Oct 032009

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Reprinted from http://nthdegreeenergy.com/colorado-solar-projects-abound/

Colorado is a mecca for grid tied Solar Energy Solutions, due to a combination of high sun hours and large consumers of electricity.

“Denver has more sun days then San Diego,” says Richard McCracken, owner of Nth Degree Solar Energy Solutions in Grand Junction, Colorado. Nth Degree Energy has been installing solar systems in the Grand Valley for the last three years, and is seeing a significant increase in business.

The American Recovery and Renewal Act has set aside billions of dollars for renewable energy sources. “Between utility rebates and federal tax rebates, the price per kilowatt of solar energy is now less than the cost of building new coal plants,” Richard points out.

Government mandates directing utility companies to increase the amount of renewable energy they produce has meant higher than average payouts from the power companies themselves. XCEL Energy and Black Hills, the two major electric utility providers in Colorado are both paying up to $2.00 or more per watt for installation cost offset as well as another $1-2 per watt to purchase the green tags that go with the solar energy produced.

Residential customers with a House Solar Energy System under 10 kilowatts get a service called net metering. This means the electricity their solar system produces spins the meter backwards, and the power they consume spins forward. At the end of each month, quarter or year, the power company settles up with the customer. “Businesses that use more than 10K of power are really in the sweet spot,” torts Richard.

Many solar companies sell businesses on the higher payout from the utility company to reduce the initial cost, but those businesses that need solar systems in excess of 10 kilowatts have much better return on investment if they keep the green tags for themselves and sell the power back to the utility company. “We call it double dipping,” quips Richard. As the solar engineer for Nth Degree Solar Energy, he was instrumental in creating the business model to show that solar is an investment with great returns, not just a bunch of panels on the roof to offset costs.

“Some people buy solar because it is the right thing to do, but if it also makes solid business sense, then it is a no brainer.” With an ROI over 10% and a payback of less than 5 years, this is a sure bet against inflation and continually increasing price of electricity. Let’s face it; the risk is much lower than the stock market, and the returns are better than the long term average of stocks. Why would you not, as a businessman invest in solar energy?

For more information about grid tied solar electric PV systems or to get a quote for your business or home, you can contact Nth Degree Solar Energy at: http://NthDegreeEnergy.com/ or call 970-241-1376

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 Posted by at 1:55 pm