Category Archives: Solar Electric/Photovoltaic

Boulder Businesses and Residents: Solar Grants and Rebates Available

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Just announced, Boulder city business and residents can access grants and rebates from the City of Boulder. For more information, click here.

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Solar Rebate

Boulder residents and businesses that have installed solar electric or solar thermal (hot water) systems on their property may be eligible for a sales and use tax rebate. The city may rebate approximately 15 percent of the city sales and use tax paid on materials and permits for the solar installation. To be eligible, taxpayers must file a rebate application within 12 months of the city’s final inspection.

How do I apply?

To apply for the solar rebate, please complete the following forms:

  • Solar Rebate Form
  • Immigration Affidavit *
    • En Espanol *

Mail the completed forms, receipts from your project and a photocopy of your identification (required by the Immigration Affidavit) to:

City of Boulder
Attn: Juliet Bonnell
Solar Rebate Program
PO Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306

If you have questions or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnel.

* An Immigration Affidavit must be completed and returned with all rebate applications.

Solar rebates are subject to funding availability.

Solar Grant

Funding generated by the solar rebate ordinance is also used to provide grants for the installation of solar electric and solar thermal (hot water) systems on:

  • the facilities of site-based nonprofit organizations;
  • low- or moderate-income housing owned by nonprofit organizations; or
  • individual residences that are part of the city’s affordable housing program.

How do I apply?

  • Before you apply, please select the “Solar Grant Evaluation Criteria” link and read the information about eligibility requirements, terms, and criteria.
  • There are two versions of the Solar Grant application, one for nonprofits and one for homeowners – please make sure you use the appropriate version for your project.
  • Select either the “Homeowner Solar Grant Application” or “Nonprofit Solar Grant Application” links to download the PDF application forms.
  • All applications for the spring 2014 Solar Grant funding cycle are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30.
  • If you have questions, or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnell at bonnellj@bouldercolorado.gov or call 303-441-1931.

Grants are subject to funding availability.

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Call Aqua Care Solar for all your solar needs.

303-589-4428

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Boulder Residents Please Take Note: Your Vote Counts

An important video regarding issues on this November’s ballot:

Today’s Hot Tip:  Now is the time to think about updating your cooling and energy systems. Summer is just around the corner, or invest your tax rebate into energy savings. Call us for an appointment today.

Welcome To The Aqua Care Solar Information Center

Aqua Care Solar is your complete Solar Heat and Hot Water provider. We cover the installation from start to finish including permitting, plumbing, solar heating system installation, and maintenance of installed systems.

We Also install, service and repair high-efficiency boilers,  water heaters, furnaces and evaporative coolers.  Our expertise includes pool and spa service.  We do both commercial and residential service in all areas.

Call us at 303-589-4428  to schedule your site visit today.

Aqua care Solar is a member of NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), CoSeia (Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association), Center for Resource Conservation,  BGBG (Colorado Green Building Guild) and the BBB.

Aqua Care Solar is also a qualified Energy Smart contractor.

Ask us about Energy Smart Rebates!

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Solar Gardens

Here’s a great idea that’s catching on.   Check out what’s going on in Colorado and in other states around the country.

Solar Gardens

Solar panels are appearing on more and more roofs. But what about people who rent, live in a condominium, have shaded roofs, who might move or live in a historic district or home owners association? This is the majority of Americans! In several states, people can own solar panels in a common array called a solar garden, supplying their homes through the existing power grid.

Link: Colorado Community Solar Gardens Final Rules – September 12, 2011

Link: California SB843 – text of proposed solar gardens law

Legislation at the federal level and in several states is making this possible, with tax rebates and electric company incentives available to solar gardens subscribers.

Says SolarGardens.org founder Joy Hughes “For the first time, low income homeowners and renters will be able to go solar. We’ll put the first facilities on libraries, schools, and hospitals so these institutions can benefit. Solar gardens are sprouting up everywhere!”

By pooling resources and buying panels as a group, a community can save money and give subscribers a lower cost than going it alone.

In Colorado, the Community Solar Gardens bill will allow individuals to subscribe to solar energy within their county. The Solar Panel Hosting company has initiated the 70-acre Founders Garden in Jefferson County. This will be an Open Garden, allowing each solar company to have its own “patch” for their subscribers.

In Massachusetts, the Green Communities Act has made solar possible. My Generation Energyhas developed two subscriber based facilities, and applied for a trademark on the term “Solar Garden”. My Generation founder Luke Hinkle says he intends to use the trademark to help certify the quality and best practices of community solar gardens everywhere, and has given his support to this effort.

Visit the About page and FAQ to learn more about organizing your community to go solar!

Concentrating Photovoltaic Technology

The thing I like about my job is that I work with some pretty smart people and if I pay attention I learn something new just about every week.  This week I learned about concentrated photovoltaics technology.  It’s pretty fascinating stuff.  Sounds like it is the PV wave of the future. Here’s what NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has to say:

Concentrating Photovoltaic Technology

Photo of a dense array of high efficiency silicon cells for use within a concentrating photovoltaic system.A concentrating photovoltaic system uses a dense array of high-efficiency silicon cells.

NREL continues to further research and develop concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology—a viable alternative to dish Stirling engines.

Concentrating photovoltaic systems use lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells. These solar cells are typically more expensive than conventional cells used for flat-plate photovoltaic systems. However, the concentration decreases the required cell area while also increasing the cell efficiency.

Concentrating photovoltaic technology offers the following advantages:

  • Potential for solar cell efficiencies greater than 40%
  • No moving parts
  • No intervening heat transfer surface
  • Near-ambient temperature operation
  • No thermal mass; fast response
  • Reduction in costs of cells relative to optics
  • Scalable to a range of sizes.

The high cost of advanced, high-efficiency solar cells requires the use of concentrated sunlight for systems to achieve a cost-effective comparison with both the cost of concentrator optics and other solar power options. NREL has focused on the development of multi-cell packages (dense arrays) to improve overall performance, improve cooling, and install reliable prototype systems.

We’ve tested numerous dense arrays at the High-Flux Solar Furnace where both the level and distribution of the concentrated solar flux can be controlled and the cooling source temperature can be varied. The combination of test conditions and measurement capabilities allow for a complete mapping of optical, thermal, and electrical performance.

NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

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