Tag Archives: Solar Industry

Community Solar Gardens: The Basics

Solar energy isn’t just for rooftops anymore. With community solar, tenants and building owners now have access to solar energy, regardless of their roof’s characteristics or available capital. It’s more than monthly savings on electricity – it’s a leap toward increased renewable energy access, economic benefit to rural communities, and a reduced carbon footprint.

 

How Does Community Solar Work?

Community Solar gardens are off-site solar arrays that produce energy sent to the electric grid. They’re similar to power plants, producing energy away from the end-user but are typically less than 5 MW in electrical capacity. (Enough energy to power roughly 542 homes per year.)


Community Solar Gardens (CSG’s) are often found in rural areas on parcels of leased land that are not currently being used for agriculture. These locations are optimal for solar energy production, and the duration of the lease allows the land to naturally replenish nutrients for future crops. During installation a pollinator-friendly seed mix is planted in order to provide a habitat for native bees, butterflies and other wildlife. CSGs can be completed with little impact on current operations and require little to no maintenance. When the lease is up, the equipment is removed and the land is returned to the owner unharmed.

 

What are the Benefits of Community Solar?

  • The need for building ownership, ideal roof conditions, and approval from local agencies is eliminated for people that want solar energy. 
  • More people have access to the benefits of renewable energy. 
  • landowners can diversify their income streams without investing any overhead.
  • Local economies benefit from the additional income generated from, and saved by, the leasing and subscription to CSG’s.

 

How do I Get Started?

Many utility companies have programs available, allowing you to subscribe to a CSG. A community solar subscription allows you to use a portion of the energy produced, with savings applied as credits to your monthly bill. If you’re a landowner and you think your parcel might be a good location for a solar site, you can contact a solar developer. 


Whether you’re interested in hosting a CSG or looking for a subscription plan that fits your needs, Impact Power Solutions is here to assist your renewable energy transition. 

 

Net Metering: What is it & why does it Matter?

What is Net Metering?

Net metering allows solar system owners to send extra energy they produce into the power grid. So if the system produces more than what they use, the energy sent into the grid is credited. Basically meaning their electric meter runs in reverse. 

 

But Don’t be Fooled.

The promise of earning additional income from the practice is nearly a myth. While it provides FANTASTIC credits & savings to your bill, your system usually won’t produce more than you use.

 

Why is it Important?

  • Firstly, it allows you to save more on utility bills with clean energy.
  • Secondly, it increases the amount of energy that the utility grid receives from renewable sources. 
  • Thirdly, it protects the power grid, allowing utilities to better manage peak loads.
  • Lastly, it increases clean energy demand, creating jobs. 

 

A Brief History of Net Metering

Beginning in the late ’70s, Steven Strong installed 2 solar systems, but he forgot to tell the utility company that his system fed excess power into the power grid.

Fortunately, it all worked, and as a result, several officials from the state and utility company were invited to the grand opening of the projects. As a result of hearing the state officials applaud Strong’s innovation, the utility company ultimately shared their praise. 

After a very positive PR response, clean energy companies across the US adopted the practice. Later on, Strong won several awards from federal agencies and was dubbed “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine. 

 

US States/territories with Net Metering Laws

In our home state of Minnesota, clients are only billed for their net usage. When excess energy is generated during the day, the utility company has to pay the market rate when crediting their bill.

Source: (Solar Power Worlddsireusa.org)

 

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  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Guam
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland

 

  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma

 
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Impact Power Solutions is happy to provide solar development services in Minnesota and across the Midwest. If you’re ready to start saving with solar, feel free to contact us or get a quote.  Being the #1 solar developer in the Midwest, our process has constantly improved for over 25 years to meet your needs. 

Impact Power Solutions Ranked top 10 Solar Developer in the US

What is the Top Solar Contractor’s List?

Curated by Solar Power World, the Top Solar Contractors list is made to showcase the work of solar installers and developers of all sizes. The list is determined by the number of kilowatts installed by a solar energy company in the previous year, divided into categories by the type of service the top solar contractor provides, regions, and states.

From the Curators of the Top Solar Contractor’s List

“The Solar Power World team is so pleased to highlight more than 400 companies on the 2020 Top Solar Contractors list, especially during this unprecedented time,” said Kelsey Misbrener, senior editor of Solar Power World. “All contractors featured on the 2020 list reported strong 2019 installation numbers and are continuing to stand tall this year.”

Top Solar Contractors Continue To Strive For Recovery

Despite COVID-19 being the immediate issue for the world to address, reducing carbon emissions to aid in climate change remains a top priority that affects all of us. 


