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Costs for solar energy drop as traditional utility loses steam

Costs for solar energy drop as traditional utility loses steam

Within four short years, about 80% of U.S. coal plants will either shut down or operate with sky-high costs that exceed the expenses of a clean energy plant such as solar.

Research from Energy Innovation: Policy & Technology reports an acceleration to clean energy technology use. Competitive prices and cost-saving efficiencies are two big reasons why.

In the United States, there are about 230 coal plants, 80% of which are nearing their end of life and are not economically practical. The dramatic decline to traditional energy generation is a testament to the power and affordability of solar technology and other sustainable clean energy at all levels, including large-scale commercial projects and at-home energy solutions.

On the other hand, coal plants are losing their grip on maintaining high levels of production, which is eating up their profits.

Simply put, coal plants are losing steam because the costs for solar energy continue to fall at a much faster rate. As a result, the investment for the lifetime benefits of solar plants continue to beat the competition. The all-in costs of solar energy means customers can enjoy a lifetime of savings, and then some.

Demand, storage and reliability considerations are also in play. Solar makes energy generation and storage easy and affordable. And because solar energy is a path toward a cleaner future, there’s even more reason to pick it over traditional utilities.

Residential and commercial customers can enjoy even greater savings through the solar investment tax credit, which was recently extended at the federal level.

Since its enactment in 2006, U.S. solar technology and installations have grown by more than 10,000%. Over the years, the tax credit has created jobs and injected billions of dollars into the economy. But most of all, it’s made solar energy accessible and affordable to more people.

In 2021, the tax credit is 26% for both residential and commercial projects, including larger utility. Solar customers may claim the credit again in 2022 for 25%. The rate is reduced over the next couple of years and will phase out unless renewed.

The tax break is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes and is based on the amount invested in the solar project. Individuals who buy solar-ready homes may also qualify for a tax break.

New solar application takes flight with potential to power thousands of homes

New solar application takes flight with potential to power thousands of homes

The installation of rooftop solar panels at airports could power thousands of homes with clean, renewable and affordable energy, according to a new Australian study.

Published in the Journal of Building Engineering, researchers determined that equipping 21 federal airports with large-scale rooftop solar energy applications could power nearly 140,000 homes. Already, airports across the country are leveraging solar power to provide for their own electricity needs. The Melbourne Airport, for instance, plans to add additional solar capacity with a project that would span 26 soccer fields. The power would support the energy needs for all of the airport’s passenger terminals.

RMIT University compared the residential solar electricity output to potential energy production from solar airports in a regional city. It came as no surprise that large-scale solar airports could produce more power that’s currently produced by 17,000 residential panels in the case study. In fact, the power capacity of solar airports would be 10 times greater than what’s currently available.

The lead author of the study mapped out 1.62 square miles of rooftop space at airports, locating an abundance of open space suitable for harvesting sunlight energy. In addition to being highly efficient, the airport solar panels do not pose a safety issue to incoming and outgoing flights, as the panels absorb light instead of reflecting it.

As we continue to learn, the potential of solar power has no ceiling. Whether it’s powering entire cities or providing clean energy to homes or businesses, there’s really no energy project out of reach with solar.

In the Sacramento region, customers benefit from a number of solar applications, including solar pool heating, which can significantly extend swim season. Complete solar electricity systems power homes and businesses and lower or even eliminate electricity costs. With solar battery storage, customers can enjoy the peace of mind that power is always on reserve in the event of an emergency or sudden power shutoff.

Aztec Solar provides energy solutions for projects of any size for your home or business. Whether it’s in-house solar water heating or a complete electricity experience, Aztec Solar has the expertise to get the job done right. We work with residential, commercial and government customers and help them meet their energy needs with clean, affordable and planet-saving technologies.

Solar commercial, residential battery storage technology on the rise

Solar commercial, residential battery storage technology on the rise

Solar technology is here to stay. With momentum building toward a greener and sustainable energy future, solar technology is our best bet toward eliminating harmful greenhouse gasses. Together, we will pave the way to a brighter future for all.

Anyone interested in residential and commercial solar can combine solar energy technology with solar battery storage installation. Around the world, these kinds of projects are growing in number and are expected to reach new levels this year.

Large-scale battery deployment subsided a little during the onset of the pandemic but has since picked up steam. In 2020, the overall energy capacity of this technology reached five gigawatts (residential excluded), up from about three gigawatts in 2019.

Shipments for residential storage setups soared by 19% in the fourth quarter of 2020, illustrating the desire for enhanced solar technology inside the home.

Last year, the sizes of commercial projects also grew. A large American plant recently built at a former gas power facility is the nation’s largest battery storage project, producing more than 200 megawatts. This year, the United States is poised to represent 50% of the world’s solar storage capacity. Industry credits the federal solar investment tax credit, a 26% tax break, for the increase to solar battery storage installations.

