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Texas $2 per Watt Rebate?
Nov27

Texas $2 per Watt Rebate?

Coserv’s per Watt Rebate If you’re one of the 141,000 member-owners of the  Coserv Electric Cooperative in Texas and you’re thinking about going solar, you’re smart. You might have heard that this co-op utility offers a $2 per DC Watt rebate on solar generation. $2 per Watt? This rebate means homeowners in Texas can get $2 per DC Watt installed.  Many solar rebates are based on the size of the solar system in AC Watts,  which is a measurement of the system after the electricity has been converted from DC to grid-quality AC power.  A $2/ AC Watt rebate would already be a very strong incentive, but this rebate is in DC, which means more money in your pocket. $2/W DC  >  $2/W AC For example:  you’re installing a 2kW (or 2,000W) grid-tied solar system.  That number “2kW” is based on the sum total of watts in your solar system – we’ll call it eight 250W solar panels. In this case, you would qualify for a rebate of $4,000, given that the funds allocated towards this rebate program haven’t yet been exhausted. Depending on the size of your system, this  rebate your 2 kW (or 2000 Watt) solar system will yield a couple hundred dollars more. This utility rebate program caps off at $5,000 for each system, which is equal to a 2.5kW solar system.  Contact us today for solar design help and while you’re at it, fill out the Coserv solar rebate application form.  All 2013 funds were reserved in early 2013.   Check their website at the beginning of 2014 for any changes to this rebate and get on the list so they can reserve funds for your project.   Rebates are paid out after your solar system is installed and inspected by a Coserv Auditor. On top of this rebate from Coserv, you’ll also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit.   After any state/local/utility rebates have been subtracted (including Coserv’s solar rebate), 30% of this net cost is returned to you in the form of a tax credit that directly reduces the dollar amount you pay on your taxes....

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No CA Rebate without Solar Panel Monitoring?
Nov15

No CA Rebate without Solar Panel Monitoring?

Homeowners using the Enphase Envoy to monitor their solar panel output can qualify for an upfront, lump-sum rebate through California’s Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB). What’s the EPBB Rebate? The Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB) is one of two incentive options offered by the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The EPBB is an upfront rebate for small businesses and homeowners with systems 30kW or less (as opposed to systems greater than 30kW, which would qualify for 5 years of monthly payments through a Performance-Based Incentive).  If you qualify for the EPBB rebate, you’ll get the entire payment at the time of installation. The EPBB rebate is determined mainly by the expected performance of a photovoltaic system, which is based on factors including CEC-AC rating, tilt, orientation, location, and shading. To qualify for the EPBB rebate, you need to get a monitoring system like the Enphase Envoy Communications Gateway to track the output of your solar panels.  With a reporting accuracy of ±5%, Enphase monitoring is sufficient for the EPBB rebate, whereas revenue-grade meters with ±2% would be required for PV systems of 30kW or greater under CSI’s Performance-Based incentive.   Enphase monitoring systems include: Enphase or Siemens Microinverters Envoy Communications GatewayTM Enlighten® web-based monitoring and analysis software For more information about monitoring requirements, visit the CSI Website.   How does Enphase work? The Enphase Envoy is designed for PV systems with Enphase Microinverters, which attach behind each solar panel, turning the DC electricity from each solar panel into usable AC electricity. With each microinverter working independently, Enphase systems are optimized for locations prone to shading from nearby trees and make it easy to add solar panels to your system in the future. Each mircoinverter is connected to the internet with it’s own IP address, so the web-based software Enlighten provides data about your system’s output – whether you’re at home on your PC or using your the Enlighten app your iPhone.   Each microinverter operating independently means you can see the output of individual panels in your array, making troubleshooting issues much easier than a string inverter would. Enphase microinverter systems are recommended for small grid-tied systems, systems with multiple arrays, and systems with potential shading concerns. Benefits of Enphase Systems: Easy installation Design flexibility & scalability Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Optimized for shading Remote monitoring capability...

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SunPowered Robots Taking Over?
Nov08

SunPowered Robots Taking Over?

Yes, robots.  There are robots cleaning solar panels. SunPower, a leading solar company that designs and manufactures solar technologies, has announced their acquisition of GreenBotics, Inc., a company based out of Davis, California that offers a robotic solar panel cleaning service. Soiling is a build-up of particles on solar panels, which can be dirt, dust, and even bird droppings.  For most photovoltaic systems it would make sense to use pressure washers, solar panel cleaning kits, hoses, and cleaning solutions to remove soiling. It can be a challenge, however, maintain large-scale photovoltaic plants without an equally robust cleaning solution.  Losing up to 15% of the output from a multi-megawatt photovoltaic plant is a BIG hit financially. Often times, photovoltaic plants end up in dry, desert climates that are prone to dust. Dust = Soiling = Lost $ See the machine in action: To combat this problem, GreenBotics introduced their robotic solution that systematically cleans large-scale photovoltaic plants, which reduces water waste and much of the labor cost of cleaning these systems.  These robots will be used throughout SunPower’s projects and will be particularly advantageous for solar power plants in the Middle East, the western United States and Chile.   Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower, speaks of the acquisition of GreenBotics and how this will add value to their company and help reduce waste: “Customers in markets such as the Western U.S., the Middle East and Chile will especially benefit, as dust and debris is a challenge and water is in shorter supply.  We are very pleased to add the valuable services offered by Greenbotics to our energy services offerings.”  The cost of photovoltaic panels has become cheaper over time, and now the maintenance of large-scale systems is being optimized. Could robotics be the next big shift for solar?...

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Solar on every U.S. roof? Infographic
Nov07
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Look at Solar in 2013
Oct31

Look at Solar in 2013

Visualize what’s happening with solar right now. Q2 2013 was solar’s second largest quarter yet and we’re looking at wrapping up another record-breaking year.   The cost of an average solar panel has declined by over 60% since 2011.   These falling prices, along with new financing options, has made solar more attractive to financially savvy homeowners.   Even investors like Warren Buffett and corporations like Walmart putting their money into solar energy. With over 9.3 Megawatts of installed solar in the United States, there’s currently enough solar capacity to power over 1.5 million homes in the country.  The progress that solar has made in the last few years alone is evidence that the U.S. electricity market is in the early phase of an all-encompassing transition towards clean energy. Check out this infographic, which is a year-end estimate based on research from GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries...

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