July 13, 2008  As reported in Newsday



HACKENSACK, N.J. – Faced with rising fuel prices and decline state aid, many of New Jersey‘s towns are looking to cut energy costs.

The Record of Hackensack reports that some have staff working four-day weeks to save on air conditioning and lighting. Others are buying hybrid cars.

Paterson is using a state grant so that emergency generators at firehouses can run on solar panels.

Hackensack is encouraging its workers to car pool. Wayne cut half the overnight lighting at town hall and the library. Pequannock may increase police bicycle patrols.

Our Perspective:
With rising electric cost, we have found great interest among municipalities to look at alternative sources for providing their own electric. We are currently meeting with at least 6 municipalities and school boards.
The State of NJ is looking to implement a 1 time rebate in 2009 of $2.20 per kw upto $245,000. This along with the payment of Srecs. gaurenteed for 15 years, dramatically reduces the ROI and makes solar a viable investment.
To learn more about solar opportunities in NJ email HBS Solar george@hbsadvantage.com


What Is Solar Power?

July 11, 2008

Solar energy is among the cleanest forms of renewable energy on the planet. This important resource is being used across the Commonwealth.



Virtually all of the earth’s energy resources, including both fossil fuels and renewables, originate from the sun. Today, solar energy not only takes the form of the more basic passive solar design, but is also applied through highly advanced, cost-effective photovoltaic cells and other solar energy technologies. Solar energy can be divided into three major categories – passive solar, solar-thermal and photovoltaic.


Passive Solar

Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s structure to capture the sun’s heat, either storing or distributing it, reducing the need for conventional heating, cooling and/or lighting. Examples of passive solar design include large, south-facing windows, dark colored tile floors, stone fireplaces, brick interior walls, “sunspaces” (or greenhouses) and super-insulation. Passive solar buildings are often equipped with features, such as overhangs and ventilation systems, which keep them cool in the summer months and warm in the winter months. Commercial buildings present a different type of challenge than residential ones because of the heavy lighting and equipment use. The most crucial aspect of passive solar design for commercial buildings is the building orientation relative to the solar path. Other aspects of passive solar design, such as shade trees and indoor atriums, coupled with energy efficiency measures, can help increase the overall efficiency of a commercial building.



Power plants often use fossil fuels as a heat source to boil water. The steam from the boiling water then rotates a large turbine, activating a generator that produces electricity. Solar-thermal concentrating systems use sunlight as the heat source, eliminating the need for fossil fuels. There are three types of solar-thermal concentrating systems – parabolic troughs, parabolic dishes and central receivers. Parabolic troughs, primarily used for industrial purposes, are curved reflectors that focus sunlight into a line receiver in which fluid is heated. Parabolic dishes, also used in industrial applications, are bowl-shaped reflectors that focus sunlight into a small receiver through which passes a heat-transfer fluid. Central receivers, which have traditionally dominated the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar thermal program, are sun-tracking mirrors that focus sunlight onto a large receiver.


Photovoltaic Cells

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, or solar cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity. As the sun strikes a PV cell, the semi-conducting materials within the cell absorb the sunlight, producing electricity. Solar cells are often used as simple systems that power small calculators and wristwatches. More complicated systems provide electricity for pumping water, powering communications equipment, lighting homes, and running appliances. A series of solar cells form a PV array or “solar panel.” Between 10 and 50 solar panels are needed to power an average household. PV panels are installed on buildings in places of maximum sun and minimal shade in order to take full advantage of the sun’s power. There is very little maintenance required to sustain solar equipment. So long as panels are kept clean, they can last approximately 20 to 30 years.


Solar power can be used in a grid-tied system or in a distributed system. A solar grid-tied system links a series of solar panels through a power inverter to the utility’s electric grid. The solar panels generate a direct current (DC) by drawing on energy from the sun. The inverter then converts that direct current to an alternating current (AC), which electronic devices and appliances can use. Batteries are not necessary to supplement the system and any excess electricity generated by the solar panels is redirected by the inverter back into the grid where it can be used on other premises.


Distributed systems work independently from a utility’s electric grid, using batteries to store the power. Similar to a grid-tied system, distributed solar panels typically use a power inverter to convert the direct current from the sun into an alternating current, to be used on location. However, some systems function without an inverter and run only DC appliances.

HBS Solar … Smart Solutions for Smart Businesses

Email george@hbsadvantage.com to learn more about solar opportunities in Nj and the Phila area


At BP, our belief in the reliability and strength of solar energy is not only seen through our three decades of solar product design and manufacturing but also by being the world’s largest private sector consumer of solar power.

Growing every day

From automobiles to horserace tracks to wineries, solar technology is providing an ever-growing spectrum of practical applications that continue to improve our lives. BP Solar is committed to making access to this clean, renewable source of electricity a more affordable and accessible part of everyday life.

