Category Archives: Financing

Cities collectively buying renewables: “LA led way to leveraging EV RFPs, more cities follow with renewables”

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced in June plans to partner with other cities to explore collective purchasing of renewable energy in order to bring down costs and incentivize more development. So far on board are cities including Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Portland and Orlando. The RFI aggregates the 20 cities’ combined 5,700 GWh of annual municipal loads said Adam Jacobs, Boston’s energy manager in the webinar hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy.

Read more here.

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

Related

MORE AGGREGATION NEWS

Photo by SunEdison: San Diego Canopies

  • San Diego to form world’s largest Community Choice Aggregation, PV Magazine
    The announcement comes as a part of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s ambitious 100% by 2035 renewable energy mandate for the city. CCAs happen when local governments, either municipalities or counties, form an entity to procure electricity for their communities. In the Golden State they have allowed communities to procure renewable energy even more rapidly than the statewide 60% by 2030 mandate. 
  • Businesses Unite To Drive Uptake of Renewable Energy In Australia, The Climate Group
    RE100 has gone Down Under, demonstrating the potential for corporate sourcing of renewables to help shift the energy market in Australia away from polluting coal. This week saw the first Australian meeting of RE100 – the global corporate leadership initiative on renewable electricity led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

MORE NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Photo Credit: Google

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS

1.8 Million Clean Energy Workers Employed In Top 50 American Metro Areas

ADDITIONAL CLEAN TECHNICA INTERVIEW

Google’s Renewable Energy Leadership (#CleanTechnica Interview)

Solar Solutions: Iowa hog farmer cuts power bill by double digits

Fort Dodge Messenger
Editor: Darcy Dougherty-Maulsby

The drop in [Dwight] Dial’s power bill has been dramatic since his solar equipment started powering his home and farm in mid-July. While his May-June 2018 electrical bill was $762 and the June-July bill was $580, the bill dropped to $263 after the solar system had run for 17 days in mid- to late-July. His August-September bill plunged to $77.

While the cost of Dial’s solar project totaled $85,000, he paid only a fraction of this, thanks to current tax incentives, grants and other resources. He received a 30 percent federal tax credit, along with a 15 percent state tax credit, for installing his solar energy system. He also worked with a local grant writer to apply for a federal grant, which he received. “That helped pick up another 13 percent of the system’s total cost,” Dial said. “With all the incentives, it was like paying $27 for something that normally costs $100.” Read more here.

Photo: Family Farm in Minden
Project: 21-kilowatt solar system in Minden, Nebraska installed by GC Resolve. This array provides most of the farm’s energy needs. The project was partly funded by a USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) grant, which covered 25% of its cost. Additional financing was obtained through the Nebraska Energy Office’s low-interest loan program for solar installations.
Installer: Graham Christensen, GC Resolve
See Solar Examples to view more solar-powered Nebraska farms.

Ways Nebraska Food Producers, Rural & Urban, Can Significantly Cut the
Costs of Solar & Small Wind Projects

FEDERAL INCENTIVES

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2018 and 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants
NOTE: Qualified applicants include urban as well as rural food producers.
REAP grants provide up to 25% of the total project costs, and a grant and loan combination up to 75%. Eligible projects include renewable energy systems and the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements.

See Also

LINCOLN ELECTRIC SYSTEM’S SOLAR INCENTIVE
LES offers customers a one-time capacity payment of up to $1,000 per kilowatt of peak demand reduced. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the primary direction the system is facing, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar – the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) x $475.
    Source: Customer-owned Renewable Generation

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

Ohio No. 2 on federal list of new distributed wind power capacity

By Megan Henry, The Columbus Dispatch

Unlike wind power from wholesale generation where power is sent through transmission lines and substations, distributed wind power is used at or near where it is generated, according to DOE. Iowa had the most new distributed wind capacity installed in 2017 with 63.47 megawatts, according to the report.

Distributed wind systems are connected on the customer side of the meter to meet the onsite load or directly to distribution or micro grids to help grid operation or offset large loads close by, and are possible for approximately 49.5 million residential, commercial or industrial sites, according to an analysis by the DOE. The U.S. wind industry installed more than seven gigawatts of capacity in 2017, according to the report. Read more here.

