Why you should add solar to your rooftop today!

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

Sometimes people hold back from going solar if they are considering moving out of their home because they will not see the return savings in energy and already paid more money upfront for their system. Over the longer amount of time you own your home, the money you save on your energy bill should equate to 2-3 times the cost of your solar investment, so giving your systems a number of years to catch up is needed to benefit financially from rooftop solar.

But, even if you do not own your home  for as long as needed to break even on energy costs, you can bill a premium on your home to cover the cost of your investment and allow the next owners to benefit from solar. Yes, going solar increases your home’s property value! That amount varies between properties, but a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) found that solar panels increase household value by $14,329 on average in California. In 2015, the LBNL found that many home buyers are willing to pay premiums for PV-installed homes. Ben Hoen from LBNL found that there was a strong correlation between the size of the PV solar system installed and the selling price of homes in his research project, based in California. He found an increase in the valuation of the properties in his project by an average of $4.18/w. This equates to an average if $15,000 increase for the typical 3.6-kW-sized system in his project. These numbers are for the average non-PV home value of $456,378. He found similar relationships in the rest of the US.

Additionally, a new study by the Redfin, a national reality company, noted that in the Northeast home prices can increase even more, with a median sale price being $42,000 higher than the average sale price in Worcester, or even a boost of$ 179,000 in Boston. These are higher than the average solar system price in New England. The 10 cities with the most untapped solar potential include Providence, RI, Worcester, and Boston, MA, according to the PV Magazine, and in these cities, we see a substantial potential increase in home value with working solar systems in place.

So, luckily working to get solar installed on your home is probably still the right decision if you are having doubts about how long you will be owning your home or cannot predict your future housing scenario. Taking direction action on this issue  and reaching out to Second Generation Energy with questions can help you figure  out how many watts you would like installed, where on your property to install, and other details of the design that can change your property value for a long time. Additionally, referring solar energy to a friend and having them install solar will earn you an extra $500 dollars! Stop by to chat or call today.

Changing Energy Economy

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

As the demand for solar and other types of clean energy jobs increases all over the country, blue-collar jobs in the field are booming. Forbes magazine states that over time it will become less expensive to build new renewable energy than run existing coal plants without. The construction and operation of new renewable energy plants that replace coal is the newest progressive transition in the energy economy today. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the two fastest growing in 2026 will be solar installer and wind technician.  The increase in green jobs is happening in both red and blue states. The American Wind  and Energy Association posted a map (https://thumbor.forbes.com/thumbor/960×0/https%3A%2F%2Fblogs-images.forbes.com%2Fenergyinnovation%2Ffiles%2F2019%2F04%2FCongressional-District-wind-industry-footprint-1200×932.jpg) of congressional districts with online wind projects and wind-related manufacturing facilities.

Coal jobs however are in a general decline from 86,000 in 2009 to 52,000 in 2018 (with small 2,000 increase due to President Trump’s efforts between 2017-2018). This changing market economy has led to dozens of coal plant closures in 2017, with a 4% drop in coal consumption in 2018 and 8.4% drop in consumption in 2019. Many areas int he US see a general decline in cost of renewable energy, though in some areas the cost of it might not yet be below coal. VCE Energy Innovation produced a map (https://blogs-images.forbes.com/energyinnovation/files/2019/04/Coal-MCOE.gif?) forecasting this disparity visually for wind and solar systems. It shows that these systems may be cheaper than coal energy more-so in the eastern half of the country and in south-western states, with some difference in the center of the nation as well. This may be due to more sunlight exposure and wind energy capacity in these areas. In places with still a higher forecasted cost of renewable energy than coal we know coal is a major industry, like near the Mexican Gulf and in the north-west. This map is not necessarily complete and still misses detail, but it could indicate further geographical disparities in production of wind and solar energy by 2025.

According to Brookings Institution research, clean energy jobs are commonly available to people without college degrees, like 45% of all workers in the clean energy production industry doing electrical work, installation, repair, and plant powering. The institute took Occupational Employment Statistics data in 2016 to show that the mean hourly wage in the clean energy jobs market in higher than the national average mean hourly income by about 8%-19%.

We are excited to anticipate more people going solar to reduce their carbon footprint and save money! Request quote or send a referral today to Second Generation Energy and get started on adding solar panels to your home or business. We will help you achieve your specific goals every step of the way and are happy to help.