We invested in an expanded state-of-the-art facility in Frederick, Md. to more than double our production of solar panels. In fact, BP already is one of the world’s largest producers of solar panels.

Residential customers in southern California can visit one of many of The Home Depot® centers and purchase a complete home solar system via the BP Solar Home Solution program. This innovative program is available in many U.S. markets in states including New Jersey, California and New York.

In the commercial market, BP Solar has partnered with Sun Edison to create “SunE Solar Fund 1,” a $60 million fund that will be utilized to support the installation of as many as 25 U.S. solar electric systems. The funds kickoff by installing BP Solar Energy Solutions systems at several Staples stores in California and New Jersey. When fully operational, these three systems will generate a total of 680 kWh of electricity.

Always with an eye on the future and technological innovations, BP is again the corporate sponsor of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. This university competition encourages engineering and architectural teams to design, construct, transport and erect their own solar homes which will be displayed at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This program not only encourages pioneering ideas for future solar energy products but is a great avenue for promoting solar power to all people

U.S. manufacturing facility

BP’s solar manufacturing facilities are located in Spain, Australia, India and the United States. At our ISO-14001 certified Frederick facility, all elements of the solar product manufacturing process are vertically integrated, which allows us to ensure the overall quality of the finished products.

BP Solar recently completed a $25 million expansion of its Frederick facility, doubling production capabilities for solar modules at its U.S. headquarters.

This expansion will significantly increase the plant’s manufacturing abilities and will ensure BP remains the largest producer of solar silicon wafers in North America. Solar power products designed and manufactured in Frederick are used for commercial, residential and rural applications.

Bringing on star power

The power of the sun meets the power of Hollywood stars in the BP Solar Neighbors Program. Actor Edward Norton broached the idea of giving low-income families in Los Angeles access to solar power after he installed a BP Solar system in his own home. Norton’s vision was to develop a community partnership between BP and the Enterprise Foundation called the BP Solar Neighbors Program. Also joining in this ground-breaking collaboration is the Environmental Media Association.

              Every time an invited celebrity has a BP Solar system installed on his or her home, BP donates a system to a low-income family                   living  in South Central L.A. More than 25 families have received the gift of clean solar power through this program  to help    lower their electric bills.

Hutchinson Business Solutions is a proud strategic partner of BP Solar. Email george@hbsadvantage,com to learn more about solar opportunities in NJ and PA. Ask about out free proforma.

July 11, 2008


New Jersey’s Experiment With Solar Energy Is Watched by the Nation

Source:  Copyright 2008, New York Times
Date:  June 25, 2008
Byline:  Anthony DePALMA
Original URL

With oil prices skyrocketing, demand for solar power is booming. And New Jersey, which has used a rebate program to help install more solar panels than any other state but California, is getting burned by its own success.

There is a backlog of more than 700 applications for the rebates, and property owners have to wait months, even years, to get solar panels installed. The program, which is paid for by surcharges on all utility bills, has been shut down several times over the last three years because applications far outpaced rebate money. Some solar installation companies have had to lay off workers while they waited for rebate checks to be sent.

All this has convinced New Jersey regulators that it is time to wean solar energy from public subsidies altogether. The state plans to replace rebates with energy credits that can be bought and sold on the open market.

As it works out the details of the transition, New Jersey — not the place most people associate with solar innovations — finds itself at the forefront of a growing national debate about the role of government in helping stimulate this sector of the energy economy.

New York, Colorado, Maryland and several other states with incentive programs are considering whether to scale back public subsidies so solar power can compete more extensively in an open market. And they are confronting another difficult question: Is that best done by turning to a few large companies, or sticking with smaller businesses that can create more local jobs?

“Obviously, big systems get us to our goals much faster, but we want everybody to participate,” said Jeanne M. Fox, president of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities, which proposed the changes and is expected to give them final approval next month.

Ms. Fox said she believes it will be possible to phase out rebates, create a secure market for trading energy credits, welcome large solar system operators and still protect many — if not all — small installers.

But some of those smaller operators think the proposed transition will replace a proven success with an untested experiment from which they — the entrepreneurs who started the solar boom with the help of rebates — will be excluded.

“The state wants to build a market to suit big companies that have access to huge sources of capital,” said Bill Hoey, managing member of N.J. Solar Power L.L.C., a $10 million company. “They could just crush the mid- and small-size market.”

At SunEdison, one of the largest installers in the state and the nation, Mark R. Culpepper, the vice president for strategic marketing, enthusiastically supports New Jersey’s transition. He called it “a pretty normal market evolution” in which “very small players will probably go away, while small to mid-sized companies will be acquired by others or go into specific niche markets where they can specialize.”

Similar conflicts are arising all over the country, but the battle is most clearly drawn in New Jersey, where state officials feel compelled to act decisively.

Under a state energy master plan, solar power should account for 2.12 percent of New Jersey’s electricity by 2020. But even though more than 3,100 residential and commercial solar systems have been installed during the six years the state has offered rebates, they generate only 0.07 percent of current energy needs.

