Latest U.S. Legislation Fails To Provide Extension For 1603 Grant Program

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

New legislation agreed upon by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on Dec. 22 – which focuses on a payroll tax extension, unemployment insurance benefits and Medicare – does not include an extension of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Section 1603 cash-grant program, which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2011.

The solar sector and other renewable energy stakeholders had vigorously lobbied for the continuation of this program in recent months.

The final agreement, which has been signed into law by President Obama, includes future work by senators and representatives on reconciling the differences between the chambers. Congress is expected to reconvene the week of January 23, 2012.

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said in a letter to members that these negotiations – while controversial and uncertain – may provide a new opportunity for including an extension of the Section 1603 program and other renewable energy tax provisions.

Resch wrote that there is “support in Congress for addressing business and energy tax extenders as part of a longer-term agreement” on payroll taxes and other economic provisions, and that SEIA plans to continue to push for extension of the popular 1603 program.

“Of course this is a big disappointment to all of us in the solar energy industry,” said Jim Bartlett, co-founder and CEO of Arise Energy Solutions. “The impact will be solely on new commercial installations. Existing commercial clients who previously qualified for a 1603 cash grant are unaffected,” said Bartlett. “Furthermore, our residential clients still have the ability to file for the 30% Federal tax credit, which remains uncapped, and expected to be in place until 2016.”

1603 COALITION – TIME SENSITIVE: Contact Your Senators and Ask Them to Sign!

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Please contact your senators and ask them to sign the Kerry/Whitehouse/Cantwell/Udall (CO) letter supporting extension of the 1603 Treasury Grant Program

Thank you for supporting the 1603 Coalition’s efforts to extend the 1603 Treasury Program. We have now entered a time-sensitive window of opportunity and we need your immediate help in contacting Senators to extend this important program.

A sign-on letter is currently being circulated by Senators Kerry, Whitehouse, Cantwell and Udall (CO). The letter calls for an extension of the 1603 Treasury Program, the biodiesel tax incentive, the 48C manufacturing credit and the wind production tax credit. Due to the status of negotiations in Congress, the Senate champions of this letter want to finalize the letter as soon as is possible. Thus, we need you to contact your Senators before noon on Thursday December 8, 2011 if at all possible.

Click here to contact your Senators immediately and urge them to add their signatures to this letter.

To extend the Section 1603 Treasury Program before it expires at the end of the year, it is imperative that there be a strong show of support on the Kerry/Whitehouse/Cantwell/Udall (CO) letter. We at Arise Energy Solutions hope that everyone who reads this call for action can take a few minutes to help with this important effort.

Thanks in advance for your help with this issue of vital importance.

Best Regards – Jim

Jim Bartlett, Co-Founder & CEO
NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer™

Arise Energy Solutions, LLC
The Affordable Renewable Energy Solutions Company
“We Connect You With a Higher Power”
Direct: 720-468-3225

How You Can Help: Act Now to Support 1603 Treasury Grant

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

1603 Treasury Grant Set to Expire December 31

The 1603 Treasury Program, a driving force behind the growth of the US solar industry, is currently set to expire Dec. 31st 2011.  The program has created tens of thousands of US jobs, jump started more than 22,000 renewable energy projects and generated $21.5 billion in private sector investment.  An extension of the program would lead to providing enough additional solar to power 400,000 homes.

Arise Energy would appreciate everyone joining us to provide broad support for this extension.  Please contact your members of Congress to encourage them to provide their support as well. The deadline to ink your support is tomorrow! Click here to get started. It only takes a minute!  Thanks!

Chinese Firms Plan Module-Assembly Relocation

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

In response to the International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce’s ongoing investigation into possible trade violations, China-based solar module manufacturers have begun making plans to move certain production steps out of China.

The anti-dumping complaint and countervailing-duty petition filed last month by SolarWorld and its partners in the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing could result in the implementation of steep tariffs – 50% to 250% – on modules imported from China, according to the New York Times.

Per the advice of their legal counsel, several manufacturers have all but accepted defeat and begun discussions with companies that import nearly complete modules into the U.S. for final assembly. Ocean Yuan, president of Eugene, OR-based importer Grape Solar, told the New York Times that the company is currently in talks with multiple unnamed Chinese manufacturers.

Arise Energy Solutions continues to lead with US-made modules in delivering quality PV solar solutions to its clients in Colorado.  “Although we have access to Asian-made modules, we believe most of our clients are best served with US-manufactured product, which we’re able to obtain at prices close to Asian–made modules, and with superior warranty terms,” said Jim Bartlett, Arise Energy co-founder and CEO.  He listed Schott, Schuco and Sanyo as three brands of modules that Arise Energy most often includes in its designs for clients.

Solar-Powered Sea Slug Lives on Sunshine

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

By Arise Energy co-founder, Jim Bartlett

Magnificent Chromodoris (Jim Bartlett Photo)As an avid scuba diver, scuba instructor, and underwater photographer, for many years I’ve been fascinated by the nudibranch.  The term nudibranch literally means naked gills….but it’s used to describe an order of oceanic animals that are essentially snails without external shells.  I have found that Nudibranchs (commonly called sea slugs, although there are many ocean slugs that are not nudibranchs), are fascinating to studPteraeolidia ianthina (Nick_Hobgood photo)y and to photograph.  In fact, there are over 1,000 known species of nudibanchs that are found in our planet’s oceans.  Although typically quite small and easily overlooked on dives unless you keep a sharp eye out for them, nudibranchs are nearly always brightly colored…and are amazingly detailed.

