Why Solar is Perfect for a City Like Bakersfield

Think Twice about Solar Panels Bakersfield

Are you thinking of switching to solar? Do you have any idea what it entails? Well, you must know that when it comes to all things solar like insulation and rooftop solar panels Bakersfield is one city in the Central Valley where citizens can benefit from federal and California state incentives for installing solar power systems.

By itself, switching to solar power use has many advantages. Going solar means you will rely less and less on fossil fuels which, though cheaper at the moment than solar, have environmental costs which may in the long run prove more harmful and more expensive. Note that the burning of conventional sources of fuels brings the dreaded air pollution, global warming, and health issues. With solar power as energy source, there is a glimmer of possibility for a cleaner, healthier, and pollution-free environment.

The U.S. has since stepped up its game after other nations overtook it in terms of turning to renewable energy sources. Various federal legislation and state policies have provided incentives to promote the move toward solar energy systems in terms of tax credits, rebates, and others.

Most incentives are grid-connected and have to do with net-metering which provides that electricity generated during the day be used in the evenings. There is also the federal tax credit which has been extended until Dec. 31, 2016. It involves a 30% tax credit for residential and commercial installations of solar energy systems. Toward the closing of 2015, the federal sector also legislated a five-year income tax credit for solar as well as wind power producers, from 30% in the period 2016 to 2019, phasing out to 10% in 2020.

It means you can now go solar without having to worry too much about it costing an arm and a leg. Plus there is that opportunity to contribute to the good of the environment and people’s better health. Going solar also means you will eventually help bring down the renewable energy system cost to a much more competitive rate than it is now. And so, soon may be a great time to look into the cost of rooftop solar panels Bakersfield utility companies are charging and the tax credits you qualify for.

Solar power means harnessing sunlight and converting it into electricity using largely photovoltaics (semiconductors) but also concentrated solar power (through lenses or mirrors). Solar power use has expanded greatly in sunny California with growing community support, decreasing costs of solar energy systems, and a robust Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 33% of electricity by 2020 to come from renewable energy sources, increasing to 50% by 2030, and going 100% in 2045.

Most of this is expected to come from solar power. With these requirements, there has been a surge of solar facilities seeking regulatory approval in the state; in fact, as of July 2015, the three largest photovoltaic facilities were located in California.

California is one of the leading states in the United States when it comes to going solar, but it is possible for some incentives to have expired since being enacted. Incentives on solar power use also differ greatly according to offerings in your city or locality, or even by the utility companies which serve your area. There may also be incentives offered in the state which are not in another, like the California Solar Initiative (CSI) along with the Million Solar Roof Initiative.

So when you think about purchasing solar energy systems which utilize solar panels Bakersfield installers can give you the best advice applicable to your area regarding the costs of purchasing the system and having it installed, against the incentives you receive for the same.

The CSI is an initiative from 2006 which aimed to install 3,000 megawatts of additional solar power by 2017; early on, it gave cash incentives amounting to $2.50 per AC watt on solar photovoltaic system installation. The California Solar Initiative along with federal tax incentives could together cover up to 50% of the cost of installing a solar energy system. By April 2015, some 3,936 MW were installed with around 502,180 projects, bringing the cost of systems down to $5.27 per watt for 10-kilowatt systems and $4.37 per watt for those over 10 kW.

Upon the introduction of the California Solar Initiative, the solar market took a foothold in Bakersfield, which is one of the sunniest cities in the United States. What started as a small market has since grown. It accounted for 40 megawatts of solar capacity (some 1,520 applications) aimed at for installation based on the state initiative. This pushed Bakersfield to the eighth rank in the state of California in terms of solar power produced.

As Bakersfield begins to gain stature in solar energy capacity and use, you may want to take advantage of the solar rebate program while it applies. Free advice and quotation on your residential solar system can be requested from any utility in the city. California being at the heart of the solar industry and having the highest number of installed rooftop solar panels Bakersfield may very well be on the sure road to providing more and more of solar energy supply in the state, if not the biggest.

This could very well come true with the latest completion of the newest and probably the largest solar structure in Bakersfield. Cal State Bakersfield solar parking canopy towers within its campus. It is a 1.2-megawatt, $9.5-million edifice expected to produce 1.6 million kilowatt hours of clean energy in year one of its operation.

Twenty years in the running, the Cal State Bakersfield solar parking canopy is expected to generate 30 million kilowatts, which is just about enough energy to power around 3,100 regular American homes for a year. That much clean energy will be able to offset, in its first 20 years alone, around 29 million pounds of carbon dioxide. It would be like taking a total of 2,800 vehicles off the road.

And that’s more than just ‘thinking’ solar panels Bakersfield!

