Posts tagged photovoltaic (PV)

Solar Stampede in New Jersey

New Jersey’s second phase of the Clean Energy program that offered rebates to those seeking to install photovoltaic panels for energy savings went well – almost too well. The program which opened again May 3, is already closed again – the huge flood of applications that inundated the state program in just one short week exhausted resources.

Fortunately, the program is set up for this possibility, with plans for funding to be done several times this year in expectations that cycles would see this type of response.The Clean Energy Programs’ website now says:

“In just three days, an entire cycle worth of applications were submitted for residential and nonresidential solar projects through the Renewable Energy Incentive Program… The Office of Clean Energy anticipates having a recommendation for consideration of additional funding or potential program changes at the June 7th board meeting… Please check this website on a weekly basis for updates and additional information.”

The new cycle should open September 1, instead of applicants having to wait an entire year. In the meantime, there are still plenty of rebates and incentives available at the state and federal level. These include a federal energy-efficient property tax credit for homeowners of up to 30 percent of the cost of a solar photovoltaic installation, as well as the renewable-energy credit program, which is designed to serve as a long-term inducement for installing solar PV systems.

According to data from the federal Energy Information Administration, New Jersey residents pay nearly 16 cents per kilowatt-hour as of January 2010, one of the higher average residential rates nationally. No wonder hundreds of residents are stampeding to apply for funding, making New Jersey second only to California in solar use; the state has 5,582 solar-electric projects installed as of March 31, totaling a capacity of about 149 megawatts.

While some residents may be waiting for the new cycle of rebates to begin, others are moving ahead with installation plans. Arosa Solar, a PV installation company operating out of Lakewood, New Jersey, anticipates a rise in client requests over the coming year thanks to the support being provided to make the switch to clean energy affordable for the average homeowner.


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New Jersey Business Owners Eligible for Grants

Commercial PV systems now falling under federal grant guidelines for clean energy

New Jersey business owners can now receive a grant to help defray the cost of purchasing and installing a photovoltaic system, making ‘going green’ even more affordable for even small businesses.

For FYE 2009 and FYE 2010, treasury grants are now available to those who choose to install photovoltaic systems in New Jersey and elsewhere. Formerly, businesses could qualify for a federal tax credit, but a new system has been set up to allow the U.S. Treasury Department to issue grants equal to 30% of the cost of new commercial solar installation projects initiated in the US over the next 2 years.

New Jersey business owners can receive a cash grant through this federal stimulus package. The maximum benefit equals $1,500 per 0.5 kW for qualified fuel cell property; between 10 and 30% of the cost of teh system. Grant applications must be submitted by 10/1/2011. Payment of grant will be made within 60 days of the grant application date or the date property is placed in service, whichever is later.

This is a better system than the original tax credit available, and these grants can still be combined with other incentives and loans available at the federal and state level for photovoltaic installations. PV systems can save New Jersey businesses considerable costs over a five to ten year period, and bring in additional revenue by qualifying for the state’s SREC program.

Visit Arosa Solar to learn more about PV systems and federal grants in place.

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What Size PV System do I Need?

Matching Your Load With Your PV System

If you have determined that PV is the best way to meet your energy needs, you need to size your system to effectively meet your daily load. You will need the answers to the following questions and the assistance of an expert to make an informed decision.

What is your budget? Remember, in New Jersey and many other states, the government offers rebates and tax credits at the federal and state levels. It is cheaper overall to install a larger system all at once than to only add a few kilowatt system and add later. A 10 kw system is generally required to qualify for net metering, and for registration online to earn SRECs.

Does your load need to be met all day every day? If not, what percentage of your energy needs do you hope to supply with your system?

Will you need to stay hooked into the grid if there are extended periods when the sun does not shine? New Jersey and surrounding states can experience periods of cloudiness for days, especially in winter.

What are has your average electricity usage been over the past few years?

Does your utility company allow net metering (will they let you have energy when you need it, and buy back from you when you have excess)?

Once you have determined what your budget and expected usage are, you can calculate the size system you should purchase. A chart is available for calculating square footage of roofing needed by the efficiency of your proposed PV modules here.

Your first step is to determine your average daily usage in kilowatt hours. Most bills will have this displayed either as a daily average over the month or the total kilowatt hours used over the month. Look at your average over the year to get the best estimate of your usage.

Use the chart found here to estimate the number of clear, partially cloudy and cloudy days per year in your state or town. This will give you an idea of how much monthly production you can have at different times of year.

Arosa Solar can help you estimate the size PV system you will need to produce any percentage of your building’s energy. You can work the figures backwards if you are buying based on a budget, multiplying the number of sunlight hours / day times the number of kilowatts a prospective system would produce. This will give you an idea of what percentage of your home’s power could be replaced with solar energy on an average day.

Go solar!