The top solar contractors that made the list, the people we work with, and the communities we live in are all facing obstacles that have never been seen before. Q1 showed the largest amount of solar capacity ever installed in the United States, adding 3.6 GW of solar capacity. The force of these challenges emerged in Q2, with forecasts of 25% and 38% decreases in year to year volumes in 2020. 


Regardless of the turbulence faced in these uncertain times, solar energy is still effective in combating greenhouse gas emissions as an alternative to fossil fuels, and will continue to aid in efforts for economic recovery

Our Take On Being A Top Solar Contractor

We’re thrilled to announce that we are the #1 solar developer in the Midwest, among the top 10 commercial solar developers in the US, and grateful to be a part of Solar Power World’s Top Solar Contractors list for the 8th consecutive year.

 

In the 29 years since our founding, we have never faced challenges like the ones we see today. We extend our deepest thanks to our employees, clients, and community for making the installation of 29,784 kilowatts of solar capacity possible, and for the positive impact we’ve made on the environment together. 

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.

 

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)

Upcoming Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf Minneapolis

 

We’re hosting our next Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf! Join us for golf, food, drinks, and an expert-led solar discussion.

Join us at Topgolf in Brooklyn Center for some golfing, tasty food & drinks, and expert-led discussions on 2020 solar trends and the impact they will have on the commercial real estate and commercial roofing industries.

Discussion topics will include:

• Recent changes to Minnesota’s PACE financing program.

• How federally designated Opportunity Zones can unlock new resources to support solar investment.

• How rooftop community solar leases can generate upwards of $250,000 in revenue for property owners.

• How to evaluate a commercial building’s solar potential when looking to buy.

Your ticket provides you entrance to the event, access to golfing bays from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and complimentary food & beverages.

 
Get Tickets!

 

About the Venue

Welcome to Topgolf – the premier entertainment destination in Brooklyn Center. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe that every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and drinks, moved by music and all made possible through community.

Here at Topgolf, we’ve made socializing a sport through a blend of technology and entertainment – and that’s just the game! If you journey through our venue on any given day, you’ll find a place buzzing with energy. Every Topgolf features dozens of climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout our sports bar & restaurant.

When it comes to our eats, we know that amazing food and beverage is at the heart of any great social gathering. We take it pretty seriously. That’s why at our Topgolf Minneapolis restaurant, you will find an accomplished Executive Chef and experienced team, using high-quality ingredients to deliver a fresh twist on familiar favorites. The way we see it, we’re not just a place to play, we’re one of the best places to eat in the Brooklyn Center, MN area.

IPS Solar Announces Private Equity Investment & Changes to Key Executive Roles

Nationally recognized IPS Solar, ranked Minnesota’s top solar provider, takes on private equity investment

Poised for even more growth with new capital from SmartPitch
Ventures, IPS also announces changes to key executive roles

 

Minnesota-based IPS Solar, one of the fastest growing companies in the United States and one of the nation’s most enduring solar providers, is positioned to take on an even more prominent role in the national solar industry. IPS has formed a partnership with private equity firm SmartPitch Ventures (SmartPitch), taking on a significant capital investment through the newly formed entity called IPS Development LLC.

“This investment will enable IPS to take on an even more prominent role nationally,” confirmed Chief Development Officer Eric Pasi. “An expansion in renewable energy means more job creation locally and regionally, as well as nationally. It is also critical to addressing certain aspects of climate change.”

IPS is growing at mega-watt speed, having earned Solar Power World Magazine’s Top 500 Solar Contractor award for the last seven straight years, ranking 51 out of 415 solar companies on the magazine’s 2019 Top Solar Contractors list. IPS also received the magazine’s award for greenest contractor. The company’s board-certified project management team has installed and managed more than 1,500 projects in the upper Midwest.

Continued Pasi, “This investment, along with financial backing, will enable IPS to scale our project development efforts more quickly and efficiently. Also, the SmartPitch principals are former utility executives which will help us navigate the often tricky relationship between solar development and grid operations.”

SmartPitch is a leading later stage venture capital and private equity business focusing on disruptive technologies with a particular focus on energy. SmartPitch was founded by Gautam Chandra and Sanjiv Mahan, who have invested in and built national platforms in renewable energy, distributed generation, and competitive energy and technology businesses.

Headquartered in Fairfax, VA, SmartPitch partners with innovative founders and management teams to scale businesses entering their growth phase.

New executive roles announced

As part of this new structure, Jamie Borell moves from COO to the CEO position. Ralph Jacobson transitions from CEO to Chief Innovation Officer.