To reach even that, New Jersey has handed out more than $170 million in rebates. The Board of Public Utilities has estimated that if rebate rates remained unchanged, it would cost nearly $11 billion to get to the 2020 goal. According to state calculations, that would add about 7.5 percent to New Jersey electricity rates, which are already among the highest in the country.

“We need to do things differently because ratepayers can’t keep paying for rebates indefinitely,” Ms. Fox said.

Rebates, which have averaged $20,000 for residential projects and more than $1 million for large commercial installations, would virtually end this year under the state’s plan. A limited number for small residential projects producing less than 10 kilowatts would be phased out over the next four years.

In their place, the state would turn to a program it started several years ago that issues energy credits. The concept is simple: Solar projects generate energy credits every year, and the state requires utility companies like PSE&G to buy them to offset carbon emissions from their power plants and to help meet renewable-energy targets. By purchasing credits, the utilities do not actually generate solar power, but they offset the cost of installing and operating solar equipment.

New Jersey plans to greatly expand the program by allowing the credits to be bought and sold like commodities, with long-term contracts and prices set by the open market.

Regulators say that will be fairer to ratepayers and help the state reach its renewable-energy goals faster. They also say the plan provides safeguards for small installers and ensures competition by prohibiting any company from capturing more than 20 percent of a utility’s yearly credits.

But the small companies fear that large businesses are poised to take particular advantage of the credit system. Being bigger, they can handle more credits, cover more long-term commitments and secure more advantageous financing than mom-and-pop operations.

SunEdison, based in Maryland, has already made inroads in New Jersey using a new approach — called power purchase agreements — that smaller companies do not have the capital to duplicate.

Under those agreements, which the state first allowed in 2004, property owners do not have to buy or operate their solar projects, or handle the sale of energy credits. Instead, they avoid all up-front costs by contracting with SunEdison or other large companies, and bill property owners at fixed rates that are lower than utility company rates.

SunEdison has put up more than 22 solar systems in New Jersey, along with dozens in others states, mostly for large retail companies like Kohl’s.

Experts say these purchase agreements can promote the move to solar power. And regulators hope that a vibrant market for energy credits will speed that growth to the point where solar power can compete with conventionally generated electricity.

But Lyle K. Rawlings, president of Advanced Solar Products, in Hopewell N.J., and vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, said those attempts to make the solar market more competitive could backfire, actually hindering competition by squeezing out smaller companies.

He said that the state’s proposed safeguards did not go nearly far enough. While a portion of new projects would be subject for a few years to caps on how many credits one company can control, he said, those caps would not apply to existing solar installations.

“The model they’re creating is overcomplicated, fraught with uncertainty and really doesn’t protect the small installers who’ve created this industry,” Mr. Rawlings said. He said his own company had laid off 4 of its 15 workers in the last few months, and several New Jersey solar companies had gone out of business. “This is going to lead to a kind of unhealthy market concentration and chaos, like what’s already happened in other states.”

Blake Jones, president of Namaste Solar Electric, in Boulder, Colo., and a board member of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, said his state was considering changes similar to New Jersey’s.

He said a major goal of solar incentive programs is creating green jobs. “On a per-kilowatt basis, more jobs, more local business and more rural economic development is created by small projects and small businesses than medium or large ones,” he said.

In Maryland, installers hope to persuade regulators to raise the value of energy credits in order to provide more income for small companies.

New York is several steps behind the other states in developing its solar market because of regulations that have limited solar installations to small-scale residential projects. Installers there are watching what happens in New Jersey because they expect to enter a similar debate in the next few years.

To learn more about solar opportunities in NJ email george@hbsadvantage.com . Ask about our free proforma.


New Jersey has a backlog of more than 700 applications for solar power rebates, and property owners have to wait months, even years, to get solar panels installed, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said the program, which is paid for by surcharges on all utility bills, has been shut down several times during the past three years because applications far outpaced rebate money. Some solar installation companies have had to lay off workers while they waited for rebate checks to be sent.

All this has convinced New Jersey regulators, the report said, that it is time to wean solar energy from public subsidies. The state plans to replace rebates with tradeable energy credits.

With oil prices skyrocketing, demand for solar power is booming, the report said, and the decision is significant because New Jersey has used the rebate program to help install more solar panels than any other state but California.

“We need to do things differently because ratepayers can’t keep paying for rebates indefinitely,” Jeanne Fox, president of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities, told The Times.

Our Perspective:

NJ is taking great strides to introduce solar and other forms of alternative energy resources. Faced with an annual projected 1.5% increase in energy demand over the next 8 to 10 years, they fear they will be unable to meet the demand. As a result they have introduces a Energy Master Plan calling for a decrease in demand by 20% by the year 2020. They have also established as a goal to have 22.5% of their energy produced by alternative resources ( solar, wind, geothermal ) by the year 2020.

