – right?
Unfortunately, many solar leases exploit homeowners.
Newsday’s Thomas Maier and Mark Harrington two weeks ago revealed a wealth of consumer complaints about solar leases.
Let’s be clear: Many solar companies ethically provide solar leases.
Yet even an ethical solar lease leaves the average homeowner with a 2.9 percent average annual increase on your savings.
What’s more? Most solar leases lock homeowners into longterm agreements that make it difficult for homeowners to move.
New York in 2014 realized this and decided to create a program to help.
The opportunity to make the switch to solar has never been easier for New York homeowners.
NY – Sun is a taxpayer incentive program that allows homeowners to reduce and lock their existing utility bill and outright own their solar system.
New York looks for solar ready houses – houses that solar can perform most effectively.
That means that less than 25 percent of New York state is eligible to qualify for NY-Sun.
If you want to help the environment, save money, and sustain Long Island’s economy, you owe it to yourself to find out if you qualify.Read More
Microsoft Makes Mega Solar Purchase
Microsoft on Wednesday announced plans to purchase 315 megawatts of solar power from two Virginia solar farms.
The tech giant’s decision represents the single largest corporate solar purchase in history.
Virginia is not amongst the nationwide leaders in solar production, but the state is seeking to rapidly change that.
The average time to pay back a 5 kilowatt system in the state is 15 years, according to SolarPowerRocks.
The state lacks many of the same tax incentives available to New York residents to make the switch to clean energy.
As corporations begin to incorporate solar into their futures, states will take notice and switch their models of investment.
Corporate Interests Drive Solar Adoption
The United States’ solar industry is expected its growth in spite of recent federal tariffs on solar panels and steel.
Corporations that look to make the switch to solar energy can help facilitate change as states look to do their part to curb the limiting tariffs.
The world is adopting to solar at a more rapid pace than ever. Solar adoption leapt 50 percent in 2016.
States make independent stands to help subsidize the American solar industry.
The decision to go solar is both an economic and environmental investment.
New York State’s Clean Energy Initiative requires the state run on 50 percent clean and renewable energy by 2030. NY – Sun was created to support this measure.
NY – Sun is a New York taxpayer benefit program that allows qualifying homeowners to make the easy switch to solar energy.
Click here to see if your house can qualify for NY-Sun and begin your quest for energy independence today.
Photo credit: Mike MozartRead More
President Donald Trump recently proposed new trade restrictions that will drive up the price of Asian solar imports.
The restrictions threaten nearly 88,000 American solar jobs in one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.
The proposed tariffs come after tensions increased between the Trump administration and China. The Trump administration has maintained a pro-fossil fuel stance since its inception and looks to short-term industrial gains over long-term economic and environmental sustainability.
The United States is the only country not in agreement of the Paris Agreement, a landmark climate agreement amongst major nations intended to reduce global carbon emissions. The Trump administration in 2017 decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement after President Obama initially agreed to terms in April 2016.
New York State Solar is a grassroots organization dedicated to helping New Yorkers make the switch to solar. We work with local installers, non-profits, community advocates, and state and federal agencies. Our state’s goal of reaching 50 percent clean and renewable energy by 2030 is our primary objective.
Solar is both an environmental and economic decision. Homeowners that opt to take control of their energy production allow them to create independence from utilities. Energy prices increase an average of four percent per year.
Our goal is to help New York State become the nationwide leader in clean and renewable energy. We advocate for programs and industry that will continue to drive out community and markets to total independence.
We can help achieve that through channeling our efforts and telling our senators to stop prohibitive legislation that will burden industry and allow homeowners to make smarter, more efficient choices.
Visit ResistBot today to contact to your representatives and demand they oppose harmful trade restrictions that will block Americans from gaining energy independence.
Learn more now about how New York state residents can make the easy transition to solar.Read More
NV Energy and Apple announced today they have reached an agreement to build 200 megawatts of additional solar energy in Nevada by early 2019. The projects will support Apple’s renewable energy needs for its Reno data center.
In the coming weeks, NV Energy will file an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the solar power plant. The project will bring NV Energy’s total to more than 529 megawatts of new solar resources in construction in Nevada or under review for approval. This is in addition to the 491 megawatts of universal solar resources in Nevada currently serving NV Energy customers. Apple will also dedicate up to 5 megawatts of power to NV Energy’s future subscription solar program for residential and commercial customers.
“We are proud to play a role in helping Apple meet their energy needs with Nevada’s abundant solar resource,” said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy. “In partnership with our customers, we continue to develop a more balanced fuel mix in a way that benefits the local economy by providing hundreds of jobs for Nevadans, particularly those in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 357 and 396, and advances the state’s policy goals.”
