System integrator SolarCity recently paired up with Bancorp Community Development Corporation to offer a tax credit fund to finance up to $250 million in solar energy projects.
Between them, Solar City and Bancorp offer upfront financing for solar panels to residents, businesses, and municipalities, while the customers pay the utility at discounted rates. Development tasks such as installation, permitting, monitoring and repairs are handled by technical experts SolarCity.
2. New Hampshire RPS for Thermal Energy Projects
Energy generated from projects such as wood pellet boilers, solar hot water arrays, or geothermal heating and cooling systems on residential, commercial or industrial buildings recently became eligible for the renewable energy portfolio standard in the state of New Hampshire. N.H. is the first state to incorpoate such a thermal energy RPS, where REC's will be worth up to $29/MWh of usable thermal energy. Administrative rules outlining implementation of the law will be developed by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission and thermal projects will not qualify for the new incentives until January 1, 2013.
3. Senate continues to push for PTC Extension
Members of government from the Senate and House of Representatives are pushing for extension of the PTC (wind energy production tax credit). Mark Udall of Colorado and other junior members of the senate are petitioning and making their opinions known on the importance of extending the PTC on a regular basis. Recently, a group of freshmen senators wrote a letter to the house asking for an extension on the PTC. They believe that is the PTC expires before tax comprehensive reform occurs; critical elements of the wind industry such as its manufacturing infrastructure, investor confidence, and workforce will be lost. A copy of the letter can be seen at www.energytaxcredits.com.
4. S&P Releases report on Renewable Energy Market
A recent report release by Standard and Poor's (S&P) Rating Services explores the renewable energy market and elements that play an influential role in its sustained growth.
Elements such as tax incentives; their expiration dates and the role they play in the utility sector are covered. The report is called “The Credit Impact on U.S. Electric Utilities of Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits,” also indicates that the results of the election in November will play a key role in the renewal of expiring elections and the role of regulation in the future. Subscribers of RatingsDirect can view the report on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com.
5. California boasts major growth in residential Solar in 2011
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that the was first state to install more than 1 gigawatt of customer-generated solar energy in 2011. The California Solar Initiative (CSI) discovered that CSI projects in low-income markets have increased by 364 percent during the same period. CSI's assessment further indicates that costs for residential solar systems have decreased since 2007 by 28 percent, and that 181 projects as of April 30, with a capacity of 9.1 megawatts were completed under the MASH program (Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing). A copy of the assessment is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov.
ECS offers clean energy solutions for project developers and financiers looking for sound investment opportunities in clean energy projects. We offer a variety of services including but not limited to feasibility studies, project planning, risk assessment, technical design and engineering, project permitting, project management, and more. Contact us today to discuss your project.
Dallas Terry, LEED AP BD+C
Director, Earth Circle Solutions
Clean Energy Consulting