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by Ben Ganje

That's it. We've had it. Another electric utility is fighting against solar. So, we're fighting back.

We are standing up to a new electric utility fee that is designed to deter people from installing solar. Able Energy is offering to pay for any “Solar Fees” for 10 years for any customers that are charged an extra fee for installing solar. The program is called SolarSavers™. 

Recently one Wisconsin utility, We Energies, proposed a rate charge for any their customers that install solar of $3.80 per kW each month. That equates to a typical homes system of a $22.80 a month in fees, simply for installing solar. 

Michael Harvey, CEO and President of Able Energy Co. said, “The fee is a way to deter customers from installing solar and for the utility to remain a monopoly.”

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by Kris Sipe

2014 was a big year for solar, especially in Minnesota. Governor Dayton’s Solar Energy Jobs Act went into effect, and introduced revamped solar incentive programs for investor owned utilities. Minnesota increased its solar capacity at staggering rates, and Able Energy was lucky enough to be a big part of that growth. 2015 will prove to be exponentially bigger; it is possible that 2015 will be the first year in which over half of new electricity generation capacity in the U.S. will come from solar. In Minnesota, several incentive programs, along with the best net metering laws in the country and a 30 percent federal tax credit make it an unprecedented time to install solar at your home. With Able Energy’s MyCommunitySolar, you can take advantage of solar even if you don’t have the ability to install it on your home. 

Here is a breakdown of the programs available in Minnesota, and the reasons you should contact Able Energy about going solar now!

by: Michael Harvey- NABCEP #091308-19

One of the most mis-calculated current rating calculations on a grid tied system, is the feeder calculation for unbalanced grid interactive inverters on a Delta system.

If you are reading this, you more than likely have a basic knowledge of Delta and Wye 3 phase electrical systems. Most systems installers are interacting with, is the Wye system, that is the most common of the 3 phase systems out there and are the systems that typically incorporate the voltages of 120/208V and 277/480V. These are pretty straight forward connections, even on an un-balanced system. But there are still many Delta systems out there that are typically 120/240V with the High Leg, 240V systems and 480V systems. 

by Ben Ganje

Well, the hard work has finally paid off. We launched our new website at WeKnowSolar.com. It was many, many months in the making. There is a lot of good stuff in there about solar. However, what we're most proud of is that we were able to fill the site with gorgeous examples of our work. (There are dozens of photos. Check a few out, if you'd like.)

We have an extensive section about the benefits of putting up solar at your home. Of course, there are many reasons to power your business with solar panels, many of which we hilghight on our commercial page.  Most of you know that we intall solar panels for customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, but did you know we also install in the south and the west? (Yep, we do. Take a look. That's Louisiana where Kris will be moving to soon to continue our progress in New Orleans.)

It's informative, we think, but it's also useful. If you're looking to sign up for our Community Solar program in Minnesota, for instance, you can do it on our very own portal

We'd like to thank the folks at Happy Dog Dev for helping us put together this great site. (See more of their stuff, here). It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Below is a photo of our team cranking out some pages pre-launch. (That is our remote office, the Lazy River, in River Falls, home of great beer and great burgers.)

Thanks for your support and enjoy the new site! Please let me know if you have any feedback, I can be reached via email, ben(at)weknowsolar.com.

Cheers! 

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midwest-energy-newsby Ben Ganje

Iowa is one of the best solar markets in the country. It's residents are strong believers in renewable energy and, by all accounts, are educated early adopters of solar. 

One thing that hinders solar in Iowa, however, is the vast difference in interconnections between co-ops and investor owned utilities. Some co-ops buy back energy under a true Net Metering agreement, which pays or credits the customer at the retail rate. Others, however, attempt to stifle solar projects by installing smart-grid meters and not giving their customers any compensation for the solar electricity that is sent back out to the grid. 

Today, a great article was published in Midwest Energy News on this topic. 

On a farm in the middle of Iowa are two hog- confinement barns, identical in most every respect, and both belonging to the same farmer. Read more ....