One of the most interesting things about nudibranchs is the ability of some species to live off of solar energy.   The “solar-powered” Pteraeolidia ianthina have dorsal and lateral outgrowths (cerata) on the upper surfaces of their bodies that that are designed so that they can contain zooxanthellae (small flagellate protozoa), which continue to utilize solar energy to photosynthesize while inside the nudibranch, and thus provide energy to the nudibranch by converting solar energy into sugars the nudibranch can process and live on.

Chinese Made PV Solar Modules Possibly Subject to Retroactive Tariff

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

One of our major distributors has just indicated to us that Chinese modules are no longer “bankable” until the recently filed anti-dumping lawsuit is resolved.  The reason for this concern is that the lawsuit requests a retroactive 100% tariff on all Chinese module imports back to 90 days prior to the lawsuit filing date.  This could mean tariffs retroactive back to shipments that took place starting in mid-July of this year!   While we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of the lawsuit and associated anti-dumping charges against China, we do know that the lawsuit was allowed to proceed this past week.

See this article in full at

Comment by Arise Energy co-founder, Jim Bartlett: “Arise Energy proudly delivers US-made photovoltaic solar modules to its clients, including modules from Schott, Schuco and Sanyo, among others.  Although we have access to Chinese-made modules, we recommend US-made modules to most of our clients.  The current political situation regarding import dumping charges makes this AES approach all the more important to our clients.   Regardless of where we or others in our industry stand on the issue of international trade disputes, we should all be striving to ensure we’re able to continue offering our clients (residential or commercial) the choice in products that they require — whether that be driven primarily by quality or by price.”

Arise Founders Both NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installers

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Arise Energy Solutions is proud to announce that both of its founders, Tim Meisinger and Jim Bartlett, are NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installers. NABCEP Certification Badge for Solar PV Installer The company is committed to continuing education and to growing its team of certified installers.   Although the state of Colorado doesn’t currently require certification of solar energy professionals, this will change as of January 2012. In March of 2010, Colorado passed one of the most progressive renewable energy bills — HB-10-1001.  One provision in this new law specifies at least one certified installer must be present for every three non-certified installers present on a job site.  The objective behind this provision is to ensure the quality of Colorado’s Solar Installations going forward.  Thus, by January 1st, 2012 the ratio of NABCEP certified practitioners to other workers shall never fall below 1:3 for any solar photovoltaic installation that is to take advantage of the incentives in HB 10-1001, or on any project with state or federal funding.  For more information, click here.

Optical Battery – A New Way to Generate Solar Electricity

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Researchers in applied physics at the University of Michigan have discovered a method that uses the magnetic component of light to generate electricity without using semiconductors or photovoltaic (PV) panels.

When the electromagnetic waves in light passes through certain transparent materials, the magnetic waves are amplified, causing electrons to move away from their nuclei, and creating a static electric field. Conductive materials can be placed on either end of the transparent material to collect the voltage generated across the field, a method that could potentially achieve close to 100% conversion efficiency, because it does not rely on the heat-creating light absorption that limits efficiency of PV panels. The researchers, who refer to the device as an “optical battery,” have applied for a patent and are currently investigating suitable transparent materials to use in further experiments.   Click here (Optical Battery – Solar Power Without Panels) to access more details.

Colorado tops in U.S. for new wind-energy facilities in Q3

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Denver Business Journal, by Cathy Proctor, Reporter

Colorado led the nation in the amount of new wind energy installed during the third quarter of 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association. The association, based in Washington, D.C., said 1,204 megawatts of wind power were installed in the third quarter, nearly 80 percent more than the 671 megawatts installed during the third quarter 2010. Through the first three quarters of 2011, about 3,360 megawatts of wind power have been installed, up 75 percent over the first nine months of 2010, according to the report.

One megawatt of wind-based power can support about 250 homes. Colorado installed 501 megawatts worth of wind power during the third quarter, the most in the nation. Colorado was followed by Minnesota with 103 megawatts, Oklahoma with 130 megawatts and West Virginia with 98 megawatts. Texas was fifth, with 88 megawatts installed during the third quarter, according to the report.

Xcel Energy Inc., the largest electricity and natural gas utility in Colorado, also projects that a proposed 200-megawatt wind farm in Limon will save its customers nearly $278 million in electricity bills over 25 years, compared to forecast electricity prices using natural gas, according to the report. The savings are due to low wind-energy prices that incorporate federal tax credits, according to the report.

General Electric to Locate $600M Solar Panel Factory in Colorado

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Published October 14, 2011 | NewsCore

General Electric Co. has chosen Colorado as the location for a $600 million solar panel factory, the Denver Post reported Thursday.

The state was among a group of 10 states contending for the facility, which GE announced in April that it planned to build.  At the time, GE said the facility would be the biggest photovoltaic panel factory in the entire US.

Colorado development officials said the state beat out New York for the facility.

According to one source, the plant is to going to be built in Aurora, just outside of Denver.