Solar battery storage technology is an answer to the unpredictability and inconvenience of traditional utility services. Unexpected power shutoffs and price hikes can be a thing of the past. Solar panels combined with solar battery storage can deliver on today’s promise of clean and affordable energy without interruption.

Batteries work by simply storing excess energy that’s produced by your solar electricity system. Solar battery storage lets solar electricity customers stow away energy for when it’s needed the most.

If you are ready to go solar today, contact us!

5 benefits of getting solar in the Sacramento region

5 benefits of getting solar in the Sacramento region

It’s no surprise that California leads the nation in solar energy capacity. As a global trend-setter, California is always looking toward the future.

While fossil fuels remain a leading source of energy, solar energy is the bridge into the future because it’s clean, affordable and reliable. As an under tapped resource, solar energy consumption will only continue to grow, ushering in a new energy revolution that focuses on solutions that are clean, sustainable and affordable.

The benefits of solar are all-encompassing, especially if you live in the greater Sacramento area. Read on to learn five reasons why solar energy can work for you.

Solar affordability

Now more than ever, the costs for solar applications and installation are budget friendly. Believe it or not, the overall costs have dropped to nearly half in a very short span of time. And with enhanced efficiencies, consumers enjoy lower costs and bigger savings.

In addition to the increased affordability and energy efficiencies, consumers benefit from a number of financial incentives, such as a 26 percent tax break through the federal solar investment tax credit.

Smaller monthly bill

The unpredictability of traditional utility comes at a price. Sudden price hikes or unannounced power interruptions are the source of frustration for many customers. With solar, there’s both an immediate and long-term return on investment.

Start with the monthly bill. Depending on your setup and energy-saving goals, you can expect a substantial reduction to your monthly bill. Plus, any unused energy that you send back to the grid will result in billing credits for more savings.

And as traditional utility prices keep changing, solar energy supports stability in fixed costs, which will add up to loads of savings over the years.

Backup power

While the weather is gorgeous around here, the weather can get ugly. Power events and glitches can leave you and your family in the dark.

Solar energy and solar battery storage customers have the peace of mind that electricity will always be available, especially during emergencies.

Customized solar

Whether you’re living in open space or in a smaller urban footprint, solar power is scalable and can be customized to meet your specific needs at home or at your business.

We can help design a system that is suited for today but can also be expanded for future use. And with an array of solar applications, such as solar battery storage, solar pool heating or complete solar applications, there’s an energy solution for every need, no matter the size.

Increased property value

At a time when home prices are appreciating at historic rates, solar energy is another boost to your property’s value.

Even a modest solar electricity system can add tens of thousands of dollars to the market value of your home.


Contact us today to get started on your solar system!

5 reasons why your home may be solar compatible

5 reasons why your home may be solar compatible

The rising costs and unpredictability of traditional utility services make you want to look the other way. So why not set your eyes on the alternative: clean, reliable, and affordable green technology?

While solar power technology is the logical answer, some homeowners may believe their home is not solar-panel compatible.

If you envision a brighter future powered by clean and affordable renewable technologies, then solar panels could be for you. Here are five reasons why your home may be solar compatible.

Sunlight roof exposure

While it’s hard to see, your rooftop may be hit with a lot of energy from the sun every day.

Roofs that get their sunlight from a southern exposure are ideal, but east and west exposures will also do. Even smaller roofs are candidates for solar installs. Remember, depending on the energy needs; you can land a big punch of energy efficiency within a relatively small square footage of rooftop space.

Solid regional sunlight coverage

If you step outside and can see California sunlight, chances are your home qualifies for solar hardware.

Even if you reside closer to the foothills or Sierra, where snow can outmatch sunlight on some days, solar panel technology remains an option. The truth is that solar panels work in most climates and are becoming more efficient.

Be aware that other buildings, trees, vent, chimneys, and other larger obstacles, however, can deeply reduce your roof’s sun exposure.

Roof is in good condition

The diversity of roof types in the region is wide. And while solar panels do better on some types than others, a bigger test might be the roof’s age and condition.

Generally, a newer roof will pose no significant challenges and are excellent candidates for solar installs. Metal and composite roofs are preferred given their durability. Because some solar install components will be drilled, the age and material of the roofing are critical. The integrity of the waterproof barrier is on the line.

Remember, you can also decide to install solar panels elsewhere on the property as an alternative.

Roof will last decades

Yes, a roof in good condition is necessary. But given the longevity of solar panels, homeowners must also be confident that their roofs can keep up.

If you live in a newer housing community, there may be no concerns regarding your roof’s ability to meet the test of time. To maximize your solar investment, be sure to discuss roof lifespans and how it can impact your solar project.

You pay taxes

Did you know that you qualify for a substantial federal tax break when you decide to switch to solar?

The federal government recently extended the solar investment tax credit, offering homeowners (and commercial entities) a big tax break. If you act this year, you can expect a 26% tax credit toward all related costs of the solar install. The rate stays the same in 2022 before it drops to 22% in 2023.

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