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Utilities to profit by avoiding wind and solar PPAs

Utilities to profit by avoiding wind and solar PPAs

American Electric Power Co. is focusing on an Oklahoma Wind Farm that will steer away from the traditional Power Purchase Agreements where the renewables will be owned by the Utility Company itself and the cost of building the farm will be included in the customer energy rates. By owning the farm outright, American Electric Power can include the cost and profit in the rates capitalizing on future renewables on the market.
The farm started construction in 2016 and intends to be operational by 2020. The deal will cost around 4.5 billion and the estimated cost savings by utilizing wind energy will save consumers around 7 billion over the next 25 years while also securing profit margins for the utility company.
Wind and solar energy costs to develop have been decreasing year after year making alternative energy solutions much more enticing.

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Solar Energy Company Likana Solar Thermal Granted Approval by Environmental Agency

Solar Energy Company Likana Solar Thermal Granted Approval by Environmental Agency

Likana Solar Granted 5.1-GWH Approval

SolarReserve yesterday said its 390-MW Likana concentrating sun oriented power plant got ecological endorsement from the Chilean government.

The venture in the Antofagasta district of Chile will have 5.1-GWh of storage stockpiling.

“The Chilean transmission system will have difficulty accommodating large amounts of intermittent power,” Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s senior VP of improvement, said in an announcement. “The distribution companies and mining sector require a firm, secure, and stable supply of electricity 24 hours a day. The Likana project will help lower electricity costs for Chilean families and businesses, while safeguarding grid stability.”

SolarReserve said it will be offering storage and related limit from its Chilean activities into the up and coming sale for vitality supply issued every year by Chile’s energy distribution organizations.

In March, SolarReserve said the Chilean government endorsed its Tamarugal concentrating sun based power extend in the Tarapacá locale of Chile. The venture will have three 150-MW sun oriented warm towers, each with 13 hours of full load vitality stockpiling, and 5.8 GWh of aggregate storage stockpiling limit.

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Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water

Solar Hot Water – The most cost effective Solar Solution! by 1a Solar Systems Design

Solar hot water system size and cost depends upon number people in your household, water usage, radiant floor heating, ground or roof mounting systems can be installed from $3500 up to $10,000.
All Solar Hot Water systems are eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit off the entire installed price, as well as up to $1200 incentive rebates in NY, PA, and recently in NJ if replacing electric systems.
At today’s energy prices, over the life of the system, the cost to operate is about 20% lower than gas and over 50% lower than electric. As the cost of gas, oil, and electric grows, your savings will increase over time.

As a extra bonus, the value of your home will appreciate and estimated 16-23% because people want to purchase energy efficient homes.

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Solar Systems Design Inc Offers Homeowners Free Solar Electricity or Solar Hot Water for Up to 12 Months

Solar Systems Design Inc Offers Homeowners Free Solar Electricity or Solar Hot Water for Up to 12 Months

Solar Systems Design Inc. Offers Homeowners ‘Free Solar Electricity or Solar Hot Water’ for Up to 12 Months by 1a Solar Systems Design

‘Solar Systems Design Inc. Same-As-Cash’ Program offers 0% and No Payments for up to 12 Months.

Newton NJ / Milford PA / Port Jervis NY – Feb 11, 2010 –
Solar Systems Design Inc, one of the leading solar integrators on the East Coast, today announced that it is offering its customers the new ‘Solar Systems Design Same-As-Cash’ program, a fast, easy way to own a high-efficiency Solar PV or Solar Hot Water Thermal system.

“The Solar Systems Design Same As Cash program is a quick, easy way for home owners to enjoy the financial and green benefits of owning a solar system with little or no upfront capital expenditure,” said Elliott J Kayne, President of Solar Systems Design Inc. “Homeowners can defer payment up to 12 months until they receive their state rebates and federal tax refund while generating emission-free solar electric power, or heating their hot water, or pools, and gain immediate savings on their energy bills.

These unsecured, same-as-cash loans, for commercial or residential customers, provide up to $45,000 for solar energy installations – a dollar figure that can be estimated to provide a 6-8 kilowatt system which will deliver, on average, a savings of about $100 per day on their energy bills.

There is no application fee or pre-payment penalty. With a paperless loan-by-phone application process, credit decisions are fast and easy usually generated within 10 minutes.