“I’m extremely excited to join forces with SmartPitch,” says Borell. “This move will enable IPS to expand our market opportunities and continue to be a top solar developer in the country.”

Agrees Jacobson, “I couldn’t have orchestrated a better transition. Jamie will assume CEO responsibilities and I will continue in an entrepreneurial role, scouting new opportunities for solar plus storage in the national market.”

Commenting on this new partnership, SmartPitch Founders Gautam Chandra and Sanjiv Mahan noted, “We are very excited about our investment in IPS Development. We look forward to working with the IPS team and growing the company into a national solar platform as part of our overall vision for growth in sustainable energy offerings.” SmartPitch will own a majority of this new partnership.

Impact Power Solutions, LLC (D.B.A. IPS Solar), a leading provider of solar power solutions, is focused on the development, installation and management of solar power systems for commercial, community solar and residential customers. IPS Solar delivers everything from five kilowatt residential arrays to multi-megawatt community solar gardens.

For additional information about IPS’s leadership in the solar power industry, visit http://ips-solar.com/.

Media Note: For additional information or to schedule an interview, contact Media Relations Agency at 952-697-5220.

Biography: Jamie Borell

Jamie Borell, is the incoming Chief Executive Officer at IPS Solar. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A in Political Science and a Masters of Public Policy from Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Before arriving at IPS, Jamie spent time as a project researcher for the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development.

While there, he researched and co-authored a report to the Minnesota Legislature on developing the hydrogen and renewable energy industries in Minnesota. In the 14 years he has spent at IPS, Jamie has participated in many different areas of the business including business development and the past 3 years as the Chief Operating Officer.

Biography: Eric Pasi

In 2007, Eric Pasi joined IPS Solar, a company with 15 years of renewable energy experience at that time. Since then, he’s helped to accelerate significant solar power development in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Pasi has developed unique financing programs, won competitive opportunities, and jump started the company’s successful Community Solar Gardens program.

Since 2016, Pasi has helped the company grow annual gross revenues by ten fold. Recent notable projects include the Green Line Solar Corridor, 12 installations for Mounds View School District, and the Eichten’s Community Solar Garden in Chisago County.

Biography: Ralph Jacobson

Ralph is a NABCEP certified installer for both solar electric and solar thermal systems; one of only a few installers in Minnesota and Wisconsin who can make that claim. As former President of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) Ralph worked with legislators, regulators, and utilities to craft state renewable energy policy.

Ralph went through a 1 -year solar training program in 1979, found that only partly prepared him for a career in solar energy, and went back to college and earned a BS in Materials Science and Engineering at the U of MN. There he got really excited about photovoltaics. For the past 25 years, he has been creating opportunities in solar for himself and others, by growing a business and serving on the boards of the MN Renewable Energy Society and the MN Solar Energy Industry Association. In 2014 Ralph was honored with a lifetime achievement award by MnSEIA for his long term commitment to renewable energy and the solar industry in Minnesota.

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Upcoming Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf Minneapolis

 

Welcome MNCAR attendees! We’re hosting our next Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf! Join us for golf, food, drinks, and an expert-led solar discussion.

Join us at Topgolf in Brooklyn Center for some golfing, tasty food & drinks, and expert-led discussions on 2020 solar trends and the impact they will have on the commercial real estate industry.

Discussion topics will include:

• Recent changes to Minnesota’s PACE financing program.

• How federally designated Opportunity Zones can unlock new resources to support solar investment.

• How rooftop community solar leases can generate upwards of $250,000 in revenue for property owners.

• How to evaluate a commercial building’s solar potential when looking to buy.

Your ticket provides you entrance to the event, access to golfing bays from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and complimentary food & beverages.

MNCAR attendees get in free! Use the code: solar100 at checkout

 

Get Tickets!

 

About the Venue

Welcome to Topgolf – the premier entertainment destination in Brooklyn Center. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe that every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and drinks, moved by music and all made possible through community.

Here at Topgolf, we’ve made socializing a sport through a blend of technology and entertainment – and that’s just the game! If you journey through our venue on any given day, you’ll find a place buzzing with energy. Every Topgolf features dozens of climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout our sports bar & restaurant.

When it comes to our eats, we know that amazing food and beverage is at the heart of any great social gathering. We take it pretty seriously. That’s why at our Topgolf Minneapolis restaurant, you will find an accomplished Executive Chef and experienced team, using high-quality ingredients to deliver a fresh twist on familiar favorites. The way we see it, we’re not just a place to play, we’re one of the best places to eat in the Brooklyn Center, MN area.