Tennessee Solar Solutions Recognized as a Top Solar Contractor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017

The Solar Power World Top Solar Contractors list includes Chattanooga based solar firm.


Chattanooga, TN: Coming off the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations, local installer TENNESSEE SOLAR SOLUTIONS, LLC proud to be named one of the top solar contractors in the United States by Solar Power World magazine. Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC achieved a rank of 240 out of 500 solar companies.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets. The list was released on July 25.

“The 2017 Top Solar Contractors list features 500 of the best solar contractors in the United States,” said Kelly Pickerel, managing editor of Solar Power World. “From solar hotbeds on the coasts to the up-and-coming Midwest solar market, every installer adding even the smallest solar array to the grid is making a positive impact on our communities.

We’re proud to recognize these companies and their efforts to bring solar power to U.S. homes and businesses.”

Your Fully NABCEP Certified.

 

The U.S. solar market installed more than 14,700 MW of solar in 2016, nearly doubling the capacity installed in 2015.

For the first time ever, solar was ranked as the No. 1 source of new electric generating capacity additions brought online throughout the year. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) predict the cumulative U.S. solar market to nearly triple in size over the next five years. By 2022, more than 18 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity will be installed annually, Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC will continue to be a major player in adding solar to the grid.

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC employs 25 workers, who installed 2,216kW of solar in 2016. Since its founding in 2007, the company has installed 2MW of solar. The company’s belief that simplifying the process of going solar will be the key to its widespread adoption, Tennessee Solar Solutions provided the industry’s premier customer experience. Creating memorable experiences for customers resulted in rapid growth of the company.

30kW Commercial solar PV installation

“Tennessee Solar Solutions was founded in 2007 on the basis of the firm conviction that solar power  is  a clean, sustainable energy source that is available everywhere and to everyone, “ said Anthony Roden, Founder and President.

“Tennessee Solar Solutions is much more than just a project developer and installer: it is an operator which offers an integrated model for the production of solar electricity,” said Ginny Kincer, Chief Operations Officer.

About Solar Power World

Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors—including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets—grow their businesses and do their jobs better.

Media Contacts

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC

Ginny Kincer, 423-298-1688

ginny@tennesseesolarsolutions.com

Solar Power World

Kelly Pickerel, 216-860-5259  kpickerel@wtwhmedia.com

 

 

What Does Solar Cost?

After 10 years of working in the solar industry, the question that we hear most often is, “What is the cost of solar?” To answer this, we must first consider a few factors. We look to see if solar is a viable option for your property. Aspects of your property that increase the efficiency of a solar system include a south/southeast facing roof with little to no shade. If you believe that your roof may not be available option or are simply opposed to having panels on your roof, you can explore other options. Ground or pole mounted systems (providing that you have the available space) are viable options and in some cases, we can build a unique structure just for solar. After determining viability for solar on their property, we will then determine what that individual’s goals and expectations are for their solar project.

If a person is seeking to reduce the cost of their electricity bill or potentially make a profit on their solar installation, we would recommend a grid-tie system. A grid-tied system involves having a solar system installed that feeds back into the power grid. All of the energy produced by this system is sold back to your local power company. In most cases, the power company will credit your bill for the kilowatt energy produced, so depending on the size of your system, you can reduce or, completely cancel out your bill. Added value occurs when you produce more energy than you consume and receive a check in the mail in place of your power bill. If a person mentions to us that they are interested in generating and storing their own energy, we would recommend an off-grid installation. With off-grid installations, you become independent of the power company, choosing instead to go with a reliable combination of solar and a battery backup system.

