NEM 2.0 – How It Will Affect the Amount of Savings You Receive With any Solar Installation

Net Energy Metering (NEM) rules will change for PG&E, SCE, and other major utility customers in California How does NEM 1.0 work? Net energy metering allows customers to receive credits for energy from their solar system that is fed back to the grid. Currently NEM 1.0 allows customers to receive full credit value for this energy. How will NEM 2.0 work? Solar customers connected to the grid under NEM 2.0 will be required to purchase their energy as a time-of-use rate and will now be responsible for supporting more of the overhead costs of the utility in the form of fees. Interconnection Fee – this is a one-time fee to covers the costs associated with processing a solar application and continued study on the impacts of solar to the grid. Public Purpose Charges – these are charges that previously did not apply to solar customers as a way to incentivize going solar. The fees go to cover low- income bill assistance, efficiency rebates, research, and nuclear decommissioning. The NEM 2.0 changes will affect the savings you see  from solar by […]

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Bakersfield Observed: A blog about life, media, politics & people

  KUDOS Congratulations to A-C Electric Company’s Solar Division, which was recently recognized as the top solar company in Fresno by the Fresno Business Journal’s annual Book of Lists. In addition, out of the top 500 solar contractors in North America, A-C Electric Company earned the eighth ranking on the Solar Power World 2015 list of Top Commercial Solar Contractors. Said company executive David Morton: “We feel this is quite an achievement. Being able to draw on the resources and experience of a 70-year-old electrical construction company has allowed us to scale up to meet the market demands of our commercial, agricultural and non-profit customers while maintaining the quality and service they expect from a local company.” Email Richard Beene, Californian ­president and CEO, at rsbeene@yahoo.com. His column appears here on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; the views expressed are his own. Read more on his blog at ­BakersfieldObserved.com. bakersfield.com/bakersfield observed

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PG&E Surpasses 10,000 Solar Customers in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose

SAN FRANCISCO — PG&E today (July 21) celebrated connecting 10,000 solar customers each in three of California’s largest cities — Bakersfield, Fresno and San Jose — as part of PG&E’s milestone of connecting the 175,000th solar customer to its electric grid. These achievements, along with a new survey finding that 25 percent of Californians are considering solar panels for their home, underscore how quickly California residents are blazing a trail for solar adoption supporting a clean energy future. “PG&E proudly supports customer choice when it comes to renewable energy,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We connect thousands of new customer-owned solar installations to our grid every month with some of the fastest connection speeds in the nation,” she added. “This rooftop solar power supplies clean energy to our customers and communities, and is a key part of California’s energy future.” The growth is especially apparent in Bakersfield, Fresno and San Jose as each city celebrates 10,000 local solar customers connected to PG&E’s electric grid, highlighting the innovative spirit of these communities as they invest in […]

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Solar Power World releases 2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors list

August 7, 2015 Kelly Pickerel Solar Power World, the industry’s leading business-to-business publication, announces the release of the 2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors list.  This is the most recognized annual listing of North America’s top solar contractors working in the utility, commercial, residential and off-grid markets. Companies on the list are grouped by specific service (construction firms, developers, electrical subcontractors, EPCs, rooftop contractors, solar hot water installers), markets (commercial, off-grid, residential, utility) and states by 2014 installed capacity. This year, a 24-contractor advisory board was established to assist us in verifying installation claims. The 2015 advisory board was essential to ensuring the Top Contractors list is as accurate as possible. A list of our advisory board is at the bottom of this release. Solar Power World also received assistance and feedback from SolarReviews. The SolarReviews ‘Pre-Screened Solar Pro’ program is a performance-based quality accreditation for solar installers. Consumers and business owners looking to install solar can trust an installer with this badge, which appears in the print and digital editions of the Top 500 Solar Contractors list. When it comes […]

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Nine takeaways from the latest report on solar-plus-storage

The latest Green Tech Media report on U.S. solar-paired-with-storage, reviewed by media this morning at Intersolar North America, says the storage market is “nascent,” while activity within it is “frantic.” The report, supported by Intersolar North America, ees North America and CalSEIA, looks at storage technologies, behind-the-meter issues and storage in different market segments. It also offers a market outlook. Here are nine key takeaways from the report: Battery and system costs will continue to drop for the next four to five years. By 2020, GTM expects battery costs to reach $250 – $300/kWh. In 2014, costs hovered around $500/kWh. An important note: Batteries are useless without a system (including inverters) to support them. System components can be as much as 60% of the total installed cost, but their prices are trending downward, too. Five states offer incentives for behind-the-meter storage systems. California’s SGIP program is the largest, offering $1.46/W in 2015. Hawaii, New Jersey and New York are supporting solar-plus-storage projects with cost sharing and upfront incentives for commercial customers. Arizona has proposed a $1 million rebate program to […]