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Easy Ways to Save Using Solar Energy

Summertime has arrived in New Jersey, and energy costs are on the rise. Running the air conditioner makes many people cringe, as it drives up energy consumption and bills. For those not yet able to make the full leap to completely solar driven power usage, solar attic fans can help decrease the level of energy needed to keep your home cool.

Solar Attic Fans

Solar attic fans can decrease the cooling load on your air conditioner. They increase fresh air circulation, keeping your roof and attic space cooler and extending the life of your roof. They come on when the sun is out and heating up your roof and attic, so they only work when needed to cool down the worst of the hot air.

Two fan options are generally available with adjustable solar panels. The 10 watt ventilates 1200 sq feet and the 20 watt covers 1800 sq feet. Installation costs range between $475 to $600, and most fans will pay for themselves in just a few years by reducing energy needs and prolonging the lifetime of most roofs.

Solar Tube Lighting

Solar tube lighting can be a tremendous money saver at any time of year, bringing natural lighting into your home or business. Installed lights range from approximately $350 to $600. The expense is worth it, as they will pay for themselves over time by reducing costs from electricity and standard light bulb purchases. The highly reflective light pipes can be up to 18-20 feet long, and are made of high grade aluminum with seamless construction.

Tubular skylights are smaller than most other skylights. They have roof-mounted solar collectors, which increase their daylighting potential even with their small size. Since a rooftop solar collector has such a small surface area, tubular skylights minimize heat loss in the winter and heat gain in summer.

The diameter of the tube determines the coverage area. A 10 inch solar light will cover up to 150 sq feet, and provide the equivalent of up to 300 watts. A 13 inch tube has a coverage of 300 sq feet, with about 500 watts. A 21 inch light covers 700 sq feet and delivers up to 1450 watts.

Both of these options can help you keep energy costs down. Contact Arosa Solar and talk to an expert about how you can save money by using the clean, renewable energy of the sun.

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Federal Incentive for Business PV Systems

Make your business run green, and you can cash in on government green!

New Jersey business owners now have even more reasons to ‘go solar’ with the help of Arosa Solar. Installing a PV system to supply electricity to run a business can help you  escape dependence on standard energy sources that pollute the environment, and pull in nice incentives from the government as well!

Grid-tied PV systems generate “green” renewable energy from the roof of a business without the danger of running short on power. They have battery back-up capability that stores energy as well, and will take energy from the electric company on cloudy days, feeding it back into the grid on good days or weekends when energy use is lower! This saves money for business owners, and in addition, Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC’s) can be accumulated and sold to investors or energy companies. Utility companies are required to produce a certain amount of their energy from renewable sources, but capability isn’t keeping up as building large solar and wind powered plants is taking longer than anticipated. To keep in compliance, these companies can satisfy part of that requirement by buying these ‘green tags’, which in New Jersey are trading for well over $600.

As an added bonus, eligible systems placed in service on or before December 31, 2016 qualify for a federal credit equal to 30% of expenditures, with no maximum credit. In other terms, if you have a solar PV system installed, you can either qualify for a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of the system, or, if you can’t use the credit, you will receive a grant from the US Treasury in the form of a check for the same amount within 60 days of final inspection of such a system!

What are you waiting for? If you own and operate a business and have the space for a photovoltaic system, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Call Arosa Solar and speak to an expert today.

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Arosa Solar PV Systems Reduce Electric Costs

Live Cheaper, Live Greener

Are high electric costs getting you heated under the collar? Solar panels are designed to let the power of the sun provide electricity for your home, and can significantly reduce those high summer bills. Arosa Solar sells and installs full PV systems in Lakewood, NJ and the surrounding areas, enabling many home and business owners in in New Jersey to fill their electric needs cleanly and cheaply.

Photovoltaic (PV) modules use solar panels to create energy from sunlight – energy that can be used to power your home or business. The modules are wired together and placed on an unobstructed roof or un-shaded patch of ground with a full view of the sky.

In New Jersey, solar panels will be more effective in the summer months. Staying connected to the electrical grid can benefit you on that front, since not only will you be getting your electricity free, but you can sell any surplus back to the energy company – in effect spinning the meter backwards. In the winter, any power you lack can be supplied by the energy company so you never lose power.

In addition to saving on immediate electricity bills, you can also rack up SRECs, or green tags. These are certificates that show every megawatt of energy your system has produced; you can sell this certificates for nearly $700 currently in New Jersey. Arosa Solar customers who purchase a ten kilowatt system automatically are hooked to the state database, which remotely tracks and records power being generated.

This summer, call Arosa Solar for an estimate and evaluation of your own home and whether solar power might be your best option for going green and keeping your green! Located in Lakewood, NJ, Arosa Solar has trained technicians, contacts all over the country and a commitment to getting you the best PV system possible.

Reduce your electric bill, live greener and start enjoying freedom from worry over continually rising energy costs! Before summer hits, look into having a PV solar energy system installed on your home. It could be the smartest thing you’ll ever do!

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