Polaris solar PV net news: in action in response to global climate change, the community plays a key role. In the United States, and communities through the promotion of solar power and promote more sustainable and inclusive economic development. More recently, they focused on the Community scale solar.
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) suggested that Community-scale solar project unique for their services, community orientation, so that “community-supported development” a reality. This concept including a series of lower Community scale solar energy costs, and can stimulate the enthusiasm of local activities. Today, the community has carried out relevant activities at all levels, including district or community-based organizations, non-profit organizations, County Government, the regional infrastructure, as well as other relevant institutions.
Solar power plants to provide clean energy
In United States BoardmanHill of West Rutland, Vermont community solar development solar power plant is the one example. Through the development of Community-scale solar energy, the power plant to provide affordable clean energy. At first, the two locals propose to convene a meeting of county-level discussions on the development of Community-scale solar, the Conference eventually attracted 56 participants, and signed an agreement to become a 150KW solar power plant projects common to all people in small communities. Later, they formed BHSFLLC limited liability company. The company advocates a non-for-profit and is managed by the members, representing all deal with matters of administrative and financial matters relating to the purchase of solar panels.
Initially, communities encountered difficulties in looking for a suitable project site, a local organic farmer offered his land, but he had one condition-the sale of renewable energy certificates, which often is one of the best means to reduce the cost of solar projects. Even in the absence of which is worth $ 40,000 income, the company will still cost control in a 2. 87 dollars per watt (before tax), lower than the average cost of Community-scale solar power plant at that time about $ 1 per watt.
A founding member of the project, said: “we are not selling renewable energy certificates, so our projects more environmentally friendly. Electricity retailers to purchase renewable energy certificates to sell green electricity, which means that renewable energies will be counted. Even if we give up this portion of the profit, our costs are still lower than other community solar projects. ”
Practice of controlling project cost
In order to save costs, negotiated bargain BHSF companies buy from a locally installed solar panels. In addition, BHSF will project the daily administrative and financial management associated with the ownership of the solar panels, avoid the middle with profit margins of price difference. The company official explained: “our project by all the members, management, and financing. We have no third party investors, and bring the cost down to a minimum, so that we can undertake the whole project expenditures. ”
Another approach is to use energy to control project cost to cover the rent of land. Total cost of the land lease for $ 70,000, a lease term of 25 years. However, BHSF company purchased 5% of solar panels (rents and prices), with these solar panel capacity to offset the electricity bills. Users only need to pay 2. $ 50,000 in upfront fees, savings 4. $ 50,000 or more than the value of renewable energy certificates that are not sold. The foregoing heads of companies said: “enjoy the energy output of the project 5%, constant annual income for landowners, but project participants pay the upfront cost of the solar panel, without having to pay rent every year over the next 25 years. ”
Past investment community-scale solar project residents of 30% families are not entitled to tax relief. However, a member of the BoardmanHill project to the United States internal revenue service applied for a private letter ruling, fight for their right to tax breaks. Although the ruling only to a member of the community has legal effect, but it opens up new ideas for other community solar projects through the internal revenue service guidelines for additional benefits.
Costs as low as 2. 87 dollars per watt, along with additional tax relief, a 3kW capacity project cost is approximately $ 6000. Annual electricity savings of more than $ 700, this means that the solar project’s average annual return on investment of up to 12%. Preceding official added: “If the user cannot get enough down payment funds, they can take advantage of the low interest rates of local banks and credit institutions to issue Green credits, usually matching costs to pay the power company as a down payment, staged yearly to repay loans. ”
Community support for economies of scale
Installed capacity exceeding 1MW portfolio could benefit from the experience and economies of scale, but also without additional community members upfront investment costs to bring real savings. These are not possible with a single Community-scale projects. Through popular participation, community-supported development to leverage these advantages, lower costs so that all communities are able to use solar energy, thus promoting the development of local authorities to assist community projects.
The Rocky Mountain Institute in the United States State of New York partners–ROCSPOT is doing. ROCSPOT has cooperated with Rochester and Monroe County, looking for untapped urban areas, local users, and to promote the local introduction of supportive policies.
United States Central New York regional planning and Development Commission is a service of public institutions in the 6 counties. The Commission in the New York State energy research and Development Council has organized with the assistance of the collection over more than 20 communities. The Commission of an energy project manager said: “in many communities, we launched the project, aims to provide independent analysis of solar energy resources and economies of scale, and solar developers to create a fair competitive environment for local governments. “In addition, the Commission will also, through United States State-level regulatory cooperation to guide developers in a compliant manner to develop projects, provide local staff with the regional distribution of solar model, assistance in establishing public-private partnership model, lower project financing costs.
As the size and number of the key steps of the project, ROCSPOT and United States Central New York regional planning and development plans by tender support to ensure their value is community understanding. They are going to plan for the entire region a total installed capacity of approximately 30MW to 35MW solar project RFP.
Much needed community support fund
These comparative advantages to reduce costs through local and community support activities of the Organization, are able to benefit from support funds. For example, in providing financial and other tools to communities in New York State has been in the leading position, it can enhance people’s understanding of solar, promoting solar energy in the development process. New York State energy research and Development Council NY-Sun activities for providing small grants to community organizations solar campaigns, aggregating user needs power.
On the other side of the border in New York State, a Canada energy retailers also help community organizations in the development of local projects. The company took out some user projects revenue ranging from $ 20,000 to $ 40,000 allowance and the community micro-loan, the proceeds from 10,000 households and 1500 commercial users of green power. In all 65 funding projects, renewable energy co-operative, environmental non-profit organizations and other agencies provided a total of approximately $ 2.3 million in project funding in the early to help build renewable energy education and demonstration projects.
After a period of time, Central New York regional planning and Development Committee and other communities that would justify this kind of start-up capital to promote the development of innovative community-supporting solar. Eventually, the community can greatly reduce costs, create stunning local benefits. In addition, the comparative advantage of these communities through local (such as network and local geographical knowledge, financial resources and a strong motivation) brought widespread, pervasive and long-term benefits. By tapping these resources, communities can reduce the size of the community solar project development, management and operation costs.
Original title: community supported development model: the first step in solar universal