Researchers around the world are finding that solar energy is approaching new break-even cost evaluations, and quickly becoming much more affordable and feasible for property owners.
However, they’re also finding that this new potential raises questions about solar energy use. There is a certain amount of intermittent supply and demand that is one of the biggest remaining obstacles to really focusing on developing more of our energy from renewables, and less from fossil fuels.
Current publications in Science Daily such as a report from the American Institute of Physics shows that one promising area of research is demand response or DR. Demand response can help create the right balance for solar energy, and make it efficient to take in power with photovoltaic systems, store it in batteries and use it accordingly.
A co-author of a paper on current solar use says solar energy use models will need to shift from a model of “generation to follow” to a new model of “demand to follow generation.”
For instance, new technologies would manually dial down power use during peak demand times. By automating the direction of energy resources in this way, systems can ensure supply.
Using these types of systems might not be what energy users are used to. It might mean changing your daily schedule, such as when you shower or do laundry or use power tools. However, with just a little bit of flexibility, demand response can greatly improve how solar contributes to our lives.
In other words, nothing good comes without effort. There is the effort of getting solar installations on site and making them work. But there is also an effort using this energy in responsible ways. In some cases, solar use might not be like yesterday’s energy plans. It’s not what we’re accustomed to if we usually just suck power from coal or nuclear plants, or some other unseen, faraway place.
What it does, though, is model a new way of living life that’s more considerate of our neighbors, our planet and our communities. By making some small sacrifices, solar users see big savings and some really rewarding benefits that don’t come in the form of comfort and convenience features.
Let Sun Day Solar help you to micromanage your energy plan in order to get what you need out of renewable residential solar systems. We are experienced in helping our customers to evaluate their properties and see what makes sense on a given lot, for a given household or business. We can also provide advice about the most affordable ways to go about getting solar in place. Ask about how we can deliver roof-mounted solar and other designs, to start getting your energy from a better place.
The state of Virginia may not be leading the country in solar, but it is a place where solar is growing in a major way.
There is a lot in the news about large VA energy companies diversifying into solar — for example, Dominion Energy purchasing solar farms all around Virginia and North Carolina. However, small residential and business solar is on the rise, too.
Here are some of the favorable conditions that business leaders and homeowners can take advantage of in the state of Virginia.
With net metering, surplus generation of energy gets credited to the owner of the solar installation on a utility bill. Those who buy solar energy generating systems can take a cumulative surplus and carry it over, or sell electricity back to a utility at a certain point in time.
Net metering is one of the biggest draws for Virginia residents wanting to install new solar systems on their properties.
Virginia’s grid also makes it somewhat easy to connect solar to the system. Outside auditors have given the state a top grade in its interconnection infrastructure, and with the big utilities exploring solar even more, it’s not going to be long before the entire state grid is very conducive to renewable energy generation. That’s another reason why it might make sense to get involved in a solar project right now.
Property Tax Exemptions
Here’s another interesting way that Virginia residents benefit from solar installations.
Usually, any value that you add to your home or business gets taxed in addition to the property’s original value, but Virginia lawmakers have carved out an exemption for solar systems. State officials will take a certain valuation and apply it to property’s solar systems to exempt certain amounts from property tax collection. This can be a big deal if you live in a community with relatively high real estate or “school” taxes.
These are just some of the reasons why Virginia residents are picking up on the pros of switching to a solar home or small business energy system. Let Sun Day Solar help you to evaluate your property in Charlottesville, Virginia or in the Albemarle County area. We know how to help clients find the most affordable and efficient way forward with getting a plan in place to collect green energy from the sun!
If you’ve been reading about Virginia’s solar growth, you know that regional utilities are investing in solar in a big way — with companies like Dominion Energy purchasing large solar installations in multiple counties. You know that schools like UVA have dedicated portions of their budgets to green energy. But sometimes it seems like the solar boom is happening so fast, it’s like it’s happening everywhere at once.
For example, those familiar with large solar farms run by Amazon, such as an 80-megawatt installation in Accomack County, might be surprised to know that some other solar plants are slated to be even larger than the Amazon U.S. East solar installation.
Just a few weeks ago, breaking reports in local newspapers showed plans of a new project called Farin & Pearfield Solar in Gloucester County. Pictures of the project show some 375,000 panels, ground mounted with swiveling hardware allowing them to catch the sun’s rays at particular angles.
Charlottesville Daily Press coverage shows the CEO of Hexagon Energy, the company behind the project, talking about how there’s a lot of potential in Gloucester County, which is relatively less developed than some other parts of Virginia.
