The state of Florida is soon going to get three new solar power plants. After all, such a request from the Florida Power and Light Company has just been given the go signal by the Florida Public Service Commission just this week, the South Florida Business Journal wrote. In an approximation, such plants would be able to create 110 megawatts and that is sure a huge amount of power. These three new solar power plants would be known as the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center (which would be built in Martin County), the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center (which would be in DeSoto County), and the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center (which would be located in the Kennedy Space Center). With these three new plants soon going to rise, the residents of Florida would sure be benefiting a lot from them. If only all states would have solar centers like these.
Perspective:
This is great news! Florida is taking a big step to secure their energy future. In the next 3 to 5 years you are going to be seeing more of these initiatives. NJ has passed an Energy Plan that calls for reducing electric demand by 20% by the year 2020. To do this they have set a goal of having 22.5% of their energy produced by alternative means by the year 2020.
NJ providers, ( PSEG, AC Electric)  are paying SRECs for every 1000 kwh of electricity produced. These SRECs will be paid for 15 years and are designed to cover over 70% of the investment. Most of the proformas we have done show the SRECs covering the entire cost over a 15 year period. Add to this the 30% federal tax credit and the value of the electricity you are producing and you are in a positive cash flow in year 1.
To learn more about solar opportunities in NJ and the Phila area contact HBS Solar 856-857-1230 or 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

 

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

 

Visit our website www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com to learn more about opportunities to create savings.

 

As reported in BUZZFLASH
by Amy Weiss

 

While the Bush administration put a two-year moratorium on solar energy projects on public land last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and colleagues drafted a bill to promote the creation of 10 million new solar rooftops in private homes and businesses over the next ten years.

 

The bill, co-sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Arlen Specter (R-PA), John Warner (R-VA), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), provides incentives for solar unit installation, covering about half the average costs.

 

The proposed units are photovoltaic systems that use panels to turn sunlight into energy. The moratorium suspended both photovoltaic and concentrating solar plants–concentrating plants use mirrors to direct light to power steam turbines.

 

Sen. Sanders said in a statement Tuesday that the benefits of the bill, known as the 10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2008, would be numerous:

 

We can reverse greenhouse gas emissions. We can break our dependence on foreign oil. Transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels can be a tremendous boom for the United States economy and create millions of good-paying jobs. This is a win, win, win situation.

 

Solar energy companies have been critical of the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to halt new solar endeavors, understanding that a review is necessary but claiming that freezing the process altogether doesn’t make sense.

 

“It doesn’t make any sense … This could completely stunt the growth of the industry,” one solar company executive told the New York Times.

 

The director of a renewable energy trade group said in the same article, “I think it’s good to have a plan … but I don’t think we need to stop development in its tracks.”

Michael Briggs, a spokesman for Sen. Sanders, told BuzzFlash that the bill was in the works before the Bureau of Land Management’s moratorium. He also emphasized the importance of solar in solving current energy and environmental issues.

 

“Clearly we’re at a time with oil prices setting records practically everyday and with the prospect of global warming that is going on,” he said. “Solar energy is going to be a key part of responding to both of those forces.”

 

Briggs anticipates the response once the bill is passed will be very positive. He said the experience in state programs that the bill is modeled after, like those in New Jersey and California, has been “that the technology is there, it’s just a matter of making it available and at competitive prices. People want to do this and I think the impact would be dramatic.”

 

Sen. Sanders, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will participate in a hearing in Albuquerque, NM on Wednesday led by Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to “consider the value and examine the progress of electricity generation from concentrating solar power.” Briggs expects the Bureau of Land Management’s moratorium will come up at the hearing.

 

Our perspective:

 

Over the next 8 to 10 years electric demand is projected to increase at a rate of 1.5% a year. The dilemma is that we will not be able to provide the needed electric to support the additional demand. The state of NJ has implemented an energy master plan to reduce demand by 20% by the year 2020. They have also established a goal of having 22.5% of the electric provided by alternative sources, solar being one of them. Gov. Corzine recognizes that alternative energy is the future and  have drafted plans to provide incentives that will dramatically defray the cost of participating.

