Commercial Solar Installer Tips

Nov 28, 2016 at 06:45 o\clock

NARUC Approves Final Distributed Energy Resources Manual

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. -After the formal adoption of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) manual, - Distributed Energy Resources Rate Design and Compensation - , the solar industry and advocates released the following responses:

Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):

Its no secret, distributed energy is proliferating in America and in this new energy paradigm having well thought-out guidance and regulations in place is critical to maintaining that forward momentum. The NARUC Board of Directors adopted a manual that was significantly improved due to their willingness to be open to input from stakeholders and we expect that process to continue as new data becomes available that may warrant revisions and updates to the manual.

Time and again, state public utility commissions and independent researchers have found that distributed solar provides a net benefit to all consumers and were happy to see this more adequately and accurately represented in the final version of this manual. Rate design is not a simple task and it has far-reaching impacts. The manual recognizes that hard data and evidence is needed before imposing new rate structures on customers, and that imposing class-wide rate design changes when DER penetration rates are low would most likely be a disproportional response.

This manual was a huge undertaking and we applaud the NARUC staff for their due diligence and the effort that went into this work product.SEIA looks forward to working with NARUC and the individual state commissions to move beyond utility responses that see DERs as a problem to be solved, and into a sustainable future that utilizes careful planning to unlock the full value of DERs.

Rick Gilliam, DG Regulatory Policy Program Director for Vote Solar:

"The manual contains a helpful balance between long and short term views, an open and more collaborative regulatory process, and a more expansive view of distributed energy resources, which actually include a broad and exciting range of clean technologies that can be deployed to add stability, control and reliability to the electric grid.

"We are especially pleased to see the manual acknowledge the economic opportunities that solar and other distributed energy resources can bring to all customers if managed properly by the regulators and look forward to working with state leaders across the country to achieve that promise."


About SEIA:

Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at - - .

About Vote Solar:

VoteSolaris a non-profit organization working to combat climate change and foster economic development by bringingsolarenergy into the mainstream nationwide." target="_blank - -

Media Contacts:

Alex Hobson, SEIA Senior Communications Manager, - - (202) 556-2886

Zadie Oleksiw, Vote Solar Communications Manager, - - (202) 836-5754

href='' - -

Nov 25, 2016 at 22:45 o\clock

Report: U.S. solar market on track for record-breaking year

The growth of the solar industry outpaced that of coal, natural gas and nuclear power during the first quarter of 2016, according to a recent report by the - Solar Energy Industries Association - (in partnership with - GTM Research - ).

During Q1 of 2016, 1,665 megawatts of solar photovoltaics were installed across the United States, which accounted for 64-percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online during the first quarter, according to SEIAs - U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2016 - .

This growth builds off the momentum of a record 2015, in which solar exceeded natural gas capacity additions on an annual basis for the first time ever, according to a SEIA news release published June 9. The report also says that this year the solar industry will install an unprecedented 14.5 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, a 94 percent jump over the 7.5 GW in capacity installed in 2015. This growth cements solar energys role as a mainstay in Americas portfolio of electricity sources.

The first three months of 2016 marked the 10th consecutive quarter in which more than one gigawatt of photovoltaics was installed in the U.S. and the 12th consecutive quarter in which more than 500 megawatts of utility-scale photovoltaics were installed, according to the report. The report also found that there are now more than 1 million operating solar photovoltaic installations in the United States -- a total of 27.5 gigawatts of operating capacity.

While it took us 40 years to hit 1 million U.S. solar installations, were expected to hit 2 million within the next two years, Tom Kimbis, SEIAs interim president, said in the news release. The solar industry is growing at warp speed, driven by the fact that solar is one of the lowest cost options for electricity and its being embraced by people who both care about the environment and want access to affordable and reliable electricity.

Looking ahead, the reports findings suggest that utility photovoltaics are expected to drive demand with non-residential systems continuing to push U.S. capacity upward.

