By: Eugene DeJoannis |
I hope any law that does pass [about shared solar energy] includes direction to PURA [Public Utilities Regulatory Authority] to do a study of what the true value of solar power is to society, so we can set this matter to rest. Other states have done this and valued it near or above retail power rates.
I don’t agree with Paul Spencer [president of solar developer Clean Energy Collective] that the economics of shared-solar-on-homes do not work with neighbors sharing the output from a single PV array on one of their roofs. If the economics work for a single user on an individual home (and clearly 5,000 CT homeowners think they do work), the economics would be even better if the PV array covered the entire roof instead of just enough for a single homeowner. It’s a matter of the economy of scale: An installer can install a single larger system much more quickly than two smaller systems, and not much longer than for a single smaller system on a roof with good solar access.
I can imagine a financing system developed by CEFIA, the state agency that disperses the Clean Energy Fund’s incentive payments for solar systems, where they own the system on a single home, but sell shares of the output to the homeowner to meet their needs and also to a neighbor who doesn’t have a sunny roof. CEFIA could leverage their incentive funding to install larger systems on every home they pay an incentive to, and the homeowners who buy shares provide most of the financing. A big advantage to this model is that as the needs of homeowners change, they could buy or sell some capacity from CEFIA’s bank of excess capacity. For full article.