To provide incentives they have reworked the SREC ( solar renewable energy certificates ) program, increasing the value of the SREC from just over $200 TO $711 as of 6/1/08. The SREC is a commodity that will be traded, you will be assigned a SREC account as soon as a solar panel has been installed and you are producing electricity. One SREC will be paid for every 1000kw of electric produded.

The SREC program is designed to cover 60% – 70% of the installation cost of a solar system. My calculations show that it will cover the cost of the installation over a 15 year period. The payment of The SRECs along with the 30% Federal Energy Tax Credit makes this a home run for businesses.

Gov Rendell is busy persuing a similar plan to promote solar in PA. More on that as the news becomes available.

Bottom Line

With the inabilty to build new power plants to meet the growing demand for energy, the providers are using these funds to underwrite the opportunity of making you the provider and pulling usage off the grid.

Solar has come full circle and has become the talk of the town.

Solar…The New Sexy

Would you like to know more about solar opportunities in NJ and the surrounding Phila areas email george@hbsadvantage.com

Below is a state by state list of current solar tax incentives. Many are being updated, such as NJ and PA, We will bring them to you as they are published.

Solar Tax Incentives


Residential Direct Incentive

Residential Tax Credit

Non-Residential Direct Incentive

Commercial Tax Credit

Net Mettering

Sales Tax

Property Tax



TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA $0.20/kWh_10 yrs.







Golden Valley: up to $1.50/kWh_25 kW


Golden Valley: up to $1.50/kWh_25 kW





AEA Local Gov’t Loan





APS: $3/W grid-tied or $2/W_off-grid_=5 kW;
SRP: $3/W_=10 kW;
Sulphur Springs: $4/W_$8K;
TEP: $2-3/W_1.2kW-15kW;
Trico: $4/W_$8K;
UES: $3/W_1.2kW-15kW






APS: $2.50/W or PBI_$500K;
SRP: $3/W_=10 kW / $2.50/W_>10 kW_$500K;
Sulphur Springs: $4/W_$20K
TEP: $2.50/W_$250K;
UES: $3/W_1.2kW-15kW







SRP (Res.)


























CPUC: $2.50/W;
CEC: $2.50-$2.60/W (new homes);
Municipal utilities: $2/W-$4/W;
Marin Cty: $500


CPUC: $2.50-$3.25/W_<100 kW;
CPUC: $0.39-$0.50/kWh_
5 yrs._=100kW;
Municipal utilities: $2/W -$4/W;
Marin Cty $500









SMUD (Res.): 7.5%_10 yrs.






Xcel: $4.50/W_=10kW
Aquila: $5/W_=10kW;
CSU: $3.75/W_=10kW;
Aspen: $2/W_$6K;
Holy Cross: $2/W_$50K



Xcel: $4.50/W_=10kW / $2/W+ $0.115/kWh_>10kW-100kW / RFP for >100kW;
Aquila: $5/W_=10kW / $3.50/W >10kW-100kW;
CSU: $3.75/W_=25kW;
Holy Cross: $2/W_$50K








Aspen (Res.): 0%_5 yrs.;
Gunnison: $25K_10 yrs._5%





CCEF: $5/W for 1st 5kW; $4.30/W next 5kW_$46,500;
Mass Energy: $0.06/kWh, 3 yrs.


CCEF: $5/W_$50K; (non-profit/gov’t);
CCEF: $5/W_$4M_>10 kW









CHIF (Res.): 1%-6%_10 yrs.;
DPUC: financing terms vary_>50 kW;


GEP: 50%_$22,500


GEP: 50%_$250K







DEP: $4/W_$20K
GRU: $1.50/W_$15K


DEP: $4/W_$100K;
DEP: Demo Grants;
GRU: $1.50/W_$15K

$0.01/kWh thru 6/30/10 (sold to unrelated party)

JEA (Res.);





TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA: $0.20/kWh_10 yrs.





Satilla REMC (Res.): $25K_10yrs.











NWSC: 5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09

100% deduction

BEF Grants / BEF Solar Schools;
NWSC: 5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09


ID Power;
Rocky Mtn.

(>25 kW)


IDWR Loan: 4%_5 yrs._$100K


RERP: 30%_$10K


RERP: 30%_$10K;
ICECF Grants (non-profit/gov’t)











Y (Res./






Independence L&P: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual output)_$10K



Independence L&P: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual output)_$10K


$0.015/kWh_10 yrs. (sold to unrelated party)








AERLP: 50% rate reduction_20 yrs._$250K;
IEB Non-profit/Gov’t Loan











TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA $0.20/kWh_10yrs.














HELP (Res.) 2%_$6K




RRMF: $50K_50%







MEA: 20%_$3,000


20-25% incremental cost (multi-fam. green bldg.)