Over the past six months, the non-residential PV segment has shown glimpses of a market that can grow across a more diverse set of project development opportunities, Cory Honeyman, GTM Researchs associate director of U.S. Solar, said in the release. While a number of policy- and customer-driven bottlenecks continue to challenge the market, a handful of state policies established over the past half year should unlock new customer-sited and offsite development, with Fortune 500 corporate customers playing a key role in supporting the markets rebound.

href='' - -

Nov 23, 2016 at 14:45 o\clock

Your Guide to a Quality Home Solar Installation Experience

Thinking of adding solar to your home and not sure how to get started or what to expect? Heres a guide to having a quality experience

As with any significant decision in life, no matter how much research you do there is a pretty fair chance that the company and the people you consider doing business with will be more familiar and educated than you are about the nuances, features, benefits and possibilities associated with the product or industry in question. Assuming thats true, its probably fair to say, your best chance of getting the solution you need and the experience you want, will be the result of choosing a company and team that puts you at ease and is one you can trust. Makes sense, right? But how do you choose?

Weve put together some relatively simple tips and guidelines to help you recognize character traits, level of proficiency andperhaps most importantlythe underlying motivations of the companies you may be evaluating. Understanding the motivations of each company and what their real goals are, will increase the odds that youll choose the company that will give you the greatest results and the best overall experience.

Solar Installation Skills and Experience

Your satisfaction upon completion of a solar project is directly related to the skills, knowledge, experience and professionalism of the company you choose. While some national solar installation companies boast that they have been in business longer than whomever or whichever, longevity is irrelevant as it relates to your project and your home. While it is important to choose a company that can demonstrate a history of proficiency and experience in solar power, the best installer for you is the one who can provide the best of team of professionals that will be working directly with YOU on YOUR project.

What to Look for Before Contacting a Solar Installation Company

The easiest way to start the process is by searching websites of companies that serve your area. If you know their names, search for that name or go directly to their site if you know their URL. If you use search engines to search generic solar-terms, you are more likely to see the larger national companies with well-funded marketing budgets at the top of the list. Dont limit your results to companies listed on page one. Look through the subsequent pages for local names you know or companies that are in a geographic location near you.

Much of the copy found on solar websites contain the nearly the same information, just arranged in different ways. The method in which this information is organized and presented will provide some insight into the companys philosophy and how they operate. There are basically two ends in the solar website spectrum. One is company-centric. The other is customer-centric.

Company-centric sites are interested in closing the deal, fast. These sites immediately try to capture your contact information and call you to action before theyve even given you a chance to review their products and services. They also tend to push a specific type of purchase option and may not be entirely transparent in presenting all of the options that may be available to you.

On the other side of the spectrum, customer-centric sites are informational, educational and present the material from the customers point-of-view. They provide information before asking you for yours. These companies emphasize the virtues of solar, how you can save money, and how you can have a positive impact the environment. They explain the technical and financial options in an un-biased way and make it easy for you to contact them when you are ready for more information.

Take a good look at the pictures on each website. Look for pictures that are of actual jobs that the company has done and not stock photos. Look for the quality of the work they present. Look at the scope of the work. You can tell a lot about the companys capabilities and work ethic from pictures of their installations.

By knowing these tell-tale signs and how to recognize them, youll be able to identify the motives behind the messages. Trust your instincts and choose companies that are not only capable handling the entire scope of the project, but also give you the sense that youll feel at ease throughout the entire process. Should you progress to the point where you request a site evaluation of your property, you should expect a full and impartial presentation of ALL of the options available to you and which one best suits your needs.

Your First Contact with a Solar Installation Company

A good solar company should make you feel comfortable right from the start. Are they prepared to answer your questions? Do they appear helpful and honest? Although all solar companies survive by closing the sale and building the project, your interaction with the company representative should feel more like a consultation versus a sales pitch. Consultants work for the client and try to find the best solution for them. Salespeople can sometimes be conflicted.

The majority of the time, the initial contact is via a phone conversation. Some initial Q&A will take place and the representative can, in most cases, discuss the solar possibilities in very broad terms. In order to present you with the most accurate information, they are likely to ask for a recent and complete copy of your electric bill. Once the company has had a chance to analyze it and survey your site via on-line tools, they will schedule a follow-up phone conversation where a more in-depth discussion of possibilities and options will take place. If the solar project features and benefits discussed in the follow-up call sound good to you, a site visit will be scheduled where a detailed, on-site data-gathering exercise will be performed followed by a thorough and comprehensive presentation of the analysis and proposal.

