Ridged Systems awarded Solar Thermal Systems Program certification

solar thermal certification

The Solar Rating & Certification Corporation (ICC-SRCC), a program of the ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), has awarded Ridged Systems a certification for several configurations of its innovative Fire and Ice solar hot water systems. The ICC-SRCC OG-300 Solar Thermal System Certification Program certifies that hot water systems demonstrated compliance with the ICC 900/ICC-SRCC 300 Solar Thermal System Standard which sets minimum criteria for performance and safety.

ICC-SRCC engineers thoroughly examined the Fire and Ice systems, including its installation and operation manuals, to ensure that each of its 12 systems meet the requirements of the OG-300 program. The solar thermal function of the systems was modeled and rated using ICC-SRCC’s proprietary computer modeling program. Each system makes use of the Apricus ETC-20 vacuum tube collectors with heat wands, which are themselves certified under the ICC-SRCC OG-100 Solar Thermal Collector Certification Program.

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Fire and Ice systems not only provide domestic hot water, but are also designed to be coupled with mechanical systems. An innovative heat exchanger is used that accepts heat from a solar loop containing glycol and from refrigeration loops connected to mechanical equipment. In doing so, the system can act as a desuperheater, accepting waste heat, and reducing the electrical energy consumption of the mechanical system by 20 to 35%, according to the manufacturer.

“ICC-SRCC congratulates Ridged Systems for achieving OG-300 certification for their Fire and Ice systems,” said ICC-ES Vice President of Technical Services Shawn Martin. “Ridged Systems has demonstrated that solar thermal systems have much to offer to help reduce the energy consumption of homes and businesses.”

ICC-SRCC OG-300 certification is utilized by many incentive and rebate programs for solar water heating systems across the U.S., such as the Federal Investment Tax Credit, the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program and the Massachusetts Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program. Various codes, including the International Codes, also require compliance with the ICC 900/ICC-SRCC 300 standard, which is demonstrated by OG-300 certification.

— Solar Builder magazine

New York makes $3.8 million available for ‘Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge’

geothermal heating

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced the availability of $3.8 million for the launch of a statewide Geothermal Clean Energy Challenge, an initiative designed to help stimulate financing and installation of large-scale geothermal systems at state and local governmental entities, public and private schools and healthcare facilities. The initiative promotes clean and sustainable energy use and directly supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

The Challenge provides New York facilities with the opportunity to apply for an analysis to determine whether their buildings are best suited for the installation of geothermal pumps (i.e., ground-source energy heat pumps) for heating and cooling of buildings, by transferring heat to or from the ground. The technology also helps New Yorkers save on energy costs. Eligible organizations that can apply for a geothermal assessment include state and local governmental entities (state agencies, fire departments, and water and sewer districts), and public or private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and nursing homes. NYSERDA and NYPA are jointly administering the Challenge.

“Geothermal energy can be an ideal, cost-conscious, and clean solution to heating and cooling buildings in New York,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “NYPA is excited to partner with NYSERDA on this initiative. We look forward to seeing the implementation of clean geothermal systems at many sites throughout the state as this Challenge gets underway.”

Solar installed to power these homes for homeless women veterans in New York

The Challenge supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a statewide energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers by providing technical support, financial assistance and implementation services to accelerate the adoption of geothermal systems. Applications will be accepted until 75 eligible applications are received or through March 30, 2018, whichever comes first. The 75 eligible applicants will receive a summary report at no cost with quantitative analysis of the technical and economic viability of their potential geothermal systems.

Of the 75 applications, up to 25 of the most viable sites will be awarded with a more refined economic analysis and building energy model for their proposed geothermal systems and up to $125,000 in matching funds per site for detailed design studies. Once qualification criteria are met, participants can seek project capital to proceed with project construction through NYPA financing and NYSERDA rebates. NYPA, NYSERDA and state utilities also have various energy efficiency programs available to help further reduce energy costs.

Entities seeking to leverage geothermal energy systems to meet their heating and cooling needs can submit an application on the Geothermal Challenge website through March 30, 2018.

— Solar Builder magazine

California solar thermal incentives officially extended until 2020

california solar thermal bill

After Gov. Brown’s signature last week, California’s solar thermal incentives are officially extended, much to the delight of CALSEIA and the state’s solar industry.

“Using California’s warm sunshine to do something as simple as heating water is sensible for our state and a key way to protect public health, clean up our air, and support local good-paying jobs,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), author of the bill. “I am pleased Governor Brown signed into law the extension of this important program.”

AB 797 extends the existing California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal program for two years to 2020, seamlessly continuing the natural gas rebate program for homes, businesses and commercial swimming pools, such as at schools and community centers. The bill targets half of the funds for low-income housing and buildings in disadvantaged communities. It also expands eligibility for these rebates to homeowners in the San Joaquin Valley who currently use propane or wood to heat their water.

“The California solar thermal market is growing, especially in the multifamily housing sector – with 32% annual growth between 2015 and 2016 in annual natural gas savings,” said Kelly Knutsen, Senior Policy Advisor of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, a cosponsor of AB 797. “Governor Brown has been a long-time champion of clean energy and solar thermal technologies, and we applaud both Governor Brown and Assemblymember Irwin for their leadership in building California’s clean energy economy.”