After determining which project style fits your energy needs, we can start to get a better idea of cost. Factors to consider include; your energy usage, material cost, city permit fees, local power company fees, labor fees, and travel cost. A rough estimate for a solar installation can be determined through the regions avg. price per watt cost towards a new system. The avg. price per watt found in our area is generally between $3.00-$4.00 per watt. For example, a 10kw (or 10,000w) grid-tie system, which could off-set a large portion of the average utility bill, would run between $30,000-$40,000 (with a buffer zone on each end of $5,000). The life expectancy of that system is between 20-40 years, paying itself off around the first 8-12 years. This means that you have the potential to see up to 20 years of profit from your system. Combining this with the current 30% federal tax credit on solar installations, you can see why it is a sound investment. Depending on certain factors, many additional incentives may be available to use with that federal credit. Additional benefits include an increase in property value and of course reduced overall environmental impact. To quote a local realtor, “If there are four equal valued homes for sale on the same street, the one with solar panels will always sell first.”

If after reading this you would like to know more about solar and see what options you may have with solar energy, please give us a call at 423-535-9350 or write in through our website at https://tennesseesolarsolutions.com/!

The Facts of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a 2015 agreement between 147 countries with the goal of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions to prevent a global temperature increase of 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the pre-industrial level. The agreement requires each country involved to work towards this goal through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), such as, “domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.” As of June 1st, the United States have announced that we will be backing out of this agreement.

The US is the 2nd largest carbon dioxide producer globally, contributing to 17.89% of the carbon dioxide produced by countries. To put this in perspective, the third largest contributor is India with 6.81%. The US not participating puts much more pressure on other countries to clean up a mess that we helped create in a major way. However, even though we are backing out, a group of 30 mayors, 3 governors, over 80 university presidents, and over 100 corporations have all agreed to abide by the regulations of the Paris Agreement regardless of how the US proceeds.

The main threat presented by global warming is the melting of land ice in areas like Greenland and Antarctica which each. This additional water is causing the sea levels to rise at an average rate of 1.8mm/yr. Currently, around 700,000,000 people live in areas less than 30 feet above sea level. The rising sea level is already causing devastation in flat countries like Malaysia, destroying fields and homes, driving people into cities that are not built to maintain the population increase. At the rate we our going, more communities at sea level, such as Miami, will be engulfed by the ocean. This will lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage and resource loss in the united states alone. To learn more on this I highly recommend watching this documentary, available for free on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp6_sDiup6U

Autonomous Cars or EVs? Why Not Both?

11.01.2016 – by Mary Kathryn Campbell

We’ve read a few pieces in recent weeks which seem to relish pitting autonomous vehicle technology against electric vehicles. One pundit even speculates that we should say “goodbye to EVs.”

We see a false equivalency argument between the problems that the two technologies solve. Electrified drive trains offer cleaner air, fewer parts to maintain, and most importantly, a break from the grip of fossil fuels. Autonomous, or self-driving cars, theoretically provide increased mobility, safety, and energy efficiency.

While the evolution of EVs has admittedly suffered starts and stops, the last decade has seen a steady rise in options for consumers. These commercially available production vehicles benefit from rapid advances in batteries, OEM manufacturing investments, and strong policies and incentives in many states, from California to Massachusetts, from Colorado to Tennessee, and many others. Manufacturers in Europe and the US are also striving to achieve regulatory goals which EVs help them meet. Thanks to all of these factors, and education and advocacy work by groups like Plug In America, more than a dozen vehicles are available for purchase in all 50 states, with two long-range, groundbreaking cars on the near horizon, GM’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3.

Meanwhile, the nascent autonomous vehicle sector is still in its infancy.

Google's self driving car

Google’s self driving car

Adding complication to the technologies’ development, clear policy mechanisms for autonomous vehicles have not been established or are still in the works. Most states have no regulations yet to address autonomous vehicles. Policymakers face an extremely steep learning curve with self-driving cars. Additionally, without an overarching federal approach, there is a great deal of room for conflict among states, which will also curb their deployment.

The final, and maybe the most difficult potential barrier to a fully automated fleet, in the US, anyway: the American consumer. Americans still love to drive. And the vast majority of American EV drivers cite the experience, the cars’ superior driving performance as a key reason for never returning to an ICE vehicle. Although the movement away from personal vehicle ownership is trending, changing user and consumer behaviors is often on an evolutionary scale: long and arduous.

