Rhode Island Solar Guide

About the RI Office of Energy Resources Solar Guide

The purpose of this guide is to assist Rhode Island residents who are considering solar energy to generate electricity in their homes. This guide will help determine whether a solar PV system is right for you. It reviews solar PV technology, the installation process as well as available incentives. This guide focuses on solar systems interconnected to the utility distribution system. While this guide is intended primarily for homeowners, many of the issues discussed apply to small scale installations in general and may apply to businesses considering solar.

Why Go Solar?

In 2018, Rhode Island was the 8th most expensive state for electricity in the country.  In that year, natural gas fueled over half of the electric power sector and nearly all in-state electricity generation. Solar can help reduce reliance on natural gas and cheapen the cost of electricity.

Why Work With SGE Solar

 

We have a deep commitment to developing and maintaining healthy, productive relationships and place utmost importance on customer service and satisfaction. We have a Customer Care Manager who ensures that there is clear communication through out the entire process and beyond. We know the value of happy customers, and strive for 100% satisfaction.

We also have a commitment to operating our business in a sustainable, healthy manner. We continually look to our Sustainability Initiative to inform our business decisions on potential impacts on the local, regional and global environment, people and community.

Rhode Island Solar Guide can be downloaded for free from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources website.

Benefits of going Solar:

  • Reduce or eliminate your Electric Bill
  • Earn a great return on your investment
  • Increase your property value
  • Protect against rising energy costs
  • Protect the environment

Smart Solar Incentive

The New SMART program is a new long-term, sustainable solar incentive program meant to promote cost-effective solar development. Through SMART, Massachusetts will procure Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) over as many as eight (8) consecutive “capacity blocks”of approximately 200 MW each.Qualified solar projects enrolled in the program will receive tariff-based payments for 10 or 20 years depending on project size, subject to compensation rate adders and subtractors that reflect project characteristics including project location, whether the project has battery storage capability, or will serve low-income customers. Contact SGE Solar to setup your free consultation and learn how you can benefit from the SMART Solar Program!

SMART Benefits:

  • Long-term revenue certainty for solar producers, reducing financing costs and lowering overall project costs
  • Predictable program costs
  • Incentives that decline with the cost of solar
  • Contract prices that are identical and predictable across utility service territories, regardless of varying retail prices

SGE – SunPower panels

SunPower Corp on Tuesday said some of the solar cells and panels it produces overseas will be excluded from the Trump administration’s 30 percent import tariffs, sending the company’s shares up 15 percent.

SunPower is based in San Jose, California but produces most of its solar products in Mexico and the Philippines. The company has publicly lobbied for its products to be exempt from the tariffs, arguing the funds it was spending on duties were being diverted from investments in American jobs in research and development and domestic manufacturing.

The exemption covers SunPower’s premium, high-efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) cells and modules, which the company argued stood apart from the cheap, commoditized imports that dominate the market and were the target of the tariffs.

“With today’s decision that SunPower’s highly differentiated IBC cells and modules are excluded from tariffs, we are able to turn the page,” SunPower Chief Executive Tom Werner said in a statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump in January announced a 30-percent tariff on all imported solar panels, an opening salvo in an escalating global trade dispute he said was aimed at helping U.S. manufacturers and other businesses rebound from years of decline. Much of the U.S. solar industry protested the move, saying it would chill one of America’s fastest-growing sectors.

SunPower, which earlier this year agreed to buy a U.S. solar manufacturing facility in Oregon from SolarWorld Americas to expand production in its home market, said the deal would close before the end of this quarter.

SunPower said the decision by the U.S. Trade Representative to exempt some of its products from tariffs would be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

SunPower shares were up $1.01, or 15 percent, at $7.59 on the Nasdaq. SunPower is majority owned by France’s Total SA .

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Critter Guard

You made a great decision in going solar and your solar panels are an excellent investment.  In order to protect your investment, you will want to pay close attention to what may be going on under and around your solar panels.

