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The Solar Industry in 2018

Note that this image is only a mock-up of what solar on Blaine House might look like. While it has been announced that the Governor’s house in Maine will be going solar in 2019, the design remains to be decided. Courtesy image of Revision Energy.

We at Green Energy Times often get quite a charge out of news releases from ReVision Energy. It is so great to read all that they are doing. But their most recent news was so good we felt a need to include it in G.E.T.

The Solar Industry in 2018

In the face of tariffs and policy shake-ups across the country, the solar industry was undeterred in 2018. Driven by the best product prices ever (even with tariffs in place), and states that are pushing forward on carbon-neutrality goals despite inaction on the federal level, solar nationally recorded among its strongest years, and FERC data suggests five times as much solar as exists today will come online by 2021.

In 2018, TWICE the ISO-New England grid experienced daytime low peaks as a result of solar (once in April, and again on Thanksgiving day) — results that demonstrate that the 150,000 solar arrays in New England already have a meaningful positive impact on the energy grid, and show that with greater adoption we can erase our reliance on fossil fuels.

Here are some of the most interesting trends pulled from our data of over 1,000 installations in the calendar year 2018:

  • People are tending to install slightly larger solar PV systems (8.2 kW in 2018 vs. 7.8 kW in 2017).

  • The increase is largely due to people converting more fuel loads (water heating, space heating, and vehicles) to electric alternatives, and powering those alternatives with solar. Nearly HALF of all solar arrays now come paired with a heat pump (vs. 25% in 2017).

  • Solar finance is taking off, with roughly double the number of solar arrays financed in 2018 vs. 2017. The popularity is due to solar financing being a better deal (better interest rates and fees) and demographics (more young homeowners going solar).

  • We had a boom in larger-scale solar projects in Maine and New Hampshire, with a record number of projects over 50 kilowatts.

  • Battery systems took off! In 2018, around 10% of our residential solar arrays came with battery storage attached, up from roughly 5% in 2017.

2019 Shaping Up to be a Record Solar Year

2019 is shaping up to be a record-busting year for solar, driven by a combination of factors:

  • Solar is the cheapest it has ever been. Like the microprocessor industry, solar panels continue to get better and cheaper. Trumps tariffs produced a small bump in the road, but already solar panels cost less than they did pre-tariff.

  • The 30% federal tax credit for solar PV drops by 4% at the end of 2019, creating an extra incentive to get your system built in this calendar year.

  • The cost for conventional energy keeps going up and faster than the historical average. CMP in Maine announced a 14% increase, and Eversource announced a 4% increase in Massachusetts.

  • The availability of zero-down solar loans such as Revision Energy offers, with the other facts listed above, means that we can anticipate that 2019 is going to be a great year for solar.

Make your 2019 the year where you save money and do something about the climate crisis by going solar!.

Solar in Maine is Looking Good for the New Year

Solar to Go on the Blaine House in 2019

Back in 2015, ReVision Energy made an April Fool’s joke about solar panels going up on the Blaine House, the official residence of the Governor of Maine. Well, it’s a joke no more!

Maine Governor Janet Mills, in her inaugural address, said that solar panels will be installed on the Blaine House, a practical benefit (saving money) and powerful signal that a new era has come in terms of Maine’s approach to energy policy.

A rendering we made in 2015 showing how the historic Blaine House might look with solar panels on it. 74 panels would fit, for a roughly 21 kilowatts system, and offset about 50% of the electricity needed for the heat pumps installed there.

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