MEA: 20%_$5,000

20-25% incremental cost
(green bldg.);
$0.0085/kWh_5 yrs. (sold to unrelated party)






MEA Community Loan: 3%_7yrs._$600K;
MEA State Agency Loan: 0%



MTC: $2+/W_=10kW;
Mass Energy: $0.06/kWh, 3 yrs.




MTC: $2+/W_=10 kW /
MTC: $2.25+/W_$250K (>10kW);
Mass Energy: $0.06/kWh, 3 yrs.

100% deduction;
100% exempt.











Participating WPPI munies: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual output)_$10K


DLEG: Demo Grant 90%_$50K
Participating WPPI munis: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual output)_$10K












MDC: $2/W_$20,000;
MN Power: $2/W_$4,000;
GRE co-ops: $2/W_$4K;
Austin PU : = $1/kWh_40kW;
Owatonna PU: = $1/kWh_40kW;
Rochester PU: =$1/kWh_40kW


MDC: $2/W_$20,000;
MN Power: $2/W_$4,000;
GRE co-ops: $2/W_$4K;
Austin PU : = $1/kWh_40kW;
Owatonna PU: = $1/kWh_40kW;
Rochester PU: =$1/kWh_40kW
















TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA: $0.20/kWh_10 yrs.





MDA Bus. Loan 3%<prime_ 85%_$300K_7 yrs.









DNR Non-profit/Gov’t Loan



5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09



BEF grant / BEF Solar Schools;
5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09








AERLP: 5%_$40K_10 yrs.









Energy Loan:
50% rate reduction
_$175K_10 yrs.



Power : $2.50/W_


NV/Sierra Power: $2.50/W_$75K (com.) / $5/W_$150K (gov’t);
Portfolio Energy Credits








New Hampshire







(L) (Res.)

NHBRC (Com.): $10K min._7 yrs.

New Jersey


NJ CEP: $3.80/W_$38K
RPS Solar RECs





NJ CEP: $3.80/W (com.) / $4.40/W (non-profit/gov’t), lower amt for >10kW; RPS Solar RECs






New Mexico


PMN: $0.13/kWh thru 2018_=10kW



PMN: $0.13/kWh thru 2018_=10kW




30%_$9,000 (non-corporate);
$0.015-$0.04/kWh_ 10yrs._=1 MW






New York



LIPA: $3.75/W_=10kW;
NYSERDA: $4-$4.50/W 1st 5kW, $3-$3.50/W next 5kW_60%


5-20% incrementa
$3/W (multi-fam. green bldg.)


LIPA $3.75/W (com.); $4.75/W (non-profit/gov’t)_=10kW;
NYSERDA: $4-$4.50/W 1st 25kW, $3-$3.50 next 25kW_=50kW (com.) / $5/W 1st 25kW, $4/W next 25kW (schools/non-profits)

5-20% incremental. costs_$3/W (green bldg.)















NYSERDA: 4% below mkt._
10 yrs.



North Carolina


NCGP: ~$0.18/kWh;
TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.



NCGP ~$0.18/kWh;
TVA: $0.20/kWh_10 yrs.







EILP : 1%_10 yrs._$500K (non-res.)

North Dakota










ODOD: $3.50/W_$25K


ODOD: $3.50/W_=10kW / lower amt. for >10kW_$150K





ODOD: 50% interest rate reduction_$5K-$25K_5 yrs.





10 yrs._=50 MW









Energy Trust:
BEF: $0.10/k
CPI: $500/kW;
5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09

$3/W_50%_ $6,000




Energy Trust: $1.25-$1.50/W 1st 30 kW, $1-$1.25/W next 20kW;
BEF Grant / BEF Solar Schools;
Ashland: $2.25/W_$10K;
NWSC: 5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09

35% credit _$3.5M













SELP 4.9-6.95%_5-15 yrs._$20K -20M






Regional Clean Energy Funds



DEP: Energy Harvest Grant
PEDA: Energy Grants
Regional Clean Energy Funds





Regional Clean Energy Funds
PEDA: Project Financing
(Res.): 7.99%_
$10K_10 yrs.

Rhode Island

People’s P&L $0.06/kWh, 3 yrs.


People’s P&L $0.06/kWh_3 yrs.






South Carolina









South Dakota










TVA: $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA : $0.20/kWh_10yrs.;
TN-CET: 40%_$75,000





DECD (Sm. Bus.): 0%-3%_$100K_7 yrs.


Austin: $4.50/W_


Austin: $4.50/W_







St. George: $2/W_


St. George: $2/W_$20K_=10kW








VEIC: $1.75/W_$8,750 (res.);
$3.50/W_$35K (multi-fam., low-income)


VEIC: $1.75/W_$8,750








TVA $500 + $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.


TVA $0.15/kWh_10 yrs.












