Inspiring People

We're so excited to be featured on the Voyage Chicago website as one of their "hard-working, inspiring people."  We were honored they chose us to feature as a business and entrepreneur trying to make a difference.  

 

Check us out on under the "Inspiring Stories" tab on www.voyagechicago.com or click the link.

http://voyagechicago.com/interview/meet-joshua-barrett-solarshift-chicago-suburbs

ComEd Energy Assessment

Who said nothing in life is free? 
We know the sun's energy is free!

And since we're feeling the love today, we wanted to share something else that is free. A ComEd home energy assessment!

A ComEd representative will come to your home and replace your incandescent light bulbs FOR FREE! A new programmable thermostat FOR FREE! And many other possible energy swaps to save you money.

You've actually already paid for it on your ComEd bill, so why not use it? We did!

Start saving on your electric and gas bills by reducing your energy usage. Once you have your home energy efficient, it is time to look at saving by using solar with US!

https://www.comed.com/WaysToSave/ForYourHome/Pages/SingleFamily.aspx

How Community Solar Farms work....

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So many people we talk to about community solar projects have never heard of the concept, so we want to explain in more detail how this whole incredible process works.

Eighty percent of homes and offices are not suitable for rooftop solar panels, for reasons such as the orientation of your building, the tree cover around your building, the ability for your roof to hold the weight of solar panels,  and the list goes on and on.  And for some of you living in condominiums, townhomes with strict regulations, in an office building or even if you rent your home or apartment, rooftop solar is just not an option for you.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have access to solar energy! If you move, no problem as long as you have the same utility bill.

Community solar farms are large farms, in which the crop is solar panels instead of plants.  A consumer is able to buy the amount of solar panels they would need to power their home or office.  Of course, the number of panels you need will vary based on the size of your home or office.  Because we buy and install panels in bulk, we are able to pass significant savings along to the consumer resulting in the buy into a community solar farm as a fraction of the cost of an individual solar system on your home.  

Once you purchase your panels, the energy your panels produce is fed into the "grid" or in layman's terms, the nearest electric connection that delivers power.  Your solar energy is credited to your electric bill every month, and voila, saving money ensues.  So for the lifetime of the solar panels (25 years), you generate your own energy with no risk of inflation or price spikes.

How does this save you money, you ask?  The sun's energy is free, doesn't change prices based on availability, and will never increase in price!  We build solar systems in bulk, so that saves YOU money! Not to mention the pretty sweet tax incentives in place for creating your own solar!

Want to learn more or be added to the waiting list for this incredible opportunity?  Check out www.mysolarshift.com or click below! 

Is it sunny enough here?

A question we often hear from customers is "Is it sunny enough where I live to generate enough electricity?"  We assume that desert regions are the only places where solar panels make sense, but that's actually NOT true at all!

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Take a look at this map of the US and the amount of "solar resource" in various locations.  One would assume that a state such as Florida, would have more solar resource than states in the Midwest.  But that isn't the case!  Check out where Illinois ranks on the solar resource continuum! Looks like there's plenty of "sun power" in the Midwest!  

Shine on, friends!

Where are solar farms?

Some may believe that solar farms are a completely new concept.  It sounds like something futuristic that can't really be feasible or make much of an impact. And for some of you, you may never have seen acres of solar panels, sprawling across open fields.  But check out how many solar farms are popping up across the country!  The map below comes from the Solar Energy Industries Association (http://www.seia.org/map/majorprojectsmap.php).

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All of the red circles indicate solar farms that are fully operational. The bigger the circle, the bigger the solar farm (more Mega Watts (MW)).  Orange circles are farms that are under construction and yellow circles are farms that are under development.  It's clear that our east and west coasts are fully embracing this technology, so now it's time for the MidWest to jump on board.

Visit http://www.seia.org/map/majorprojectsmap.php to zoom in and out for a better look at all the solar farms across our nation.  There are many more than you would expect!  SolarShift is excited to be able to expand the opportunity of solar power directly to consumers via a Community Solar Farm.  Want to learn more? 

Making Headlines!

SolarShift is excited to be featured this week in the Daily Southtown & Chicago Tribune as one of the up and coming solar technology companies in Will County, Illinois.  The article (posted below) highlights the increasing attention solar technology is getting within Will County, and the increase of solar farm proposals to local farmers.  

It's exciting that solar farms, which have already been established and successful in numerous other states, are making their way to Illinois.  SolarShift is ready to roll out community solar farms to Illinois residents, so they can start saving money and the environment by making their own energy. Unlike many large scale utility solar farms in other states, SolarShift will be making their solar panels available directly to residents.  The energy the residents' solar panels generate will be credited directly to their electric bill - saving them money!

Our latest project, proposed in Frankfort, Illinois, is highlighted as a future community solar farm, called the Honeybee project.  Check out what the Environmental Law and Policy Center has to say about solar farms! 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-will-solar-farms-st-0903-20170901-story.html

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Want to learn more about how you can start saving money every month by making your own solar powered energy?  Click below.

Shine on, Friends!

ComEd to raise rates...why not power your home with the sun and save your money!

Something to think about.  It seems like electric rates keep going up, and solar costs continues to drop?...seems like the stars are aligning (or sun for that matter) for you to make a change.

Below is an article that was published in the Crain's Chicago Business, discussing what ComEd customers have to look forward to...

