Helios Bay Area

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What's New

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BAAQMD-Funded Solar Master Plans for K-12 Public Schools

Through its contract with the HELiOS Project from 2015-2016, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has demonstrated its support for public schools in the Bay Area as part of its mission to improve and maintain our air quality. Along with the school districts that we have served, we at the HELiOS Project appreciate the BAAQMD’s support! 

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Investment Tax Credit Extended

Anyone familiar with our work knows that we encourage school districts to own their renewable energy systems. Ownership provides the very best economic and environmental return to a school district.

School districts that choose not to commit their own funds (e.g. General Obligation Bond) or borrow using a tax-subsidized federal bond (CREB, QZAB) often consider acquiring solar for their schools through the use of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With a PPA, a third-party investor uses the district's parking lots and rooftops to install PV systems that are owned by the investor. The school district benefits by purchasing the electricity from the investor at a slightly reduced rate. Read more...


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Net Energy Metering 2.0 - Update

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a draft decision on Net Energy Metering (NEM). Its long-awaited decision will have only a modest impact on the economics of solar projects in California's public schools. NEM 2.0 goes into effect when the NEM 1.0 program’s installed capacity is 5% of the utility’s aggregated customer peak demand. These caps are likely to be met in 2016. Click here for more information on the PG&E cap.

You will find our summary of the NEM changes here.

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New Low-Interest Federal Bonds Available for Public School Solar Projects

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

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

The application period opened on March 5, 2015 and will close when the total allocation is committed.

Please contact us if you are interested in applying, or check out an overview of how to apply for an allocation here.

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

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Testimonials: See 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.