The average U.S. home, without energy upgrades and conservation measures, uses about 40 kilowatt-hours per day, or 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month. However, with solar panel prices falling worldwide, it may soon be possible to install up to 10 kilowatts for about $40,000, after incentives and rebates.

Solar thermal or heating hot water with the energy of the sun offers an even greater return on your investment. If you are currently heating your hot water with electric, you can reduce your energy bills by 30-40% for as little as $4500 after rebates.

The biggest barrier to residential and small commercial solar installations to date has been the upfront cost of installing enough solar panels to offset the majority of a building’s electrical needs. Federal and state solar rebates offset some of this cost (30 percent of net cost for federal incentives, and up to 30 percent for state and municipal rebates), but this still leaves most of a system’s cost in the homeowner’s hands – an unfortunate development, given the ongoing recession and an overall drop in housing prices.

More important, homeowners can’t even claim the credits until the systems are installed and – in the case of the federal rebate – yearly taxes are filed and processed. Equally as important, lease programs don’t offer ownership opportunity until the systems have reached the end of their effective lifetimes, though they do provide “green” electricity at surprisingly affordable monthly rates.

With no principal payments or interest for up to 12 months, this financing provides homeowners with sufficient time to realize the benefits of the existing 30 percent federal tax credit for the installation of residential solar energy systems, as well as the many state and local tax credits that may be available to certain homeowners.

According to Solar Systems Design’s Vice President of Engineering, Raymond Earle, the funds are readily available, and applications can be taken over the phone. Decisions are also made quickly (often within minutes), and homeowners who take advantage of the loan program can, after the 12-month period, either pay the loan off or convert it to a fixed-interest installment loan.

Solar Systems Design Inc. advertises the rates, as “competitive”, or low-interest, and offers complete financing through mortgage experts who advise homeowners about the best solution for their home and tax status. Interest on financing, if homeowners choose the extended financing, are usually allowed as an equity deduction against tax liability, but check with a tax expert to be certain.

Solar Systems Design Inc. offers complete energy efficient solutions, including Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Wind, Geo-thermal, and Pool Heating, in NE PA and Northern NJ. All systems are custom engineered to your building specifications and needs. Solar PV systems are grid-tied, so net metering will reduce electricity consumption from your utility provider to gain additional cash benefits for any electricity sent to the grid. They will perform a Free Site Evaluation to assess your buildings solar energy potential and provide an cost savings estimate.

Margaret Schechter , a homeowner in Sussex NJ., said, “The Solar Systems Design Same As Cash program, along with the New Jersey Clean Energy Fund solar rebate and the 30 percent federal tax credit, opened a window of opportunity to achieve a rapid payback on our solar investment. It’s a win-win for us, the economy and energy independence. They made the loan process very easy, and our high-efficiency Solar system is maximizing the amount of clean power generated on our roof every day.”

“Compared to solar leasing programs available from other companies, Solar Systems Design’s loan programs offer significant tax advantages and the opportunity to easily transfer the solar power system – and its value – when you sell your home,” said Solar Systems Design’s Vice President of Solar Thermal; Glen Metzler. “Why spend years paying to essentially rent a system, when you can enjoy the benefits of ownership today? The time for solar is now.”

About Solar Systems Design Inc.
Solar Systems Design Inc., is one of the leading solar integrators on the East Coast. The company designs and installs solar electric and solar thermal energy systems for commercial and residential applications. For more information visit or call 570-686-2300 for a free site evaluation.

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What is an SREC?

What is an SREC?

What is an SREC?

SREC, (or Solar REC), stands for Solar Renewable Energy Certificate. An SREC is a certificate which can be traded that represents all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from your solar electric system. SREC’s will be issued to you regularly as your solar panels generate each 1000 kiloWatt hours (see our solar term g¬lossary). In rough numbers, a 5 kW system will usually earn you almost 6 SREC Credits each year.

How Do I Sell an SREC?
An SREC is sold separately from the electric power the system generates. One way to sell is on an on-line broker, such as Flett Exchange or directly posted on the NJ Clean Energy Web site.

How Much Money is a New Jersey SREC Worth?
The market price of an SREC is determined by supply and demand for SRECs. A number of factors including the cost of a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) that utility companies (PSEG, JCPL etc.) are required to pay if they do not buy enough SRECs. The SACP price effectively establishes a price ceiling for an SREC. In early energy year 2009, SRECs are selling for as high as $650 each.

