Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 18, 2014

Friday, good

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Nothing for today, have a great three day weekend!



  1. unfortunately I don’t get the day off, I’m “retired”

    Comment by John P. — April 18, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

  2. I noticed a house in Bayport which has solar…has anyone else put solar on their house and does it save enough to pay for the cost of instillation

    Comment by Joseph — April 18, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

  3. 2.interesting you should ask, Joe.

    I’ve been studying solar lately and best I can tell a system with a lifetime of 25 to 30 years will pay you back with a few percent interest in about 17 to twenty years. The rate may be a little better than a long term CD and that is after a heavy federal tax credit. Don’t do it for the money. The other incentive I half paid attention which I know regret was Arnold’s Ten Thousand Solar homes campaign. Some serious state money for going solar which dried up almost a year ago.

    About five years ago, or more, I had Sheldon from Sun’s Free come out and talk to me. It was confusing because in Alameda with cheaper utility rates a system didn’t pay back as fast compared to PG&E territory and it still doesn’t. That was before leasing your roof became popular. You lease the roof to a company who retains ownership of the hardware. Make an advanced payment of future electrical which is a lesser amount than buying a system outright ( about 1/2 or 2/3). For example, if a system costs a company $12,000 to install, you might pre- pay $5000 toward future electricity, but they get the federal and any other tax credits rebates etc. The current federal credit is winding down also. Over years you will come out ahead and after twenty years you can renegotiate to extend the lease. PPA is a little confusing. Again comparable to a CD, but you can lock in your rates and the solar guys have to take the risk.

    I’ve also learned that utilities don’t like solar because it cuts into their bottom line. That includes Alameda Municipal Power, though it’s a little different here. For starters if you own property here you are a share holder more or less. In terms of carbon footprint AMP has a pretty substantial portion green generation already, if you include hydro. So you might say that in Alameda we don’t have compelling a reason to go solar in terms of Climate Change. The steam geysers are reliable and cheaper than solar at this point.

    By law, utilities have to buy back solar which customers produce, which is called net metering. Daytime production from residential solar usually spins the meter backwards, but at night the same house will suck electricity back from the grid. Without an on site battery solar customers use the grid as a battery for storage. The net amount of consumption is usually a little in the utility’s favor. Right now the credits are 1 to 1.

    AMP just proposed to PUB that it may want to change rates for solar, coming and going. Instead of get net meter credit on one to one ratio, solar producers might get compensated about 9 cents per kWh instead of 11.4 cents and for the small balance of energy bought from AMP, the rate would be over 16 cents. There is also a grid tariff, which is a flat monthly fee of $5, essentially to offset using the grid as a battery. I thought solar customers were already paying the tariff, but then I heard differently. The rates changes would be further disincentive for putting solar on your roof.

    Without industry Alameda doesn’t have a huge daytime demand, though the build out of Alameda Point could change that. I think the moth ball fleet at the base and the school district are two of the larger daytime users. The power AMP owns and leases is remote, so even without solar we all need the grid. Local solar production during times of consumption makes less use of the grid. If masses of solar were put on residences in Alameda that power could in theory be sold off to the valley in the summer to run air conditioners, but as we learned back during the great power debacle (scam) by Enron and others back in 2001, the grid can be complicated. In winter solar production in the bay is still pretty efficfient, but there is less A.C. demand so we could have surpluses.

    That’s everything I learned in the last couple weeks. Part of me thinks that in the simplest terms MORE SOLAR PRODUCTION ON THE PLANET IS GOOD, but unfortunately it’s not that simple.

    Comment by MI — April 18, 2014 @ 6:39 pm

  4. I didn’t shoot this clip but I did watch the evening train go by while shopping in one of the vegetable stands while in Thailand near the river Kwai. At least Alameda’s Rail Road Ave left a little more room on the sides. There’s one in Hanoi too. t They do know how to live densely in Asia.

    Comment by Jack — April 19, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  5. Wow, JackHuman foolishness knows no bounds. They may know how to “live”, but for how long? How do customers buy from the market when the food is under the train?

    Comment by notmayberry — April 19, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

  6. actually, it was “Million Solar Homes Initiative”, not Ten Thousand. Had to be grandiose since it was Arnold. Don’t actually know how many homes went solar with that $.

    Comment by MI — April 19, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

  7. The California Solar Initiative Program has a budget of $2.167 billion over 10 years, and the goal is to reach 1,940 MW of installed solar capacity by the end of 2016. The goal includes 1,750 MW of capacity from the general market program, as well as 190 MW of capacity from the low income programs. The general market program is the main incentive program component of the CSI, and is administered through three Program Administrators: PG&E, SCE, and California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) in SDG&E territory.

    In July 2013, the CPUC issued its annual report on the progress of the California Solar Initiative, showing that the program has installed 66 percent of its total goal, with another 19 percent reserved in pending projects. This equals an estimated 1,629 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity at 167,878 customer sites in the investor-owned utility territories through the end of the first quarter of 2013, enough to power approximately 150,000 homes and avoid building three power plants.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — April 20, 2014 @ 8:07 am

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