If you’re planning a business or industrial solar installation or already reap the benefits of solar energy, you should be aware of a number of factors that can affect the efficiency of your system. Consultation with a reputable, experienced solar energy specialist can make sure you get the most from your current or future installation and avoid any pitfalls along the way and throughout the operating life of your system.

Here are a few factors you should be aware of that can affect how well your system performs:

Latitude — How far are you from the equator? Obviously, the... Read More

An in-depth exploration at the Utility of the Future Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

A solar panel during a utility-focused forum is always assured to get interesting. During the Utility of the Future Leadership Forum, our panel discussed what impact solar and solar + storage may have on the future energy grid and the utilities that have traditionally operated the grid and supply. Does the utility death spiral exist? What role does storage have in the disruption? Why don’t more solar installations tilt the system facing towards the west? These were some of the... Read More

The last time a Pope waded into to issues surrounding the sun and its role on shaping the earth, Galileo found himself accused of heresy and placed under house arrest. So when Pope Francis announced he would address climate change in his encyclical Laudato Si, we admit we were concerned.

As it turns out, we had nothing to fear. Weighing in at a healthy 91 pages, replete with footnotes, the encyclical — a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church — lays out a reasoned, scientific response to climate-change deniers. (In case you haven’t heard, the Pope is... Read More

This is the third in a series of posts about the interactions between weather and solar. In this installment, we explore how installers can formally protect projects in case weather delays projects past their schedule completion deadlines.

Weather is as inevitable as death or taxes. The key to a successful solar installation isn’t avoiding the weather; rather, it’s about dealing with the inevitable as effectively as possible. You must protect the owners’ and financiers’ interests without losing your own business in the process.

We’ve addressed when weather causes... Read More

This is the second in a series of posts about the interactions between weather and solar. In this installment, we explore what strategies installers can employ to overcome delays caused by inclement weather.

As much as they’d like to, even the best solar installers can’t control the weather. And even when they watch the reports and anticipate rain and other inconvenient weather patterns, sometimes it just can’t be helped — weather can destroy a solar installation schedule faster than you can say rainstorm.

Here are two strategies to avoid financial disaster when... Read More

This is the first in a series of posts about the interactions between weather and solar. In this installment, we explore how weather can interfere with even the best installation plans.

Bad weather can occur anytime during the construction of a solar project, and it’s always irritating. But while driving rain can be a nuisance at the end of a project, it’s the beginning when the project manager is obsessively watching The Weather Channel.

Since putting a project together from infancy to initiation can take months (and for more complex projects,... Read More

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post begging the rest of our solar colleagues — heck, anyone interested in seeing solar succeed, for that matter — to get involved in state solar policy.

Our argument was essentially that what happens in the states can have a direct effect on solar expansion. And what do you know: In North Carolina, where the solar tax incentive was about to expire and destroy the state’s solar industry, Gov. Pat McCrory extended the renewable energy tax credit for one year in April.

Is one year ideal? No. But it’s better than having the solar industry in North... Read More

Over the past seven years, Massachusetts’ solar market has seen extraordinary growth. The installed capacity in 2007 was a mere 3.5 MW, when then-Gov. Deval Patrick announced an aggressive, ambitious goal of installing 250 MW of solar by 2017.

Patrick created the Commonwealth Solar Rebate Program in January 2008, and the results are startling. In 2013 alone, the state installed 237 MW, eclipsing Patrick’s goal four years ahead of schedule. 

Currently, the installed solar capacity stands at 674 MW, with a new goal of 1.6 GW set for 2020. Massachusetts currently ranks as the... Read More