 

NJ has established a SREC ( solar renewable energy certificate ) program that will pay $711 for every 1000kwh of electric you produce. The SCEC are a commodity paid by the local electric provider for producing your own electric and payments are guaranteed for 15 year.  NJ is also looking to provide additional incentives to homeowners to offset the $2000 cap on the federal tax credit.

 

PA is looking to put their foot into the arena and details of their incentive program should be out shortly. Stay tuned for we will be reporting on them as soon as they become available.

 

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

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions

 

Your CFO on The Go

 

Creating Opportunities Today … Defining Savings for Tomorrow

 

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

Merck wants to go solar

June 23, 2008

 

As reported in NJ.com

 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

 

By Veronica Slaght

 

READINGTON TWP. — By the end of this year, Merck & Co. could start growing an unusual crop — clean energy — from a seven-acre field of solar panels. The drug corporation hopes to install the solar panels out of sight of the road on the north end of its 1,003-acre headquarters off Route 523, pending approval by the township Planning Board.

 

The board responded favorably to their concept proposal Monday night, and unanimously decided that a variance isn’t needed for the project, at the recommendation of board attorney Valerie Kimson. SunPower Corp., which would install the system for Merck, said they will return to the board with a formal site plan in the coming weeks.

 

According to Igor Saulsky, senior project development manager for SunPower, the panels would generate from 6 to 10% of the electricity used by Merck. None of the power would be exported off the property. The system will be installed near the existing electric substations.

 

Mr. Saulsky, a Tewksbury resident, said the panels would harness about two million kilowatt hours of energy a year. The average American household consumes around 10,000 kilowatt hours a year, according to the federal Department of Energy, so these panels could run about 200 homes per year.

 

They would be attached to long axles and set up in rows, with a small motor rotating them so that they’re always facing the sun. They’d be stored in a tilted position at night, so any rainwater could run off. According to Mr. Saulsky, the panels won’t prevent rainwater from getting to the soil. They’re installed by drilling very small holes in the ground. Grass will be able to grow around and underneath the installation. He’s even seen sheep grazing between the panels of a similar system they set up in Europe. The panels aren’t very reflective because they’re designed to absorb light, “like a roach motel for photons,” said Mr. Saulsky.

 

Township Committeewoman Julia Allen, a board member, when this technology will become obsolete. Mr. Saulsky said solar panels are “very mature” — they’ve been around since 1954 — so the technology doesn’t change that much, and the life projection for this system is 30 years or more. Board member Cheryl Filler wanted to know whether any trees would be cut down. Some other board concerns are whether the system will increase impervious coverage and whether it will meet setback requirements.

Merck would like to put in the panels by the end of the year because the company wants to make use of federal tax credits that will expire.

 

The field of panels would be constructed by SunPower, under contract with Merck, but United Technologies would finance, own and maintain the system. SunPower is a 3,000-employee company that’s built 450 large-scale solar installations like this one all over the world.

 

Note:

 

Although our company is not providing the solar installation, we wanted to keep you informed of the growing interest in solar energy. NJ has taken the lead nationally to provide incentives to raise the level of interest in alternative energy.

 

Would you like to know more about the solar evolution? Email george@hbsadvantage.com  

 

On any sunny day at the Pennsauken Landfill, 13,000 solar panels sit quietly atop 15 acres of sealed-up garbage, pumping out the power.

 

When finished in February, it was called the biggest solar project east of the Mississippi.

But not for long. Work began in March on an even bigger spread, a 16.5-acre array of 17,000 panels next to the GROWS Landfill in Lower Bucks.

 

And this week, the Atlantic City Convention Center announced plans for panels atop its roof, in what executives say will be the largest single-building solar-energy project in the United States.

 

With solar energy on the rise, there’s likely no end in sight to the leapfrogging claims of “biggest.”

 

The nation and the region are seeing a burst in solar-power projects, especially in New Jersey, now the nation’s second-largest solar market after California.

 

The newest incarnation are mini-power plants, like those above, that power energy-hungry facilities or just feed the electrical grid.

 

Long built by idealists, these solar systems now can pay for themselves in less than five years, at least in New Jersey, where incentives are high. Energy costs also can be locked in, insulating companies from future price hikes.

 

“This is just the beginning of a huge potential,” said Steve Gabrielle, who helps develop renewable energy projects for PPL Corp., the utility that owns the Pennsauken installation.

