IKEA Puts Huge Solar Array on the Roof of its New Store in Pisa, Tuscany

IKEA Puts Huge Solar Array on the Roof of its New Store in Pisa, Tuscany

This achievement means that solar energy is as cost-competitive as any other energy source in Italy and principally, without subsidies. The solar industry is approaching grid parity in an increasing number of places worldwide,” -Henrique Rodrigues, CEO of Martifer Solar. Ikea Group along with its developers, Martifer Solar, completed construction on an approximately 2,700 polycrystalline module array installed on fixed structures, the project has a total capacity of 696.15 kWp. That is enough power to run 696 microwaves at the same time each making piles of meatballs every hour. Power generation from this PV project will be at a net rate, which is equal to or less than the price of electricity being sold from the grid....
Warren Buffett Looking to Double $15 Billion Solar & Renewable Investment

Warren Buffett Looking to Double $15 Billion Solar & Renewable Investment

At the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Warren Buffett commented on his already established $15 Billion investment into the Solar & renewable energy sector by responding “There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.” Looking towards the long term growth of his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) Buffett has increasingly invested in regulated, capital-intensive businesses such as railroad BNSF and power companies. He bought control of an energy holding company in Iowa in 2000 and helped bankroll its expansion. The unit, now called Berkshire Hathaway Energy, operates electric grids in the U.K., natural gas pipelines that stretch from the Great Lakes to Texas and electric utilities in states including Oregon and Nevada. Its renewable investments include wind farms in Iowa and Wyoming, as well as solar farms in California and Arizona. Berkshire has been able to plow so much into renewable energy because it can use tax credits to offset profit at other businesses, Abel, the 52-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, said. Berkshire Hathaway and companies of its size are not the only ones that can benefit from government incentives, rebates & tax credits. You can too and we can help make it easy. Get a free estimate on the value of the sun on your roof and how much you can save with current incentives by filling out the form on the right....

Resale Value of Solar Income Stream

Appraising Solar Energy Systems Until recently, the number of US properties with solar was too small for appraisers to determine what impact installed solar has when a property with solar is sold.  There were a few studies indicating that solar upped sales prices and made property sell faster, but these studies were based on fairly small samples of residential solar systems only. Now the guess-work is over.  Sandia National Laboratories has developed a valuation tool that can analyze the likely re-sale value of both residential and commercial solar energy systems. The Sandia Labs tool is called “PV Value” and has been endorsed by the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. Prior Studies Department of Energy,  California Study A 2011 study by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, found that installed solar increased home resale value. The average increase in value was about the same as the cost of the solar electric system. The authors calculated that, on average, photovoltaic systems add about $5.50 per watt to a home’s resale value. “We find compelling evidence that solar PV systems in California have boosted home sales prices,” say researchers at the Berkeley Lab. “These average sales price premiums appear to be comparable with the average investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California, and of course homeowners also benefit from energy bill savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory,  Colorado Study In a 2013 study analyzing real estate and solar, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, found that Denver...

When Should Solar Be Mounted to the Ground?

When homeowners have adequate roof space with good sunlight, the roof is usually the preferred location for a solar array, using what is otherwise wasted space. However, when a homeowner has enough property, there are sometimes compelling reasons to consider mounting the solar energy system on the ground instead of the roof. After discussing the advantages and disadvantages, about 12 percent of our customers request ground-mounted solar energy projects. The most common reason homeowners choose ground-mounted solar is to avoid shading.  For example, if a large property is wooded and the home’s roof is shaded, a spot of land with unobstructed sunlight can often be found for the solar array. Ground-mounted systems tend to be larger, simply because we can often fit more on the ground than on the roof. A system doesn’t have to be entirely one or the other, however. At SunUp we have designed a number of arrays that were partly roof-mounted and partly ground-mounted. An electric cable must be run from a ground-mounted solar array to the home that will be using the electricity. We prefer to keep the ground-mounted array within a few hundred feet of the home to minimize the amount of cabling that must be done. Cables are usually laid in trenches in the ground. Ground-mounted systems can be anchored in the ground on concrete footings, but in rocky areas we prefer ballasted systems. After years of experience creating arrays in every sort of terrain, we have this down to quite a science. Generally, ground-mounted solar does cost about 22 percent more than a comparably sized roof-mounted installation. The price difference is due...

A Successful Retirement Plan Includes Solar Energy

Installing solar panels on a home’s roof is a better investment than a pension, a British minister recently said. Greg Barker, Britain’s minister of state for energy and climate change, said that anyone approaching retirement should consider putting some of their savings into solar panels because they would deliver a better financial return than a pension. Mr. Barker disclosed that over 500,000 British homes have installed solar panels, which allow users to generate their own electricity and sell any excess power to energy firms. But does that hold true for retirement planning in the U.S.? Today’s life expectancy in America is eight years longer than it was in 1970. That’s eight more years to enjoy retirement—and eight more years of savings required to support that retirement. Various economic factors can threaten a comfortable retirement, such as fluctuating property values and interest rates, higher living and health-care expenses, and a lower percentage of employer contributions to retirement programs. A well-planned retirement strategy is crucial. Stuart Ritter, vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, says it can be difficult to stay on budget while trying to make a lump sum last 30 years, especially in the first years of retirement. “That’s why we encourage people to think of it more in terms of income [stream], and not as a balance.” One way to generate steady revenue is sunlight—a source on which we can rely. Many homeowners have discovered that by purchasing their own solar energy system and harnessing the sun’s energy to produce their own power, they can collect a steady paycheck without lifting a finger. An investment in solar energy...