Tag Archives: Solar Group Buy Programs

How rural northern Wisconsin logged a record-setting solar group buy

By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Next Energy Solution offers three tiers of cost for group buys, depending on how many customers are involved. Since the Cheq Bay group passed the 400-kW threshold for planned installations, everyone got the most affordable offering. Full installations cost about $2.45 per watt, Kelly said, and about 40 percent of the customers opted for a ready-to-install kit the company offers that costs less than $2 a watt.

Installations bought under the program ranged from 1.9 kW to 14.8 kW, including 66 residences, nine businesses and three municipal buildings — a garage, forestry building and town hall. In a relatively remote region where many residents have a self-sufficient spirit, the popularity of the ready-to-install option was not surprising. Read more here.

Cheq Bay Renewables

Next Energy Solar Systems’s Ready-to-Install Kit

  • Ready-to-install systems install in 3-5 hours with the help of one extra person
  • The system pays for itself in 2-4 years in some areas
  • The NES roof system uses 1/3 less roof attachments for easier installation
  • The strength of an NES system can withstand wind speeds up to 120 mph and 3/4 inch hail

Photo: A 13.5-kilowatt solar PV installation powered Bill Bailey and Gayle Chatfield’s wholesale greenhouse operation before they retired. The Wisconsin couple were among the forces behind a wildly successful solar group buy carried out this year. The Cheq Bay Renewables’ Solar Group Buy Program is the largest in the state.

American Public Power Association urges DOE to reject FirstEnergy plea for emergency order

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association News

The American Public Power Association is urging the Department of Energy to reject a request by FirstEnergy Solutions that the Secretary of Energy issue an emergency order requiring PJM Interconnection and, by extension, electricity consumers in the PJM region, to provide “full cost recovery” for certain merchant generating plants in PJM. Such a request is unjustified, the Association said in its April 9 submittal to the DOE. FirstEnergy Solutions has neither demonstrated the existence of an emergency that would support action by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry under Federal Power Act section 202(c), nor shown that its requested relief is reasonable, the public power group argued. At issue is a March 29 request made by FirstEnergy Solutions, on behalf of certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, FirstEnergy), with the DOE. Continue reading here.

Photo: Benita5 / Creative Commons

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

SOLAR GROUP BUY / SOLARIZE MODEL PROGRAM

Muncie couple promotes solar panels throughout Indiana, The Daily News
A retired Ball State University married couple John Vann, retired marketing professor, and Carolyn Vann, retired biology professor, are taking their knowledge of sustainability and clean energy to the forefront of East Central Indiana to help households procure solar energy for their own properties. They are working to help Hoosiers obtain discounted panels.

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

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Potential Models for Nebraska Communities: Solar Power Hour locations announced for Johnson County Solarize program

IOWA CITY — Nearly two dozen public meetings have been scheduled to help educate area residents on Johnson County’s Solarize program — which incentivizes private solar development through volume purchasing prices. Similar to last year’s Solarize program in Linn County, the first of its kind in Iowa, the program is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. The Cedar Rapids and Linn County Solarize program concluded with about 607 kilowatts of solar energy added to 105 properties. Read more here.

Photo: Stacks of solar panels. Bulk purchasing is a central part of Solar Group Buy & Solarize Programs.

RESOURCES FOR ORGANIZING A SOLAR GROUP BUY OR SOLARIZE PROGRAM

CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES, ORGANIZATIONS / SMALL BUSINESSES AND URBAN & RURAL FOOD PRODUCERS

Thank you to everyone who attended last evening’s NFS community event!

Many thanks to everyone who attended the second Solar Group Buy Meeting last night at UNO’s Community Engagement Center: to Green Bellevue for your much-appreciated co-sponsorship, to audience members for sharing ideas and asking excellent questions before, during and after the meeting, and to our two panels of energy efficiency and solar energy experts, who provided a wealth of information:

  • David Holtzclaw, Transduction Technologies
  • Graham Christensen, GC ReVOLT
  • Jeff Berggren, GenPro Energy Solutions
  • Jon Traudt, Health and Energy Company
  • Leon Komar, Lifetime Home Services
  • Mark Lostcutoff, O-HEAT: Omaha Heat Energy Analysis and Testing
  • Michael Shonka, Solar Heat & Electric

Thank you to Rita Corell for sharing the link to “Solar Easements – Nebraska,” a topic discussed briefly at the meeting.

Please save the following dates and join us again at UNO’s Community Engagement Center for these events co-sponsored by Green Bellevue:

December 14, 2017: Panel Presentation on “Community Solar” organized by NFS board member Leo Arens

January 10, 2018: Third Solar Group Buy Meeting: Roundtable & Q&A With Solar Installers and Solar Ambassadors

New connection technology is cutting cost of solar installation

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

ConnectDER, as it’s known, generally eliminates the need to enter a home and it greatly reduces the amount of electrical work required. “It allows you to inject the solar on the customer side of the meter prior to getting into the home,” said Michael Shonka, a solar installer who has put the new equipment in a half-dozen homes in the Omaha area.  “This means we can cut out $1,000 to $2,000 worth of cost in the system because you don’t need electricians to go through foundations trying to get to the service panel, and you don’t need to rearrange the panel.” Read more here.

Photo: The ConnectDER device allows a solar array to be connected directly to the meter, eliminating the need for electrical work inside the home.

ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH
Midwestern poultry farmers cut bills in half with new heating system: Maintaining a tropical temperature for his turkeys, even through a Nebraska winter, used to cost Bill Bevans in the neighborhood of $60,000 annually. Not any longer.

Solarize Program in Iowa Exceeds Expectations

By Mitchell Schmidt, Cedar Rapids Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — James Hodina, the environmental manager with Linn County Public Health, helped this year with the Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County program. The program, which began earlier this summer and concluded at the end of September, aimed to increase private solar energy installations throughout the county with incentives. Read more here.

Photo: James Hodina, environmental manager with Linn County Public Health, stands Wednesday outside his home in Cedar Rapids, where his family recently had a solar energy system installed. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

To learn more about bulk purchasing solar PV systems, join Nebraskans for Solar and Green Bellevue for this event:

Solar Group Buy Roundtable Discussion: Creating a Model for Nebraska Communities at UNO’s Community Engagement Center, 7 – 8:30 p.m. in rooms 201 & 205

Madison solar firms picked for group buy program

By Bill Novak, Wisconsin State Journal

A sample system shown on Midwest Solar Power’s website would cost $13,000, but that would be cut almost in half through federal tax credits, rebates and the group buy. The group purchase program is run by the non-profit RENEW Wisconsin Inc. on behalf of the city of Madison with support from Middleton. Read the entire article here.

Photo Credit: RENEW Wisconsin

RESOURCES FOR NEBRASKA COMMUNITIES CONSIDERING SOLAR GROUP BUYING