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HVAC Systems Run Off the Sun

HVAC Systems Run Off the Sun



For years a major blockade to having a solar system that can run your entire home and the difficulty associated is because the major rotating equipment in your home, (compressors, motors, and pumps) requires a heavy start up current surge (amperage) to get them going. Once going, the amperage draw levels out, and becomes manageable. For example, when a typical three ton heat pump starts, it requires 30+ amps at 220 volts, but after it is running, the amperage draw levels out to approximately 10. That is why, sometimes when a heat pump starts, that your lights may dim slightly for a second or two. This start up amperage is very detrimental to running off of a battery bank that would typically be utilized in a photovoltaic solar system. The battery bank was simply not capable of this high of amperage draw, and also would certainly shorten the life expectancy.

However, new technologies have come into play.


First, let’s talk about our renewable energy system.

The solar system at the Tews utilizes forty eight – 200 Watt Photovoltaic Polycrystalline panels. These will generate approximately 10 kilowatts of power. This power is then routed to a configuration of SMA grid tie inverters, charge controllers, and power management systems. The concept is, in off-grid power scenarios, a SMA Sunny Island connected to a bank of batteries acts as the source of AC power, or the “AC grid” for the location. All power generation devices as well as AC loads are connected together on the AC side of the inverter. During the day, when sun production is high and load use is low, the Sunny Island uses the sun power to charge the batteries. Once the batteries are full, any daytime loads are powered directly from the power generating devices on the AC bus. This eliminates the need for the power for the loads to be run through the batteries, which reduces the number of charge cycles and extends the overall life of the batteries. At night, when power production is low and load use is high, the Sunny Island provides power from the battery bank. In the morning, the batteries are recharged and the cycle begins anew.

In simplified terms, the solar panels charge a battery bank. The battery bank supplies power to a sub-panel. Hooked to the sub-panel is the heating and air conditioning system, and other home appliances if needed. If the battery bank becomes discharged, it will recharge first by the solar system, then from the grid if needed.

One of the greatest benefits of this AC coupling configuration is that it allows virtually any type of power generating device to be connected to the system, i.e. solar, wind, water, even gas or diesel powered generators. Please note this for future reference.

Other features of this solar system include the Sunny WebBox, which allows users to access their system performance data anytime – from anywhere in the world. By logging onto Sunny Portal, users can see their current and historical system performance data displayed graphically. The data collected is stored in common file formats for use in spread sheets, graphs or other websites. In addition, it provides a method for service personnel to receive prior notice to any potential issues or to check the status of a system before traveling to the site. Data storage services to users are free of charge.


What is a Mini-Split?
A typical definition of a mini split is a split air conditioner or heat pump, without ductwork (ductless), the evaporator is usually mounted in or adjacent to the area being cooled. Other features are typically low air volume, good humidity removal, low noise levels and remote control. In recent years, mini splits have began incorporating multiple indoor units, while still having only one outdoor compressor section.

In the early 1970’s ductless split room air conditioning was developed. The mini split air conditioners and heat pumps were sold mainly in Japan first. In the late 1980’s, Mini-splits became popular in Japan, East Asia and Southern Europe. At the end of the Twenty-first century over one-half of the worlds total shipments of air conditioners are Ductless split systems, however in the US the market is still small compared to the total air conditioning market.

Why use a Mini-Split?
The first answer that most people think of is: I don’t have or can’t install any ductwork. A mini-split simply utilizes copper tubes to transport the refrigerant to the indoor unit. The indoor unit, is in essence, the indoor air handler, and is positioned in the home at the location needed. No ductwork is generally attached.

Other reasons are:

Mini-splits offer greater comfort when compared to traditional air conditioning units. The lower air volume promotes greater dehumidification, the individual control allows for greater personal comfort, and the lack of ductwork added to the anti bacterial filters and construction can prevent the spread of airborne contaminants. And because they can run at lower air volume levels, they also control humidity extremely well.

Noise Levels:
Because the indoor unit shares the living space with you, they are designed for the lowest noise levels possible, 35 Db. The outdoor units are also much quieter than conventional central air conditioning condensing units. This means that they can be installed in areas close to property lines without disturbing your neighbors.


