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  • Demand Charges open up Commercial Solar Across USA

    Joyce McLaren of NREL has compiled useful data on utility kW demand charges, previously untracked by the EIA. The raw data can be combed through here but I thought I might quickly summarize the main points of NREL’s white paper and Joyce’s September 19th powerpoint. $15/kW is about where batteries overtake battery-less solar. 70% of commercial load is […]

  • How to Residential Ground Mount for $2.50/W

    Here’s a budget to follow for residential ground mount projects. Assumes sandy clay soil. A different strategy is needed for rocky soil. $0.44/W Modules $0.22/W Inverter $0.22/W Racking $0.12/W Concrete $0.12/W Balance of System $0.22/W Equipment Rental $0.22/W Shipping to Site $0.22/W Design and Permit Documents $0.44/W Installation Contractor $0.28/W Estimated Taxes / Fees $2.50/W […]

  • Enrollee Lands 8kW Solar Referral!

    At Community Solar, we’re all about lowering cost and increasing value. In this serendipitous circumstance, we were able to refer an 8kW project lead to our first enrollee in The Glass-Slapper’s Guide to Solar Design  within two weeks of enrollment! Not only did we lower our student’s cost of NABCEP PV recertification, we also increased […]

  • Solar-discriminatory rate structures threaten to remove 5kW of value from Colorado per customer.

    A Colorado NABCEP PV Installer recently told us this: Batteries and storage will be the next big phase, especially as our utility is pushing for DEMAND and TIME OF DAY rates for residential. Right now there is a request in front of the Colorado Public Utility commission for solar discriminatory rate structures, pushing customers onto […]

  • Why solar batteries are great for Missouri (and other states too)
    If you install solar unfriendly state, you may think yourself limited to a small number of luxury-oriented residential customers willing to prioritize environmental values above financial reward. But the battery market is changing everything we know about solar economics, forcing us to re-examine our design philosophy and project strategies. I recently sent out the following [...]
  • 8 Things to Know About Off-Grid Flooded Lead Acid Battery Maintenance
    Any Glass-Slapper getting into serious off-grid work will eventually bump up against FLA batteries. FLA batteries are time-tested, temperature-friendly, and cheap. If well-sized and maintained, they can last years.  The most cost-effective micro-grid might multiple battery chemistries, with FLA bank providing base load and more expensive, responsive batteries providing peak-shaving. We recently specified eight Hawker [...]
  • Behind the Scenes: How Might Solar Panels Help With Water Conservation?

    Behind the Scenes: How Might Solar Panels Help With Water Conservation? Many homeowners appreciate having a clean source of energy while also cutting their energy bills when making the switch to solar energy. However, one of the hidden benefits of solar panels is how it can help with water conservation efforts. Learn more about how […]

  • PVWatts and the “Golden Ratio” of Solar Performance
    PVWatts is a great tool for solar performance estimation, or at the very least is free and good enough for unshaded rooftops in the United States. We'll use PVWatts to generate the "Golden Ratio" of solar to perform solar energy estimates and budget calculations in your head. Ultimately, we want to determine how much energy [...]