 

Solar companies are scouting the region’s rooftops and vacant land, intent on moving quickly if Congress decides to extend a tax credit, enabling firms to recoup 30 percent of a commercial system’s cost.

 

New Jersey’s rebates for homeowners and businesses this year are oversubscribed. Applicants are being put in a queue for next year’s funds.

 

Growth has lagged so far in Pennsylvania, but that could change quickly. Incentives are being debated in the Pennsylvania legislature that could reenergize the state’s lapsed rebates.

 

One financial benefit of solar is its predictability. The system has a set cost up front; after that, the fuel – sunlight – is free.

 

That allows solar generators to offer long-term contracts for energy prices to large customers. For instance, much of the power from the Pennsauken array goes to a nearby customer, the Aluminum Shapes foundry.

 

The Atlantic City project will be built and owned by Pepco Energy Services of Virginia, which has a 20-year contract to sell the power back to the Convention Center, saving it about $4.4 million in energy costs.

 

These “power purchase agreements” are the financial backbone of many new deals. They allow firms to do what they do best under their roofs, while solar companies reap the potential from atop their roofs.

 

Those who have watched the growth – such as Philadelphia’s Andrew Kleeman, who left the real estate consulting and investment world last year to begin a solar-power company, EOS Energy Solutions – have noted how even the key players’ clothing has changed. “It’s gone from sandals to suits,” he said.

 

Kleeman, one of many, says he is “prospecting” and has a pipeline of projects where the building owners have pledged to go solar “as soon as the numbers line up.”

 

The cost of solar is decreasing due to new technologies and larger systems. At the same time, the cost of traditional nonrenewable sources is escalating wildly.

 

“Those lines are going to cross in the next couple years,” Kleeman said.

 

Besides its environmental benefits, solar energy bolsters the regional power grid by making the most energy when the need is greatest – those sunny summer afternoons when air conditioners are sucking maximum juice.

 

Nationwide, solar remains tiny. It is one-fifth the size of wind power, accounting for a fraction of 1 percent of the nation’s energy supply.

 

But solar installations grew by 45 percent in 2007. Much of the growth was due to what the Solar Energy Industries Association dubbed a “big-box boom” among companies that included Safeway, Whole Foods, Staples, Target, Home Depot, Macy’s, Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

 

The boom is further fueled – or perhaps forced – by 27 states that have annually raised requirements for the percentage of energy coming from renewable sources, such as wind or solar.

 

Utilities can either generate the power or buy credits issued to others who generate the power. The price of these credits is expected only to grow, making the deals more attractive to solar developers.

 

What makes the Mid-Atlantic region so attractive to solar developers is that several states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have made specific requirements for solar.

 

Solar proponents think there is so much potential here that the organizers of a national conference on solar power opted to bring the event to Philadelphia next year.

 

“We specifically chose that location because we see Mid-Atlantic as an emerging market for solar,” said spokeswoman Monique Hanis of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Others credit steeply rising energy prices in this region for propelling solar here beyond other parts of the country.

 

That said, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are worlds apart in solar energy production.

 

New Jersey has already had robust solar development because of financial incentives. As of March, more than $220 million in state rebates had helped build nearly 3,000 systems, capable of delivering 54 megawatts of power. New construction in 2007 was 114 percent greater than in 2006.

 

When the conglomerate Cox Enterprises decided to look into solar power, it wound up putting 705 panels – enough to power 12 homes – atop the roof of an auto-reconditioning shop in Bordentown owned by a division, Manheim, a car auction dealer.

 

“New Jersey had the most attractive incentives of all the states in the union,” said Cox vice president Mike Mannheimer. “It had, by far, the best return for us financially.”

Although he refused to give a financial breakdown of the incentives, Mannheimer said he expects the $1 million system to pay for itself in 41/2 years.

 

“These systems don’t cost much to maintain. They just crank away.”

 

Until now, Pennsylvania hasn’t even been counting systems. Production estimates range up to about two megawatts, enough to power 300 homes.

 

That could all change with legislation being hammered out in Harrisburg. Plenty of rooftop projects await the outcome.