Solar thermal Q&A: What are the trends in 2017, and how does an installer get started?

“A major challenge to meeting our state’s climate goals – and one that not enough people are talking about – is that we have to heat our homes, businesses and schools without relying on dirty fossil fuels. Solar thermal fits the bill, while reducing our energy bills at the same time,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California, which cosponsored the bill. “We thank Governor Brown and Assemblymember Irwin for their leadership on encouraging low-carbon heat energy for cleaner air for all Californians.”

To date, solar thermal projects installed under the CSI-Thermal program reduced natural gas use across the state by over 6 million therms each year, equal to the annual amount of natural gas used to heat water for nearly 34,000 homes.

The new law states that the California Public Utilities Commission “shall implement program changes in phases, if necessary, to enable seamless continuation of the availability of rebates, and the administration and promotion of the program, as of January 1, 2018.”

— Solar Builder magazine

California solar thermal incentive bill heads to governor’s desk

California assembly

Timed perfectly with Solar Power International, the California Legislature passed AB 797 last week. With the bipartisan vote in the Assembly of 45-19 and the Senate’s bipartisan 30-10 vote last Tuesday, the bill now heads to the Governor for his signature. The bill extends consumer incentives for solar thermal technologies that heat water and air using the sun’s energy, reducing natural gas use in homes and buildings. The bill is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals, improve air quality, and support economic development.

AB 797 would extend the existing California Solar Initiative (CSI)-Thermal program for two years to 2020, seamlessly continuing the natural gas rebate program for homes, businesses and commercial swimming pools, such as at schools and community centers. The bill targets half of the funds for low-income housing and buildings in disadvantaged communities. It also expands eligibility for these rebates to homeowners in the San Joaquin Valley who currently use propane or wood to heat their water.

“The California solar thermal market is growing, especially in the multifamily housing sector – with 32% annual growth between 2015 and 2016 in annual natural gas savings,” said Kelly Knutsen, Senior Policy Advisor of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, a cosponsor of AB 797. “Assemblymember Irwin is a clean energy champion for all Californians, and a strong leader for helping low-income and disadvantaged communities gain access to clean energy technologies to lower their energy bills.”

Vote here for the 2017 Solar Builder Project of the Year

“A major challenge to meeting our state’s climate goals – and one that not enough people are talking about – is that we have to heat our homes, businesses and schools without relying on dirty fossil fuels. Solar thermal fits the bill, while reducing our energy bills at the same time,” said Michelle Kinman, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment California, which cosponsored the bill. “We thank Assemblymember Irwin for her leadership and starting this important conversation on low-carbon heat energy.”

Solar thermal projects installed under the CSI-Thermal program reduced natural gas use across the state by over 5.8 million therms each year, equal to the annual amount of natural gas used to heat water for over 32,00 homes. The program has offset over 31,000 metric tons of CO2(eq) annually, comparable to taking over 6,500 cars off the road each year.

— Solar Builder magazine

Sun Bandit solar water heating, storage system qualifies for Solar Thermal Rebate Program

The PV-powered solar water heating and storage system, Sun Bandit by Next Generation Energy, has qualified for the new, higher incentives associated with the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Solar Thermal Rebate Program.
Close to $109 million in incentives is currently available to drive solar adoption: $92.6 million for general market, natural gas-displacing projects and $16.3 million for qualifying low-income single family and multi-family projects.

The aim is to help California 1) reduce the carbon emissions that come from fossil fuel-fed power plants, 2) increase solar savings for businesses and consumers 3) and create jobs for contractors and energy professionals throughout the state.

CSI officials say Californians can slash their water heating bills by up to 75% using solar technology. CSI’s Solar Thermal Program offers cash rebates of up to $4,366 on solar water heating systems for single family residential customers. Multi-family and commercial properties qualify for rebates of up to $800,000. The incentives are in most instances combinable with a 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC*), which can cumulatively reduce up to 75% of system purchase and installation costs.

Rebates are processed through CSI program administrators covering four distinct California areas: the Center for Sustainable Energy in the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) service territo-ry; [Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), who serves 5.2 million households and businesses in the northern two-thirds of California; Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edi-son (SCE).

Incentives are calculated based on a variety of factors, including system size, climate zone, azimuth, tilt, system back-up and annual average access. Use this CSI Incentive Calculatorto determine your potential solar savings with a Next Generation Energy Sun Bandit solution.

Solar thermal Q&A: What are the trends in 2017, and how does an installer get started?

“California is not only a global solar leader, but a hotbed of global technology innovation,” said Sun Bandit parent Next Generation Energy’s COO Lori Beedon. “CSI’s recognition of Sun Bandit’s patented ‘wire to water’ technology offers Californians a new breed of simplified, aesthetically-superior solar water heating and storage solution with multiple storage and back-up capabilities. And Sun Bandit eliminates the mechanical and freezing issues that have plagued old-school solar thermal for decades. Sun Bandit’s qualifying for CSI rebates affords businesses and consumers a menu of fresh new options to accelerate solar water heating adoption in the Golden State.”

— Solar Builder magazine