Friday, June 29, 2012

How to grow a solar energy garden

Friday, June 29, 2012
Energy is a great idea from the Sun. However, the installation of solar panels House is slow, expensive and cumbersome and downright inefficient if the goal, solar, to bring the masses.

This problem worries Paul Spencer, after he his own uber-efficient, individual solar house near the town of Aspen, Colorado in 2004 built. The engineer and contractor asked, as he his home often about in the United States can replicate.

Came out of this issue the Council solar garden - or at least a version, the pioneering work of clean energy collective, a Colorado company, founded by Spencer in 2009. What is a solar garden? Think community vegetable garden, where everyone in the neighborhood tends a common plot and then the harvest shares. Besides the harvest often produces solar energy, from ground is mounted photovoltaic modules on an open piece of land or on the large roof terrace here.

Variations of solar garden are idea in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Mexico and other Nations catch up.

Some models put on virtual net metering - where utility customers makes retail loans received, as were their solar panels on your home or business. However virtual net metering can be just a few States.

Another variation has the utility the solar collectors and clients who decide, connect the garden a premium on their behalf in return for membership numbers.

None of these models provide a good way, residential solar quickly grow across the country, says Spencer. Convincing lawmakers adopt virtual net metering takes too much time and is often controversial. And under the utility ownership model, not customers receive direct financial benefit from the solar panels.

Spencer's company developed solar gardens in New Mexico and Colorado to avoid these problems. CEC approach to virtual net metering, but allows customers, their own solar panels with a good payback.

How it works: CEC developed the solar system and loads in community members owned, which starts around $500$ 800 per Panel to join.

Purchase agreement, a model that attracts third investors, because it creates certain tax benefits sold CEC the power from the plant to the local utility under solar power. An administrative body, similar to such as a House and apartment owners Association, the garden maintains with closed escrow money that makes for 40-50 years, is expected to produce Spencer says.

The concept of community garden gives members a chance, reduce their electricity costs - they receive monthly bill of credits for the energy of the panels. When moving from members, or simply no longer want to participate they can sell their disks.

This approach makes solar for homes that would otherwise not eligible - and there are many. About 80 percent of the appropriate utility customers in the United States not install Spencer on the roof solar from different reasons. Their roofs are also shady or they live in apartments.

CEC model helps also utility resistance to solar gardens, after Spencer. A proprietary remote meter system, developed by the company members tracked bills solar garden power generation and direct loans. This away headaches for utilities that sometimes resist the idea of solar garden due to the persecution and credit load they put on. CEC partners also utilities to produce solar energy fair prices for the utility and its customers.

Does this model work? The company has built seven facilities or in development, with a typical capacity of half and a MW. Is now in talks with utilities nationwide several CEC expected building 5 to 10 MW capacity this year, and six to seven times that amount in 2013.

"It is easy to imagine that community can contribute solar hundreds megawatts of new capacity to the grid per year," says Spencer.

Hundreds of megawatts may not sound like much in a country where a nuclear power plant in California produced nearly 4,000 MW. But all of the photovoltaic solar in America is only about 4,400 MW. The majority comes from large utility-scale plants. The US-solare-residential market added to only 94 MW in the first quarter of 2012, according to the solar energy industries Association.

The solar garden the secret is to bring efficiency and scale to residential solar energy? The idea was planted. Let's see if it lasts.

ELISA is a long-standing power author and co-editor of the energy-efficiency markets newsletter.

View the original article here

0 коммент.:

Post a Comment