NewEnergyNews: CPF Launches Assault on Rooftop Solar Costs With DOE Backing; Better system servicing and the right installer for each customer means less investor risk and lower-cost solar.

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAWAII'S UTILITIES PLAN FOR 67% RENEWABLES BY 2030
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN WARREN BUFFETT'S PACIFICORP BRING THE NORTHWEST'S RENEWABLE RICHES TO MARKET?
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
  • -------------------

    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

    -------------------

    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

    -------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    Your intrepid reporter

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Friday, October 26, 2012

    CPF Launches Assault on Rooftop Solar Costs With DOE Backing; Better system servicing and the right installer for each customer means less investor risk and lower-cost solar.

    CPF Launches Assault on Rooftop Solar Costs With DOE Backing; Better system servicing and the right installer for each customer means less investor risk and lower-cost solar.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 13, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    In pursuit of its mission to bring down the cost of solar, the Department of Energy (DOE)Sunshot Business Incubator Program has awarded Clean Power Finance (CPF) two grants. With one, CPF will create a marketplace for solar system operations and maintenance (O&M) services. The other will help fund a CPF online system to find and match prospective solar buyers with installers that best meet their needs.

    “CPF connects installers and financiers,” said Senior Director of Government Programs Management James Tong. Institutional investors like Google Ventures and Morgan Stanleyand venture investors like Kleiner Perkins and Claremont Creek have made a half-billion dollars available for CPF to place with its 1,550-customer network of qualified solar builders because, CPF CEO Nat Kreamer has pointed out, “rooftop solar is a low-risk, high-rewardinvestment in what is essentially a long-term asset.”

    As much as 45 percent of an investor’s capital outlay, Kreamer said, can come back as a tax benefit in the loan’s first year. And the overall return on investment is “anywhere from the high single digits to the mid-teens.”

    The fastest growing segment of solar system installation is financed by third-party providerssuch as CPF’s investors and companies like SolarCity and SunRun. The DOE-backed programs, Tong said, “will leverage our platform and network to create other marketplaces for third-party financiers.”

    The programs will reduce risk and provide services that are not now efficiently met. “Software is a big component of both projects,” Tong said, “but the DOE is paying for a suite of services that includes legal contracts, business development, finding the right people and monitoring the marketplace.”

    CPF has budgeted $1 million, $500,000 of which will come from Sunshot, to build an online marketplace for photovoltaic (PV) system operations and maintenance (O&M) services from which third-party financiers who own residential solar systems will able to choose providers.

    “Right now, there is no institution to efficiently find O&M vendors,” Tong explained. Financiers have little choice but to rely on their original installer and “exclusivity can be a very large risk.” Funders have no way of knowing if the cost of the O&M services is competitive, if the quality of work is adequate, or if the service will be done promptly. And, Tong pointed out, the original installer could be out of business by the time O&M services are needed.

    “A recent report from S&P cited three general risks to the residential solar finance market,” Tong said. “One was the lack of large-scale O&M services.”

    Tong likened the situation to buying a car but having only the dealership for service. “You get no guarantee on a competitive price or that the dealer will stay open for as long as you own the car. We’re trying to create a marketplace where you can go to your local mechanic or Midas or the dealership to get different pieces and choose your price and service quality.”

    CPF will create an “agnostic” O&M marketplace that includes its existing pool of installers and a full range of qualified competitors, from electricians to roofers to panel washers.

    “We’ve enlisted SolarCity to help us because they have enormous installation capacity,” Tong said. “With Clean Power Finance’s expansive vendor network, this O&M marketplace will create the large-scale services the S&P report mentioned,” Tong explained, and “remove a key barrier to massive consumer adoption.”

    CPF has also budgeted $2.2 million -- $1 million of which will come from Sunshot -- to create a solar customer acquisition brokerage.

    “Customer acquisition is one of the biggest costs in solar,” Tong said. “The brokerage will enable solar companies to focus on their core competencies and significantly lower their customer acquisition costs.”

    Installers depend on leads to customers, but the supply is inconsistent. A brokerage would allow installers to obtain and exchange customers and leads and avoid inefficiencies. “Having this brokerage,” Tong said, allows “pooling of what’s out there and choosing installations, prices and locations that work best for the installer.”

    “Pricing in these exchanges will adjust to prevailing market conditions,” Tong said. CPF hopes to eliminate the term agreements now common in the solar industry “which create more certainty by committing the parties to a contractual term but which can significantly disadvantage one side if market conditions like falling panel prices favor the other side.”

    The brokerage will also, Tong said, allow installers to take advantage of more successful companies’ resources. “If their crews aren’t working during slower months or they are carrying an excessive amount of inventory, they could use this brokerage to supplement their deal flow by connecting with companies that acquire customers more cost-effectively than they can.”

    The goal, Tong explained, is to help installers get marketing and sales help if they need it. “People who are good at marketing and sales are often limited by installation capacity and geographical coverage; installers are often limited by their sales and marketing capacity.” The brokerage, he said, will help them connect.

    “We see ourselves as facilitators to the entire industry,” Tong explained. Increased security from the O&M marketplace and increased business activity from the customer acquisition brokerage, CPF believes, could drive the price of installed solar down as much as 50 percent. “Both projects will succeed if this happens,” Tong said, and “it’s almost a virtuous loop. If this succeeds, prices go down, and if prices go down, these projects succeed.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *