The price for solar & wind is now almost competitive with fossil fuel electricity in most locations around the country. Current federal and state incentives are being reduced, and many will expire soon. While solar will continue to be cost-competitive with traditional electricity even after the tax incentives change in 2016, those who take action soon will gain the best returns — and largest savings.
According to a study by the investment banking firm Lazard, the cost of utility-scale solar energy is as low as 5.6 cents a kilowatt-hour, and wind is as low as 1.4 cents. In comparison, natural gas comes at 6.1 cents a kilowatt-hour on the low end and coal at 6.6 cents. Without subsidies, the firm’s analysis shows, solar costs about 7.2 cents a kilowatt-hour at the low end, with wind at 3.7 cents.
It is now possible for municipal, school, and other electricity customers to “go solar” with ZERO cash outlay – saving money immediately and over the long-term with Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
In addition to federal tax incentives that allow private companies to gain tax benefits from Public-Private partnerships – the main driver for the immediate and long-term savings comes from the NYSERDA cash incentive programs.
In April, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $1 Billion NY Sun program.
As per the release: “To drive market penetration on a large-scale basis, the PSC order provides long-term, stable funding over a 10-year period to support photovoltaic (PV) projects throughout the state. In doing so, the PSC approved a transition to a “Megawatt Block incentive structure” that allocates MWs to specific regions of the State; breaks those regional MW targets into blocks to which incentives are assigned; and awards incentives based upon the block in effect at the time…. The key to the MW Block model is to enable the market to grow at its own pace, enabling a self-sustaining industry in the long run. As the blocks are fulfilled, incentives will decline at the rate the market will bear.”
NYSERDA recently announced their new “MW Block Program” for larger systems. The incentives are start at 63c per watt for ConEd customers, and at only 36c for the rest of the state — then rapidly decline as additional customers sign on.
EarthKind is urging all NYS utility customers to consider signing up for solar NOW – before the incentives decline (and ultimately disappear). If you are a commercial customer, you can still gain the benefits of solar – even if you don’t have a good solar location – through “Remote Net Metering”.
Contact EarthKind to investigate the opportunities today.
I’ve known Antonio Saillant for over 2 decades. It’s an honor and pleasure to work with him again as Angel Light Pictures expands Planet Greenfest to integrate energy & environmental sustainability throughout the entertainment industry.
BWW Movies World reports on a collaboration between Earthkind Energy and Angel Light Pictures. Read the article.
New York continues to escalate its solar program, with $94M of incentives announced for larger projects. Many of the projects are “Remote Net Metered”, which allows non-residential customers to have a solar system installed at a “Host” site, then use the solar energy to reduce their electricity bills at any – or all – of their locations. In early 2015, the MW block program is going to provide standard applications for similar sized projects (200KW to 2 MWs). It will be “first come, first served”, with incentives steadily declining as more projects are built. EarthKind
is working with several customers to get “first in line” so that they can maximize the incentives and minimize their long-term power costs – most times with zero cash outlay.
Read more about this…
The Westchester County Legislature is working to pass legislation that would eliminate the use of dirty, polluting #6 and #4 oil. As part of their deliberative process, the Environment and Energy Committee invited Ron to speak about solar hot water as a way for building owners to reduce their costs when they change from dirty oil to other sources. Ron discusses the zero cash outlay, guaranteed savings, and third party maintenance offerings that EarthKind is bringing to New York State in partnership with Skyline Innovations / Nextility.
Ron’s presentation starts at ~36.45.
Source: International Energy Agency
The Energy Transformation (or, really, a Revolution) is underway. After 130 years, the electric utility industry is going through a disruption “…potentially as great as those that have remade the airlines, the music industry and the telephone business.” In New York, the State Public Service Commission’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) aims to open the electric market in new ways, to more competition.
New York State utilities had 100+ years of monopoly business – then were restructured in the 1990s with electric deregulation, shedding their generation and transmission business. Now, their business model is being forced to change by technology advances and public benefit policies. Solar prices have declined by 70% in the last 5 years; down more than 99% in the last 30. With new financing mechanisms, solar can now save almost any electricity customer money – and consistently continue to do so for 25+ years.
