The Week in Solar: January 29-February 4, 2017

Each week, Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC takes a look at the world of solar and how it affects Floridians. Below is the week of January 29-February 4, 2017; click on the red links for the highlighted article exclusive.

This Year’s Super Bowl is Energy-Efficient. Shouldn’t Texas Be?

John Hall of Environmental Defense Fund poses the idea of an energy-efficient Texas in light of their current hosting of the Super Bowl.  Played at Houston’s NRG state-of-the-art facility, the Super Bowl host stadium boasts huge savings due to the use of an LED lighting array.  Hall suggests the state of Texas “take a page from NRG’s playbook” through state legislation and job creation in order to pace the nation energy efficiency.
The Florida Takeaway:  Texas is one of the nation’s leaders in renewables, and the fact that the Super Bowl host stadium featured an extremely efficient LED array could be used as a model for forthcoming arenas/stadiums.  Legislation in Florida is key as well if solar is to make the jump many expect, and Texas legislature could serve as a model as well.

untitled-designEnphase Job Losses to Largely Impact Californian HQ

Microinverter company Enphase is set to cut 18% of their global workforce, writes Ian Clover of PV Magazine.  The majority of the cuts will be at their headquarters in Petaluma, California.  Enphase is one of the most dominant microinverter companies in the United States, and recent introductions into the foreign market are optimistic.

“It will be imperative that Enphase aggressively pursues its diversification into new revenue streams such as energy storage, home energy management and the development of AC module solutions in the next year or two…While these market segments will be equally as competitive in the next few years in pricing terms, these segments will be key to unlocking new sales channels such as selling directly to module suppliers, major building providers/house builders and innovative utilities who are rapidly seeking to understand new distributed forms of energy generation.”

Cormac Gilligan, IHS Markit Solar Research Manager

The Florida Takeaway:  Bay Area Solar Solutions recently blogged on microinverters.  Microinverters, string inverters, and power optimizers are options that one must consider when purchasing a solar system.  Enphase is one of the best microinverters on the market, and Floridians can rest assured that their product is world class.  Enphase’s current restructure will be better for Floridians choosing solar, as price cuts and better technology will result.

Developer Accuses Duke Energy of Illegally Restricting Solar Power Deals

Cypress Creek Renewables recently filed a complaint against Duke Energy.  The California-based solar entity accuses Duke of violating state and federal law, reports John Downey of Charlotte Business Journal.  The violations focus on power-purchase agreements in the state of North Carolina.
The Florida Takeaway:  Duke Energy’s battle with Cypress Creek Renewables should be watched closely by Floridians.  Duke has a large presence in the state of Florida, although power-purchase agreements have yet to enter the Florida solar arena.  Duke recently backed the failed Amendment 1 in the recent election, and their backing of solar can be questioned.  Floridians have the great opportunity of informing their state representatives of power-purchase agreements as well as favorable solar policies.

untitled-designClosing Sunshot Initiative Would be a Backwards Step for Trump Administration, Warns Former Director

Minh Le, former Department of Energy Director, is a strong believer in the SunShot Initiative.  John Parnell, of PVTECH, writes that if the Trump administration closed the SunShot Initiative, they would be “shooting itself in the foot.”  Le’s support of the solar industry and the SunShot Initiative are warranted by high workforce and economic contributions, and are backed by the entity’s numbers.  A retention of the program is extremely compelling, asserts Le.

“I don’t think anyone who looks at the data can argue against it. We have hard data that shows it’s working. It’s creating jobs, it’s growing our GDP. If you want to go backwards then you turn that off.”

–Minh Le, former director DoE

The Florida Takeaway:  Florida certainly benefits from the SunShot Initiative as well as solar.  The DoE currently desires affordable solar for all, and the SunShot Initiative is a great program aimed at such, primarily lower income families.  Although the program is relatively new, getting the word out to all Floridians is imperative.  Florida solar is already bankable as it is, but the aforementioned program helps solar shine all the more.  Minh Le’s words will hopefully be heeded by the Trump administration resulting in more Florida solar.

CPS authorizes $15 million expansion of San Antonio’s solar rebate program

CPS Energy recently announced a huge rebate program for solar purchasers, writes Rye Druzin, of mySa.  The program, geared towards residential and commercial solar, allocates $15 million in solar rebates.  CPS Energy is based in San Antonio, Texas.
The Florida Takeaway:  Utility solar rebates are not unprecedented.  Duke Energy offered solar rebates in the not-too-distant past, but the program no longer exists.  The CPS Energy program will certainly help local installers; perhaps the same could happen in the Sunshine State.  It’s hard to determine just how much Florida utility and power companies are behind solar, but with solar rebate programs, all of Florida wins.



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