Inverter Technology:
Several manufacturers offer variable refrigerant volume (VRV) or variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC systems. And while there are differences among the various systems, all of them react to changes in heating and cooling requirements by varying the flow of refrigerant. This is accomplished by using highly advanced inverter technology to vary the speed of a 48 volt direct current compressor. An intelligent series of electronic devices called Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) control system gives added control over the rotational speed of the compressors, which allows it to precisely match the amount of refrigerant being delivered to the needs of each zone.

This type of system is not new. In fact, the technology developed in the late ’50s has mainly have found acceptance in Europe and Asia. However, manufacturers have been promoting these systems in North America of late, because of the design flexibility that they offer, especially for retrofit projects, and the energy efficiency of the variable speed compressor, which avoids on/off cycling. The typical VRF system is ductless, but could be ducted. The United States may still be a “ducted” society, but that’s beginning to change.

The VRV (Variable Refrigerant Volume) or VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) systems deliver maximum efficiency during partial load conditions by abbreviating the control steps into smaller units, providing precise temperature control in all zones. It also prevents the heavy start up current surge (amperage) that is required of most air conditioning systems. This technology is why these units can be powered by a battery bank.

Precise Room Temperature Control:
One outdoor unit connects to as many as nine indoor units. (50% to 130% ratio of indoor capacity to outdoor capacity.) Each indoor unit incorporates an electronic expansion valve that continually controls the flow rate of refrigerant. In this way, the VRV system maintains a nearly constant room temperature without the typical temperature fluctuations that occur with a conventional ON/OFF control system. The extremely refined PID control maintains room temperature to within ±1°F of the set temperature. With immediate response to changing room capacity heat loads and varying sun exposures throughout the day, everybody stays cool and comfortable. The system also ensures individual zone temperature control so each room can be adjusted for personalized comfort. Advances with the indoor units now also allow some ducting for multiple room applications. Overall, the Mini Split system provides healthier air quality, potentially reducing sick days and time off from school and work.

Less Frequent Stop/Start Cycle:
By using variable speed compressors to regulate capacity, switching losses or power surges are minimized.


A “perfect storm” by definition is a convergence of events that form an environment never experienced before.

Carolina Cool has done this groundbreaking installation for the Tews. Others are in line to do the same. For these customers, it is revolutionizing the way they save energy, and bring us all a step closer to energy independence. This unique installation that delivers solar energy to the grid for buy-back purposes and off-grid power to a zoned, ducted HVAC system of the home effectively reduces total household power consumption by up to 70%, depending on conservation of usage. Other key benefits include uninterruptible power for heating and cooling and critical 120V circuits, such as refrigerators and electronics. And because we package this as a solar heating/cooling system, the whole package qualifies for the Federal and State tax credits up to 60%, making it quite affordable. Finally, couple all of this with interest free loans from Santee Cooper, and you too can have the perfect storm.


Earlier I mentioned, one of the greatest benefits of an AC coupling configuration is that it allows virtually any type of power generating device to be connected to the system, i.e. solar, wind, water, even gas or diesel powered generators.

So let’s add that gas powered generator, install a variable speed well pump, tweak a few more appliances in the home, and voila,

. . . . .your home is an island. And it’s not that hard to do anymore!

For more information, please contact:

Verlon Wulf or Steve Brakefield
Carolina Cool, Inc.
1294 Surfside Industrial Park
Surfside Beach, SC 29575

Roof Top Solar Modules

Energy From the Sun

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Waiting for Tomorrows Solar Technology

Waiting for Tomorrows Solar Technology

Waiting for tomorrows solar technology by Coastal Solar

Everyone thinks there is some super module just around the corner. What is never mentioned in the nightly news or newspaper article is that though there are scientists creating high efficiency modules in the lab they have been doing that for decades. The high efficiency solar module is not something that is close to being discovered because its been around for long time. The advancements that are changing the industry are in the manufacturing processes. Making higher efficiency modules cheaper, longer lasting and more consistent.

Some manufacturers are experimenting with Thin Film technologies. These typically have a warranty about half that of a Polycrystalline or Monocrystalline module because the Thin Film structure is not as stable, furthermore its much less efficient and usually not ideal for rooftop installations since it takes more space. One newer highly successful technology is the evergreen string ribbon modules which are very efficient polycrystalline modules that are manufactured using in a continuous process which results in a \”string ribbon\” or solar cells.