DISTRIBUTED WIND ENERGY RESOURCES

INCENTIVES

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2018 and 2019. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

RURAL ENERGY FOR AMERICA PROGRAM (REAP) GRANTS & LOANS
USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants
The deadlines to apply for grants are October 31, 2018, and April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

How a Big Bank Fueled the Green Energy Boom

By Matthew Heimer, Fortune Magazine

[Green] bonds were the brainchild of dealmakers at Bank of America—the $87 billion, 209,000-employee giant that occupies the No. 3 spot on Fortune’Change the World list this year. Their work is part of BofA’s $125 billion Environmental Business Initiative, a campaign that has established the Charlotte based bank as a powerhouse in “climate finance”—the unglamorous but essential business of steering investor capital into the low-carbon economy. Green bonds, which the bank all but invented, have raised $442 billion worldwide since 2013, helping borrowers both tiny (the Antioch, Calif., Unified School District) and enormous (trillion-dollar Apple) pay for renewable-energy innovations. Read more here.

iStock Photo

RELATED:

USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett seeks applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement projects.

The deadlines to apply for grants are Oct. 31, 2018, and April 1, 2019. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. Read the entire release here.

Who may apply?
Small businesses in eligible rural areas and agricultural producers, both rural and non-rural, who have at least 50% of their gross income coming from agricultural operations, may apply.

REAP grants provide up to 25% of the total project costs, and a grant and loan combination up to 75%. Eligible projects include renewable energy systems and the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements.

See REAP Fact Sheet for a complete list of eligible projects.
Nebraska REAP Program

Contact: Jeff Carpenter, Nebraska Rural Development Energy Coordinator
Telephone: 402-437-5554
Email: 
Jeff.Carpenter@ne.usda.gov

ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES

Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar systems and small wind turbines: 30% through 2018 and 2019. Small wind: 100 kilowatts or less. Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Business Equipment Depreciation Resources

SMALL & COMMUNITY WIND INFORMATION
American Wind Energy Association / Distributed Wind Energy Association

What is Distributed Wind Energy?
Distributed wind energy systems offer reliable electricity generation in a wide variety of global settings, including households, schools, farms and ranches, businesses, towns, communities and remote locations. Projects range for example from a 1-kilowatt (kW) or smaller off-grid wind turbine at a remote cabin or cell phone tower – to a 10-kW wind turbine at a home, small business, or small agricultural load – to several multi-megawatt (MW) wind turbines at a university campus, manufacturing facility or any large energy user.

What is Small Wind Energy?
Small wind is defined as wind turbines with a capacity rating of less than or equal to 100 kW. Turbines in this category range in size from smaller than 1 kW for off-grid applications to 100-kW turbines that can provide village power. Fifty-four small turbine models are offered commercially in the United States for applications including homes, schools, commercial and industrial facilities, telecommunications, farms and ranches, and communities.

DWEA (Distributed Wind Energy Association

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RESOURCES

  • Small Wind Guidebook, WINDExchange, Department of Energy
  • Distributed Wind Case Studies
    The Distributed Wind Installers’ Collaborative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, has produced a series of case studies showcasing the many facets and opportunities within the distributed wind industry. The first published case studies feature projects located on a dairy farm, at a net zero home, a recycling facility and a rural cooperative.

‘Bringing back an icon’: $75 million plan to revive Blackstone Hotel, a former hangout for Gold Coast elite

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

In addition to TIF [Tax-Increment Financing], the developers seek “enhanced employment area occupation tax financing” amounting to nearly $10 million. Overall, the bulk of funding would come from a construction loan and investor equity, but also helping to fund the project would be about $6.5 million in federal and state historic tax credits and $3.5 million in Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (PACE is a new financing tool used to upgrade energy, water and utility systems in commercial properties).  Read more here.

Photo by Pat Hawks, Flickr

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

BEATRICE – The City of Omaha is the first to adopt an ordinance allowing its use in Nebraska. The City of Lincoln is considering the same.  Now, Beatrice is being asked to consider Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, or PACE, as another tool for economic development.  It’s described as a low-cost, long-term financing mechanism for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. Chris Peterson, Managing Partner for Pace Sage Capital in Nebraska, worked as a Legislative Aide to former State Senator Heath Mello when PACE was enabled through state law, making Nebraska the 34th state to enact it.

