Vivint Solar to start installing PV systems in Virginia

Vivint solar

Vivint Solar, a full-service residential solar provider, has expanded availability of its solar energy systems into Virginia.

“We applaud Virginia’s commitment to grow its clean energy sector and are thrilled to bring Vivint Solar’s affordable solar energy services to this promising market,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “With Vivint Solar, Virginia residents can take their first step toward energy independence and do so in a way that can benefit their wallets and the environment.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Virginia generates just 0.09 percent of its electricity from solar energy, underscoring a great opportunity for rooftop solar in the state. Governor McAuliffe recently signed clean energy legislation to promote the use of solar and other renewable energy options.

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Residents in Virginia can purchase a system from Vivint Solar outright or finance the purchase with monthly payments, either through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with or their preferred lender. Customers will also be eligible to apply for any applicable utility-sponsored rebates and federal tax credits. Virginia residents who wish to install solar energy systems can interconnect to the grid under traditional net metering.

As part of each sale, Vivint Solar designs and installs the system, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of affordable, renewable solar energy. Vivint Solar has deep installation expertise, having completed over 100,000 installations throughout the United States.

Vivint Solar now operates in 20 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia).

— Solar Builder magazine

Mass Solar Connect program enhances online solar shopping experience for home owners

To protect consumers and level the playing field between large and small solar installers, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has chosen Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and EnergySage to administer the 2017 Mass Solar Connect program.

solar shopping Massachusetts

Mass Solar Connect offers a simplified and trustworthy solar shopping experience. By leveraging an online solar marketplace powered by Boston-based EnergySage, the Mass Solar Connect platform allows solar shoppers to compare quotes online from up to seven local solar installers, each of whom have been vetted by both the MassCEC and EnergySage. The quotes have standardized assumptions when calculating the financial benefits, offering a true apples-to-apples comparison. The shopper retains control over how much contact information, if any, they chose to share with installers. The customer experience can be completed entirely online through the platform, which is now live.

Two years ago, the program helped 261 Massachusetts homeowners install rooftop solar affordably.

“Our partnerships with nonprofit groups like MassEnergy and marketplace provider EnergySage help spur the adoption of renewable energy across Massachusetts and drive down the associated costs of installation,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Through these key partnerships, the Commonwealth is increasing access to solar energy for its residents while diversifying the state’s clean energy portfolio.”

Independent studies show that getting multiple quotes from a vendor-neutral marketplace such as EnergySage, rather than contacting solar installers individually, yields significant savings driven by competition. Mass Solar Connect aims to save solar shoppers 10 – 20 percent by allowing them to easily compare multiple competitive quotes side-by-side from a range of installers. “Currently, most people are only exposed to the information that reaches them from the solar companies with the biggest marketing budgets,” says Taylor. “But we have the fourth fastest growing market for solar here in our state, and therefore many excellent installers. This program will allow people to shop more locally and benefit from greater competition.”

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The cost of solar continues to decline and payback periods are shrinking fast. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the shortest break even points of any state in the country. A recent local case study recorded on EnergySage’s website shows a payback period of just over four years. With a Mass Solar Loan, designed by the state to make solar accessible to all Mass homeowners regardless of income levels, financing solar ownership has become feasible for households that might not have been able to afford it in the past.
Mass Solar Connect is targeted at Mass Energy members, but is open to anyone who wants to shop for solar for a property in Massachusetts, including commercial properties. More than 200 households have already registered their homes.

— Solar Builder magazine

CyboEnergy debuts an inverter air conditioner (no batteries required)

CyboEnergy has released a family of off-grid and on/off-grid CyboInverters that can run Inverter-Air-Conditioners (IAC) without batteries.

“Inverter-Air-Conditioners (IAC) are becoming more popular,” saud CyboEnergy CEO George Cheng. “They can start with small amounts of surge power; therefore, our special off-grid CyboInverters can run these air conditioners with just solar panels. No battery is required. We believe off-grid solar air-conditioning has huge market potential in many parts of the world where the electric grid is poor or there is no electricity.”