DOR $0.15-$0.54/kWh_10 yrs._$2K/yr.;
Chelan PUD: up to $1.50/kWh;
Clallam Cty: $500/kW;
Franklin PUD: $500/kW;
Klickitat: $400/kW_$1,200
Okanogan: up to $1/kWh;
Orcas: $1.50/W_$4,500;
Puget Sound: $525-$600;
NWSC: 5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09


DOR $0.15 – $0.54/kWh_10 yrs._$2K/yr.;
BEF Grant / BEF Solar Schools;
Chelan PUD: up to $1.50/kWh;
Klickitat PUD: $400/kW_$1,200;
Okanogan: up to $1/kWh;
Orcas: $1.50/W_$4,500;
NWSC: 5¢/kWh thru 12/31/09


















Clallam Cty (Res.)
Clark PUD (Res.)
Franklin Cty (Res.)
Grays Harbor
Ferry Cty PUD (Res.)
Klickitat PUD (Res.)




West Virginia
















FOE: $1.50/kWh est. annual output_25%_
Participating WPPI munis: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual output)_$10K;
WE Energies: $0.225/kWh_10 yrs._1.5kW-100kW




FOE: $1.50/kWh est. annual output_25%_
FOE: $1/kWh est. annual output (com.); $1.50/kWh (non-profit/gov’t)_25
Participating WPPI munis: $1-$3/kWh (est. annual kWh)_$10K;
WE Energies: $0.225/kWh_10 yrs._1.5kW-100kW / $5/W_$2M_100kW-400kW;





WPPI (participating munis): $2.5K – $20K_


WBC: 50%_$3,000








* = one or more utilities not subject to state net metering rules offer it; Y = Yes; (U) Offered by select utilities: (L) Local option to provide property tax exemption

To find out more information about solar opportunties or receive a free proforma email george@hbsadvantage.com

Note: Proformas apply to those living in the South Jersey and Philadelphia surrounding areas.


As reported in Bloomberg


July 10 (Bloomberg) — The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits climbed to the highest level since December 2003, reflecting a deteriorating job market that threatens to hurt consumer spending.


The total number of people collecting benefits rose 91,000 to 3.202 million for the week ended June 28, the Labor Department said today in Washington. First-time jobless claims fell more than forecast in the week ending July 5 to 346,000, a figure distorted by annual July shutdowns at auto plants.


Rising unemployment will contribute to the weakest gain in consumer spending since 1991 by the final three months of the year, according to a monthly survey of economists by Bloomberg News. Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee-shop chain, and IndyMac Bancorp Inc., a lender hurt by the mortgage collapse, are among companies announcing job cuts this month.


“The important thing here is the continuing rise in continuing claims,” said Russell Price, senior economist at H&R Block Financial Advisors Inc. in Detroit. “It shows a pattern that the labor market continues to deteriorate, and the people laid off are certainly having a difficult time finding employment.”

Our Perspective:

The fragile economy continues to play havoc with the job market. Uncertainty rules. What is being done to look forward, get the economy and job market moving again? This is a discussion that is needed.

Sore subject

I am not trying to be controversial, in the past the government instituted workfare programs designed to rebuild our infrastructure. Our infrastructure is falling apart and steps must be taken to improve and modernize them. Could workfare provide an avenue? This would improve the quality of life thruout the US and also get the masses back to work. 

This is only one idea, I am sure there are many mre that can be brought forward to keep America moving.

Let us know your thoughts?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

WASHINGTON — Federal policy makers have concluded that the turmoil plaguing the housing and financial markets is likely to spill deep into 2009, becoming one of the most significant domestic problems to confront the next president when he steps into the White House in January.


Ben S Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, publicly indicated on Tuesday that he believes the problems will persist into next year when he outlined a series of steps the Fed is considering in the coming months.  


One such step would extend low-interest lending programs to Wall Street’s largest investment banks into next year. The programs, one of which was set to expire in September, can continue only if the Fed issues a finding that there are “unusual and exigent circumstances” that justify them.


Mr. Bernanke also recommended that Congress grant the Fed broader authority to monitor and supervise the financial markets to assure greater stability in the future. But with time running out on this session, lawmakers are unlikely to adopt such legislation before next year.


Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said in a speech last week in London that the problems of the housing and financial markets might last longer than originally expected.

He followed up in another speech on Tuesday by saying that the Bush administration was working to prevent as many home foreclosures as possible, but that “many of today’s unusually high number of foreclosures are not preventable.” Mr. Paulson said 1.5 million home foreclosures were started in 2007 and that an estimated 2.5 million more would take place this year.


Still, the markets seemed reassured that Washington officials were redoubling their efforts to resuscitate the weak housing sector, despite the downbeat comments. The Dow Jones industrial average, which has fallen sharply in recent weeks, closed up 1.4 percent, or 152 points.


Mr. Bernanke said that the Fed would issue next week long-awaited rules to restrict new exotic mortgages and high-cost loans for people with weak credit. Such mortgages have been a central cause of the current market problems.