“Investing in innovative clean energy sources is vital to Apple’s commitment to reaching, and maintaining, 100 percent renewable energy across all our operations,” said Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson. “Our partnership with NV Energy helps assure our customers their iMessages, FaceTime video chats and Siri inquiries are powered by clean energy, and supports efforts to offer the choice of green energy to Nevada residents and businesses.”
Currently, NV Energy customers are served by more than 1,900 megawatts of renewable resources in Nevada, including 19 geothermal energy resources, 13 solar energy facilities, six hydro plants, one large wind farm and a variety of biomass, methane and other renewable energy projects.
NV Energy, Inc., provides a wide range of energy services to 1.3 million customers throughout Nevada and more than 40 million tourists annually. NV Energy is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, do business as NV Energy. NV Energy is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Information about NV Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via nvenergy.com.Read More
PSEG Solar Source today announced it has acquired two North Carolina solar facilities from BayWa r.e., with a total capacity of 47 MWs-dc, representing a total investment of $74.6 million. The PSEG Cork Oak Solar Energy Center and the PSEG Sunflower Solar Energy Center are under construction and scheduled to begin operation later this year. The two facilities have a 10-year power purchase agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Co. and are located about 90 miles northeast of Raleigh in Halifax, N.C. These are the second and third projects PSEG Solar Source has developed in collaboration with BayWa r.e..
“It’s a pleasure to work with a top-notch organization like BayWa r.e. on these projects, which will provide North Carolina with more safe, clean and reliable energy,” said Diana Drysdale, president of PSEG Solar Source. “These are important transactions for us, as we continue to expand our solar portfolio across the country.”
BayWa r.e. developed the project and is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for both projects and will operate the facilities for PSEG Solar Source when each goes into operation. Almost 149,000 poly-crystalline Trina Solar panels will be installed at the two facilities, which will use SMA inverters. “BayWa r.e. is delighted to complete another transaction with PSEG Solar Source. We look forward to growing our relationship with PSEG Solar Source over the coming months and years,” said Jam Attari, CEO of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects.
PSEG Solar Source now has 21 utility-scale solar facilities in 13 states, including five in North Carolina. The company currently has 326 MWs in operation and another 70 MWs under construction.
The production plans for the solar panel factory plant in Buffalo acquired by Tesla, in its acquisition of SolarCity are not entirely clear. Tesla and Panasonic are now going to get involved in manufacturing of solar cells and solar modules, while the plant will now also produce Tesla’s new solar roof products.
But it’s clear that SolarCity is moving forward with production at the plant since the company has started the process of hiring production workers this week. The company already has around 40 employees in Buffalo, but they are mostly engineers and management to prepare the plant, which the company took over from the state just 2 months ago. Now SolarCity is holding a series of information sessions over the next two weeks to find new candidates for production positions.
Kady Cooper, a SolarCity spokeswoman, told Buffalo News that they haven’t determined a final number of new hires yet: “We don’t have a final number for the first wave. We’re trying to assess what the entry-level landscape looks like first.” The company is expected to start solar module production in the coming months, while Tesla should start solar roof production in the summer of 2017. That’s when hiring should pick up.
Through its deal with the state of New York, SolarCity has promised to hire 1,400 workers at the factory. Just like Tesla’s deal for the Gigafactory in Nevada, the company will have penalties if it doesn’t comply with job creation requirements.
SolarCity’s workforce information sessions throughout the month:
Thursday – 10 a.m., Edward Saunders Community Center, 2777 Bailey Ave., Buffalo.
Friday – 1 p.m., Second Baptist Church, 18 Church St., Lackawanna.
Monday – 10 a.m., Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St., Buffalo.
Monday – 2 p.m., Erie Community College North Campus, 6205 Main St., 166 Gleasner Building, Amherst.
Dec. 13 – 1 p.m., Martha Mitchell Community Center, 175 Oakmont Ave., Buffalo.
Dec. 19 – 10 a.m., State Labor Department Williamsville Career Center, Transitown Plaza, Main Street and Transit Road, Williamsville.
Dec. 19 – 5 p.m., Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 710 E. Delevan Ave., Buffalo.
Dec. 20 – 10 a.m., The Belle Community Center, 104 Maryland St., Buffalo.
Dec. 20 – 2 p.m., Buffalo Employment & Training Center, 77 Goodell St., Buffalo.
SunSystem Technology, LLC (SST) and Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) (Enphase) announced today that SST has acquired the Residential Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Field Services Division of Next Phase Solar from Enphase and the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership in which SST will serve as Enphase’s primary residential O&M service provider.
The addition of Enphase’s residential field services division makes SunSystem Technology the nation’s largest residential solar O&M service provider, and the only PV solar company with the capacity to efficiently provide those services across the United States.
