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California Solar Initiative Thermal Programme

USA: Concerted Actions in California and New York

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 23, 2017
SEIA USAIt will require concerted actions by the industry to keep solar heating and cooling on the agenda of politicians and administrators of incentive programmes in the United States. The Californian solar industry achieved a partial victory in mid-May, when the state assembly approved the extension of rebates for gas-replacing solar thermal systems under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) - Solar Thermal by 2.5 years, even though the industry had called for five. On the east coast, negotiations with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are still underway for a follow-up of the statewide solar water heater rebate programme, which ended in December 2016. In a policy paper published this February, NYSERDA announced it would make USD 15 million available to incentivise ground-source heat pumps, whereas rebates for solar water heaters were not planned. 
Image: Solar Energy Industries Association

USA: Ups and Downs of Californian Incentive Levels and Application Numbers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2015
USA California StatisticsIf there were an award for the most transparent support programme in the field of solar heating and cooling, then the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program would get the prize. The CSI-T programme offers a regularly updated and publicly available Excel file of all submitted, approved and paid applications, and this file also includes an amazing amount of additional information, such as collector size, system supplier, contractor for the installation, total project costs or the application itself. The chart above, provided by Lewis Bichkoff, Lead Analyst of the CSI Thermal Program at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), shows the subsidised and installed collector area per year. The annual volume shows significant growth from 953 m² (10,247 ft²) installed and granted during the first year to 36,641 m² (394,401 ft²) in 2014. In 2014, there was a noticeable dominance of pool heating systems, which made up 71 % of the total subsidised collector area.
Chart: CPUC

“We try to take the complication out of the energy business, not only for our customers, but also for our industry partners.”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 28, 2014
J_SchaeferSkyline Innovations, the United States’ largest solar thermal developer by project volume, finances, develops, and operates commercial-scale solar thermal systems for small and medium-sized enterprises. Skyline’s customers are able to achieve operational savings from day one by purchasing the renewable energy from Skyline’s system at a fixed discount to their conventional utility. According to the company 104 projects are completed to date, 96 currently in design/build phase, and another 41 signed to be built. Justin Schafer, Product Manager at Skyline, took part in a panel discussion about New Business Models in Solar Thermal at SMEThermal 2014, an international conference for industry professionals held in Berlin on 18 February. Schafer joined Skyline in January 2012 and has worked in sales and marketing in both their Washington, DC and Los Angeles offices. spoke with Schafer about Skyline´s successful business model.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

USA: Chromasun’s Concentrating Flat Plate Collectors supply Santa Clara University

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 18, 2011

 Chromasun MCT collectors” 60 Chromasun MCT collectors have been generating heat for the dining service at the Benson Memorial Center of Santa Clara University since 12 April 2011. Californian industrial rooftop solar solution company Chromasun manufactured the concentrating flat plate collector panels, California-based solar system integrator SunWater Solar was responsible for the installation. According to Chromasun, the system is the largest solar thermal project completed under the California Solar Initiative – Thermal (CSI-T) programme to date.
Photo: Chromasun

California Solar Initiative Thermal Program Contractor & Self‐Installer Workshop (2010)

Submitted by Raquel Ponte Costa on July 15, 2010

This power point presentation was used at a training workshop organised in the framework of the California Solar Initiative Thermal Programme. The workshop is a required introductory course for contractors, self-installers and applicants interested in participating in this programme. The workshop did not intend to show how to install, design or sell solar water heating (SWH) systems, but to explain the CSI‐T programme eligibility requirements, the application process; technical requirements; inspection checklist and also provide an overview of SWH systems.

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