All of this said, we see great potential synergies for combining these new models and modes of transportation. Tesla has taken the lead here, with autonomous tech standard in its Models S and X. Looking forward a decade or two, imagine car sharing networks of autonomous vehicles serving neighborhoods with notoriously poor air quality. Or widespread deployment of electric buses and trucks which will be automatically directed to the most efficient routes possible, all while mitigating the potential for catastrophic human error. We’d encourage pundits to look for ways to transform the transportation sector which will benefit consumers and the environment, not pick winners or pit markets against each other. We’d also encourage policy makers and car makers to look at combining these technologies, and even consider mandating that new autonomous vehicles be electrified.

Lighten Your Energy Load: Reducing Energy Consumption at the 2016 Tri-State Home Show

Chattanooga, TN:  Spring will soon be upon us, along with yard projects and home renovations. But have you ever thought about adding a home improvement that saves money? Going solar on only adds value to your home, but can eliminate your electric bill.

If you have already invested in significant efficiency upgrades to its lighting and HVAC systems, you have reduced your energy load to those functions, so your plug load could equate to as much as 50 percent. So why not Go SOLAR!

Tennessee Solar Solutions  and Green’s Eco Build + Design will be at the 50th Tri-State Home Show is February 26th –12219365_10156179853240223_3344304507694279167_n28th at the Chattanooga Convention Center.  If you are planning to build or remodel your home and want to do it right stop by our booth.  Come get expert advice for your green remodeling project or new home design. Register to win great products for your home.
Admission is $8 and children 16 and under are free.  Friday seniors receive $1 off and Saturday and Sunday bring a can good to benefit the Chattanooga Food bank and receive $1 off. Discounts can not be combined.

SHOW HOURS:

Friday, February 26, 2016 10 AM-8 PM
Saturday, February 27, 2016 10 AM-8 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2016  11 AM-5 PM

 Cost: $8 Children 16 and Under are FREE

 

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need?

By: Kelsey Meyers, Modernize

Whether you’re still considering going solar or you’re ready to take the first step, you probably want to know what system size you need and how that aspect will affect the cost. Unfortunately, it’s not easy for installers to give you an estimate based just on the size of your house or the dollar signs on your utility bill. But you can use your average monthly energy usage to get an idea of the number of panels you will need.

Determine Your Monthly Electrical Use

1606950_10155702738245223_6135075260557403156_nLook at your monthly energy bills for the last year and determine the average number of kWh, or kilowatts per hour. Divide this by 30 to get your daily kWh. Conservatively assuming that one standard solar cell produces 1 kWh per day, the number you just calculated is the number of panels you would need in order to completely cover your home’s energy needs.

In the meantime, reduce your home’s energy demands by buying more energy efficient appliances—that way, you may not have to buy as many solar panels as the calculator shows. Modernize has plenty of ideas for increasing the efficiency of your home before you install a solar system.

Find Out the Average Peak Sunlight Hours

But energy use isn’t the only factor. The amount of sunlight that your panels get also affects how many you will need to install. The more sunlight they receive, the more they are able to convert that radiant heat and light into energy for your home. If parts of your roof are shaded at certain times a day, you will need more panels to make up for that. As you monitor the quality and amount of sunlight that your roof gets, keep in mind that you’re going to need to install the panels on a south-facing roof for optimum efficiency. If trees or other buildings cast shade on your roof, or if you live in an area that doesn’t receive many hours of sunlight, you’re going to need to plan accordingly.

Decide How You Want to Use Your Solar System

While many prospective solar users dream of covering all of their energy costs, covering just a percentage is also an option. You may only decide to install enough solar panels to keep you out of the higher tiers of energy consumption, or you may just want to start off with just a few panels and build from there. You can cust11889450_10155951057030223_2213302186479320315_nomize your system to your budget—just be sure to avoid making compromises where it counts. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy a cheaper inverter to save money because this will only end up costing you, but you could start off with just one panel and slowly transition to using solar.

