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2019- Your Year For Solar Electric?

2019- Your Year For Solar Electric?

2019 Solar Co-op Newsletter

2019- Your Year For Solar Electric?

This statement is an understanding based on experience with the Licking County Solar Cooperative and within the solar electric industry. Initially in 2010 we were seeking an understanding of the principles of solar electric use and a fair hearing and local demonstration of the viability and production of solar electric in Licking County.

Thanks to those early pioneers who were willing to invest their resources in the potential for solar electric and the subsequent continued investment by individuals, schools, businesses, corporations and utilities there is now a track record enabled by real time and historical data stream for solar production that can be referenced in the local context (See Licking County Solar Cooperative website for a partial lists of installations). By accessing these sites one can “see” solar capture in the very best and very worse conditions.

Generally the yield from a solar electric system in Licking County averages just over 1 megawatt of AC electricity for each kilowatt of DC solar deployed with extremes of 1.3 megawatts/kW DC solar in the most favorable siting and conditions to .60 megawatts/kW DC solar in unfavorable sites and conditions. AEP uses a value of 1.2 in their production estimates. Current electric costs are between $120-$160/megawatt.

Solar electric material and installation costs have dropped as predicted with the accelerating worldwide deployment of solar PV. The 4 kW DC Solar system that locally cost $24000 in 2010 ($6 DC watt- $4 material/$2 labor) is now costing around $10000 or under ($2.50 DC watt- $1.50 material/ $1 labor) on average.

Locally much progress has been made in incorporating solar electric installations into our regulatory framework (zoning/building codes, first responders and utilities) as well as our local trade/installation business community. Almost every local electric contracting business has worked on or had some level of experience with solar electric systems and some are making solar sales, installation and support a strong part of their overall service offerings (see partial list as addendum). There are many active and qualified regional and state solar electric companies which have actively installed in Licking County (see partial list as addendum).

Although state policy support for solar electric and its environmental value to the community remains abysmal or non-existent, the Federal government has legislated the Solar Tax Credit program to be at the full 30% for the year 2019 with declining values in subsequent years (2020-26%, 2021-22%, 2022-10%).

Effectively this year may be a sweet spot for solar installation with low cost and full 30% tax credit.
This may be worthy of your consideration.
Richard Downs


Local Solar Electric Contractors (Partial List)

Kinnards LLC
Heath Ohio 740-755-9084 (Brandon)

Hughes Electric LLC
Granville Ohio 740-877-7957 (Andy)

Local Roof Mount Install/Maintenance

Mickeys Roofing
Granville Ohio 740-403-6226 (Nate)

Regional/State Solar Electric Contractors (Partial List)

Design Energy- Columbus Ohio
Ecohouse Solar- Columbus Ohio
Icon Solar- Cincinnati Ohio
Third Sun Solar- Athens Ohio


LINK to Solar Installations in Licking county


Source: Richard Downs  2/26/2019



6 Renewable Energy Trends To Watch In 2019

2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. An increasing number of countries, companies and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving.

Here are 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year.

Renewable energy is booming in China.Getty

1. Energy Storage

Energy storage plays an important role in balancing power supply and demand, and is key to tackling the intermittency issues of renewable energy. Pairing a storage system with a renewable energy source ensures a smooth and steady power supply, even when weather conditions are not optimal for energy generation.

Batteries are the most common storage devices used in renewable energy systems and their use is increasing on both the residential and grid-wide scale. Energy storage technologies are expected to continue to improve, making their use more viable and affordable. It is projected that storage will represent a core component of all new energy technologies moving into the future, as both utility-scale and domestic energy storage solutions become more price competitive, eroding the advantages of traditional energy sources.

On the Caribbean island of Barbados, old electric car batteries are being reused to provide grid energy storage and extend their useful lifespan.

2. Microgrids and AI

Microgrids are local energy grids that can operate either autonomously or while connected to a larger traditional grid. They provide energy independence, efficiency and protection during emergencies. Using the machine learning capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with microgrid controllers allows for continuous adaptation and improvement of operation.

Deployment of microgrids is becoming significantly quicker, with new software allowing for designs to be completed in a single day. San Diego tech company XENDEE is rolling out an advanced toolkit for microgrid design in partnership with the WorleyParsons Group to make available turnkey solutions in up to a 90% less time and cost than conventional methods.