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Ag Cities Like Visalia Need Solar

Why Visalia will see a complete shift to solar in the next decade

In California’s technical potential to install 128.9 gigawatts of rooftop solar panels, Visalia’s booming agriculture industry will begin to see a shift toward solar, especially considering the city’s environmental issues.

Visalia is the fifth largest city in California’s agricultural San Joaquin Valley. Because of its geographic location and dependence on four-wheel transport, smog and air particulates hang heavily in the city’s air. The area is vulnerable to atmospheric inversion that collects exhaust from any vehicle type, manufacturing plants, and airplanes. And since it gets very little rain (11.03 inches a year), pollution does tend to accumulate for days on end. Despite the Clean Air Act and California’s mandate for low-emission vehicles, it is still considered one of the most polluted cities in the country, the 11th in fact.

As a result, Visalia needs all the help it can get to reduce its carbon footprint. One way is to encourage more renewable energy sources by going solar. This should not be a problem with the state of California’s energetic renewable energy goals and receptive policies. High insolation and vast open spaces also contribute to making this city an ideal host for solar energy systems.

Solar energy use reduces reliance on fossil fuels which make the pollution situation worse. Switching to solar power can enhance the quality of the air in the city while bringing in more jobs and developing its solar energy market. Solar alternatives bring economic, environmental, and health benefits to the citizens of Visalia.

Visalia’s solar profile reveals that it annually produces 1,504 kWh/kW energy yield, with an aim of 33% renewables by 2020. If Visalia had merely 5% city-wide electricity use sourced from solar power, it could reach as much as 28,751 kW of installed solar power, 43,240,788 kWh of energy generated annually while creating 276 job-years and generating $53.2 million economic activity. At that minimal solar energy use, the equivalent CO2 gas offset would be as much as that of 10,628 acres of trees being planted and as many as 2,701 cars being taken off the road in terms of CO2 offset.

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The city’s residential section also has a great as-yet untapped potential for rooftop solar panels Visalia solar power utility companies could take advantage of. Solar panels or solar modules consist of solar cells. A solar cell is somewhat round with a two- to three-inch diameter. Such cells are arranged in columns and rows on a solar panel. A 150-watt solar panel is typically organized in a four-by-nine grid of solar cells.

There can be many types of solar cells, but the most basic which can be found in the solar energy market are single crystal silicon solar cells, polycrystalline solar cells, as well as thin-film technology. The single crystal type is the most commonly used but is also the most expensive among the types of cells. This cell type is the reason why solar power has earned the reputation of being expensive and low in cost-effectiveness. The polycrystalline type is less expensive; however, it is also less effective in terms of energy conversion.

As we know, solar energy is produced when sunlight is converted into electricity. Polycrystalline solar cells are poor in this regard. Thin-film technology can be easily mass-produced compared with crystal cells and costs less too. But its durability is doubtful as well as its conversion efficiency. Crystal and polycrystalline cells last much longer than this third type.

When planning to have a solar energy system installed, it is best to know even just a bit about the materials being used. The efficiency of your system will rely much on that. Not all solar panels are made equal, so when deciding on the type of solar panels Visalia utility companies may do as much as present you with the many alternatives, but in the end, you have to be the wiser in choosing. It is the same when considering other parts of the system that you will be needing.

Another thing which needs to be considered is the cost of the system and how much you can save by falling back on certain legislation and policies that have been put in place to incentivize the switch to solar power use.

The federal tax credit incentive takes 30% off of expenses for the purchase of a solar energy system, claimed either as a residential or a commercial tax credit. On a state level, California offers the California Solar Initiative (CSI) which allows customers cash rebates on solar power systems installation in homes, schools, farms, commercial spaces, and government as well as non-government organizations by any of the three investor-owned utility companies. This includes the purchase of any type of solar panels Visalia residents choose to install on their homes, without an upper limit.

Besides the cash incentives and tax credit, there are also loan options available for residents who qualify. The Energy Efficiency Loan of the Educational Employees Credit Union allows members to take out between $100 and $4,000 for the installation of solar energy systems and increase energy efficiency.

Eligible Visalia homeowners could also seek PowerSaver Loans at a competitive rate, up to 20 years for the purchase of renewable energy systems for installation in their home.

The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program was just recently added to the options for upgrading energy efficiency, water efficiency, and the renewable energy system at home. Interest rates are fixed and low. Payment terms are also flexible, up to 20 years. Repayments can be made through property taxes. The program can be utilized to fund activities that may increase the value of your property, lower utility bills, create a more comfortable home, as well as help the larger community more energy-independent.

The Rooftop Solar Challenge program from the United States Department of Energy also funds an initiative called the Southwest Solar Transformation Initiative which has the purpose of making solar energy systems more affordable for communities by improving the climate of the local solar market and making the approval process more efficient.

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