 

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170523/NEWS11/170529964?template=printart

Next month's electricity price hike is just the start

By  Steve Daniels May 23, 2017

CORRECTED

The substantial hike in Northern Illinois' cost of electricity beginning next month is just the beginning of the increases for years to come.

With energy costs remaining at historically low levels, the price all consumers pay qualified power generators simply to promise to produce during the highest-demand days of the year keeps rising.

These "capacity" costs—essentially an additional reservation price embedded in the energy cost ComEd customers see in their electric bills—will approach the cost of the electrons themselves beginning in 2019 and now continuing through the first half of 2021. 

The bottom line for customers of Commonwealth Edison is that the 8 percent increase they'll experience in their electricity rates over the next several months is just the first installment.

The reason: The capacity charge is set three years in advance. PJM Interconnection, the regional power-grid operator for Northern Illinois and all or parts of 12 other states to the east plus Washington, D.C., holds an auction each year at this time to establish the capacity price three years from now.

For the second auction in a row, ComEd's capacity charge far exceeds the rest of the PJM region, according to results disclosed today.

Northern Illinois power users in the year beginning June 2020 will pay $188.12 per megawatt-day for the promise to keep the lights on when temperatures soar. Customers in most of the rest of the PJM region will pay just $76.53 in that year.

Increases already will begin to hit ComEd customers' wallets next month. They will pay 6.89 cents per kilowatt-hour for energy starting in June, 9 percent more than they're paying for power today. (Energy accounts for about half the typical electric bill, with delivery rates and other charges making up the rest.)

In October, that cost will rise again to 7.15 cents per kilowatt-hour, 13 percent above today's price.

That will hike the total electricity rates (including the cost of delivery) about 8 percent.

By June 2018, when the capacity cost more than doubles to $209.32 per megawatt-day from $101.62 today, that alone will hike the energy cost here to about 7.54 cents per kilowatt-hour—a 5 percent increase on top of the 13 percent increase customers will see by October.

The primary beneficiary is ComEd's parent, Chicago-based Exelon, whose five nuclear stations in Northern Illinois supply most of the power here.

Exelon's nuclear plants in Illinois have become substantially less profitable due to the low wholesale power prices. The higher future capacity prices will relieve some of that pressure.

In addition, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law late last year ratepayer-funded subsidies for two Exelon-owned nukes that have been losing money.

The level of those subsidies, which can reach $235 million annually, are determined based on what Exelon fetches in the open market, as filtered through a complicated formula in the law.

Exelon disclosed today that all of its Northern Illinois nukes "cleared" the capacity auction except for its Quad Cities plant. Exelon was readying to close Quad Cities last year before enactment of the state's "Future Energy Jobs Act. Quad Cities is in line to receive ratepayer subsidies beginning later this year under that statute.

The subsidy for Quad Cities in 2017, 2018 and 2019 is more or less set under the formula in the law.

For 2020, Exelon likely will bid Quad Cities in a later "incremental" capacity auction in order to garner some revenue, Executive Vice President Joe Dominguez said in an interview. In setting the value of the subsidy, the law assumes Quad Cities gets the capacity price in Northern Illinois whether the plant clears the auction or not.

Northern Illinois consumers will pay both the capacity price and the nuke subsidy.

Quad Cities bid so high that it didn't qualify because the law doesn't take effect until June 30 and the company can't assume the plant will qualify, even though Exelon expects it will, Dominguez said. "It's a timing issue."

PJM has tightened the rules for bidding into its capacity auction in a way that's ensured the costs will rise in ComEd's territory. PJM responded to nuclear generators, of which Exelon is the largest in the country, who complained that the market wasn't appropriately valuing the around-the-clock production of their nukes.

PJM's first and highest priority is to ensure there's sufficient power to keep the lights on when demand spikes, typically during heat waves and cold snaps.

Capacity prices are paid by all consumers and businesses, whether they get their power from ComEd (which passes through the cost without marking it up) or an alternative supplier. The higher capacity prices will be seen in the future offers consumers get from ComEd competitors.

 

The story has been corrected to reflect how the Quad Cities nuclear plant is treated in the Future Energy Jobs Act, and to correct the extent of the expected electricity price increase in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

We're rolling!

Here at SolarShift, we are so excited to be able to roll out our new and highly innovative energy producing opportunity- Community Solar Farms!  We thank you for taking your time to visit our website and blog, and we look forward to providing lots of interesting and helpful information to our readers. 

For many of you, particularly Illinois residents (that's where we're currently located), you may not have any idea what a community solar farm is.  For our readers in states like Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota, you probably know exactly what we are talking about because community solar farms are becoming very popular in your state!

For our "newbies" to solar energy, a solar farm is exactly as it sounds.  A large piece of farmland, where the crop is solar panels, instead of living plants, like corn or beans.  If you can visualize acres of farm fields, with rows of solar panels symettrically aligned, surrounded by lush vegetation that encourages butterflies and honeybees to thrive.  The only sounds you'll hear from this farm are those of the native insects and birds that call the solar farm home.  

Check out www.mysolarshift.com for tons of pictures of solar farms, so you can really get a good idea of what we're talking about.

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SolarShift is currently developing a project in the Chicagoland southwest suburbs, aptly named the Honeybee project.  More details about this specific project will be made available very soon and we are so excited to be able to share more about this with you!  

In the meantime, stay tuned for more information on this blog and our social media pages, so like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  

Shine on, friends!!!