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Energy Jobs: SolarCity, SDG&E, PowerCell, DNV GL, Ingeteam, Innovari, Cambrian

James Avery, senior VP of power supply at San Diego Gas & Electric, has been named chief development officer at the investor-owned utility. In an interview earlier this year, Avery suggested that if customers were given the right price signals, both solar and EVs can be integrated seamlessly, and it could even benefit the grid. SolarCity hired J. Radford Small as senior VP of business development and investor relations. Prior to joining SolarCity, Radford was managing director and COO for the clean technology and renewables group at Goldman Sachs, where his team led SolarCity's IPO, multiple capital markets transactions, and a tax equity investment. Technology services giant DNV GL Group promoted COO Remi Eriksen to group president and CEO, succeeding the retiring Henrik O. Madsen. PowerCell Sweden named Karin Nilsson as CFO; she joins the fuel-cell firm from vehicle digital market place KVD Kvarndammen, where she served as CFO. PowerCell is a spinout from the Volvo Group aiming to produce environmentally friendly fuel cells and reformers that match existing fuel infrastructures. The firm is owned by Volvo Group Venture Capital, […]

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US Gov’t Approves 400 MW of Solar Projects in Nevada

The Hill: Feds Fast-Track Approval for 3 Solar Power Farms Federal officials have approved the first three proposed solar power farms under a streamlined permitting program for solar projects on federal land. The three projects are all on Bureau of Land Management property in Clark County, Nev., and will together have a capacity of 440 megawatts, enough to power about 132,000 homes. Guardian: Global Apollo Programme Seeks to Make Clean Energy Cheaper Than Coal A plan to tackle climate change by emulating the race to put a man on the moon is launched on Tuesday, aiming to channel billions of dollars in research that will give renewable energy commercial liftoff. The Global Apollo Programme aims to make the cost of clean electricity lower than that from coal-fired power stations across the world within 10 years. It calls for £15B a year of spending on research, development and demonstration of green energy and energy storage, the same funding in today’s money that the U.S. Apollo programme spent in putting astronauts on the moon. Green Car Reports: Why Arcane 'Travel Provision' Rules Make EVs Rare […]

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Daimler Enters the Market for Stationary Energy Storage

German automaker Daimler AG announced last week it will soon launch a stationary battery business, following Tesla's similar high-profile move into batteries for homes and businesses. Daimler will offer Mercedes-Benz branded lithium-ion batteries for scalable energy storage solutions, leveraging the expertise of its fully owned subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive. The automaker will deploy batteries for residential and commercial customers in partnership with the German utility EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, and is currently seeking additional sales and distribution partners both in Germany and abroad. “With our comprehensive battery expertise at Deutsche Accumotive, we are accelerating the transition to sustainable energy generation both on the road and in the field of power supply for companies and private households,” said Harald Kröger, head of Mercedes' electric-drive program, in a statement. “The technology that has proven its worth over millions of kilometers covered in the most adverse conditions, such as extreme heat and cold, also offers the best credentials for stationary use.” Accumotive will make battery modules for stationary use in 2.5-kilowatt-hour or 5.9-kilowatt-hour versions, which can be stacked for larger applications. Daimler has already […]

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Elon Musk’s Enterprises Built on Nearly $5 Billion in Government Support

LA Times: Elon Musk's Growing Empire Is Fueled by $4.9 Billion in Government Subsidies Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multi-billion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space. And he's built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies. Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot startups. Guardian: How Renewable Energy in South Africa Is Quietly Stealing a March on Coal Although still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, South Africa has been quietly creating one of the world’s most progressive alternative energy plans. Solar, biomass and wind energy systems are popping up all over the country and feeding clean energy into the strained electrical grid. “It is set to completely transform these deep rural communities in terms of healthcare, education, job creation and a raft of other […]

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The Energy Storage Industry Charges Up in Texas

When GTM covered the Energy Storage Association conference in 2011, investor Vinod Khosla described lithium-ion batteries as “toys that can't be deployed at scale” to the 300 attendees. In 2013, we reported from the ESA show in Santa Clara, Calif. and sensed a shift in an industry that was moving from an R&D mentality to a focus on commercialization and markets. This year's ESA in Dallas, Texas hosted about 1,000 people confronting the regulatory and financial realities of getting storage on the grid — another phase in this fast-growing, early-stage market. Here's a collection of quotes and reports from a small cross-section of the crowd and presenters. (As for Khosla, the more than 100 megawatts of stationary energy storage, much of it lithium-ion, to be deployed in 2015 would appear to sink his claim, never mind the Tesla vehicle fleet and factory.) Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, kicked off Day Two of the conference, saying that one of the basic issues confronting the armed forces is energy storage. “How do we take alternative energy and run it 24 hours […]

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