Tag Archives: venture capital

Do you have solar energy yourself? Why yes, yes, I do

Grady Blankenship wrote a LTE in the VDT Wednesday, in which he asked “do you have solar energy yourself?” Why yes, yes, I do. And I have some questions for everyone at the end.

Back in 2009 we installed solar panels on our farm workshop. At the time the closest certified solar installer I could find was in Marietta. Four years ago there were 4 in the state. now there are forty. And that’s in a state that’s trailing North Carolina and even New Jersey in solar installations.

Also, I applied some weeks back for a USDA REAP grant for solar for Okra Paradise Farms. Much to our surprise, last week we Continue reading

Projects that can actually be built —Jeff Glavan of MP2 Capital

Representing a San Francisco venture capital firm, MP2 Capital, Jeff Glavan said he’s looking for medium to large scale projects that can actually get built, with partners in each geographic market, since development is very local.

MP2 also does projects with municipalities that can’t take tax credits because they are tax exempt. MP2 funds instead.

It’s not just all about large systems…. There’s a market for 1 to 5 megawatt systems.

The three things they look at are credit, commercial terms, and economic terms. Commercial terms are what hold up most projects. MP2 likes to be involved in negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to avoid terms like host may need to repair roof which could involve removing the solar system for some undefined amount of time.

MP2 is actively looking for solar partners.


SolarCity gets big investment from Google

Google invests megabucks in SolarCity, the California company that handles all financing of solar panels and provides them to the customer with no money down and a reasonable monthly payment.

Steve Hargreaves wrote in CNNMoneyTech 14 June 2011, Google invests $280 million in SolarCity

Google and rooftop solar power company SolarCity announced a $280 million investment deal Tuesday, the largest such deal for home-based solar power systems in the United States.

The investment will give San Mateo, Calif-based SolarCity the funding to build and lease solar power systems to a 7,000 to 9,000 homeowners in the 10 states where it operates.

Founded five years ago, SolarCity has 15,000 solar projects around the nation completed or under way. Customers who wish to have the company’s solar system installed at their home can pay for it outright, but most choose instead to let SolarCity retain ownership of the equipment and rent back the use of it through monthly solar lease payments.

Another financing method is Solar Mosaic, where people pool their money to buy shares in a solar installation.


PS: This post owed to M.J. Kuntz.

If it’s sunny enough in Buffalo….

Charlotte Hsu writes in the UB Reporter about Site preparation to begin on ‘Solar Strand’:
Workers will begin mowing, clearing and grading land adjacent to Flint Road next month to make way for “The Solar Strand,” a 1.1 megawatt solar-energy array designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Walter Hood and funded by a $7.5 million grant from the New York Power Authority.

The installation, with 5,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels powering more than 700 student apartments at UB, is calculated to reduce carbon emissions by more than 500 metric tons per year. That will bring the university closer to its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2030 under its Climate Action Plan. But the project is more than a means of generating energy.

Buffalo is at 42 degrees 53 minutes north, about a thousand miles north of Valdosta at 30 degrees 49 minutes north. On the NREL solar radiation map, Buffalo shows significantly less solar radiation than Valdosta.

So if Buffalo can do it, why can’t Valdosta? Continue reading