A new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report offers clear support that a premium exists in the marketplace for solar homes. That means that customer-owned PV systems have value, and therefore systems’ contribution to home values must be assessed. The study found that in California, larger systems garner larger premiums and older systems garner smaller premiums. The researchers estimated that each 1kW increase in size equates to a $5,911 higher premium, and each year systems age equates to a $2,411 lower premium.
California continues breaking records for solar power generation, even in winter months. That bodes well for solar in California into 2014.
JMC Homes partners with PetersenDean and Canadian Solar, offering all new homes in its recently opened community in Lincoln, California, with solar as a standard feature. This is the latest in a trend among homebuilders.
The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is putting 3.6MW of solar systems on 16 schools. The systems include rooftop solar arrays and solar shade structures in school parking lots, which take advantage of underutilized space and provide needed shade. Once the systems are completed in 2014, the district estimates it will reduce electricity costs at those facilities by 46%.
A $2.6 million project for solar carports at San Joaquin County's corporation yard in south Stockton is unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. The solar project’s energy savings will cover the cost of the project in 11 years, and total savings over the project’s 30-year lifespan are expected to be about $6.2 million.
Cities are getting on the solar savings bandwagon. The latest of these is Reedley, CA, where Pacific Power Renewables has broken ground to install solar power on four city sites. 947kW is currently being installed at the waste water treatment plant, the community center, the Royal Valley building, and Reedley City Hall. The solar production will offset 100% of the city’s power usage at those sites. If electricity rates increase on average of 3% per year over current rates, the City will realize $2,946,200 in future savings.
California-based SunWest Fruit Company expands its current 1MW rooftop solar array with a 1.9MW addittion after experiencing firsthand the great benefits of solar on its electricity bills. The addition will bring the total offset of electricity to approximately 70%, and upon completion the solar installation will be one of the largest privately owned systems in the Central Valley.
SolarCity announces the opening of ten new operations centers in California. All are expected to be operational by the end of 2013, nearly doubling the company's locations in the state. The expansion will result in the company having a location within 30 miles of more than 90% of the state's population.
8minutenergy Renewables and saferay have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement to sell the electricity generated at their 15MW Woodmere Solar Farm project in Kern County, California, to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Construction of the utility-scale solar facility is projected to begin in 2014, with the site expected to be operational and delivering renewable energy by December 2015. The project will create approximately 38 direct and 75 indirect jobs during construction, providing economic benefits to Kern County.
Bishamon Industries Corporation's factory in Ontario, California goes solar with a 219kW PV system. In addition to reducing its impact on the environment, Bishamon expects to realize a 75% reduction in electricity costs by converting its factory to solar energy.
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