Contact the Experts at TN Solar Solar today.

Two State-wide Solar Boards Shine Bright as Members of Local Solar Co Join Their Ranks

For Immediate Release

Local Solar Company’s President and COO to State-wide TSEA and TenneSEIA Board Positions

Chattanooga, TN/USA, November 17, 2015: Tennessee Solar Solutions President, Anthony Roden was appointed to the AnthonyBoard of Directors for Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA), the state chapter American Solar Energy Society. Tennessee Solar Energy Association believes that widespread adoption of solar technology in the state of Tennessee will help create energy independence, lessen harmful environmental impacts, and result in cost savings for consumers.  Roden’s company, established in 2007, is the only solar company in the greater Chattanooga area with a sole focus on solar energy systems for the community, residential, business and Agri-business.

“I am honored to be a bigger part of TSEA. I feel we have to do our part to promote events and educational opportunities about solar energy. By sharing this knowledge we can empower our communities to generate their own electricity. Best part, we are making the world a better place than we found it.”

KincerGinny Kincer, Tennessee Solar Solutions’ Chief Operations Officer was recently elected to the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries (TenneSEIA) Association Board of Directors. TenneSEIA is the state chapter for the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and represents the interest of the solar energy industry in Tennessee. The mission of TenneSEIA is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and realize the full potential of the solar industry in Tennessee.

Kincer already is Chairwoman of the Lifetime Achievement in Solar Award for TenneSEIA. This newly established honor was the vision of TenneSEIA members that was spearheaded by Kincer this year.

“TenneSEIA is a strong voice for the solar industry here in Tennessee, as well as SEIA nationwide. As an advocate for solar energy, becoming more involved was a natural fit.”

Tennessee Solar Solutions, LLC opened its doors in 2007 with the mission to help others produce their own free, clean, earth friendly electricity! Tennessee Solar Solutions, 2015 Top Solar Contractor in North America, designs, installs and maintains solar energy systems throughout the southeast.

Contact: Ginny Kincer, 423-298-1688, ginny@tennesseesolarsolutions.com

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Pitch Prefect

 One of the key considerations when installing an array of solar panels is the direction that the roof is tilted, as well as the angle, or pitch, of the roof.

A roof can be repaired or reinforced before installation if it’s damaged, but you can’t do much about the location, orientation, or pitch of the roof, short of moving to a new house, so knowing where and when and for how long the sun hits the potential location of the solar array is important. Because that is variable throughout the year, just as power consumption is variable throughout the day, it can be confusing when trying to pin down the ‘best’ solar panel angle and array orientation.

A home solar array is only as useful as it is appropriately sized, oriented, and installed. A poorly-matched system installed in a suboptimal location can be a big disappointment, so it’s important to pay attention to a lot of little details when planning to go solar.

All the right angles help you get the most out of your solar energy system.
All the right angles help you get the most out of your solar energy system.

We’re all pretty aware that the sun appears to move through the sky during the day, from east to west, and that the days are longer (more hours of sunlight) in the summer, with shorter days (fewer hours of sunlight) in the winter. But there’s another variable when it comes to the sun’s energy, and that is the angle of inclination that the sun takes (its ‘height’ in the sky), which also shifts gradually throughout the year, so not only do we have to capture the most energy we can from a sun that’s moving across the sky, but one that’s also moving higher or lower in the sky, depending on the season.

And all of those variables are affected by yet another one, which is the physical location on the planet, because depending on where your house is, the amount of sunlight your solar panels will receive on any given day will vary from another location, such as more to the north or south of you. All of that is to say that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solar array that can be installed the same way every time and yet produce the exact same amount of electricity throughout the year, even not accounting for individual differences in homes or neighborhoods (tree cover, tall buildings casting shade, etc.)