Some things to watch out for during this step: Did the solar representative ask you questions to determine what YOUR wants, needs, and expectations are? As the process moved along, did the solar representative listen to your feedback and make any necessary adjustments to better address whats best for you and your home? Did they try to get you to sign a contract before all of the necessary steps had been completed?

Good companies take the time to listen, ask the right questions, and give you an objective assessment of your possibilities. If short cuts are taken while trying to earn your business it should be no surprise if short cuts are taken once youve committed to a solar installation project.

The Site Assessment for a Solar Installation Project

Good solar companies always perform a thorough site assessment before preparing and presenting a formal proposal. During the solar site assessment visit, roof quality will be assessed, dimensions will be defined, structural components and characteristics are identified, a shading analysis is performed, and electrical service and components are evaluated and cataloged. Each of these steps is critical to a well-designed and well-executed solar project.

Presentation of the Results and Recommendations for Your Solar Project

A good solar company will look at your site objectively and look for solutions that best fit your needsnot theirs. You should still have the feeling that the solar company representative is a consultant, working with your best interests in mind. They should be looking to present the best solution for your unique site conditions, financial situation, and overall expectations for your solar installation.

A good solar company uses realistic numbers in their financial analysis of your solar project. The representative should disclose all variables used in the analysis and be able to discuss, in detail, how the results were calculated. For example, an average annual utility rate increase of 3% and an annual system derating factor of 0.5% is normal and customary in CT. A higher rate increase number or a lower derate factor would artificially increase your return-on-investment and lower the projected payback period. This could be a sign that the solar company is skewing the analysis to increase the attractiveness of the investment and raise their chances of closing the deal.

A good solar company will identify makes and models of all of the major components that are being proposed. They will use high-efficiency, current-model components on their projects or they should disclose why they have chosen not to. They will propose the layout of the system so you know exactly where all hardware will be placed and what the aesthetics will look like upon completion. There should be no surprises after the fact.

If you do not, at this point in the process, have a thorough understanding of the financial and technical aspects of the proposed solar project, KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS until you are satisfied. If the representative deflects or simply cant answer your questions about solar power and the specific details of their proposal, it may be a sign that the do not have your best interests at heart.

By now you should have the clarity and confidence to make a well informed decision about what is right for YOU. If its a good system design on a reasonable site, then the numbers speak for themselves. Always choose the best value as it relates to your situation, not the best price. If the features, benefits and return-on-investment are attractive, youll choose to proceed. If, based on objective and factual information, there isnt a solution that meets your needs, pass on it, confidently. When you are working with accurate and complete information, you remove doubt and insecurity from the equation. Make sure you are getting quality information from the solar company you are evaluating or, find another company. In a good solar experience, its never simply a decision to purchaseits an investment decision. Its a decision made by you and should be totally free of any anxiety.

Proceeding with Your Home Solar Power Installation

At this stage in the process electrical drawings, site plans, engineering drawings and other information is prepared for submission of building permit and utility interconnection applications. After several weeks, construction begins.

The solar installation process is precise and must be done correctly in order to avoid serious problems. A good solar company will not only have teams that fully understand the construction process, they will have team members that take pride in their work, are polite and courteous, and will treat your home like its their own. Clean up happens every day. Tools and equipment are stored neatly, every day. The homeowners are inconvenienced as little as possible. Sometimes, one act of carelessness that may seem unimportant to the many is the one thing that a client notices and remembers about the company, the team, and the experience. Good solar companies, with good teams, understand this and make sure their team members know that everything matters in the relationship and the experience.

Once construction completed, a building inspection will be completed and the utility company will be notified. Upon approval, the solar power system can finally be turned on. The solar company representative presents an owners manual to the homeowner. Contents of the manual are reviewed and the homeowner is given a tour of the system to identify components and their functionality. You can now start to enjoy the benefits of your solar system and, hopefully, if youve followed the advice above, you may have actually enjoyed the process. Good luck!