 

Rhode Island Solar Growth Incentives

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

Second Generation Energy installs solar panels in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If you live in Rhode Island, you have special solar incentives to go solar that a resident or commercial property manager can negotiate during the installation process. The Renewable Energy Fund (REF) Commercial Development Program offers a cash grant for homeowners and businesses that install renewable energy systems depending on the size of the system being installed. These grants can cover up to 30% of the installation costs. There are applications for commercial and residential projects on the Rhode Island Commerce website.

Net-metering is a regulatory policy for systems above MW in size that allows electricity users to gain credit for delivering extra electricity to the utility. Net-metering systems must be sized to meet the need of on-site loads, based on the three-year average of electricity consumption of the company.  Virtual Net-Metering allows eligible customers to connect to an electric load that is not located on their property.  Customers are eligible to up to 10 MW per project site. Customers of this program include state agencies, municipalities, public housing authorities, schools, non-profits, and more.

There are also incentives in Rhode Island for solar panels installations that are located on Brownfields sites, or sites in previously contaminated and in the process of remediation. In March 2019, the state designated $1 million for eligible sites. This funding comes from the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Indeed, the state has been listening to concerned citizens and environmental advocates about encouraging more solar energy in the state.

Rhode Island offers the offers the Renewable Energy Growth program (REG), one of the most well-known solar incentive programs. It offers a fixed dollar-per-kilowatt hour payments for the energy you produce over a 20-year term. The owner of the system has agency in how the money is collected. The program is competitive however, though your solar installation company can help you through the process.  REG solar systems do need to be installed within certain parameters to receive the correct amount of credits, so the solar installer will know how to properly set that up. Customers who would like to install more solar panels in addition to their preexisting panels can be enrolled in multiple credit programs.  You can also use a meter that is set up on a site located away from the site that has the panels if that would be the best option. For example, for roadside-mountain meters instead of building-side mounted meters.

The Rhode Island Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE) is a financing program for owners of commercial and industrial buildings for improvements on energy efficiency. It is designed to be self-sustaining, including applicants that cover the cost of sustaining the program, while administering development of energy technology that saved applicants money in turn. Applicants can work with many capital providers at competitive rates and repayment terms that are generally around 25 years, consistent with the lifeline of the improvements they make, like adding solar. The financing is assessed through municipal taxes and paid over the entire financing term. These owners will modernize their structures, bringing them into the 21st century. They will lower their long-term operational costs, increase building value, and most enjoy a positive cash utility flow! The C-PACE Program also creates more green jobs and advanced public policy to encourage more “green” infrastructure, reducing greenhouse gas use. One can also get involved with the C-PACE program from Massachusetts! Just speak with your local solar installation company search “C-PACE Program” in your area, and start making your company greener!

Solar Star

Solar Star farm in Kern County, California.

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

Sometimes solar panels can be truly awe-inspiring. In addition to community solar there are many enormous solar fields around the world, including Solar Star, America’s largest solar farm and the world’s largest when it was created in 2015. Solar Star spans over 13 kilometres squared, about four times the size of central park. It produces 579 megawatts of energy, and powers over 250,000 homes, and you can see it from hundreds of miles above the ground!

Located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California, it was built on “disturbed” land, meaning land that was already altered by people and not in its natural state. These panels get cleaned in a way that uses minimal water, and automatically follow the sun’s motion across the sky, which makes them more efficient. According to Solstice, these panels impact the environment as if they took 108,000 cars off the road every year! Additionally, the project was reported to have created 650 jobs over three years, and 40 maintenance jobs through its lifetime. The panels are also a source of pride and leadership for the US renewable sector.

Mega-scale solar farms are becoming more common around the world. Since 2015, solar plants in Mexico, China, and India are all projected to reach a range of 1,000-2,000 megawatts soon. The UAE even plans on building a plant with 5,000 watts by 2030. Back in the US, there are other large fields too, like the Desert Sunlight and Topaz farms producing 550 megawatts each, but they take up more space. Solar energy is becoming more affordable for the average American to place on their properties and commercial buildings every year too. More efficient benefits of distributed energy generation and more resistance to outages for small-scale projects should keep getting better, making more numerous small-scale projects across our communities It brings more affordable energy to people across the country and thus helps us life more cheaply.

Still, we will keep our eyes out for updates on the production of these mega farms in the US and around the world. The solar industry creates many jobs for people for farms of all sizes and contributes to maintaining a clean planet and reduction in carbon emissions. The solar industry is growing exponentially, with an almost 200% increase between 2016 and 2017, and 2,056 megawatts of community solar has been installed in the US through 2019! It brings better energy to people across the country, including in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, which Second Generation Energy serves.

