Category Archives: IPS Solar

2020 Solar Trends: Corporate Solar

Major corporations are really stepping up and making a commitment to sustainability and clean energy! Industry leaders like Target, Walmart, IKEA, and Cargil have decided to leverage solar to benefit their business and the environment. 

 

Additionally, real estate investment trusts are also getting in the mix. Earlier this year, we announced two new projects with STAG where we are leasing their roofs for community solar projects!

 

2020 Solar Trends: National Price Trends

Good news, from a high level view, is that there’s continued downward pressure on system pricing. There are, however, several factors that are working against this trend and increasing cost.


Tariffs are a major factor. In 2018, the US international trade commission levied an import tariff on solar products, which phases down over four years.  This has increased panel prices compared to the rest of the world by as much as 60%.

 

 

2020 Solar Trends: Community Solar for Breweries

We all love craft breweries! The popularity of local microbreweries is exploding in the United States, but how can they maximize their profits and  minimize their operating expenses? Well, community solar is a great opportunity to do just that.

Former CEO of Insight Brewing Co., and now solar sales representative, Ilan Klages-Mundt is joining Eric Pasi to discuss how subscribing to community solar benefited his business.

Interested in learning how a community solar subscription could save your business thousands in operating costs? Give us a call: 651-789-5305!

 

 

 

2020 Solar Trends: MN Community Solar Updates

In 2020, Minnesota Community Solar financing is becoming one of the most popular financing mechanisms for commercial solar projects. The community solar program allows residents, businesses, and public entities to participate in solar that’s not located on their property.

Each year in September Xcel proposes a bill credit rate for the following year.  This is based on a set of attributes like avoided costs and environmental impacts to develop a state-approved formula called the Value of Solar.

This rate has fallen slightly each year since 2017 to about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour levelized.

Xcel says its value of solar rate is on track to more than double to about 25 cents per kWh for projects coming online in 2020 — a result that is “unreasonable, unrepresentative, and clearly falls outside of the public interest,” according to the utility.

A compromise is currently being hashed out at the public utilities commission with a likely rate around $.12 per kilowatt hour levelized.

This will allow for continued development, although capacity on the grid is increasingly hard to come by.

 

2020 Solar Trends: ITC Update!

The investment tax credit, also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost to install solar from your federal taxes. 


The residential and commercial solar ITC has helped the U.S. solar industry grow by more than 10,000% percent since it was implemented in 2006, with an average annual growth of 50% over the last decade alone.

On December 17th, 2019, we learned that the federal tax extenders bill would not include an extension of the ITC, despite solar’s bi-partisan popularity.

Without the extension, the credit will phase down as outlined in congress’ 2015 compromise:

30% = 2019
26% = 2020
22% = 2021
10% thereafter, for Commercial projects only

Your solar project must be energized to qualify for that year’s tax credit rate.


There are safe harbor provisions that allow projects to start in a given calendar year and still qualify for that year’s rate, typically by spending at least 5% of the projects cost and starting construction activities.

 

 

2020 Solar Trends: PACE Financing

We are counting down the top ten solar trends that you need to be aware of going into 2020! It’s day two and we are talking changes to PACE financing & tips on how to make it work for you and your business!

PACE has several distinct advantages in that it is typically not considered debt on the balance sheet, and can be shown as owner equity similar to a mezzanine financing on new construction.

 

 

2020 Solar Trends: Bifacial Panels

We are counting down the top ten solar trends that you need to be aware of going into 2020! On day one, we are taking a look at bifacial solar panels. 

Despite the technology existing for around a decade, bifacial panels have just recently begun to saturate the market. Increased performance and lower prices are making these panels a top choice for many projects heading into 2020.

 

 

Quarter of Giving Recap

Here at IPS, we set a goal for our employees and company each quarter. For Q4 of this year we decided to set our focus on giving back our community. This led us to partnering with organizations impacting local individuals, families, youth, and the renewable energy industry.

In order to impact families most in need in our community, we partnered with Ronald McDonald House Upper Midwest to host two Cook for Kids events at their Oak Street location. We prepared a chicken dinner and quiche-filled brunch during the holiday season. Turns out, we have some seriously talented chefs in the IPS crew! Most importantly, we were able to feed over 150 families staying at Ronald McDonald House!

More About Ronald McDonald House Charities

We keep families together when it matters most.  We offer a warm, welcoming “home-away-from-home” and services that range from schooling to meals to family-friendly activities.

