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A Comeback for Commercial Solar in the Golden State? We Think So.

The commercial and small utility solar market in California reminds us of 1848, just a year before the gold rush: lucrative, and largely untapped. While the state boasts the largest commercial solar market in the union, it remains relatively small. The latest Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Greentech Media Solar Market Insight report revealed…

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Is Community Solar Coming to Maryland?

What is Community Solar? Although renters or homeowners with shaded roofs may be ineligible to “go solar” themselves, they can subscribe to a share of a community solar project so that a portion of their electric bill still comes from clean, solar energy. In the last several years, community solar programs have popped up in…

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Why Option R is a Big Deal for Southern California’s Commercial Solar Market

Rate structure changes in favor of demand charges in both the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) utility territories have discouraged the development of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects in the Golden State. Luckily, we expect this to change in SCE territory as developers begin to take advantage of Option R. Demonstrating kilowatt…

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Plan to Scale Commercial Solar Market Revealed: Sol Systems and Sungevity Team up to Pave the Way

There’s a lot of talk and speculation about the future of the commercial solar space. Today, Sol Systems and Sungevity gave ‘em something to talk about by announcing a partnership to cultivate the elusive commercial sector. Estimates for the size of the commercial solar market range between $2 billion on the conservative side up to…

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March 2015 Solar Project Finance Journal Statistics

Sol Systems’ Solar Project Finance Journal is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends, and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and it incorporates news from a variety of industry resources….

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Will 2015 Be the Year of Commercial Solar?

The numbers are out. Greentech Media and SEIA’s latest Solar Market Insight Report showed that commercial-scale solar’s growth has been less than impressive. In fact, their research shows that 2014 commercial-scale installs were down 6% from 2013, and 3% from 2012. We’ve discussed on multiple occasions why commercial-scale has experienced sluggish growth, and why a shortage…

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Are Company Acquisitions the Best Way for Utilities to Acquire Solar Pipeline?

In an attempt to get in on the solar game, there has been a trend whereby utilities are acquiring commercial solar companies. Most recently, Duke announced that it had acquired a major stake in REC Solar, and AES acquired Main Street Power. We can certainly understand why utilities see acquiring solar companies as the fast…

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Why QFs Should Qualify for Your Attention

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) was implemented to encourage, among other things, the development of renewable energy sources. Under PURPA, electric utilities are required to purchase power from certain small renewable energy generators such as solar, generally 20MW and smaller, known as qualifying facilities (QFs). The purchase price is set at…

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Giving That Matters: 5,000 Pounds Packed at the Capital Area Food Bank

Last week, the Sol Systems team volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), an organization dedicated to providing food to the hungry in the Washington metro area. In just a three-hour period, the team sorted over 5,000 pounds of food into 2,200 bags to feed families in need. The organization distributes over 42 million…

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D.C. Announces New Low-Income Solar Program

While the cost of solar has come down, the initial cost of installation is often too much for low-income residents. In order to ensure that low-income residents benefit from low cost energy, the District Department of Environment (DDOE) released their Solar Advantage Plus program. This program provides rebates to the cities’ low-income residents in order to…

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Fight for Solar Underway in Indiana

Indiana has surfaced as the most recent political battleground aimed at distributed generation (DG) and net metering. House Bill (HB) 1320, despite substantial opposition by environmental groups and industry, will move to the Indiana House of Representatives after clearing the House Utilities, Energy, and Telecommunications Committee last Wednesday. HB 1320 attacks distributed generation by authorizing…

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Sol Systems Participates in National Women in Solar Energy Event on February 24

Sol Systems will sponsor Women in Solar Energy’s #NationWISE, a multi-city round table that aims to elevate the discussion on women in the clean energy workforce. Sol Systems will sponsor both the D.C. and San Francisco events, and Deputy General Counsel Leslie Barkemeyer will speak on the D.C. panel, which will be put on in partnership with…

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February 2015 Solar Project Finance Journal

Below, we have included excerpts from Sol Systems’ February 2015 Solar Project Finance Journal, which is a monthly email newsletter that our project finance team distributes to our network of clients and solar stakeholders. Our newsletter contains solar statistics from current real-life solar projects, trends and observations gained through monthly interviews with our solar project finance team, and…

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Will Commercial Offtakers Ever Accept Form Legal Documents?

“We can unlock the potential of the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar market if we only had form legal documents!” says everyone, all the time. If only it were that simple. Rule number one: commercial solar is not residential. The residential sector often utilizes boilerplate offtake agreements. These “take-it or leave-it” form documents are standard,…

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Early Stage Pipeline? Yes, Please.

Traditionally, investors preferred to see a deal after it had reached certain milestones, such as executed site control and/or an electricity offtake agreement. Now, however, financiers such as Sol Systems are more interested in seeing a deal earlier on in the development process, even after some of the initial host discussions. Why the change? We…

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VIDEO: What Will It Take to Get Commercial-scale Solar off the Ground?

The residential solar market is booming, and utility-scale is going strong in the face of a decline in the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). At the same time, much of the commercial-scale solar market has seen relatively flat growth year-over-year. GTM Research expects that 2014 will be the first time in 10 years that residential solar…

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Employee Spotlight: Jason Corum, Junior Web Developer

At Sol Systems, our team is our number one asset, and we are proud to employ some of the brightest talent in the renewable energy industry. This month’s employee spotlight falls on Jason Corum, Junior Web Developer. Jason’s journey to his web development position is a rather unique one. Starting off as a communications professional…

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Maryland SREC Market Marches Closer to Equilibrium in 2014

As we wait for the final 2014 Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to mint for the state of Maryland, chances are high that the market will be the closest to equilibrium that it has been in 3 years. Uncertainty around this news centers on how many SRECs the state supported Mt. St. Mary’s solar project…

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Solar Industry Shines in New Solar Jobs Census

The solar industry had a landmark year in 2014, according to the Solar Foundation’s 5th annual National Solar Jobs Census, increasing employment by over 20%. This growth represents the largest one-year increase in the survey’s history. Not only did the solar industry add 26,000 new jobs, it grew 20 times faster than the overall U.S….

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SRECs Accelerate Payback Period through Sol Combo Contract

If 62% of Americans responded to a survey agreeing that they would like to use solar in their homes, why do only about .35% of households in the U.S. have a solar installation? For one, many people understand that a solar installation produces cost savings over time, but the upfront costs of installation can be…

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