 

One is Stable Flats, a 70-unit residential development in Northern Liberties where plans call for a $2 million, 260-kilowatt system to make the power.

 

It’s scheduled to be completed in 2009. But that hinges in part on a state rebate that will bolster a $700,000 economic-development grant, said developer Tim McDonald of the group Onion Flats.

The solar firm will still own the panels. It will get the federal tax credit, sell the solar credits to utilities, and provide residents with low-cost power.

 

“Building sustainably,” McDonald said, “doesn’t have to cost more money.”

Would you like to know more about solar opportunities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania? You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Solar ….The New Sexy

Come join us and be part of the solution!

New Jersey takes the lead in offering incentives to go Solar!

State Tax Rebates are planned for residential installations that will cover a significant portion of your cost.

Srecs are also being paid to all commercial and residential installtions, A SREC is gaureenteed to be paid for 15 years and will be paid for every 1000kwh of electric you produce. SRECs are designed to cover over 50% of your installation cost.

Federal tax credits make solar even more appealing.  The US government currently offers residential solar system owners a one time federal tax credit, capped at $2,000.  Commercial solar system owners are offered a 30% tax credit, making solar an even smarter financial investment.
State:        NEW JERSEY
Program Name:       New Jersey Clean Energy Program (NJCEP)
Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC)
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Nonprofit, Schools, Institutional 
Incentive Amount: SREC trade at market value;
1 SREC =1,000 kWh
Maximum Incentive: $711.00/SREC
Eligible System Size: No maximum size specified, but output should not exceed 100% of the historical or expected (if new construction) consumption. 
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner
Funding Source:    Utilities via RPS compliance
Website:  http://www.njcleanenergy.com/  
Authority 1:    Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act
Date Enacted:    TBA
Effective Date:    March 2001 (for rebate program)

To learn more about solar opportunities for your business or home, you may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Ask about our free site evaluation and proforma.

Solar ….. The New Sexy

(Source: http://www.dsireusa.org/)

Local Program Administrator:

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Renewable Energy Program Administrator, Office of Clean Energy
44 South Clinton Avenue
P.O. Box 350
Trenton, NJ 08625-0350
Phone: (609) 777-3300
Fax: (609) 777-3330
Web site: http://www.bpu.state.nj.us

Does the Senate get it?

June 10, 2008

Reported excerpts from Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies, despite pleas by Democratic leaders to use the measure to address America’s anger over $4 a gallon gasoline.

The Democratic energy package would have imposed a tax on any “unreasonable” profits of the five largest U.S. oil companies and given the federal government more power to address oil market speculation that the bill’s supporters argue has added to the crude oil price surge.

“Americans are furious about what’s going on,” declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and want Congress to do something about oil company profits and “an orgy of speculation” on oil markets.

But Republicans argued the Democratic proposal focusing on new oil industry taxes is not the answer to the country’s energy problems.

“The American people are clamoring for relief at the pump,” said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., but if taxes are increased on the oil companies “they will get exactly what they don’t want. The bill will raise taxes, increase imports.”

The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster and bring the energy package up for consideration.

Separately, Democrats also failed to get Republican support for a proposal to extend tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. The tax breaks have either expired or are scheduled to end this year.

Our Perspective:

The republican guard held firm and would not levy a tax on the excessive profits the oil companies have recently made. Greed rules.

The senate is making a big mistake not extending the frederal tax credit for alternate energy developement. It proves that they just don’t get it.

Electric demand continues to rise at a rate of 1.5% a year. The existing facilities are already straining to meet the increase demand. In fact, rolling brown outs are in our near distant future. That’s not the answer.

New Jersey has taken great strides to incentize business and homeowner to look at alternative energy development. PSEG are paying SRECs for every 1000kwh of elecrtric you produce. These SRECs are gaurenteed for 15 years.

The Federal Government now has a 30% federal tax credit that is due to expire 12/31/08. This must be extended. The Senate and IRS must also determine the effects of this credit as it pertains to the Alternative Minimum Tax.  The Federal Tax Credit must stand alone and not be effected by the AMT; otherwise, the Federal Tax Credit is all bark and no bite. The incentive is lost and it makes the investment less desirable.

Let us know your thoughts? You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

Contact us to learn more about solar opportunities for your company.