When evaluating your own potential solar site, most likely your roof, it’s helpful to understand the particulars of your situation, such as the pitch, or angle, of the roof, as well as the direction that the intended surface faces, and to then relate that to the path of the sun through the sky during each of the four seasons.

Depending on where and when your house was built, the angle of your roof can be anything from flat (not very common, except in some arid regions) up to 45° or more (such as in snowy locations with steeply pitched roofs), but many homes have an angle somewhere right in the middle, around 30° or so. Because the most cost-effective and efficient way to install solar panels is parallel to the roof, your roof pitch will essentially be your future solar panel angle (unless a fixed-angle racking system is added to it), so it’s an important figure to know.

The other fixed variable is the direction that the home and its roof surfaces are pointed. In the northern hemisphere, the most sun will hit the southern faces of roofs, on average, throughout the year, so a south-facing roof has been the default for most solar installations. However, the sun also lights up the eastern surfaces in the mornings, and western surfaces in the afternoons, so roof planes that aren’t facing true south aren’t necessarily out of the question for solar panels (and western-facing solar arrays may actually be more useful to the grid, as they produce optimally during times of high demand).

Because the location of the sun in the sky each day varies by geographic location, the optimal solar panel angle is usually said to be equal to the latitude of the location, although because the angle of the roof and the latitude aren’t often an exact match, the solar array is usually simply installed parallel to the roof, in a fixed position. And according to a study at EnergySage, that’s probably the best way to do it, because the additional costs of racking to get the best solar panel angle may not achieve enough of a performance gain to make a big difference. In a location with higher electricity prices, it may make the most sense to use additional racking adjust the angle of the array for optimal production, and in other locations, lower electricity costs may not justify any additional expense for racking.

For those who want to boost their solar production in the winter and the summer, and not just have their solar panel angle be fixed year-round, an adjustable racking system may allow for optimal solar electricity generation. By tilting the panels 15° steeper in the winter and 15° down in the summer, it’s possible to increase the amount of energy your system can capture during those seasons, but there are also a number of different ways of determiningwhen and how much to adjust the angle on a solar array if a default 15° isn’t enough for you.

The other major factor in a home solar array is the available roof space for a system that is sized appropriately to both your budget and your electricity needs. For some homes, with multiple-plane roofs, it may not be possible to put the entire array all together at the same angle, and so some solar panels will have to be installed at different angles from the rest, as the photo at the top illustrates.

If cost was no object, the absolute best performing solar electric array would probably be one mounted on poles, using dual axis tracking so that it can effectively track the sun through the sky and remain directly pointed at it all day long, regardless of what season it is. However, for most of us, a fixed angle rooftop solar array, pointed south, is already economically viable in most places, so there’s no need to invest the extra money to get a great return. Basically, the best solar panel angle for you is the one that either matches your roof pitch, because it’s cost-effective to install an array that way, or the one that gets you the most bang for your buck, electricity-wise, in your location, and your local solar installer can help you figure that out.

Excerpt from COST OF SOLAR, read more details here

California solar policy under construction?

California has been a state that has set records in solar production, generation, incentives and even policy. So why now does it feel like they are taking a step backwards?

In a recent article by Reem Nasr, “Utilities’ newest solar battleground: California”, 

“The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday holds hearings that could result in changes to the way that solar panel users are reimbursed for the power they generate, improbably making the Golden State the newest front in a battle between power companies and rooftop solar firms. On one side are proponents of solar energy and the companies that make the panels, while arrayed against them are utilities that want policy changes that would result in solar power being less cost-effective for homeowners and businesses that want to use it.”

Many Californians rely on net metering as a way to obtain their solar energy system. Net metering by definition from SEIA, Solar Energy industries Association,

“Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.”

The current net metering policy was put into place no more than two years ago. These new proposals currently being submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission could not only restructure this policy moving forward but set new standards for states like Tennessee who is one of four states that does not have laws regulating net metering.