NewEnergyNews: SolarCity Putting Teachers in the Classroom and Cops on the Streets; The city of Lancaster, California is making solar work for its citizens and government.

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

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

    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

  • Weekend Video: Reindeer Stresses
  • Weekend Video: Pink Fracking
  • Weekend Video: Fighting Duke For Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: ARE NATURAL GAS AND RENEWABLES THE FUTURE OF TEXAS' POWER GRID?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: COULD FERC PUT A PRICE ON CARBON?
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN GEOTHERMAL REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS IN THE WEST?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT THE E3 STUDY OF NEVADA NET ENERGY METERING REALLY SAYS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE ROLE OF RENEWABLES IN THE NEW EPA EMISSIONS RULE
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: SMART INVERTERS: THE SECRET TO INTEGRATING DISTRIBUTED ENERGY ONTO THE GRID?
  • --------------------------

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

    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.

  • ---------------
  • Thursday, November 15, 2012

    SolarCity Putting Teachers in the Classroom and Cops on the Streets; The city of Lancaster, California is making solar work for its citizens and government.

    SolarCity Putting Teachers in the Classroom and Cops on the Streets; The city of Lancaster, California is making solar work for its citizens and government.

    Herman K. Trabish, June 29, 2012 (Greentech Media)

    It's a tale of two cities: Stockton, CA, population 290,000, has a deficit of $26 million and is about to be the biggest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy. Lancaster, CA, population 150,000, has a budget of $109 million, a solar program that will earn it a revenue stream of $1.5 million annually through 2017 and $800,000 annually for the following twenty years, and a plan to turn itself into the solar capital of the nation.

    Since July 2010, when it began Solar Lancaster, a partnership with third-party financepioneer SolarCity, the city has facilitated approximately 27 megawatts of installations, including at its baseball field, its performing arts center, City Hall, Lancaster City Park, and an array of businesses and residences.

    Buoyed by Solar Lancaster’s success, the city took up a bigger solar ambition. It set out to solarize its school districts with an innovative financing plan.

    “The City of Lancaster has been forward-thinking,” observed SolarCity Southern CaliforniaRegion Vice President Jim Cahill. “Some of this stuff has not been done before.”

    “Solar Lancaster was dipping our toes into the water,” explained Public Works Projects Coordinator Heather Swan, who moved into the city’s solar program from the local office of the state’s Redevelopment Agency. “With the SolarCity partnership, we got a little more familiar.

    Then we moved into the school districts, getting deeper into the water. And now we’ve jumped in all the way.”

    Two of Lancaster’s school districts are now guaranteed an electricity rate reduction from eighteen cents per kilowatt-hour to 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Their solar will save them $325,000 or more annually for 25 years.

    Thanks to those savings and the City’s revenue stream, solar will keep teachers in classrooms, cops and firefighters on the job, public parks and museums available to kids, and so on.

    Lancaster’s staff speaks of Mayor R. Rex Parris’s leadership. “The Mayor has said,” noted Communications Manager Joe Cabral, “the Middle East is sitting on oil. We’re sitting underneath the sun. Why in the world wouldn’t you monetize it?”

    To build the school district’s solar, Mayor Parris and the City Council took the risky step of issuing a tax-exempt municipal bond. Now fully sold, it raised $27 million.

    The successful close of the bond sale proved the concept, said Deputy City Manager Jason Caudle, a former investment banker who worked out the financial details of Mayor Parris’ vision.

    Wedbush Securities underwrote the bond at an average 4.4 percent interest, Caudle explained.

    “They have an obligation to buy all the bonds from us, but they also have the opportunity to sell the bonds in the open market.” And, he added, “as long as we keep paying on the bonds, they make at least 4.4 percent, tax-free.”

    Because of that low cost of capital, Swan said, “we have a cheaper cost of power and can offer a cheaper cost of power to the school districts, providing them their savings.”

    The school districts continue to pay Southern California Edison (SCE), but their combined bills are significantly less than if they were buying all their power from SCE. And, Swan added, “the amount of money they pay us in total is greater, every year, than the amount of money we owe in debt service on the bonds. The difference is the amount of the city’s revenue.”

    The bond funded 7.5 megawatts of solar, built at 25 school district sites, Swan said. “We pre-paid the power for 25 years. SolarCity is paid.”

    “Sometimes when we talk to a city about this degree of going solar,” SolarCity’s Cahill said, there is “an aversion to doing a new structure.” There was, he said, no aversion in Lancaster.

    SolarCity guaranteed the city a minimum amount of kilowatt-hours and took responsibility for system installation and maintenance. SolarCity benefited from the 30 percent federal investment tax credit and from accelerated depreciation of the system, both unavailable to the non-taxpaying city and school district.

    What has emerged is Lancaster’s California Clean Energy Authority (CCEA). Through it, Lancaster will partner with developers like SolarCity and form Joint Powers Agreements (JPAs) with other California cities. It is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)-like structure that benefits municipalities but avoids the Federal Housing Authority objections that stopped PACE’s initial success.

    “This is basically taking the model of what we have done with our school districts and doing the same thing with other school districts and others, fire departments, police stations, waste treatment plants, and so on across the state,” explained Mayor Parris. “We are already in talks with five or six other cities.”

    “We’re talking to cities,” Swan added, that are “too financially strained to put people on it or that may not have the political will to do their own program.” The business model, she said, could work anywhere.

    "The basic core of any solar deal,” Cahill said, is “the utility rates have to be high enough. The sun resource has to be great. In Lancaster, it’s better than almost anywhere. And you have to have the physical space.” If those points are met, he said, “then you start working on the financing end.”

    The Lancaster representatives spoke highly of SolarCity but would not rule out working withother developers. “There are so many megawatts out there to build,” Swan said, “I don’t know that any one developer can do it all.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *