June 24, 2012 – Vol.17 No.15
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 6-10-12.
SolarCity will install a residential or commercial solar system on your home or business for free. No upfront costs. But the power from it isn’t yours. You’ll have to buy that from them through a long term lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA.) You get solar power at a guaranteed rate for as long as your agreement. Usually it’s less than what you pay your utility. That’s the deal.
However, SolarCity has to buy those systems and pay their crews to install them. For that they need cold hard cash. Plenty of it. And for that they work with a bank.
SolarCity and U.S. Bancorp has announced their largest renewable energy tax equity fund yet to finance up to $250 million in residential solar power and commercial solar power projects for homeowners, businesses, schools, and government buildings. This is the sixth and largest fund created by the two companies since they partnered three years ago to make solar power systems affordable and accessible.
SolarCity and U.S. Bancorp provide funding for the solar panels and solar panel installation, customers pay for the electricity at a discount to their current utility rates. SolarCity manages the entire process for the customer from permitting and local installation to ongoing monitoring and repairs if necessary.
SolarCity’s clean energy services are available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
During the week beginning June 10, 2012, this publication received news announcements regarding nearly 4 megawatts (MW) of solar projects completed and almost 240 MW in the development pipeline in the United States.
--- City and county governments across the U.S. are tapping solar panels from SolarWorld to power vital public services. At hospitals, administrative buildings, wastewater treatment plants and jails, forward-looking municipalities have installed nearly 2.5 MW of the company’s high-performance, American-made solar panels since April, recognizing their ability to save taxpayers millions of dollars in energy costs and make substantial contributions to environmental quality.
In May, California’s Santa Barbara County dedicated a 1 MW solar array at its Camino Real campus, home of its jail, sheriff’s department, three public hospitals and several administrative offices. The system is expected to offset about one-third of the campus’ energy needs, saving an estimated $12 million over the life of the system.
Local officials in Baltimore, Maryland, unveiled a 1 MW ground-mounted solar installation at the city’s Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in April. The solar installation is expected to save more than $6 million over the life of the project and help the city reach its goal of generating 30 percent of its own electricity.
In the city of Galena, Illinois., a 368 kW solar installation featuring SolarWorld solar panels is under construction at the municipal wastewater treatment plant. The photovoltaic system will go live by early August. It is expected to offset half of the facility’s energy needs and save the city almost $500,000 over the next 25 years.
--- Solectria Renewables, a U.S. manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) inverters, has announced that its Megawatt Solar Station (MSS 1 MW) has been commissioned to power the County of Santa Barbara’s PV array. The system is located at the County Jail in Santa Barbara, California and will provide power to the Calle Real Campus, a site that encompasses various County facilities.
The County of Santa Barbara and installer Endelos Energy are committed to using American-made products. The system spans seven-acres and is comprised of 4,500 SolarWorld modules (assembled in Camarillo, California) and Solectria Renewables’ MSS 1 MW (manufactured in Lawrence, Massachusetts).
The system will provide electricity to over 10 county facilities thereby reducing energy consumption by one-third. The county is expected to save nearly $400,000 per year or $12 million over the 30-year lifetime of the system.
--- Energy Finance Company (EFC), through its FUSE Fund (Funding Solar Energy Fund), activated its 625 kW solar power system at a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the projects site located in San Antonio, Texas on May 8th. The project consists of over 2,700 solar panels located on the roof of a large warehouse complex and will sell 100% of the power to CPS Energy under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
In the development pipeline.
--- Abengoa, the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has been selected to carry out the engineering, construction and start-up of one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world, which will be located in the U.S. and will have a capacity of 200 MW.
The plant, which will be constructed in Imperial Valley, south central California, will be one of the most important projects in the region. Abengoa has reached agreements with various local firms in order to promote the economic development of the region. The project is expected to create around 150 direct jobs during the design and development stages, as well as jobs with local subcontractors.
The contract, worth $ 360 million, is due to be completed in 18 months and will come into operation progressively during the second half of 2013.
--- SPI Solar has acquired the rights to co-develop and construct 68 solar energy facilities (SEF) in Hawaii totaling approximately 29 MW DC. The SEF sites are distributed across the islands of Oahu, Kona and Maui and are predominately ground mount SEFs with some rooftop and shade structures. All of the SEF’s are feeding directly into Hawaii’s utility power grids. In addition to the 68 projects, the agreement also allows SPI to pursue an additional 10 megawatts of projects that are currently in the Hawaiian Public Utility Commission’s reserve queue. As part of SPI’s global practices and its commitment to local economies, the projects will employ local trade people during their construction.
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