The Federal Housing Administration will also begin an expanded effort next week to help a larger group of troubled homeowners refinance their adjustable mortgages. Under the plan, homeowners would be eligible to refinance even if they have missed up to three monthly mortgage payments over the previous 12 months.


Homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments because of job loss, declining wages and family illness would also be eligible, even if their rates have not increased. Homeowners are now eligible only if they were current on their mortgages before their interest rate was adjusted upward.


For its part, Congress is close to completing legislation on a $300 billion foreclosure-rescue plan that would help troubled borrowers refinance into more affordable loans insured by the federal government. The Senate is expected to approve a measure by next week.


The Fed created the lending programs to Wall Street in March as part of a broader effort to prevent financial institutions from collapsing, as Bear Stearns nearly did before it was sold under heavy pressure from the Fed and the Bush administration to JPMorgan Chase.

The lending programs to the investment banks, a broad expansion of the Fed’s historic practice of providing loans only to commercial banks that the Fed supervises, are intended to provide confidence to financial institutions that they will have enough cash to meet their daily needs. And by permitting investment banks to post collateral for Fed loans, including hard-to-sell financial instruments backed by mortgages, the programs have helped prop up the enormous and troubled market in securities sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the all-important mortgage-finance companies.


The two buyers of mortgages, which together held more than $1.4 trillion of mortgage-backed bonds as of the end of last year, have struggled in recent months through the wave of foreclosures and declining housing markets. On Tuesday, Fannie Mae closed up nearly 12 percent, and Freddie Mac rose 13 percent, after their regulator said he would probably not force them to raise more capital because of an accounting rule change. The shares of both government-chartered companies had tumbled on Monday amid concerns over the accounting rule and worries that the worst of the mortgage crisis was yet to come.


Officials said that the Federal Reserve remained concerned that the declining housing market would not reach its bottom and financial markets would not become more stable before some time next year, and that the economy would continue to suffer as a result of declining consumer confidence, a sluggish global economy and the widespread effects of the rapid jump in oil prices.


“The financial turmoil is ongoing, and our efforts today are concentrated on helping the financial system return to more normal functioning,” Mr. Bernanke said at a forum in Virginia on lending for low- and moderate-income households. He did not provide a forecast of how soon he expected markets would begin to turn.


“Although short-term funding markets remain strained, they have improved somewhat since March,” Mr. Bernanke said, reflecting both the intervention of the Fed in offering loans to Wall Street and “ongoing efforts of financial firms to repair their balance sheets and increase their liquidity.”



Officials said that the Fed privately reached the view some time ago that weakness in the housing and financial sectors would likely continue well into next year. Mr. Bernanke’s comments Tuesday were not intended to signal any change in interest-rate policy.



In his speech in London, Mr. Paulson emphasized that the financial markets have yet to adapt to the changing climate. “Working through the current turmoil will take additional time, as markets and financial institutions continue to reassess risk, and re-price securities across a number of asset classes and sectors,” Mr. Paulson said.


The Federal Housing Administration’s expanded program to help more troubled homeowners refinance, called F.H.A. Secure, was announced in April at a time when fewer than 2,000 homeowners at risk of foreclosure had been helped by it. Housing Secretary Steven C. Preston said the expanded program would help an additional 100,000 borrowers in crisis by the end of the year. So far, more than 260,000 homeowners have refinanced through the program, the vast majority of them people who have paid their bills on time. Mr. Preston predicted that 500,000 families would be helped by year’s end.


Mr. Preston warned, however, that F.H.A.’s efforts could be derailed if Congress passed housing legislation that failed to safeguard the agency’s financial stability. He said he was concerned about efforts to eliminate the agency’s plans to use risk-based pricing, which would allow F.H.A. for the first time to charge higher mortgage insurance premiums to borrowers viewed as presenting a higher credit risk.


He said he was also concerned about efforts by some lawmakers to maintain an agency program in which the seller finances the down payment on a mortgage. The program has suffered high delinquency and foreclosure rates in recent years, and the F.H.A. hopes to eliminate it.


If the Senate, as expected, adopts housing legislation by next week, differences need to be ironed out in the House, which approved a similar measure in May. Though the White House has expressed some willingness to negotiate, the administration has not rescinded a veto threat.


Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, urged Republican lawmakers to speed up the bill, which has been slowed by a procedural fight despite broad support among lawmakers in both parties. “Since the last stall on the housing bill, 85,000 more Americans have received foreclosure notices — 8,500 a day,” Mr. Reid said. “Tomorrow it will be over 90,000. Every day they squander the Senate’s precious time, the American people lose.”
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WASHINGTON — The government said Wednesday it is calling off a recently announced moratorium on applications to build solar plants on public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management made the announcement after public opposition to its original decision, reached at the end of May.

