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Photo of the Month: September 2014 

This month LightWave Solar will commission two solar parking canopies at City Square Shopping Center in Hendersonville. City Square now has four roof top systems totaling 118 kW, two solar canopies totaling 47 kW, and it is a solar EV charging oasis with 10 chargers. Way to go Greg Smith! 


LightWave Solar on Solar Power World's Top 400 Solar Contractors List


Solar Power World magazine recently released their 2014 Top 400 Solar Contractors list which ranks companies based on megawatts of solar installed in 2013. 


Despite TVA's program closure last year, LightWave Solar ranked #75 nationally among commercial contractors and #160 overall.


Corporations Are Making Huge Investments in Solar


A recent article written by Motley Fool shows which corporations are installing the most solar. Walmart, Costco, Kohls and Apple top the list. These companies are investing billions in solar because it saves them money which is good for shareholders.


Walmart alone has more solar installed (89 megawatts as of mid-2013) than all the solar installations combined under TVA's solar programs (75 megawatts currently)! Apple will, too, by year's end with nearly 100 megawatts.


Last year the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranked corporations by solar installed. SEIA's report found that that "solar allows American companies to reduce energy costs, allocate resources to their core business operations, and better plan for the future." 


Commercial Solar Lunch & Learn on Sept 18 in Huntsville, AL


LightWave Solar will present a Commercial Solar Seminar to explain the financial incentives for commercial solar installations, including the 30% Investment Tax Credit, MACRS Accelerated Depreciation, and TVA's solar incentive programs. Presentation will also cover the AlabamaSAVES loan option which provides 1% fixed rate financing to Alabama businesses. 


Commercial Solar Lunch & Learn

Thursday, September 18 from 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.

Nexus Energy Center

6767 Old Madison Pike
Progress Center Building 7, Ste 730
Huntsville, AL 35806 


Lunch will be provided! Please click here to register online or call 615-641-4050 x104. 


Solar Tour and Workshop for Homeowners on Oct 4

As part of the ASES National Solar Tour, LightWave Solar will host a Solar Tour and Workshop for Homeowners on Saturday, October 4th. The workshop will explain the process of installing solar at your home, and we will lead a tour of our solar-powered operation. Topics will include solar equipment, site requirements, costs and an overview of available tax and utility incentives. Attend to learn why more and more homeowners are going solar!


Solar Tour and Workshop for Homeowners 

Saturday, October 4th 10am-12pm

LightWave Solar HQ

3026 Owen Drive, Suite 104

Antioch, TN 37013

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please click here to register online! Or call 615-641-4050


5 Reasons TVA Should Expand Investment in Solar 


TenneSEIA compiled this summary to educate TVA Board members and other TVA decision makers on the merits and urgency of offering more solar power capacity (goal of 300 megawatts) for development in 2015, rather than the currently anticipated level (126 megawatts) which would be the same as the 2014 allocation.


1. Leverage the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit.
The 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar technologies is set to be rolled back at the end of 2016. This approaching deadline is already impacting larger-scale solar developer and investor decisions due to the longer lead times associated with these projects.

2. TVA is Falling Behind Peer Utilities on Solar.
Neighboring utilities are taking advantage of this critical ITC window by surging ahead with clean energy investments in 2015. Georgia Power, a utility less than one-third TVA's size in terms of customers served, is planning to purchase over 260 MW of solar in 2015. Similarly, Duke Energy in North Carolina is seeking 300 MW of new solar by the end of 2015. These numbers do not tell the complete story, due to the fact that TVA is a much larger utility than Duke or Georgia Power. To illustrate this, the graph below shows each utility's projected 2016 solar capacity per 10,000 customers served.




3. The High Cost of Dirty Power
When TVA invests in solar, it protects its customers from costs associated with current and future environmental regulations, devastating coal ash spills and other public health risks. TVA's customers are currently paying $1.2 billion to control pollution at the Gallatin coal plant, over $1.2 billion to clean up the Kingston coal ash spill,and at least $1.5 billion in cost overruns at the Watts Bar nuclear plant. In comparison, at most, only $40 million was budgeted towards new solar investments in 2014. These three expenditures alone amount to $439.06 per customer, compared to only $4.44 per customer invested to purchase new solar energy last year.



4. TVA Can Ramp up its Investment in Solar Energy while Cutting the Budget.
Utilities across the country are finding it economical to convert dirty, expensive coal plants to efficient natural gas plants, and to couple that investment in gas with additional solar power. For example TVA will close the Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis to help cut costs and increase its use of cleaner energy. TVA decided against retrofitting Allen with expensive pollution controls even though $650 million dollars was already approved for this purpose. This expense will be considerably reduced, especially in the long run, by converting Allen to a natural gas plant and combining that plant with additional investments in solar energy. 

5. Solar Power Benefits All Customers.
Although TVA has not yet completed its value of solar analysis, similar analyses that have been conducted across the country are demonstrating that the benefits of rooftop solar investments to all customers exceed costs. For example, Austin Energy has determined that its net value of rooftop solar is 10.7 cents/kWh, which exceeds its retail rate. Investing in solar saves fuel costs, since sunshine is free, and helps avoid the need for expensive new power plants and transmission.


Note, this is not a comprehensive list of reasons why TVA should increase its solar investment. Solar energy also creates good-paying jobs, generates homegrown energy and gives people and businesses more energy options. In addition, the constrained capacity allocations by TVA have created a cycle of boom-bust periods that have hampered growth in the Valley's local solar market. 


Thanks to TenneSEIA for compiling this summary. 


LightWave Insider is a monthly e-newsletter from LightWave Solar bringing you news and information about the solar industry.   


Where We'll Be...

Southern Solar Summit
Thurs, Sept 11
GTRI Conference Center
Atlanta, GA

Commercial Solar Lunch & Learn
Thurs, Sept 18 11:30am-12:30pm
Nexus Energy Center
Huntsville, AL

Tennessee Engineers Conference
Presentation by LightWave Solar Chief Engineer, Bill Novak, P.E.
Thurs, Sept 25
Embassy Suites
Murfreesboro, TN 

Solar Tour and Workshop for Homeowners
Sat, Oct 4 10am-12pm
LightWave Solar HQ
Antioch, TN

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3026 Owen Drive, Suite 104, Antioch, TN 37013