“Transitioning the residential field services that were part of our Next Phase business to SST leverages their core strengths and experiences to best service our residential customers and enhances our ability to focus on our core business priorities: launching the next generation of our industry-leading microinverters, the Enphase storage system, and our AC Modules,” said Paul Nahi, president and CEO of Enphase. “Enphase and SST share a common commitment to excellence in customer service. The quality and commitment to customer care we see in SST’s proven ability to bring greater scale to these services across the U.S. will benefit our customer base and the industry as a whole.”
The agreement expands SST’s services in the core of the U.S. solar residential market through a national framework of enhanced certification, training, experience, and strategically placed highly skilled technicians.Read More
Tech Crunch is reporting that Tesla and SolarCity have cleared the last important hurdle last Thursday. Shareholders signed off on the proposed acquisition of SolarCity. Respective shareholder votes at both companies gave a green light to Tesla’s takeover plan to of the solar energy technology provider, which Elon Musk first proposed in June. Tesla shareholders voted 85 percent in favor of the deal. Tesla expects the transaction to close soon.
Sign-off from shareholders was the last barrier to the merger, which aims to bring together the two companies. Tesla has been treating the companies as essentially unified, with an event last month that highlighted a new glass solar tile which was co-presented by both Tesla and SolarCity execs, but treated mostly as though it were the product of a single, encompassing Tesla.Read More
According to an article published by Green Tech Media, more and US home solar customers choose to purchase, rather than lease solar panels. That puts direct ownership on a direct path to overtake third-party/leasing modes of installation and reclaiming the top spot in solar financing models since 2011.
According to GTM Research’s latest report, U.S. Residential Solar Financing 2016-2021, 55 percent of all U.S. residential solar capacity installed next year will be purchased by customers paying either in cash or with a loan.
Turkey Creek Facility is PSEG Solar Source’s Second in North Carolina
PSEG Solar Source today announced it has acquired a 16.8 MW-dc solar energy facility from Ecoplexus Inc. The PSEG Turkey Creek Solar Energy Center is located in Northampton County, N.C. about 95 miles northeast of Raleigh.
The PSEG Turkey Creek Solar Energy Center has a power purchase agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Company. It sits on approximately 75 acres under a 35-year lease with a private landowner. This is the second project in which PSEG Solar Source and Ecoplexus have been partners. The two companies collaborated on the PSEG Meadows Solar Center in Martin County, N.C. which went online in June.
“We are delighted to work with a top-flight developer like Ecoplexus as we continue to grow our business and expand our solar portfolio across the country,” said Diana Drysdale, President of PSEG Solar Source. “This purchase is another example of PSEG’s commitment to providing a sustainable energy future. When operational, this facility will power 2,400 homes.”
Ecoplexus is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate the project for PSEG Solar Source upon completion. Construction is underway and commercial operations are expected to begin later this year. The facility will use approximately 50,000 mono-crystalline Trina Solar panels with Power Electronics inverters.
“Ecoplexus is very pleased to build upon its successful partnership with PSEG in bringing new clean energy online for the state of North Carolina,” said John Gorman, CEO of Ecoplexus. “The Turkey Creek project will create approximately 185 construction jobs in addition to adding to the tax base of Northhampton County community.”
PSEG Solar Source now has 19 utility-scale projects in 13 states. The company currently has 215 MW-dc in operation with another 128 MW-dc in construction and on schedule to be operational by the end of the year.
Ecoplexus has developed and completed 67 projects totaling more than 200 MW, across California, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Japan.
About PSEG Solar Source:
PSEG Solar Source is a subsidiary of PSEG Power, a merchant power generation company which is part of the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) family of companies. PSEG (NYSE:PEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10.4 billion. Its other main subsidiaries are Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), a regulated New Jersey gas and electric utility, and PSEG Long Island, which operates the transmission and distribution assets of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).
Disclaimer: PSEG Solar Source LLC is not the same company as PSE&G, the New Jersey-based electric and gas utility. PSEG Solar Source is not regulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. You do not have to purchase any PSEG Solar Source products in order to receive quality regulated services from PSE&G.
About Ecoplexus Inc.
Ecoplexus develops and operates utility scale solar PV projects for the wholesale and retail market in the U.S., and internationally. The Company has constructed and financed over sixty projects to date, representing approximately $350 million in project value. Customers include eight major utilities including PG&E, Duke, Progress, Xcel Energy, and Georgia Power and approximately fifteen municipalities in the US, as well as major International utilities.
With a large construction and development pipeline of over 1 GW in the U.S., Japan, Latin America and Turkey, representing over $750 million in project value, Ecoplexus is actively developing or buying renewable energy assets at every stage. The Company also provides operation and maintenance (O&M) services for investor/owners for approximately 55 projects. For more information about Ecoplexus, please visit www.ecoplexus.com.Read More