As we enter into the summer months, we typically see an increase in bird and critter activity, especially if your home is near trees or overhead wires. Rooftop solar panels create an ideal environment for pigeons and other birds to nest and roost.  The panels provide shade from the hot sun and a sense of security from predators.  Also, squirrels can be notorious for nesting under rooftop panels and can possibly chew through exposed or hanging wires. They may use their teeth to cut power lines to and from solar panels and, if they chew the right wire, this could lead to expensive and unwanted repairs.

If you notice an increase in bird and squirrel activity around your home, it’s critical to check and make sure they’re not nesting underneath your panels.

In most cases, you won’t need Critter Guard, but if you do see squirrels or birds in or around your system and want a high strength screen around the panels then call us today at 508-377-4037 or email us at info@sgegroup.com  for a Critter Guard quote.

How Home Solar Batteries Work

Solar energy system generates electricity whenever the sun is shining, often making more than a home needs during peak seasons. That excess energy is sent to the grid, and the homeowner usually receives a credit from their utility that can offset the electricity used at night.

While the grid still plays a supporting role, more homeowners are requesting solar-plus-storage so they can have more control over their electricity use.

Solar storage batteries work by taking that excess electricity and storing it. The stored solar energy can be used to complement power from the grid at night or to power essential appliances1 during a power outage. (Check out this battery storage infographic from Sun Power Below.)

Lithium ion home storage batteries usually come in a rectangular white box that’s about 4- to 5-feet high, 6 inches to a foot deep and about 2 feet wide.  They are mounted in an out-of-the-way spot, such as a utility room or in the garage. The bigger the battery, the more power that can be stored. Any excess left over after the battery is charged flows back to the utility. See our Sonnen Battery Page for information or contact SGE to get a free no-obligation quote today!

New Homes Requiring Solar :)

There’s no question that solar power is entering the mainstream, but California is about to give it a giant boost. The state’s Energy Commission is expected to approve new energy standards that would require solar panels on the roofs of nearly all new homes, condos and apartment buildings from 2020 onward. There will be exemptions for homes that either can’t fit solar panels or would be blocked by taller buildings or trees, but you’ll otherwise have to go green if your property is brand new.

The plan doesn’t require that a home reach net-zero status (where the solar power completely offsets the energy consumed in a year). However, it does provide “compliance credits” for homebuilders who install storage batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall, letting them build smaller panel arrays knowing that excess energy will be available to use off-hours.

The new standards are poised to hike construction costs by $25,000 to $30,000 (about half of which is directly due to solar), but the self-produced energy is estimated to save owners $50,000 to $60,000 in operating costs over the solar technology’s expected 25-year lifespan.

Short of a surprise rejection at the Energy Commission’s May 9th vote, this will make California the first state to have a solar panel requirement. It’s relatively easy to do this in the region given California’s abundance of warm, sunny days and high real estate prices — it’s hard to see this happening in the American Midwest, where winter and lower home prices could make solar decidedly less practical. Critics have complained that this could make California’s housing shortage worse by pricing people out of those homes that areavailable, and note that most people in the state only really draw on non-renewable energy when they come home from work and strain the electrical grid.

Even so, this could change the landscape for both California’s energy and the market as a whole. Right now, no more than 20 percent of new single-family homes in California include solar power. Boost that by five times and that’s a lot more business for panel makers and installers. That, in turn, could reduce the costs of panels and make solar more affordable in many places, not just in California or even the US.

Orange County Register

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.

RI Solar Incentives

Currently, there are great Federal, State, and Utility solar incentives to help offset the cost of your system in Rhode Island. With Rhode Island being right in our backyard, we’re able to work with you closely to develop a system that matches your needs.

SGE Solar being a SunPower dealer means you’ll get the latest technology and the best warranty in the business. Don’t hesitate to get in this program before it fills up! Feel free to reach out to us anytime for questions or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation to see how much solar can save you!

