Alternative Energy

Solar

Private and Public land owners work with us to develop and own renewable energy projects on their land, or to monetize the value of their land for such projects through a straightforward land lease.

We offer Solar advise/services to assist in any and all aspects of solar projects, including but not limited to RFP (request for proposal) services. We team with clients to direct this formal procurement process assisting them with the establishment of project specifications, quality standards, and evaluation criteria. This usually includes the document set, list of qualified bidders, question/management of bidding materials, and most cost effective avenues for the project.


Power Purchase Agreement

Municipalities interested in solar have multiple options for pursuing it, including direct ownership, community shared solar, or a power purchase agreement (PPA). Each approach to solar has different potential risks and benefits. We will work hard to help you weigh the pro’s and con’s of entering into a cost effective solar contract.

We are here to stand with you, as you explore this exciting important resource.

A quick snapshot of the advantage of PPA:
  • Low or no up-front costs – vendor is responsible for developing the site, purchasing the equipment, and installing the system.
  • Ability to take advantage of tax incentives – Vendors (unlike municipalities) can take advantage of tax incentives and pass the savings on to the municipality in the form of lower electricity prices.
  • Predictable long term electricity costs – A solar EMS contract provides a set price schedule for the electricity generated by the PV system. Ideally, the per-kWh rate paid is less than what the municipality would otherwise pay for electricity from the grid.
  • Elimination of complicated design and permitting concerns – the vendor is responsible for installing the system, including filing for permits and rebates.
  • No operation and maintenance costs – the vendor conducts repairs and ongoing maintenance of the system at no cost to the municipality during the term of the contract.

What is CHP?

Energy is the most significant driving force of our economy. All buildings need electric power for lighting and operating equipment and appliances. One of the major consumers of energy in buildings is the equipment for space conditioning. Most commercial and institutional buildings for businesses, education, and healthcare require space conditioning for cooling, heating, and/or humidity control.

Two-thirds of all the fuel used to make electricity in the U.S. is generally wasted by venting unused thermal energy, from power generation equipment, into the air or discharging into water streams. While there have been impressive energy efficiency gains in other sectors of the economy since the oil price shocks of the 1970’s, the average efficiency of power generation within the U.S. has remained around 33% since 1960. The average overall efficiency of generating electricity and heat by conventional systems is around 51 percent.

A 1 MW natural gas reciprocating engine in a combined heat and power application produces 35 units of electricity and 50 units of heat with only 100 units of fuel. Losses amount to 15 units of energy. With conventional generation, the losses are more substantial: 165 units of fuel are needed to produce the same amount of useful electricity and heat, with total losses of 80 units of energy.

Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration is the production of two forms of useful energy from a single fuel source. In most CHP applications, energy from a fuel source such as natural gas or oil is converted to both mechanical and thermal energy. The mechanical energy is used to generate electricity, while the thermal energy or heat is used to produce steam, hot water, or hot air. Depending on the application, CHP is referred to by various names including Building Cooling, Heating, and Power (BCHP); Cooling, Heating, and Power for Buildings (CHPB); Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power (CCHP); Integrated Energy Systems (IES), or Distributed Energy Resources (DER).

Integrated combined heat and power (CHP) systems significantly increase efficiency of energy utilization, up to 85%, by using thermal energy from power generation equipment for cooling, heating and humidity control systems. These systems are located at or near the building using power and space conditioning, and can save about 40% of the input energy required by conventional systems. In other words, conventional systems require 65% more energy than the integrated systems, as shown in the above diagram.