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GE Sees Solar Cheaper than Fossil, Nuclear Power in 5 Years

Posted by Adam Sewall In Thursday, May 26 2011 under: GE, Solar Industry News, general electric, Connecticut Solar

In terms of energy-related headlines, General Electric has been absolutely stealing the show this week.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company this morning unveiled a new solar charging station (below), which will power electric vehicles parked at its facility in Plainville, CT. Earlier in the week, it announced the launch of FlexEfficiency 50, a gas-fired power plant designed largely to complement solar, wind and other renewable-energy technologies. And (also this week) the company made known its intention to buy FMC Tech, a smart grid start-up company based in Ireland.

Whew. As if that weren't enough,

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Funds Received for Solar Power System at Connecticut Elementary School

Just over a year and a half ago, OPEL Solar -- a Connecticut-based energy company -- installed a rooftop solar energy system at Linden Elementary School in Plainville, Connecticut. It was the first project of its kind in the state, and added Connecticut to a growing list of states with solar energy systems installed atop public elementary schools.

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CT Solar Lease Program Back On

Good news for Connecticut homeowners who want to install solar panels: as of July 19, the state's solar lease program is accepting applications again.

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ARRA Fuels Connecticut Solar Hot Water Rebate

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="420" caption="Between 2005 and 2008, the CCEF disbursed over $20 million in rebates for residential solar thermal installations and $65 million in rebates for government and commercial solar thermal installations."]
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Connecticut to Offer Solar Hot Water Rebate

Thanks to federal stimulus money, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) will soon launch a rebate program for solar thermal -- or solar hot water -- energy systems. By covering 20 percent of associated costs, the state aims to support the installation of 600 residential solar thermal systems and 100 commercial solar thermal systems. The Hartford Business Journal provides a quick and interesting Q&A with Dave Ljungquist, Associate Director of Project Development at CCEF:

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Connecticut Solar Rebate Returns

This past December, we reported that funding for Connecticut's solar rebate program had run dry. Six months later, the program is back by popular demand. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund recently announced the re-opening of the Small Solar Rebate Program, effective July 1, 2009:

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Solar leasing on the rise

If you read this blog--or are otherwise invested in following solar in this country--you know that the cost of a residential solar installation can be intimidatingly high, even after the excellent incentives in many states have been applied. If you have a good site and live in a good state for solar, a PV system can be one of the smartest investments you can make in your home. But for many, they just can't locate the capital or take on the increased debt burden, even to achieve the energy savings and increased energy security that solar offers.

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More bad news for state incentives?

As reported by Jan Ellen Spiegel of the New York Times,

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Shrinking state rebates: A worrisome trend?

In recent weeks, a number of state governments have announced plans to cut back the per-watt rebate offered to residents who purchase a solar energy system. In October, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) announced a downward revision ranging between $1.00 and $1.80 per watt, depending on system size. Xcel Energy, Colorado's largest investor-owned utility and biggest provider of solar energy rebates, recently reduced the amount paid to solar owners in exchange for solar on-site renewable energy credits (SO-RECs). The level was cut by a dollar, from $2.50 to $1.50 per watt. The rebate, which stands apart from the SO-REC payment, will remain at $2.00 per watt, meaning that Colorado homeowners can expect to receive about $3.50 per watt of installed DC solar power. Not bad at all, but a far cry from the $4.50 ($2.00/watt rebate + $2.50/watt SO-REC payment) that was available up 'til now. (Details are outlined in a recent letter (PDF) from Robin Kittel, Director of Regulatory Administration at Xcel.)

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