Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Live reporting: Solar Challenge

The Town of Franklin has at least 75 individually owned solar panel projects that generate over 6.2MW.

Brett Feldman, Town Councilor

In Franklin for 10 years, now a homeowner and looking to go solar. Has been a driving influence behind the community effort to get a group project for solar going. It will help to control costs that are within the individuals realm.
A quick poll of how folks heard revealed Milford Daily News, Gazette, Franklin Matters, town website, Twitter, etc.

Derrick Mathieu, Planner

only 58 projects in the state over 7M cost, 2 are here in Franklin
looking to coordinate with a local solar provider, proposals are due back from the vendors this Friday. Would evaluate the proposals and determine the successful vendors.
one person needed to work 10-15 hours per month
a rebate is available but expiring soon
social media coordination, event planning all to be done before the end of the year

Elizabeth Youngblood, project manager, MA Clean Energy Center (CEC)

to present a 'solar 101'

MA CEC funded by renewal energy trust from each power bill
looking to grow this area of clean energy
work with interns and other energy companies
they operate the commonwealth solar rebate program
MA is looking to do their own solar challenge

solar by comparison with other energy sources renewal or otherwise - solar is huge
MA is good for solar
MA has 9th highest energy prices in US, a reason to go solar

cost of systems had been about $8/watt (2009)
now with rebates it has come down to about $5/watt

comparison of maps from 2006 to 2013 shows a dramatic increase in individual solar systems

what makes a good site?

  • southern facing
  • roof pitched at 30-45 degrees
  • at least 4-6 hours of direct sun
  • open roof area of ~100 sq ft per 1KW
  • open space for a pole mounted system

brief explanation of net metering
use of power within the house from the panels, when not being used, it can be passed out to the electrical grid and purchased by the electric company

during a power outage, the system does turn off, unless there is a battery backup system installed

solarmetric suneye

tool that will evaluate the tree coverage to help determine the sun exposure you have
Info on suneye

photo of presentation in Council Chamber
photo of presentation in Council Chamber

solar incentives in MA

  • Federal and state tax credits available
  • MA CEC rebate available
  • net metering

quarterly funding blocks
around 1,000 applications per quarter approx.
$1.5M available
looking at systems up to 5KW
rebate approx 25 cents per watt
go to www.MassCEC/solar to learn more about this program

last funding block opening in October, once fully subscribed the program will close

minimum technical requirements for installers, UL and California standards to be met

40-60% of homes may not be good for solar
go energy efficiency first, or consider solar hot water which is less forgiving

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC)
SREC II started this year

Ownership models

  • individual
  • third party ownership

shifting to Q&A session

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