In the IPS offices, we hosted two gift drives – a winter coat drive & a non-perishable food drive

Our goal for our winter coat drive was to collect at least 30 coats for Hope4Youth, a local organization that provides resources for homeless and at-risk youth. Not only did we meet our goal, we CRUSHED it! We were able to collect over 50 coats ensuring youth stay warm in this cold Minnesota winter weather. 

More About Hope4Youth

HOPE 4 Youth is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Minnesota that provides pathways to end youth homelessness in our community. On any given night, there are more than 6,000 homeless young people in the State of Minnesota staying on the streets, many of them right here in our community. We work hard to change the life trajectories of the youth experiencing homelessness who need us.

Whether they need basic necessities – food from the food pantry, clothes from the clothing closet, a hot shower, a hot, nutritious meal, or personal hygiene items – or help finding housing, securing employment, finishing their education, or accessing health care, we help them find a path that allows them to move forward with their lives – no longer experiencing homelessness.

Our non-perishable food drive benefited Keystone Community Services on Rice Street. Our goal was to collect over 50 canned goods, and once again the IPS staff stepped up and CRUSHED our goal! We collected over 75 non-perishable goods!

More About Keystone Community Services

We provide vital, community-based services aimed at strengthening our community, with a commitment to serving people with the greatest needs. Our services are designed with community input to meet the aspirations and respond to the changing needs of those we serve, including young people and families, seniors, and those needing food services or crisis support. We deliver high-quality, evidence-based services in neighborhood gathering places that make our community stronger.

Lastly, we continue to be an extremely proud to be a part of the Minnesota Clean Energy Economy. Partnering with organizations like Climate Generation, allows us to support some of the most valuable resources in the clean energy industry. This quarter, we sponsored Climate Generation’s Band Together concert! It was an amazing night to see talented musicians stand up for climate protection.

 

IPS to Host Solar Educator’s Workshop

 

Join IPS Solar and our Education Director, Michael Cartwright (a physics teacher for over 20 years) as we demonstrate the available curricula IPS Solar can provide your school. This workshop is a great way to enhance your professional development and add to your continuing education requirements.

This is a FREE Training provided by IPS Solar. IPS will be presenting some data visualization tools, as well as offering insight about how to adapt solar lessons for your classroom.

All participants will be eligible for three hours of continuing education credits and will receive Solar Activities Kits to use in their classrooms.

Afterwards, IPS will be hosting a complimentary lunch down the street at The Exchange Food & Drink. All attendes are welcome to join!

Participants at this workshop will:

– Explore solar energy curriculum for 4th & 5th graders, middle schoolers, and high schoolers
– Interact with real-time solar production data from local schools
– Collect photovoltaic statistics for series and parallel circuits
– Analyze circuit effects on potential difference and current
– Experiment with photovoltaic production for a variety of light sources
– Explore the relationship between distance from source and production

Register for Free!

Solar Power World Gala – Photo Gallery

Check out some pictures from the 2019 Solar Power World Gala!

We were extremely honored to be awarded with the Greenest Contractor Award along with our industry rankings of #51 U.S. Solar Contractor, #12 U.S. Commercial Solar Developer, and the #1 Solar Developer in the Midwest!

The Greenest Contractor Award takes note of our commercial and community work were we promote pollinator-friendly solar gardens and help businesses meet their sustainability goals. However, it also recognizes how our company operates on a day-to-day basis to have a positive impact on the environment.

 

At its office, IPS Solar installed electric vehicle charging stations, available to customers and employees. Every lightbulb has been replaced with low-voltage LED lights. The office lobby façade is constructed entirely of local reclaimed wood. Every employee has a recycling bin at their desk, and single-use silverware and dishware is absent from the kitchen. In the field, IPS Solar couples solar gardens with pollinator-friendly plants and apiaries. And in the community, the company sponsors local environmental and renewable energy nonprofits and events, including Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light’s Climate Justice Night at the Museum. – Billy Ludt, assistant editor of Solar Power World

 

The IPS Solar team with SPW representatives

Jamie Borell (CEO) accepting SPW award

Pictured L to R: Jamie Borell (CEO), Laura Cina (Project Manager), Eric Hanson (Project Management Director), Ralph Jacobson (CIO), Kyle Wehnes (Marketing Director), and Eric Pasi (CDO)