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California SGIP Provides Rebates for Solar Batteries
Mar23

California SGIP Provides Rebates for Solar Batteries

If you live in California and are only using your solar battery for backup, then you’ve been using it wrong. A subsidy program to encourage home energy storage has already paid millions to solar battery owners since last May in exchange for reducing the total demand on the state’s four largest utility companies. Named the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the program is calibrated towards offsetting the costs of purchasing solar battery storage units such as the Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem ESS. “The purpose of the SGIP is to contribute to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, demand reductions and reduced customer electricity purchases, resulting in the electric system reliability through improved transmission and distribution system utilization,” the program’s website states. In some instances the SGIP rebate covered up to 30-40% of the total battery system cost. Considered a win-win for both utility companies and people using residential solar, the SGIP has several more rounds of reimbursements to go before funds are exhausted. By offering homeowners generous per W/h incentives to purchase an energy storage unit, California’s four largest utility companies participating in the program hope to reduce energy demand by using customer’s homes a decentralized way to store power. The four utility companies participating in the SGIC — Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), Southern California Edison (SCE), SoCal Gas (SCG), and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) all offer five steps of reimbursements, which each step closing as the allocated funds run out. Currently PG&E, SCE, an SCG are nearing the end of Step 2, which pays small residential storage units $0.40/Wh.   CSE has been burning through its reimbursement funds at a faster pace and is waiting to announce the dates for its final Step 5. Because CSE did not get as much as the other utility companies they run a lottery for the rebate, which tends to get filled in 1 to 5 days. The four utility companies offer rebates based on reservation time. Each additional step up in the program reduces the per Wh subsidy by $0.05. While applying for a rebate can be a challenge, home solar companies such as GoGreenSolar offer assistance to customers looking to maximize the economic potential of their home units. Company reps will require a copy of the fully executed home solar contract with the make and model of battery, contract price, 10 year limited warranty, recent electric bill, and an application fee which is approximately 5% of the rebate amount.   Ready to start putting your battery to better use? GoGreenSolar can...

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4 Silver Linings in Trump’s Solar Tariffs
Feb21

4 Silver Linings in Trump’s Solar Tariffs

It’s no secret the solar industry has already faced some intense headwinds in 2018, as seen with President Trump’s aggressive tariff on imported solar panels at the start of February.   Incase you didn’t already know, about 80 percent of America’s solar panels come from imports, and while many spectators are wringing their hair on the sidelines, worried about solar’s future, there’s a few silver linings in the gathering clouds.   State Controlled Solar Incentives: Sure, the federal government might’ve put a squeeze on imported solar hardware, but luckily for us, states still have the power to offer financial incentives such as tax credits and net metering payments for excess power generation. While there are still a handful of states that offer such incentives, the outlook is questionable on how many will continue to provide them over the next few years. The domestic solar industry creates a significant amount of jobs and there will be a growing amount of pressure on legislators to use their authority under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act to establish competitive rates for small, renewable power generation and keep the solar market alive. Rise of DIY Solar:  Any sailor worth his (or her) salt knows that when the headwinds start to blow, you bring in the boom and start to tack. The current administration’s stance against renewables will not equate to its demise, but rather its change of course. The beauty about home solar is that it’s decentralized, and puts the power of energy generation back into the hands of individuals. To offset the slightly higher hardware costs of solar, we are sure to see a trend of more people opting to install parts, if not all, of the solar rigs themselves. Afterall, necessity is the mother of innovation, and converting a home to run off the grid has never been easier. World Trade Organization Says Nah:  Trump’s tariffs have attracted opposition from environmentalists, free-market advocates, alternate energy advocates, and players in the renewable energy industries. The noise has already caused enough clamour to bring the dispute up with the World Trade Organization in Switzerland, where countries like China and others targeted in the tariff are likely to claim it is in violation of international law. A closer inspection of the provision Trump used to ratify his tariff shows it’s one rarely used by governments. In fact, the last time America tried to use it in 2001 to put a tariff on steel imports, the WTO overturned it with penalties. Exactly how things will play out in the next coming months, however, remains to be seen. Freedom: The attack on consumer solar will not be the first...

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GoGreenSolar Goes Crypto, Accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum
Jun09

GoGreenSolar Goes Crypto, Accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum

What do cryptocurrencies and solar have in common? Both help to decentralize power from the hands of the few into the control of the many. But now, the relationship between the two upstarts have even more similarities, as GoGreenSolar.com, based in southern California, has become the first solar installer to accept the new age cryptocurrencies as payment in the forms of both Bitcoin and Ether (the fuel of Ethereum). The new age monetary system which debuted in 2009 has recently been making a buzz in the financial world as many people (and even some countries) have begun to adopt its use.  The most popular types of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have seen an exponential rise in their value as more users become convinced that they are a safer and more reliable alternative to centralized currencies manipulated by a country. In 2014 GoGreen Solar made headlines after completing the world’s first solar installation exclusively paid in Bitcoin. “Allowing our customers to use this open source currency makes solar more accessible and it aligns with our core belief in decentralizing power,” explains Harold Tan, CMO of GoGreenSolar. The Bitcoin-purchased-solar-setup, which is located in Huntington Beach, CA, included a 5 kilowatt photovoltaic system, pairing 20 Enphase microinverters with 250 Watt Sharp solar panels. Following on the heels of the installation’s success and the ease of payment experienced during the process, GoGreenSolar has expanded its resources to accept Ether in addition to Bitcoin in its financial transactions, making history by turning decentralized currency into reliable and decentralized energy from the sun. For more information visit GoGreenSolar.com or call (866) 798-4435. About Go Green Solar: GoGreenSolar.com is a value-added eCommerce store that is owned and operated by GigaWatt, a multi-faceted solar energy corporation that guides homeowners, contractors, businesses, and utilities through the entire installation process. As a leading online destination for solar electric systems, GoGreenSolar functions as the primary distribution channel for this horizontally integrated corporation. GigaWatt Inc also designs and installs solar electric systems as a licensed C-10 Electrical Contractor #972791. Core competencies of GigaWatt include distribution, installation of photovoltaic systems, and product...

