Helios Bay Area

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What's New

Investment Tax Credit Extended

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

School districts that choose not to commit their own funds (e.g. General Obligation Bonds) or borrow using a tax subsidized federal bond (CREBs, QZABs)  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 electrcity 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). It's long awaited decision will have only a modest impact on the economics of solar projects on California's public schools. The CPUC will vote on the final version of NEM after taking public comment. Expect the final decision in late January 2016. You'll find a summary of the changes here.

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BAAQMD funds Solar Master Plans for Bay Area public schools

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District  (BAAQMD) – through its Climate Protection Program -  is providing funding to our HELiOS Project for the development of Solar Master Plans and the establishment of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts for any public school district in the nine Bay Area counties. Learn more about how you can receive these no-cost services here.

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New, Low-Cost Federal Bonds Available for Public School Solar Projects

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently announced the availability of low cost 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 opens on March 5, 2015 and closes when the total allocation is committed.

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

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