In this article, Sun and Wind Alter Global Landscape, Leaving Utilities Behind, from the New York Times, one homebuilder now provides 20-year deals that sell homeowners the power from their own roofs – at a 20 percent discount from the local utility’s prices.
There is a need to balance the critical electric system survival and evolution, with new revenue models that maintain and enhance the platforms of the utilities (or “Distributed System Providers”, as they are starting to be renamed). How we maintain our electric grid infrastructure while creating opportunities for innovation in the new markets and new business models is the challenge of our times.
EarthKind is a key participant in the REV process, and is providing intelligence and intervention into the evolving market for a number of our clients.
The New York Times’ Green Column article, Interest in Solar Water Heating Spreads Globally by Kate Gailbraith addressed the presence of solar hot water around the world.
Most people don’t realize that there is 3 times more solar hot water installed across the world than solar PV electric. In the US, the main solar heating use has been for pools. But now, those using hot water in commercial facilities – including multi-family buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, dorms, and laundries – are taking advantage of a 30% federal tax credit, additional tax benefits, and state incentives. Profit-making companies are gaining ROIs of 20% and more, while all commercial hot water users can now participate in solar hot water programs that save 30% or better a month on their hot water heating costs – with ZERO cash down. EarthKind pioneered a “Heat Purchase Agreement” in NYS with the Ronnybrook dairy farm, and we now bring partners who can provide the same opportunity for almost any commercial hot water customer throughout the US and Caribbean.
was interviewed by “TheStreet”
’s report on clean energy jobs
Ron Kamen is a New York Chapter Director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) – a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who promote smart environmental policies that drive economic growth. E2 members are active in nearly every state in the country, have built or financed more than 1,700 companies that have created more than 570,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital.
From the interview:
“This Labor Day, the high tech jobs of the future are here now. The U.S. saw a doubling of clean energy jobs in 2015 Q2, with the majority of the new 12,500 jobs coming from solar, wind, electric vehicles, and efficiency. We see again how state and federal policies are so important for creating market certainty. The job growth was reported across 29 states, Arizona, California, Michigan, as well as Utah, Massachusetts and New York and more. At the state level, Renewable and Efficiency standards are driving growth. At the federal level, we see how important the continuation of the production and investment tax credits are to creating market certainty. And the federal Clean Power Program is going to be critical for continued exponential growth in clean energy jobs.
Next Step Living in Massachusetts has created 600 jobs, growing annual sales from $1 million to over $50 million in 3 years with insulation, weather-stripping, and other low tech, entry level jobs. SolarCity is going to create 1,000 jobs in Buffalo, NY with a high-tech solar manufacturing facility. Every two years, this new manufacturing plant will produce solar power cells that have the same energy capacity as the Indian Point nuclear power station.”
Watch the interview.
Stephen Lacey writes about Verizon’s $40 million solar investment.
Not only are major companies like Verizon turning green for sustainability purposes – but, they have now realized that they can “’drive shareholder value’ by investing in a technology that is providing reliable savings”.
Nearly every company, municipality, and institution in NY and the US can now start saving money – as well as gaining “green” environmental benefits – by going solar. EarthKind can help you realize sustained, long-term financial gains whether you want to get a 10-20+% annual return on your own investment in clean energy, or start saving money right away with “no cash down.”
Read the article at Green Tech Media…
The bright sunlight of solar power has just entered a new phase. Not only is government promoting the transition to the most powerful energy source in the world – but businesses, financial institutions, and all of society are moving to solar electricity to take advantage of the 99% decrease in price over the last 25 years. EarthKind’s development consulting creates financed projects that now make solar the LEAST COST option for most schools, businesses, institutions, and municipalities.
Vince Font wrote in his recent article:
“May 9 was a big day for the solar industry. Forget big — huge. It’s a rare occasion when the most powerful person in the world takes to the bully pulpit to sing the virtues of a particular industry, and even rarer when that praise is backed up by action and dollars.”