The BLM had wanted to put new applications for solar plants on federal land on hold while undertaking a comprehensive review of potential environmental impacts from such plants. That review was not scheduled for completion until May 2010.

Meanwhile, BLM planned to keep processing the applications it’s already received for 125 proposed solar projects on about 1 million acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

BLM has yet to approve a solar project on federal land; the solar projects already built or under way in this country are on private property.

Still, industry officials already impatient about the BLM’s pace worried that putting a stop to new applications would allow other industries to lay claim to federal land that could go to solar. They feared it would also send the wrong signal to potential investors just as the solar industry is getting started.

“Hitting the brakes before we’d really gotten off the ground was definitely a scary prospect for the industry,” said Katherine Gensler, manager of regulatory and legislative affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association.

BLM Director James Caswell said the agency’s action Wednesday was intended to address such concerns.

“By continuing to accept and process new applications for solar energy projects, we will aggressively help meet growing interest in renewable energy sources, while ensuring environmental protections,” he said in a statement.

Just this week, while officiating at the opening of a solar manufacturing plant in his home state of Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had vowed to get BLM to overturn the moratorium.

Nevada is more than 85 percent federal land and is a prime destination for solar because of its climate and terrain.

“Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of solar energy and is poised to lead a global clean energy revolution, and we need to do all we can to encourage public and private investment in projects to develop this amazing potential,” Reid, a Democrat, said in a statement praising BLM’s decision.

The BLM’s environmental review is taking place in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, the states deemed to contain public lands with solar resources.

BLM’s decision to reverse the solar application moratorium comes as the alternative energy industry remains jittery about another issue: a $6 billion package of alternative energy tax credits, including about $1.3 billion for solar, that’s gotten stalled in Congress. Reid wants to get that resolved after lawmakers return from the July 4 holiday.

There are currently nine utility-scale solar plants in the U.S. capable of producing a combined 425 megawatts of solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Solar industry officials and environmental groups agreed that BLM, which has granted numerous leases to the oil and gas industry, needs to move faster on the solar proposals.

“The real problem here is that the Bush administration is starving key government agencies of the resources they need to effectively do their jobs,” said Carl Pope, Sierra Club executive director

Our Perspective:

Both the Federal Government and the States are realizing that new alternative sources are needed to meet the growing demand.

Is nuclear the answer? They still have not found a solution fowhat to do with the spent fuel. You just can’t keep burying it. If a solution is found, this will help to meet future demand. In the meantime, incentive are being provided for alternative sources such as solar ,wind and geothermal.

To learn more about solar opportunities in NJ and PA email george@hbsadvantage.com


A Michigan company, Energy Conversion Devices, plans to announce Tuesday that it is providing the solar electric system for what it says will be the world’s largest rooftop array, on a General Motors assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain. The project will be 12 megawatts, a huge number in a field where most arrays are measured in kilowatts, units 1,000 times smaller.

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The project will use solar devices manufactured in rolls, like carpet runners. Installation will be completed this fall, according to the company, which is based in Rochester Hills, Mich. Energy Conversion will supply the equipment to Veolia Environment and Clairvoyant Energy, which will lease the rooftop space from G.M. and own and operate the installation, which will be two million square feet.


Spain has become a center of solar installations because it offers generous subsidies, 0.42 euro a kilowatt-hour (66 cents). That is about five times the average cost of a kilowatt hour to residential customers in the United States. The Spanish government is considering a reduction in the subsidy for installations after September.


Energy Conversion plans to produce about 150 megawatts of cells this year. Last month, the company raised $400 million in new capital and announced plans to raise its annual production to 1 gigawatt, or 1,000 megawatts, by 2012. The company did not say what the Zaragoza installation would cost.


Solar cell arrays on houses are commonly a handful of kilowatts, or thousandths of a megawatt. On big commercial buildings, installations of one or two megawatts have become common. A one-megawatt installation will run about 1,000 window air-conditioners simultaneously, at least as long as the sun is shining.


According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group based in Washington, the largest installation planned in the United States, announced in June, was in Atlantic City, where the convention center will have 2.36 megawatts, about one-fifth the size of the installation to be completed in Spain.


Southern California Edison announced in March that it would install 250 megawatts of rooftop solar arrays, spread over 100 or more roofs.


Our Perspective:


With the demand for energy projected to grow at 1.5% a year for the next 8 to 10 years, you will be seeing a lot of these solar installations popping up. The providers will not be able to build sufficient new plants to help meet to rising demand so the alternative is to incentize businesses and homeowners to become their own source of electric. New incentives have been initiated to provide a ROI that finally makes sense.


NJ is planning to issue rebates of $3 per kwh for non profits, municipal properties and homeowners. Add to this the payment of SRECs (solar renewable energy certificates ) and the majority of the cost is underwritten by the state and the provider.

PA is also looking to roll at a program, more on that as it develops.


To learn more about solar opportunities in the NJ and PA area email george@hbsadvantage.com


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