CyboEnergy

Solar panels and CyboInverters can be installed on the roof with “plug-and-play” installation. The AC output wire runs down to connect to the IAC. Since the system is so simple and easy to install, the total system cost is affordable, especially as the solar panel price has dropped substantially.

There are a few configurations that are possible here.

  • 4-channel 1.2-KW off-grid CyboInverter that directly connects to four 250W to 330W solar panels with MC-4 connectors. It can run a 9000 to 12000 Btu IAC.
  • An off-grid CyboInverter Twin-Pack that connects to eight solar panels and can run an 18000 to 24000 Btu IAC or multiple smaller IACs.

Most off-grid inverters on the market require batteries to operate. This battery-less solar air conditioning system is unique, cost effective, and can work in high temperature and high humidity areas.

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— Solar Builder magazine

PetersenDean to hire 50 employees to boost solar efforts in Nevada

Petersen Dean

PetersenDean Roofing & Solar, a privately-held roofing and solar company, is expanding of its solar division in Nevada in response to the newly reinstated energy policy signed into effect last week by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. With this expansion, PetersenDean expects to hire at least 50 new employees and pursue 1,200 new projects annually, valued at over $30 million.

The new Assembly Bill 405 returns net metering to Nevada residents making residential solar viable again. After the policy changes in 2015 virtually ended net metering programs, these recent changes allow homeowners to purchase solar and return to the existing rate classes of all other consumers. Once again, they will be protected from discriminatory rates, charges, and fees. Provisions of the bill also establish stronger warranties and disclosure policies that are designed to protect consumers.

While other solar companies have recently announced their return to Nevada, the PetersenDean team has experience in the Nevada new construction market dating back to 1965. The firm is the second largest roofer in the state and retains about 35 percent of all new construction market share.

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The new policy, which goes into effect immediately, means that customers with solar will get approximately 95 percent of the retail value of excess solar-produced electricity sent to the grid when it’s sold back to utilities. This will bottom out at 75 percent. Additionally, the amended legislation allows homeowners to “shave” electricity from the most expensive tiers off their bills first.

This expansion helps meet two important goals for PetersenDean, which installs about 2,000 solar and roof systems each month nationally: Providing PetersenDean custom-ers with intelligently managed energy storage, and using products assembled in the U.S.

“We made a decision years ago to offer consumers the best products at the best price and to never offer a PPA or lease option when consumers are considering solar panels for their source of low-cost, clean and reliable energy. I am delighted to see Nevada do the right thing when it comes to solar energy,” said Petersen.

— Solar Builder magazine

Vivint Solar opens up shop in Vermont

Vivint solar

Vermont has big plans for focusing on renewable energy, and Vivint Solar wants in on that future, deciding to enter the state this week.

Vermont ranks No. 2 on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Energy Momentum State Ranking, and is noted for leading the country in clean energy jobs per capita and for its carbon reduction target. Vermont has committed to attain 90 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2050. Vermont residents who wish to install solar energy systems can currently interconnect to the grid under traditional net metering.

“We applaud Vermont for providing a consistent regulatory environment to help spur renewable growth in this tremendous state,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “We look forward to becoming the residential solar provider of choice for Vermont residents and helping them start on the path to energy independence.”

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Through Vivint Solar, residents in Vermont can purchase a system outright or finance the system with monthly payments, either through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with or their preferred lender. Customers will also be eligible to apply for any applicable utility-sponsored rebates and federal tax credits.

As part of each sale, Vivint Solar designs and installs the system, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of affordable, renewable solar energy. Vivint Solar has deep installation expertise, having completed over 100,000 installations throughout the United States.

Vivint Solar now operates in 18 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Vermont) and Washington D.C. The company also plans to relaunch its residential solar energy services in Nevada.

— Solar Builder magazine