 

Photovoltaic solar systems

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

Solar power converts energy from sunlight using either photovoltaics (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), or a combination. PV systems have cells that convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect. They are the most widely used and well-known systems. PV systems are easy for residents to use on their properties. They can be mounted on the roof or as a ground mount. You can install a PV system that is either fixed in place or that uses a solar tracker to follow the sun across the sky.

Second Generation Energy installs and designs commercial and residential PV systems.  We believe that renewable energy combined with conservation measures will have the greatest impact on solving our energy problems. Looking to go solar? Give us a call, email, or stop by for a visit today!

Solar Energy Storage

Solar Energy Batteries

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

SGE can provide Battery Back-up and Hybrid Solar to help you store energy and maintain a constant flow of electricity even when the power goes out!

Technologies “store” energy when they capture electricity, keep it as another form of energy, and then release it as needed. Energy storage is a critical component to solar power use. Usually we use the most energy during the summer months in the afternoons and evenings, when solar energy generation begins to fall for the day. There are plenty of times when we use appliances and other electricity and thermal heat during cloudy days and at night when little energy is being generated. Therefore, we need backup power to provide us with a reliable energy source. Energy can be stored at different “energy” and “power” capacities, referring to the amount of energy that can be stored (in kilowatt-hours or megawatt-hours) at a given time, and the amount that can be released (in kilowatts or megawatts) at a given time. Sometimes we need long-term storage over the course of a few days during a major weather event, and sometimes short-term storage when passing clouds temporarily block sunlight.

There are three main advantages to storing solar energy. One is balancing electricity loads. Storage acts as an insurance policy for sunshine, maintaining balance between the usage and generation on both cloudy and sunny days, and at night and in the morning. Two, storage “firms” solar generation, meaning quick changes will not greatly affect the output of the solar plant, ensuring the output power supply is dependable and steady. Three, storage provides resilience to the entire electrical system in the face of a major disruption to regular electricity, keeping critical facilities in operation.

Storage of solar energy is utilized at small scales for individual homes and increasingly at bigger scales. The Solar Technologies Office within the federal Department of Energy has taken on a Grid Modernization Initiative to better integrate solar energy into the nation’s U.S. electric grid. Together we can adapt our power usage to solar energy and reduce our electric bill, provide a steady flow of energy, and contribute to cutting non-renewable energy.

Contact us today to get a free battery quote and learn more about the connected solutions program!

 

 

Massachusetts SMART Program

More people are deciding to go solar every year. Going solar will reduce or eliminate your electric bill, earn a good return for your investment, increase your property value, protect against rising energy costs, and protect the environment by cutting your consumption of non-renewable energy.

In November 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources transitioned from the SREC II Program to the SMART Program to better promote cost-effective development of solar energy for Massachusetts. Many Massachusetts residents are hitching onto the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program to quickly gain returns on their investment and contribute to the solar panel industry.

As published on the official Massachusetts government website, this program will ensure solar contract prices that are predictable across utility service territories regardless of varying retail price, program costs, and financial incentives. The program also provides long-term revenue for solar producers, which reduces financing costs and lowers overall project costs.

Sounds good to us! If you are a resident of Massachusetts who would like a return on your investment, consider the SMART program and get in touch with Second Generation Energy or one of our partners. We are doing what we can to change where our energy comes from to power our communities and support solar panel industry growth.

Solar Efficiency in Cold Temperatures

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels create energy from the sun’s radiation “sunrays” & not from the sun’s heat. A solar panel is made up of a layer of silicon cells and when light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes electrons to be set into motion, which initiates a flow of electric current.

When the sun is hitting a solar panel, the solar panel will generate electricity — no matter how cold it is. Most people don’t know that solar works more efficiently in colder temperatures. A sunny and cold environment in New England is the best condition for solar panels. Heat actually reduces solar efficiency (tests shown that panels start to lose efficiency above 77ºF).

Best example is the McMurdo Station, the primary hub for U.S. science operations on Antarctica, using solar as it’s critical source of power. Temperatures in outer space, where solar powers the International Space Station, experience the most extreme cold temperatures that are significantly colder than New England winters or even Antarctica’s tempatures!

In fact, the solar industry is thriving in cold-weather states like here in Massachusetts (our main office location), Rhode Island and Connecticut.

This isn’t to say that solar is better or produces more energy during the winter months. Shorter days in winter, snow cover, clouds and a lower angle of the sun can all reduce the amount of sunlight solar panels get.

Do you live in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Connecticut and thinking about going Solar? Call our office today to speak to one of our Solar experts to see how much solar can save you!

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

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