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Posts tagged ‘utilities’

Community Solar Power

From TriplePundit
by Andrew Burger
7 August 2012

Community-Owned Solar Power on the Rise in the U.S.

Conditions are right for growth in community-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. With more than 1-MW of community-owned solar garden projects in development and a pipeline of an expected 5-MW more this year, Martifer Solar USA and the Clean Energy Collective intend to capitalize on the improving situation.

The two partners are leveraging their respective strengths in the U.S. solar power sector to bring an increasing amount of local, community-owned solar power capacity online – Los Angeles-based multinational Martifer Solar USA in PV manufacturing and systems installation and Clean Energy Collective in community-based renewable power project development.

“With demonstrated success in Colorado and net metering legislation on the table in California, now is the time for community owned solar,” Martifer CEO Raffi Agopian stated in a press release.

Unique partnership model

A pioneer in the field, Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has developed an innovative business model and technology for developing community-based clean, renewable power generation. Partnering with solar PV manufacturing and installation companies such as Martifer Solar USA, it develops large-scale solar and renewable power facilities that are “collectively owned by participating power utility customers.”

A core aspect of such efforts is CEC’s proprietary RemoteMeter system, which “automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills without modifying their home or office,” CEC explains.

Colorado a hotspot for community-owned solar power
Colorado’s been a hotspot for CEC and Martifer Solar USA’s solar gardens. The two worked together in 2011 to build the 858-kW Garfield County Airport Solar Array – the largest PV installation of its kind in the U.S. when it was completed. The project also garnered national recognition when it won the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) “2012 Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award.”

Despite their optimistic outlook, CEC and Martifer Solar USA recognize the challenges related to developing community-owned solar PV installations in the US. That’s where their partnership really yields dividends, Spencer explained.

“We invested heavily in the development of the solar garden concept, but someone has to execute. Martifer Solar USA has done so in the past and achieved the results we wanted; we are pleased to enter into new contracts with them this year, and see many more on the horizon.”

Read complete article at TriplePundit.

Solar Payback in California

Dear Gabriel,

As the most anti-environmental Congress maintains their relentless pursuit of dirty energy and dirty pollution in Washington, California is on the verge of a game-changing decision that could help nearly double the amount of customer-produced solar power in our state.1

The California Public Utilities commission (CPUC) will vote next month on a plan that would fix a loophole which currently allows utilities to unfairly limit benefits to producers of solar energy in California, (a program called net metering.)

Naturally, many utilities are fighting back hard. But if the PUC hears from enough Californians there’s a very good chance they could move forward with this important plan which would be a boon to solar power in the Golden State.

Tell the Public Utilities Commission: Support solar in California! Close the loophole that allows utilities to restrict access to net metering.

The net metering proposal under consideration is technical, but here’s how it works:

When a solar system produces more energy than it uses, that energy goes into the grid, and utilities credit the customer on their electric bill with the retail value of the energy provided.

Utilities are supposed to provide net metering credits to customers for renewable energy equaling 5% of California’s energy demand. But because no uniform standard exists for calculating the 5% cap, some utilities use a cheapskate formula that results in about half the net metering credits than the law originally intended.

The proposal at the PUC would fix the problem, making more net metering credits available to Californians. This would help ensure continued growth of rooftop solar around the state, and our clean energy industry.

That would be a very big deal for clean energy in our state. But PUC needs to hear from a lot of Californians to make it happen. Please submit a comment now:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6881726&id=39180-266627-AGy71ix&t=7

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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