These are the types of advancements that are likely in coming years; incremental improvements in efficiency and processes. Keep in mind there is a lot of money and interest being invested into the solar markets. It is predicted by most to be the next boom. Manufacturers are working hard in China, Korea, Japan, Germany, USA and other countries all competing to have the best module and/or the best price.

If you have any doubt about the amount of competition to have the best module look at this list. … odule.html This is the California Energy Commissions list of approved modules for the CSI rebate. There are 1,605 different models available as of March 2010. If there were a new technology that would revolutionize the market on the brink of debut these companies would be all over it. Furthermore, before a manufacturer invests money into tooling and equipment necessary to be competitive, they do extensive research. These manufactures would not be getting all tooled up for the current technology if they had any reason to believe that something new could render their current equipment obsolete.

That said there have been some interesting developments in inverter technology. Residential and small commercial inverters remain at about 95%-96% efficient and that is not likely to improve by much. The inverter is always going to consume some energy and with smaller systems this will probably make up a few percent of total output no matter how advanced the technology. The biggest advancements on the horizon are in two areas; Monitoring and MPPT (which is an acronym for Maximum Power Point Tracking).

A newer model on the market is the Enphase inverter. The Enphase system uses a single inverter for each solar panel. The wiring from one inverter to the next and down to the meter is 220VAC. The primary advantage to this system from a practical standpoint is that each panel has its own MPPT. That means that should some of the panels be exposed to different conditions than the rest, each inverter will be able to adjust to maximize its panels output. Partial shading or different angles are the two main reasons where you would see a marked improvement from a standard inverter to Enphase.

For instance if you would like to place some panels on the south and some on the west you will greatly improve your system output with individual MPPT. Also, should your array have some shading, the individual MPPT will enhance output significantly making sure each panel generates its maximum wattage at all times.

The other primary advantage of these systems is individual panel monitoring. Enphase has a web portal where you can view nearly every imaginable aspect of your systems performance and production history for the entire array and each panel. It really is remarkable. However, it does little to improve your system performance. The primary performance enhancement would be early detection of a damaged module. Since modules are fairly robust it is likely that most will never use this feature but it is nice to know that all modules are performing as expected.

There are other technologies that provide individual monitoring and MPPT with a conventional inverter. TIGO makes a DC to DC converter that separates the modules similarly to the Enphase, however, they do not convert the power to AC grid power, this is still achieved with a conventional inverter.

As awesome as these technologies appear, in all reality many customers would be better off with a conventional inverter. The reason being that most people aren’t likely to be glued to their computer screen day after day in awe of their solar systems output data. If you don’t have shading issues you will see a faster return on investment from a less costly conventional inverter. If you are willing to pay a slight premium for the fun of it by all means. Just keep in mind that the real purpose of a solar array is to spin your meter backwards and it should last a long time and pay for itself in a short time, otherwise why spend the money. Your safest bet is tried and true technology manufactured by reputable companies that will be around to stand by their warranty.

To sum it all up grid tied solar has been around long enough that all of the kinks are worked out and the technology has progressed to a point where it is reliable, efficient and affordable. Panels will get better but so will televisions, cell phones and computers. At some point you simply have to pull the trigger and make that investment. Especially since your system will probably pay for itself well before affordable solar modules reach 20% efficiency.

Don’t forget… That rebate is not going to be there forever. As of March 2010 there is only 7.38 out of 21 MW left for the $1.90 per watt rebate. The next step will be $1.55 per watt. This decrease represents about 15% of the current cost of solar modules. So unless solar panels increase by 15% efficiency or decrease by 15% in cost before the rebate goes down Now is a great time to GO SOLAR!

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The future of solar energy

Solar Panels on Residential Roofs are Growing Quickly

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Orange County Convention Center

Orange County Convention Center

Orange County Convention Center by Solar Source

From a simple residential attic fan or pool heater to domestic water heating on a residential or industrial pre-heat level to mega-watts or a solar farm, Solar Source knows no limitations. Try putting us to work on your project today. This installation was done in approximately 5 months and includes over five thousand eight hundred modules. The special weights in the weighted ballast systems were custom designed just for this application. The installation educated numerous electrical contractors and put many unemployed laborers to work and opened doors for a large number of people. The system generates about the same amount of power that it would take to power 100 homes. The environmental impact in CO2 emissions can be viewed on the system monitoring section of our website at

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