RHODE ISLAND RENEWABLE ENERGY GROWTH PROGRAM

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Renewable Energy Growth Program makes it easy to be paid by National Grid for your solar generation.
  • Payments are available for 15 or 20-years for residential customers, or 20 years for non-residential customers.
  • Depending on the term, project size, and other factors, National Grid will pay from 28.55¢ to 32.25¢ per kilowatt-hour for solar generation in a Performance- Based Incentive (PBI). PBIs are set by the RI Distributed Generation Board, approved by the RI Public
    Utilities Commission and applicable from 4/1/2018 thru 3/31/2019.
  • Residential customers: The host customer will receive a bill credit for energy and the system owner will be paid the remaining PBI; the owner may be the host customer or a third-party.
  • Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and approved on a first-come, first-served basis subject to the available capacity of 6.55 MW for 2018. National Grid will accept applications until the 6.55 MW capacity is met.

Not ALL Solar Panels are Created Equal

Here at SGE we use SunPowerTM  systems because they are meticulously designed and tested to stand up to some of the harshest conditions: temperature swings, battering winds, humidity, hail and more. Solar experts know SunPower panels are the best at withstanding all types of weather. Whether you live in a mild climate or more extreme conditions, SunPower solar cell technology can take it.

SunPower solar panels are also backed by a 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty – the best in the industry. So you can rest easy while you reduce or even eliminate your electric bill.

It’s easy to see why conventional panels just don’t stack up against SunPower® technology.

Conventional solar cells lose power over time because of corrosion and breakage. But the unique design of SunPower solar cells eliminates 85% of the reasons conventional cells fail. So you’ll enjoy outstanding performance and savings with your commercial or home solar system for decades to come.

WHY DO MORE HOMEOWNERS CHOOSE SUNPOWER® SOLAR?

SunPower solar panels use more sun than conventional solar panels, which means we generate more electricity per panel, and we use less roof space to produce the energy you need. The result? With SunPower, you can enjoy the greatest savings on your utility bill over the lifetime of your solar energy system.

SUPERIOR SOLAR PANEL ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION

According to third-party tests, SunPower solar energy systems produce more electricity than other solar solutions. This means you can virtually eliminate your electric bill while greatly decreasing your environmental impact.

THE PLANET’S MOST POWERFUL SOLAR®

SunPower solar panels produce more power than other panels within the same amount of space. This means you’ll need fewer solar panels to produce the energy you need. And you can maximize your available roof space to choose the best, unobstructed location for electricity production.

GREATEST SAVINGS FROM SOLAR ENERGY

Among the many benefits of a SunPower solar energy system, the fact that it offers the greatest savings on your utility bill may be the most important. There is no better way for you to maximize the return on your solar investment and increase the resale potential of your home than with a SunPower home solar system.

Ready to learn more? Call 800-653-4270 to speak with a SunPower expert.  Or visit  We are a SunPower Authorized Dealer.

SMART Solar Seminar Dedham

Clean energy Western Massachusetts

By Mary C. Serreze

February 2018

Read the original article Here

It’s been a busy year for clean energy in the state and region, and the months ahead promise yet more challenges and opportunities.

A new solar incentive program will go into effect in 2018, providing tariff-based payments instead of production credits. Utilities will firm up contracts to procure massive amounts of clean energy from offshore wind, Canadian hydro and other sources. Greater commitments to reducing emissions from the transportation sector are expected, and innovative pilot programs are helping homes and businesses transform their energy profiles.

In 2017, Massachusetts saw major solar gains, with more than 10,000 projects installed, representing around 480 megawatts of new capacity. The clean energy sector contributed $11.4 billion to the state’s economy, providing jobs for more than 109,000 people at 6,900 establishments, according to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Statewide job growth in the clean energy sector has jumped 80 percent since 2010.

The 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act requires that all sectors of the Massachusetts economy reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. In 2016, the state lost a landmark lawsuit filed by climate activists, and the state’s highest court ordered the Department of Environmental Protection to implement the law.

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