Monday, November 14, 2011

Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy

Two recent NYT articles stirred up my thoughts about community-owned distributed generation:

(1)"A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy"
Role of subsidies on ROI?
One example described is  NRG Energy  's ( quick overview here) 250 MW California Solar Farm:

-$1.6 Billion -cost vs.  $1.4 Billion in subsidies (ranging from property tax exemption, to ITC credits, to above market electricity price)
-ROI for equity investors:  25% (company says 'mid-teens'), for low-risk, 25-year investment
-PPA with PG&E (detals private but Booz Allen prepared estimate)

Can 100kW projects get this ROI?

"A Town Creates Its Own Department Store"
A small NY town has a 'community store' (for-profit, 600 shareholders @$100 per share, cap 100 shares, uses 'intrastate' securities filing), why not community power? 
(Note:  Unlike  'crowd-sourced', 0% financing or customer-subscriber/solar garden models, this project has diverse, local ownership model)