Saturday, December 25, 2010

1 year Extension of TAX INCENTIVES for Solar!

This brightens the outlook for the whole solar industry. Santa's gift to you is PV and Hot Water, he doesn't like wind as much.....

This tax benefit is a simple 30% of the project cost, paid within 60 days of project completion, which in most cases is actually better than waiting for a tax credit. It was renewed for only 1 year, which will probably make next October/November/December another 'boom time' with increased costs.

Although we are not tax advisers, we suggest that business owners seriously talk with their advisers about the possibility of "immediate recovery" of PV expenses. In other words, if you know that you are doing PV, you know that your estimated tax burden will be that much less, and in theory you could pay less on the estimated taxes during the year.

2 catches with that approach--You then must make sure you get the PV into place and operational within your tax year, don't wait until the last minute. The end of the year typically see's huge increase in demand for solar since everyone has procrastinated. These supply/demand imbalances cause pricing to creep up into the year end. Full on product availability may make it impossible to complete the project in the required timeframe.

SUPER BONUS! They also doubled the "Bonus Depreciation" which was 50%, and is now 100%. You get to instantly depreciate money that you never paid in the first place.

Sounds too good to be true? Well let's put it this way, the Government is trying very hard to promote solar, and the incentives make it a no-brainer investment. In most cases we can do a free facility analysis and cost and savings estimate.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

How to read Net Energy Meter Display

For PV Customers, please check on the below file showing "How to read the Net Energy Meter Display."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feed In Tariff, Sell Power to HECO

Hawaii’s new feed-in tariff for solar photovoltaic and other renewable energy systems became fully effective Wednesday, Nov. 24, when Maui County and the island of Hawaii joined Oahu in accepting applications.

The payment rates for producers of solar PV electricity and concentrating solar power vary depending on several factors, including system size, and range from 18.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for larger PV systems to as much as 33.1 cents for smaller concentrating solar power systems. Rates also change depending on the applicant’s use of a state tax credit.

Rates are fixed for contract terms of 20 years. Combined with Hawaii’s personal income tax credit and a federal tax credit available for solar energy installations, the feed-in tariff can make solar electricity an attractive option for many homeowners and small-business owners with ample solar resources.

A new website will manage and accept applications for the Hawaiian Electric utilities’ feed-in tariff program, which is designed to encourage the addition of more renewable energy projects in Hawaii.

“The program offers pre-established rates and standardized contract terms, which will provide an easy way for individuals, businesses, governmental entities and other developers to sell renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric,” the company said in a news release. Hawaiian Electric Co. is the parent company of Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Maui Electric Co.; together, the utilities serve about 95 percent of the state’s residents.

“To break our dependence on imported oil, our state is going to need more sources of clean energy, both large and small. This program will help make that possible,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric’s executive vice president, in the news release.

All applications for the program must be submitted through the new website, which can be found at The site is operated and maintained by Accion Group, an independent third-party observer that oversees the feed-in tariff applications on behalf of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

The website began accepting applications for projects on Oahu on Nov. 17. Applications for projects on Hawaii Island and Maui County were accepted beginning Nov. 24.

As approved by the utilities commission, the program will accept up to 60 megawatts of feed-in tariff projects on Oahu, 10 megawatts on the island of Hawaii and 10 megawatts in Maui County. Qualifying renewable technologies include photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, on-shore wind and in-line hydropower.

Under the tariff program, Tier 1 solar PV and CSP systems are considered to be those up to 20 kilowatts (AC) of production capacity on all islands. The Tier 1 payment rate for solar PV systems is 21.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, based on use of the 35 percent state income tax credit. For Tier 2 PV systems, greater than 20 kilowatts and up to 500 kilowatts, the rate is 18.9 cents per kwh. For Tier 1 concentrating solar power systems, the rate is 26.9 cents per kwh, and for Tier 2 CSP systems, 25.4 cents per kwh.

Rates are higher for electricity sellers electing a refundable state income-tax credit provision.

The program is open to both residential and business customers until the capacity caps are fulfilled.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said questions about the feed-in tariff can be emailed to FIT@HECO.COM. More information about the program and the Hawaiian Electric utilities’ efforts to develop more renewable energy resources can be found at

Details about the feed-in tariff rates and other solar incentives offered in Hawaii are also available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brand New Customer Just Commissioned

This is the microinverter system, very cool.

The other system type is the central inverter, usually the Sunnyboy which is THEE name brand from Germany, over a million sold. Trickier to implement, and not appropriate for some roofs, but a solid performer, that we can handle. Once installed, they are system and troublefree.

The NETL Smart Grid Implementation Strategy

The NETL Smart Grid Implementation Strategy

Interesting articles.