Recent Posts

Duke Energy Is Investing in REC Solar to Grow the Commercial Solar Market

Posted by REC-Admin on February 09, 2015

We are very excited to announce that as of February 6, 2015, REC Solar and Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric power holding company, have partnered to bring you more affordable, simple solar solutions for your business. Together we have launched a $225 Million project investment fund to finance solar projects nationwide. This enables REC Solar to be a one-stop source for Engineering, Procurement, Construction AND Financing of your solar projects.

REC Solar is now in a strategic position to own and operate commercial solar energy systems, selling energy to business, non-profit and government organizations throughout the United States.

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Topics: General

The Perfect Storm: Why Now Is the Time to Seize the 30% Credit on Commercial and Industrial Solar

Posted by REC-Admin on November 30, 2014

Although the 30% business investment tax credit (ITC) for installing solar expires at the end of 2016, the window for taking advantage of the ITC is actually much sooner. Unless Congress extends the ITC—which is an open question at this time—business owners should begin planning now for solar projects to be completed by the end of 2016. Combined with lower costs than ever before, businesses are seeing a perfect storm of conditions that make now an ideal time to go solar.

You might think that 2 years is a long time to pull the trigger on going solar, but like any large commercial or industrial upgrade, solar projects can take 1 to 2 years to complete and go online. Here’s why:

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Topics: Business, General, Government, Utility

The “Other” Type of Commercial Financing: PACE...

Posted by REC-Admin on November 22, 2014

When a retail store, winery, or factory thinks about going solar, they often finance through a solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA). Both allow your business to go solar with no up front costs. But if you’re in California, there’s new way to finance solar with no upfront cost, and it’s called Property Assessed Clean Energy or “PACE.”

PACE is a win-win for both the business that wants to go solar and the PACE lender. It’s a win for the business because it can own a solar system with no upfront costs, get free electricity for 20 years, plus receive any available solar rebates and tax incentives. It’s a win for the lender because the PACE loan is paid back through a special tax assessment on the business’s property, which makes the loan extremely secure, even from bankruptcy.

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Relax with REC Solar and Learn Your REC’s at SPI!

Posted by REC-Admin on October 29, 2014

Here’s a rundown of all that’s happening at REC Solar’s Booth 850 at Solar Power International, as well as other events at the show.

Tuesday, October 21 – Thursday October 23

Just like the solar business, trade shows can be both exciting and intense, but REC Solar has you covered.

    • Relax with REC Solar. From finance to construction, you’re in great hands with REC Solar… so stop by Booth 850 and enjoy a free 5 to 7 minute chair massage on us!
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Topics: General

Massachusetts Net Metering Cap Raised for Businesses Installing Solar

Posted by REC-Admin on October 06, 2014

The Red Sox may not win the Pennant again in 2014, but there’s still some good news if your business or municipality wants to install solar in Massachusetts: In a last-minute legislative compromise with utilities, the state’s net metering cap has been raised to 5% of grid capacity for government entities and 4% of grid capacity for private businesses.

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Topics: Business, General

California's SCE Utility Option R Rate Returns for 25% More Solar Savings

Posted by REC-Admin on September 23, 2014

12/18/Update: As expected, the California Public Utilities Commission has finally approved a settlement with solar advocates to increase the cap on its Option R rate from 150 megawatts (MW) to 400 MW, allowing more medium and large commercial and industrial customers to go solar. Below, we've described two examples that show how the Option R rate significantly increase the ROI of going solar in the SCE utility territory.

If you’re a business or a non-profit, your utility rate can be a crucial factor in your overall annual savings from installing solar. Now, thanks to a recent settlement between solar advocates and the Southern California Edison (SCE) utility that should be finalized by January 2015, commercial businesses and non-profits that go solar in SCE territory will once again be able to select the financially advantageous “Option R” Time of Use (TOU) rate that has been limited.

What’s Option R?

Option R is an alternative to SCE’s “Option B” TOU rate, which could still reduce commercial electricity costs by installing solar panels, but … the Option B rate did not affect demand charges, a significant portion of commercial and industrial electric bills. The reintroduction of Option R would simplify SCE’s rate structures so that demand charges are reduced, and as a result, it can increase annual solar savings by around 25% over the Option B rate.

Before we get into a couple of examples, let’s get onto the same utility bill page. Your non-residential SCE utility rate bill is broken up into several components:

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Topics: Utility, Government, Business

What You Need to Know about Solar, Storage, and Microgrids

Posted by REC-Admin on September 23, 2014

REC Solar recently participated in a webinar on Renewable Energy World that invited several experts to discuss the U.S. landscape for solar PV with microgrids, and energy storage for business. The panelists included:

Peter H. Asmus, Principal Research Analyst at Navigant Research. Peter is a leading global expert on microgrids and virtual power plants and the author of four books on energy and environmental issues.

Ben Peters, who serves as Director of Solar Finance & Policy at REC Solar. Ben provides strategic guidance on the commercial and utility sector, and he also manages REC’s economic analysis group, which helps REC customers to develop projects based on relevant regulatory and policy changes.

John Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Ecoult, an energy storage solution company. John first joined the energy storage community in 2008, having previously launched technologies globally in security, identity, payment technology, and telecommunications.

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Topics: Business

Video: Groundbreaking for 12 MW Kaua’i, Hawaii Solar Power Project

Posted by REC-Admin on September 09, 2014

On July 26, 2014, REC Solar and the KIUC Utility held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 12 MW solar power project on the island of Kauaʻi. A 6 MW lithium-ion battery system will also be installed alongside the array to store and distribute energy when clouds reduce the solar installation’s output.

The groundbreaking event was attended by many notable Hawaii state officials, including Hawai’i Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, Kaua’i Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr, and Rep. Derek Kawakami, House District 14. KIUC President-CEO David Bissell and KIUC’s Chairman of the Board Allan Smith were also in attendance. When completed in 2015, over 57,000 solar panels will power 5% of Kaua'i with clean solar energy. Check out this photographic journal of the ground breaking, below.

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Topics: Utility, Government

Beating the Heat: Hampton Inn Hotel Reduces Cooling Costs by 44% with a New Solar Carport

Posted by REC-Admin on July 29, 2014

It’s hot in Bakersfield, California, especially during the summer months when temperatures regularly hit 110 degrees. But as The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport is discovering, the sun also has its advantages for reducing utility costs and increasing customer acquisition and satisfaction when the hotel goes solar.

The attractively designed 102 kW solar carport installed by REC Solar, combined with energy efficiencies, will not only offset up to 44% of the 94-room hotel’s electricity costs, but it will also provide much appreciated shade for arriving visitors and hours of sun protection for 29 parked cars.

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Topics: Business, General

Evaluating Commercial Solar: Payback, ROI, NPV, and IRR

Posted by REC-Admin on July 20, 2014

How much your business saves over the 25 to 30 year lifetime of a typical commercial solar system depends on many factors, including how you finance it, federal and local incentives, your utility rate, and the amount of sunshine available on your commercial rooftop.

To help commercial and industrial solar customers evaluate the financial benefits of installing solar, REC Solar can provide a free quote and a detailed financial analysis to determine:

  • Payback
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Net Present Value (NPV), and
  • IRR (Internal Rate of Return)

Let’s briefly explore each of these finance evaluation concepts. Some variables will change if financing through a solar lease or solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA).

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Topics: General

About this blog

Welcome to the REC Solar Blog, where we write about the latest in solar news, technology, equipment, legislation and financing for those interested in getting comercial and large solar power into the mainstream.

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