MORE ABOUT PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (PACE) 

PACE was named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine.
– 
PACE Nation

Registration Deadline for Solar Design and Installation Workshop Friday, June 29th!

Nebraska Extension in partnership with Dixon Power Systems

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER HERE

This workshop is open to the public.

Instructors:  John Hay, Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Jon Dixon, Dixon Power Systems
Cost: $450 for the week
Deadline: Registration and payment due by Friday, June 29th
Workshop Dates: July 9th – July 13th

WORKSHOP CONTENT

  • Introduction to Solar PV electronics and components
  • Basics of electricity, measuring, tools and safety
  • Solar siting – where to locate the panels, sun angles
  • Capabilities and limitations of solar PV
  • Electrical codes, state and federal policy, tax credits and economics
  • Building a rack
  • Attaching inverters and other components
  • Grounding and other wiring
  • Wire management and final appearance
  • Working with your utility and electrical inspector to complete grid interconnection

Photo: Previous workshop participants and their DIY solar array.

IRS Issues Favorable Tax Credit Guidance for New Solar Projects

By Julia Pyper, Greentech Media

The new guidance provides two methods for determining a “commence construction” date.

The Internal Revenue Service released a new guidance Friday that establishes when the construction of a solar facility starts to qualify for the solar Investment Tax Credit. The guidance, Notice 2018-59, provides two methods for determining the “commence-construction” date: 1) starting physical work of a significant nature or 2) meeting the “5 percent safe harbor test” by incurring 5 percent or more of the total cost of the facility in the year that construction begins. Both residential and commercial solar projects may qualify for the full 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through 2019, as long as the project is placed into service before 2024. A prior ruling required completion in the same year. Continue reading here

RELATED READING

Many thanks to our Green Watts for Good supporters during Omaha Gives!

Forty-two contributors generously donated $3,172 to our Green Watts for Good Fundraising Campaign! At midnight that put us halfway to our goal of raising sufficient funds for a second 4-kilowatt (4000 watts) photovoltaic (PV) system!

Additional Contributions

  • A generous donation today of $1,000 from the Nebraska Solar Energy Society brings the total amount raised toward the second PV system to $4,172!
  • NFS also has received pledges from two Nebraska solar energy businesses to donate solar panels for Green Watts for Good projects!

Next Steps 

  • We will use all Green Watts for Good donations to date to leverage matching contributions from local foundations, businesses and individual philanthropists.
  • We will also work with our partnering nonprofit to finalize plans to install the first 4-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system on an Omaha home using the generous donation to our Green Watts for Good Fund made by two local philanthropists on Earth Day.
  • Organize a “barn-raising” type effort to install the PV system. NFS board members, who include three solar professionals and four with rooftop solar, and other volunteers will “raise” the solar panels, which come with a manufacturer’s warranty to last 25 years.
  • Celebrate.

Nebraskans for Solar is an all-volunteer nonprofit, and so 100% of all donations go to support our Green Watts for Good Initiative.

Our long-term goal is to create a revolving loan fund to enable homeowners to purchase PV systems and to save money over many years.

If your ecology or sustainability club, faith group, foundation, business or other organization would like to sponsor a solar system for a family in your community, please send us an email: nebraskansforsolar@gmail.com

Thank you from all of us at Nebraskans for Solar!

Photo: Washington State Habitat for Humanity volunteers celebrating a job well done.

The Peregrine Hotel – First Omaha project to use PACE financing

By Cindy Gonzalez, Omaha World-Herald

About $3.4 million in PACE funds are to fill a gap in the overall $13.6 million cost of converting the seven-story downtown structure to the hotel, said Rob Shear of PACE Sage Capital LLC, which helped arrange the private financing for ViaNova. He said the PACE loan is to close later this month. Shear calls the new financing mechanism, which is used already in some other states, a boost to economic development. He said it can breathe life into commercial projects that otherwise might never get off the ground.

First look: Peregrine boutique hotel at 18th and Douglas is partly financed by new clean-energy program

Photo: Downtown Omaha, Wikimedia Commons

MORE ABOUT PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY (PACE) 

PACE was named one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas by Scientific American magazine.
PACE Nation