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Yet Another Business Model for Solar

May 16, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

Green Mtn Energy ManageRenewable energy retailer Green Mountain Energy is offering New York and Pennsylvania residential utility customers in competitive markets an electricity plan backed by 100 percent solar power.

Doug Semmes, the New York market director at Green Mountain Energy, said the SolarSPARC renewable energy credit (REC) offering is unique because it’s the only one in New York and Pennsylvania that’s 100 percent solar.

In addition, Green Mountain Energy will help build new solar generation by contributing $4 per month for each SolarSPARC customer toward developing new solar projects in New York and Pennsylvania. The SolarSPARC program aims to build two new projects each year, and the electricity plans will include a portion of the new solar generation created by these projects.

Green Mountain Energy is kick-starting the effort by funding the development of the first SolarSPARC project in Pennsylvania. The company is currently evaluating sites to host a solar array. Subsequent projects are planned every six months in either New York or Pennsylvania depending on host site availability.

Finally, customers will receive an annual credit, which increases each year as new facilities are funded. SolarSPARC customers earn $11 per project funded, up to $121 per year.

There have been a variety of new business models for solar, lately.

In Vermont, NRG Energy built a 150 kW community solar project for the town of Rutland, and the local utility Green Mountain Power sold subscriptions for the array to residential and commercial customers.

Florida Power & Light (FPL) recently submitted a proposal for consideration by the Florida Public Service Commission for a pilot program that would ask utility customers to voluntarily contribute to new solar infrastructure.



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