From California to the Pacific Islands, microgrids are taking center-stage. Palau is a Pacific island nation and the 13th smallest country in the world, but has committed to building what would be the world’s largest microgrid – 35MW of solar panels paired with 45 megawatt-hours of energy storage. This effort is part of the nation’s goal to transition to 70 percent renewable energy by 2050, recognizing that islands are on the front lines of experiencing the effects of climate change and stand as ground zero for the global energy transition.

3. Energy Blockchain And IoT

Originally developed to record cryptocurrency transactions, blockchain technology is being adapted for use in the energy market. Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger that conducts and records transactions through a peer-to-peer network. The lack of centralization in blockchain leaves it as ideal for eliminating the middlemen of electricity suppliers. It reduces energy inequality and inefficiency and empowers consumers to buy and sell energy from other consumers directly.

Pairing the distributed ledger technology of blockchain with the everyday devices that we use to receive and convey information, now commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), stands to have a profound impact on energy systems. With the correct applications, devices can autonomously buy and sell energy at the optimal times, optimize energy system settings in a real-time context and monitor and analyze performance of energy-consuming devices.

These technologies are beginning to be used for groundbreaking projects, such as the Brooklyn Microgrid. The project involves a community-powered microgrid whose owners buy and sell power to each other via blockchain technology. The success of projects like this ensure that they will be implemented on a wider scale.

4. Grid Parity And Falling Costs

Grid parity occurs when an alternative energy can generate power at a cost and performance level equal to or less than electricity generated from conventional methods. Solar and wind have reached parity in both price and performance in many regions, and new technologies continue to hone their competitive edge.

The traditional model of large, top-down and centrally distributed energy production is being replaced by modular, consumer-driven and evenly distributed power generation. Once thought to be difficult to integrate into the grid, renewables are now serving to strengthen grid reliability and resilience. The utilization of blockchain, AI and other automation technologies make renewables self-optimizing, increasing their efficiency.

Solar and wind are already more efficient and cost-effective than conventional sources, and evolving technologies will continue to improve their price and performance. Combining the economic benefits with a low environmental impact, we can expect to see renewables move from being an acceptable energy source to a preferred one.

Islands like Barbados are heavily investing in electric vehicles.Megapower Ltd.

5. Big Commitments

An increasing number of corporations, cities and countries are embracing emissions reduction targets and climate action plans to meet the goal of limiting the rise in global temperature.

To date, over 100 cities worldwide report that at least 70 percent of their energy production is from renewables, and more than 40 are currently operating on 100 percent renewable electricity. Hundreds more have pledged to work towards the goal of energy generation that is 100 percent based on renewables. Recognizing their impact on climate change, 158 companies have also committed to transitioning to 100 percent renewables.

Many of these corporations and municipalities were inspired to make these commitments after the 2015 Paris Agreement. With the new information provided by the IPCC’s 2018 report, we can expect to see an increase in bold commitments to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

6. Energy Access Advances In Developing Countries

When talking about exciting new innovations in energy technology, it can be easy to forget that a significant percentage of the world’s population remains without access to energy at all. A billion people live without electricity and hundreds of millions have unreliable or prohibitively expensive energy sources.

Achieving universal access to energy is a critical component of addressing global development challenges. The changes that are occurring in the energy market offer a solution to the problem of energy access. Community-based microgrids could represent the most cost-effective way of delivering affordable and reliable power to those currently living without it. Clean, modular and renewable energy systems are ideal for many of the communities that have been unable to benefit from conventional centralized forms of energy generation and delivery.

While politics often stand in the way of progress, new energy technologies and commitments from international groups like the World Bank and SEforALL are laying a foundation for providing energy access to developing countries. With their ever-improving cost and performance metrics, we can expect to see renewables increasingly deployed to provide power to communities and regions that have long been left in the dark.

For an overview of last year’s biggest climate change stories, check out 2018: A Tipping Point for Climate Change.

For more information on sustainable development follow James’ newsletter Island Innovation by clicking here. Be sure to follow @jellsmoor on Twitter


One Response to “2019- Your Year For Solar Electric?”

  1. Charles Fritsch says:

    No mention of PowerHome Solar. I received a promotional email and a site visit from them. I have my concerns about them. Anyone else had any experience with them?

    —Charlie Fritsch

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