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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

Really Fast Commercial Solar Installs: Two REC Solar Time Lapse Videos

Posted by REC-Admin on June 25, 2014

Below are two time-lapse videos filmed at two REC Solar installations.

The first is from IKEA’s southwestern US distribution center in Tejon, California. The 1.8 MW DC system covers 216,000-square-feet of the expansive rooftop, and produced 3.05 million kWh of electric power in 2013, over 110% of expected yearly production.

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Topics: Business, General

New Program Solves the Stranded Solar Meter Problem for California Farms

Posted by REC-Admin on May 26, 2014

SB 594, a law that went into effect in PG&E utility territory February 2014, now allows property owners to aggregate the electricity load of multiple utility meters scattered throughout a single parcel or multiple continuous parcels and credit the bills with a single “Net Metered” installation.

This new program is called ‘Net Meter Aggregation’ and reduces the cost of installation and increases flexibility for farmers that may alter individual electric meter consumption from year to year. This removes financial and technical barriers to going solar for farmers that have multiple utility meters on a single property or meters scattered throughout many parcels and were unable to take full advantage of California’s net metering program.

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Topics: Utility, Government, Business, General

Three Key Commercial Solar Tax Incentives Fighting to be Extended in 2014

Posted by REC-Admin on May 18, 2014

You can never truly predict what legislation will actually pass through Congress and get signed by the President. Nevertheless, there are several expiring solar tax benefits in the EXPIRE Act of 2014 that we hope will get extended and continue to benefit commercial solar installations.

The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act is a U.S. Senate bill that is meant to extend a slew of tax incentives for one last time, hence the purposeful “EXPIRE” acronym.

In terms of solar, there are three key pieces of expiring legislation that may or may not make it to the President’s desk:

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Topics: Utility, Government, Business, General

Believe it or not, solar is getting hot...in Minnesota? Yes, Minnesota

Posted by REC-Admin on May 04, 2014

You might think that a northern state like Minnesota wouldn’t be a hot market for solar energy, but solar works great in northern and colder climates. To capture that solar potential, Minnesota recently enacted several policies and incentives to inspire more Minnesota businesses, municipalities, non-profits, and residents to install solar and reduce their energy costs.

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Topics: Business, General

Learn About Three New Solar Financing Models for Non-Profits Wanting to Go Solar

Posted by REC-Admin on April 22, 2014

There have generally been two main financial challenges for non-profits interested in going solar. First is the lack of funds or credit availability for purchasing a solar system. The second issue is taxes—or rather their tax-exempt status. Because non-profits don’t pay income and property taxes, they’re often barred by legislation from taking advantage of local and federal tax incentives, such as 30% solar Investment Tax Credit (solar ITC).

Having dealt with these customer issues in the past, REC Solar has developed new solar financing partnerships that are tailored to the needs of non-profits, such as churches, hospitals, HOA’s, and charitable organizations. All three finance solutions address solar’s upfront costs and the ability to indirectly capture tax incentives, while each is also designed to significantly reduce a non-profit’s electricity bills.

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Topics: Government, Business, General

Is the Solar Microgrid Future Already Here?

Posted by REC-Admin on April 03, 2014

Yes, we live in a utility grid dominant world right now that is mainly powered by fossil fuels and nuclear power. And yet, more and more microgrids powered by solar and other renewable technologies are coming on line or are under development today. In fact, Navigant Research recently stated that the microgrid is moving into full-scale commercialization and that the global microgrid market will grow from $10 billion in 2013 to more than $40 billion annually by 2020.

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Topics: Utility, Government, Business, General

How Solar Reduced a California Farm’s Electric Bill by 75%

Posted by REC-Admin on March 24, 2014


Today’s farmers are increasingly using the sun’s energy to grow more than just fruits and vegetables. Solar power systems have become a new solution for reducing the energy costs of water pumps, refrigeration, vineyard wine processing, and many other energy-intensive agriculture applications.

According to a 2009 USDA survey, nearly 8,000 farms had installed solar electric systems for various agricultural uses, and that number has no doubt increased significantly over the last several years, since solar installation prices have fallen by 60%.

REC Solar alone has installed solar systems for more than two-dozen large and small growers, vineyards, and agricultural facilities, offsetting the growing electricity requirements for 21st century farming.

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Topics: Business, General

What's a Utility Demand Charge and How Commercial Solar Can Help

Posted by REC-Admin on February 13, 2014

If you’re an operations manager of a commercial building or industrial facility, then you probably know that a major portion of your monthly bill can come from so-called “demand charges.” The good news is that installing solar can bite a good chunk off those charges, and combining solar with new energystorage technology can deliver even more savings.

What are Demand Charges?

In general, demand charges are billed to commercial and industrial electric customers who use a spike of energy at some point during peak times when utilities have to purchase or produce extra power to meet the extra demand of the entire grid.

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Topics: Government, Business, General