Helios Bay Area

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What's New

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New, Low-Cost Financing Available for Public Schools

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently announced the availability of low cost bonds that local governments, including public school districts, can acquire to finance the installation of renewable energy projects.

Called New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (New CREBs), the near 0% interest bonds can be used to build photovoltaic (PV) systems to offset (or even eliminate) the cost of electricity consumed by a schools throughout a school district.

The application period opens on March 5, 2015 and closes on June 3, 2015. Please contact us if you are interested in applying.

The law firm McGuireWoods has published a summary of the New CREBs program here.


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Upcoming Changes - Economic Impacts

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved two significant changes in tariffs that will have impacts on the ecomonics of K-12 solar projects. One change is welcome, the other has not yet been finalized, so its impacts are uncertain. Nevertheless, most industry leaders believe that the changes will make K-12 solar projects less economically attractive than they are today. If your school district has been considering solar, now is the time to look at that possibility more closely.


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Solar Master Plans for Public Schools

KyotoUSA and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are pleased to announce the release of the Solar Master Plans developed for Berkeley, Oakland and West Contra Costa Unified School Districts.


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Proposition 39

Californians approved Prop 39 in November 2012 closing a corporate tax loophole. Proceeds from Prop 39 - expected to be more than $2B over five years - will fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in California's public schools. Governor Brown and the State legislature hammered out an agreement - codified in Senate Bill 73 - on how to spend the funds. SB 73 implements Prop 39 and describes the Legislature's intent on how the money is to be allocated. Criteria for grants and low interest loans have been developed by the California Energy Commission with input from the California Department of Education and the California Public Utilities Commision. Funding is now being made available to school districts across the state.

Sign up for notices from the California Energy Commission on the Prop 39 implementation process here.


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Testimonials: What Others Are Saying About Our Work

Superintendents, Facilities Directors, Parents, School Board members, and elected officials have all commented on the services that we have provided to school districts.