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Ranked as our #1 overall solar installer, SunPower features the world’s highest efficiency solar panels and features three flexible purchase options to fit the needs of nearly every homeowner. Not only will SunPower…

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There was no shortage of innovations showcased at this year’s Solar Power International (SPI) show in Anaheim, California. Companies put their best foot forward unveiling technological breakthroughs and money-saving devices that will ultimately make going solar more efficient and economical for homeowners and electrical providers. Vice President Joe Biden even made an appearance, unveiling a $120 million dollar federal grant program, initiated by the Department of Energy, dedicated to Solar Research and accessibility programs. Here’s just a sampling of the many solar tech innovations introduced at this year’s SPI: Budgeting Power Consumption – Watt by Watt It’s called the Curb, a box that attaches to a home’s breaker box and tells a consumer’s home computer exactly how much energy is being used by each source or outlet in the home. The Curb provides a breakdown, watt-by watt, of each appliance and machine in the home and the amount of energy it uses. The device lets consumers know when to turn a device off, allowing consumers to budget electricity consumption the way they budget food or other expenses. It simply allows… Read more

It’s the Sunshine State vs. the Golden State. Both have abundant sunshine, making them more than ideal candidates for harnessing solar power. But Florida, it seems, is falling behind California and other sunny states in fully exploiting the sun’s power to generate energy. Regulations, Legacy Laws Favor Utilities According to industry estimates, the east sunshine state is third in the nation when it comes to solar energy potential, but 13th in the actual amount of solar energy it generates. The problem is that Florida is mired in regulations and legacy laws that put the kibosh on implementing solar, rules that favor utilities over private enterprise. Utilities reap the benefits of rules established decades ago, which essentially turned them into "regulated monopolies." The state’s biggest utility, Florida Power & Light built three huge solar developments to serve its 4.7 million customers. It has four more large-scale solar developments on the drawing board, including a facility at Daytona International Speedway. Likewise, Florida's Duke Energy has four large solar power plants in the planning stages that it expects to be operational by 2024.… Read more

Photovoltaic modules have seen a huge price drop in the last five years. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, many installers are still weighted down by rising installation costs. So much so that current balance-of-system (BOS) costs—which include everything from structural and electrical components to labor and soft costs—now account for nearly 70 percent of going solar. The challenge in bringing down the cost of installed solar lies in cutting BOS costs. So where specifically can these costs be trimmed? Here are three areas where these costs can be cut. Pre-Assembled Cabling  For most solar PV installers, the labor and materials cost of cabling is pretty much ruled by the junction box, since this is where the installer “daisy chains” the PV panels. It starts with cable assemblies. Of course, the question many installers have begun to ask themselves is do they need to create their own cable assemblies from scratch? This labor intensive phase of a solar system often takes far longer than many installers have budgeted, making installation crews late for job sites and pushing back project completion dates… Read more

There are three primary types of solar panels, which vary in terms of space needed and cost. Some solar panel types have a higher return on electricity – the amount of sunlight that is converted to electricity – whereas others are less expensive but require more roof space. Here are the three options for today’s consumers. Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panels  This first-generation solar technology offers proven durability and longevity. Many of the modules put on roofs in the 1970's are still generating electricity today. This technology has even survived the punishing environment of space. Monocrystalline PV solar cells are highly efficient, converting more solar energy into electricity than any type of flat solar panel. Their efficiency drops off slowly at the rate of just 0.5% per year. Most performance warranties cover these panels for 25 years. This makes monocrystalline panels ideal for use in urban settings or wherever space is limited. Monocrystalline panels do have their downside. For one, they are the most expensive. If these panels become partially covered with shade, dirt or snow, the entire circuit can break… Read more

At first, few homeowners took advantage of solar. The up-front cost, which ran into $20,000 or more kept them away. But solar installer/panel suppliers offered no-cost leasing plans that ignited the market. Today costs for materials and labor have come way down. And installations are fast. One leading solar system installer currently finishes a solar array installation every three minutes. Their crew arrives at a site at 7 a.m., and by 5 P.M., the new solar array is ready to be turned on. So how are energy conscious homeowners adopting solar these days? Three examples from across the U.S: Orange County Homeowners Reap Early Fruits of Solar In Mission Viejo, CA, a homeowner installed a 4.30 kW photovoltaic solar system to her home as far back as October 2007 and is very happy about it. Before going solar, her electricity bill averaged $90/month.  But thanks to net metering, which builds “credit” for the energy produced by her system, her electric bill has dropped to almost zero. Back then, solar systems came with an eye-rolling price of $40,500. But the homeowner viewed… Read more