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SoCal Edison Net Metering 1.0 Expires June 30th 2017!
May08

SoCal Edison Net Metering 1.0 Expires June 30th 2017!

Avoid Upcoming Changes to California Electricity Rates! Net Metering 1.0 is straight forward: the electric company measures how much energy you use from the grid and how much energy your solar panels put back into the grid. Customers are only charged the net amount, and if you export more than you consume, you would get paid for the extra energy produced! However, Southern California Edison is now in the process of initiating NEM (Net Energy Metering) 2.0, which is based on TOU (Time of Use), and you will be charged higher rates for energy usage during peak hours. This means that if you wait to go solar, you’re going to get less money for your extra power! The good news is that you still have a chance to avoid these upcoming changes. NEM 2.0 starts once Southern California Energy reaches a cap in energy usage for NEM 1.0 on June 30th 2017. If you install solar panels before the NEM 1.0 list fills up, you are guaranteed a spot on the original NEM program plan for 20 years past your original interconnection date. That means now is the perfect time to install solar – before these new changes go into effect! Those interested in solar panels need to install as soon as possible, because there is limited space left on the NEM 1.0 list – and your panels need to be installed and approved before the list fills up. Every moment that you wait to install solar, you risk missing out on 20 years’ worth of savings! Contact GoGreenSolar today to find out how we can save you thousands of dollars. One of our friendly solar professionals will conduct a free analysis of your roof and provide a proposal for your own customized solar system. Call (866) 798-4435 or visit us at www.GoGreenSolar.com...

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The New StorEdge from SolarEdge
May05

The New StorEdge from SolarEdge

How does StorEdge compare to existing battery solutions? Fewer components, less expensive, easier to install, better Tech Support, more mature product line. Here is a typical StorEdge installation: Features that make StorEdge better: A)  All of the StorEdge components (including the LG Chem battery) are exterior rated.  The Sonnen is interior rated only. Most people do not have room in their garage for a Sonnen cabinet, let alone in their living room as shown in their brochures. B)  The StorEdge inverter is the solar inverter.  Sonnen recharges from the grid, and requires the addition of solar equipment.  The battery bank has the same high DC voltage and low amps as a solar array, so the inverter can easily invert the DC power to AC; whether it is coming from the solar array or battery. C) StorEdge allows the homeowner to install solar now (to cut utility bills) and add the battery later.  Sonnen is grid-tie battery backup only.  Solar is NOT included. D) StorEdge has the ability to perform Zero Export (do NOT backfeed the grid, self-consumption only) which is required for homeowners in Hawaii.  Sonnen can NOT perform this function and requires the solar equipment, such as a SolarEdge install, to do it. Technical Details: Many people wanting battery storage are familiar with the traditional 48v battery banks, but the StorEdge design is very different from the traditional 48V battery storage system. Anybody with a SolarEdge 7600 that wants to add battery storage can get it with an Autoformer and a LG Chem battery. The StorEdge marketing still makes a lot of noise about Powerwall 1 and 2 being compatible (which they are) but Powerwalls are NOT available to us through our distributors, so they are off the radar for DIY installs.  The LG Chem is a very good battery made by a bankable company.  They don’t have the media hype of Tesla, but it is every bit as good.  I have seen the LG battery up-close and personal, and they did a nice job on the enclosure. Here’s what makes the StorEdge design better: 1)  The 350v of DC power coming from the Optimizers is fed DIRECTLY into the battery. Note: In a traditional 48v battery system (such as the Sonnen), there is an Inverter/Charger that reduces the 350v to 48v.  Eliminating this step simplifies the design, and is more efficient since there is no conversion loss as the Charge Controller circuits adjust the output power.  It also eliminates an expensive piece of equipment, reducing the system price-point; as well as eliminating a point of failure.  Moreover, an Inverter/Charger is generally expected to last 5+ years.  Conversely, the StorEdge inverter life expectancy is 12 years...

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Solar Tax Credits in New Mexico Might Have a Bright New Future
Jan27

Solar Tax Credits in New Mexico Might Have a Bright New Future

A bipartisan effort by New Mexico legislators supported bills in the House and Senate to revive the state’s solar tax credit, which expired last year in 2016. The endorsed bill aims to renew the state’s solar incentive credits for an additional eight years, gradually being reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent by 2025. “New Mexico is known for its abundant sunshine, yet Arizona and Colorado have more solar-related businesses, jobs and installation capacity than we do,” Fox Business News quoted Republican Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, a sponsor of the legislation. Since New Mexico’s previous tax credit had expired in 2016, the state saw a sudden drop of employment and revenue generated by solar installations. Over the tax credit’s eight year lifespan, people installing solar had spent over $40 million on labor, spurring nearly a quarter billion dollars of related investments and economic growth. For legislators and constituents, the promise of invigorating the state’s economy during these sluggish times was well worth the $5 million annual price tag of funding the incentive program. As an added bonus for residents considering switching to solar, a drastic reduction in the price of materials has nearly halved the cost per a watt from $9 in 2009 to $4.52 in 2016 with the tax credit program. A combination of New Mexico’s latest solar incentive and record low costs for solar materials will surely generate some of the lowest solar costs residents of the state have ever seen–but only for those that manage to secure the new tax credit before its funding cap is reached and applications fill up. If you’d like to learn how you can snatch up New Mexico’s newest incentive program contact GoGreenSolar via email or call (888) 338-0183....

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