“Gloucester is an area of the state where there is open, undeveloped land and land not adjacent to large metropolitan areas. These projects can be harmonious with other agriculture and timber uses in the county,” Hexagon CEO Matt Hantzmon said.
What does all of this mean?
It means that more businesses and consumers will have access to renewable energy supplies. It means that more of Virginia’s electrical grid power is going to come from the sun. Solar is truly taking over at an amazing pace. At the same time, small businesses and individual property owners are looking to also benefit from solar installations. With net metering agreements, it’s possible to harvest the sun’s energy and collect energy credits from your utility provider.
Anyone with questions about these smaller types of projects can get effective assistance from Sun Day Solar, a major solar service company in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. Ask us about what’s happening in your community and how you can get on board. Let us help you evaluate your plot of land and what’s possible in order to make your operations greener and lower your carbon footprint for a brighter future.
Some of the most recent news involves the new solar farm that serve the University from a site in Middlesex County. This project is being developed by a firm named Coronal, and will be built and owned by Dominion Energy.
UVA’s promise to buy the whole energy output of the new solar farm adds to another move by university leaders last year when the school agreed to become a customer and user of Dominion’s “Hollyfield” solar facility in King William County. At the time, that project was estimated to produce 17 megawatts. New estimates show that the Middlesex County project will deliver 15 megawatts and that the combined output of both sites will be a projected 32 megawatts.
All of this capacity represents about 1/5 of the university’s total electrical demand. UVA’s solar efforts will shrink its carbon footprint by over 15,000 metric tons per year and eliminate 19 metric tons of nitrogen. It’s part of a general plan to decrease carbon and nitrogen levels by 25% in eight years.
Why does this kind of project make a difference? Well, it’s good for the university, for sure. In fact, moving to solar and other renewables is likely to provide a lot of cost savings for the school, especially moving into the future.
However, these types of big solar acquisitions are also another public reminder that renewable energy is getting cheaper, easier to take advantage of, and more attractive when compared to traditional fossil fuels options. Just a few years ago, solar was seen as something relatively on the fringe of our free enterprise markets. Now, it’s quickly being applied to both transportation and housing, as well as rivaling traditional forms of energy offered by regional utilities.
All of that makes now a great time to research a small business or residential solar project. Ask Sun Day Solar about the different types of solar options you have as a business owner or property owner in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. We will advise you on what makes sense for your property, best financial outcomes, and how to learn about grants and other opportunities. Get on your way to profiting from green energy, as most of the world gets serious about solar expansion.
If you’re paying attention to Virginia’s energy policy, it’s no secret that the governor’s office has become aggressive about moving toward renewable energies. A lot of people are really aware of some of the things coming out of the governor’s office recently.
Newspapers like the Fauquier Times are showing what kinds of legislative initiatives are changing the energy and utility landscapes in the Central Virginia area.
Here are three such bills that were signed into law by the Governor in May.
This bill, sponsored by Sen. Frank Wagner, promotes community solar programs around Virginia. Specifically, this initiative covers areas in the jurisdiction of big utility providers Dominion and Appalachian Power, names that are familiar to many homeowners and consumers across the state.
The utilities are to develop their own community solar pilot programs that allow consumers to make the choice to be served by solar energy. This is described as a passive choice, in utility service, which is different than people actually installing their own on-site solar systems and selling energy back to the grid.
This Senate bill sounds like an administrative detail, but it’s actually quite important in terms of how the state works with authority boards to innovate in solar and renewable energy. The bill would make the Virginia Solar Energy Development Authority responsible to work on battery storage technologies, adding four seats to the board.
State officials and others around the country have identified battery storage innovation as a major part of enhancing what solar can do for communities, so it makes sense that in Virginia, this change is part of a greater move to focus on the promotion of renewable energy products.
This Senate bill addresses the agricultural use of renewable energies. The Rubin group, an advocacy group for renewable energy use, had a hand in promoting this bill in conjunction with state legislators. It’s described as creating a new framework for setting up renewable energy projects in agricultural businesses. In addition to being able to sell energy to utilities, ag businesses can often make use of something called a U.S. REAP grant that’s managed by the USDA, to offer financial incentives for businesses to go solar or otherwise invest in renewables.
Sun Day Solar is an experienced solar energy firm in Charlottesville, Virginia. We help customers in many areas of Central VA to get the power they want for their homes and businesses. We assist with planning and figuring out what’s practical on a given property, and we know about REAP grants and other opportunities. Ask us about how to come up with a plan to run your business or power your home with clean, green renewable energy from the sun.