With many key markets preparing to launch new solar programs, the past few weeks in the solar industry have been busy to say the least! Here’s a quick rundown from our Policy and Market Development Team to keep you in the know.
This past week, I joined a dedicated group from Nexamp to travel from Boston to Washington D.C. to lend our voices to the opposition of a new solar tariff. The solar tariff, petitioned to the International Trade Commission (ITC) by Suniva, a U.S. based solar manufacturer, poses a serious threat to the solar industry. Should the tariff be imposed, it could potentially double the costs of solar installation by raising the prices of imported solar cells. The U.S. solar industry relies on access to the global market in order to compete with other fuel sources in the energy market. The proposed tariff would effectively price out clean energy customers and slow the growth of a thriving new industry in America. When the Nexamp team heard that SEIA was organizing an opposition rally for the ITC injury hearing, we didn’t hesitate to jump into a couple of SUV’s and make the eight-plus hour journey to join the gathering and show our support for the solar industry.
Topics: Solar Industry
One year after the net metering cap was hit, stalling hundreds of solar projects across the state, over a hundred solar employees from around the Commonwealth came together to urge legislative action to keep solar working in Massachusetts. The House and Senate have each proposed bills, but have yet to reach a consensus on several key issues, including the compensation rate for net metering and the size of the cap increase. The issue is currently being deliberated in a joint conference committee in an attempt to reconcile differences between the proposed bills.
Massachusetts towns turn their trash into cash
Once a landfill is capped, there is rarely any further use for the land due to environmental conditions. Rather than leaving the property unused, towns and cities can accrue additional revenue by using the land for solar power! The electricity generated by a project can then be fed into the grid or sold to an offsite host, such as a business, non-profit or another town, to help them save on their energy costs as well. Landfill solar arrays are saving municipalities up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Many landfill sites are large open spaces in remote locations with limited shading, making them potential opportunities for solar development. Though development, construction and ongoing maintenance of these sites pose unique challenges due to their caps, these projects have high appeal. Who knew waste could be so green?
We are highlighting solar arrays located on capped landfills across the state of Massachusetts!
Topics: Solar Industry
Have you ever driven by a house with solar panels and thought to yourself, “If only my roof faced the right direction,” or “If only I had enough money to invest in solar!”? For years, adopting solar has been a challenge for many people. The benefits have been limited to homeowners with large roofs with minimal shading, who are able to pay thousands for an installation. While the costs of solar are rapidly dropping, residential solar remains feasible for only approximately 20% of homeowners in the United States.
After a record-breaking 110.3 inches of snow in Boston this winter, the sun and solar energy are not the first things to come to mind for Massachusetts residents. To the surprise of many, Massachusetts is quickly climbing the ranks to become one of the Nation's leaders in solar energy. Currently ranked #4 according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Massachusetts has solar panels popping up in places you may least expect. Check out these 11 solar solutions found all across Massachusetts. Some may have been hiding right under your nose.
A clean energy transformation is underway across the country, and it’s reshaping the way in which Americans think about their energy consumption. Thanks to forward-thinking policymakers in states like Massachusetts, renewable energy is not only a growing portion of the energy mix, but is also an increasing source of utility cost savings for residents and businesses alike. As importantly, solar is what the people want! At least 70% of Massachusetts residents recognize the solar industry as an important piece of the Commonwealth’s vibrant economy.
It’s that time of year when we can’t help but reflect, look back at the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. What have we done with the time we’ve been given?
When I think about the year “that was” for solar, there’s no denying the progress made, the momentum built and the signs pointing to an industry maturating. This was the year that, according to the SEIA, saw 36% of all new electric capacity installed come from solar. It was the year where a new solar project was installed every three minutes. It was the year where we saw costs drop dramatically to the point that the national average PV installed system price declined to $2.71/W by Q3 of 2014, with solar even reaching grid parity with fossil fuel generation in some states. The industry is awash in sunny news with the forecast for more sun holding strong.
It seems today, in this age of continual disruption fueled by technical innovation, that “once in a lifetime career opportunities” are no longer rarefied. Industries are being upended, “enchanted objects” via the Internet of Things are being imagined and designed, and great minds, young and old, are collaborating to solve the world’s big problems. But not all disruption is equal nor is every opportunity – some truly are singular.
Just shy of a year ago, I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to join Nexamp as its CEO. At the time, the company was already poised for success – having amassed a stellar team and nearly a decade of solar experience, and devised a differentiated strategy to develop, build, own and operate installations. The exuberance for solar this past year could be felt on Main Street, Wall Street, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and this excitement reached from Massachusetts to California. Year-over-year install growth was nearly 50% and in the first quarter of 2014 nearly three-quarters of all new generation came from solar. Just this month, SEIA and GTM Research, released a report noting that in Q2 2014 the U.S. installed 1,133 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics to total 15.9 gigawatts (GW) installed capacity or enough to power 3.2 million homes. For me, the opportunity to lead Nexamp is singular. Not only because of the momentum behind our company and the industry, but because we are just getting started.