Still have questions? Visit our home solar - Frequently Asked Questions - page or - Contact Us - today. Were happy to answer any questions you may have.

href='' - -

Nov 21, 2016 at 06:45 o\clock

NBA's Utah Jazz Slam Dunks With new Solar Installation

Vivint Solar and NBA franchise Utah Jazz announced that they have teamed up to install more than 2,700 rooftop solar panels on the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 80,000 square foot, $125 million rooftop array will generate 700 kilowatts of power. That is equivalent to offsetting the of burning one million pounds of coalor providing enough electricity to power 100 homes annually.

"The top-to-bottom renovation of the arena has begun on the roof with the installation of solar panels, which reflects our desire to implement sustainable practices. The overall building transformation will incorporate environmental and energy improvements, enhance the experience for our guests, and return the arena to a first-class venue, said Jim Olson, president of the Vivint Smart Home Arena.Solar installation on Vivint Solar Arena. Courtesy Vivint Solar Arena

According to the American Lung Associations latest State of the Air report pollution from coal-fired power plants, high use of diesel fuel and increased temperatures have all been factors that have contributed high levels of carbon emissions in the Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. When the rooftop solar installation on Vivint Smart Home Arena is complete and as the renewable energy expands in Utah further, it can potential to significantly impact Salt Lake Citys poor air quality, which is ranked sixth worst in the nation by the American Lung Association.

Professional sports arenas and stadiums are some of the most visited locations in the United States. Sporting events give millions of fans a year an opportunity to experience and observe practical applications and benefits of solar power and other renewable energy sources in action. For instance, the NBAs - Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Center - became the first major sports venue of its size to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

"It was a privilege to couple our long-standing relationships with the Larry H. Miller Group and Vivint Solar to design and build a unique solar-powered solution for Vivint Smart Home Arena. We are proud to support this endeavor and emphasize our commitment to sustainability through transforming energy consumption for our customers. The scale and environmental impact of the installation is remarkable as it reduces the toxic load on our air quality by the equivalent of 31.7 million miles of vehicular traffic, said Richard Hunt, Hunt Electric CEO.

The Utah Jazz is not the only solar game in Salt Lake City. - Rio Tinto Stadium - , home of Major League Soccer teams Real Salt Lake and USL Real Monarchs, installed a 2-megawatt solar power system that provides 73 percent of the stadium's power needs." class="twitter-share-button" data-url="/news/nba-utah-jazz-slam-dunks-solar-102816/" data-lang="en - Tweet -

href='' - -

Nov 20, 2016 at 09:41 o\clock

Advantages of Solar Panels

The advantages of solar panels are nearly surreal for the user when changing from power plant produced energy. Executing solar panels as the primary energy source of either a dwelling or a commercial property means using beams from the sun instead and moving far from carbon dioxide that is dangerous creating systems. Solar panels convert beams in the sun into less harmful, more efficient, and useable energy.

The first advantage of using solar panels as an energy source is that when using solar energy, there's no emission of greenhouse gases. Converting the suns lift into energy is a method of getting energy that doesn't contain other chemical, gas, or any smoke byproducts. It has become increasingly important in recent years because nations across the world have begun to attempt executing approaches to reduce the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases and addressing the obligations surrounding climate change.

Solar panels also offer the alternative of continuous energy that is free. This implies that self reliant societies can exist. Most conventional forms of electricity are created using resources that were such as petroleum, coal, and gas; most frequently these resources have already been transported cross country. What this means is that individual societies rely on other societies to give them the resources needed to generate energy.

Solar energy can be used on or off power system. Off the grid means that the house just isn't connected to the power system, but they can still have access to the energy created by their solar panels. On the grid are merely living a hybrid vehicle type lifestyle, or usually means they are using other kinds of energy as a back-up for the solar energy.

Solar energy is just not subjected to the increased pricing of other fossil fuels. Normally, these fossil fuels become harder to get and more scarce, so the price increases because of how rare it truly is.

Solar panels are simple to install in Connecticut. All a homeowner has to do is call an expert. Afterward they describe the professional will relay any needed information or answer any questions and to the professional what services they desire. Subsequently the professionals install the solar panels, thus making the dwelling solar powered and more energy efficient and come out to the home. Thus, owners of commercial properties may also appreciate the advantages that getting solar panels and changing to solar energy offers. - -