Thursday, December 22, 2011

Epic Systems Goes Solar

I had occasion to drive by the huge Epic Systems campus near Verona Wisconsin a couple weeks ago, and took this chance to catch sight of the largest PV array in Dane County, and soon, largest in the state.

Here is what you see when you first drive up the Epic highway

On the Left
                                    On the Right

Then, after winding around the very handsome campus of buildings, gardens, and walkways, we come to the visitor parking center, most of which is covered by an extensive canopy of.... SOLAR!!!!

At this point, totalling somewhere around 400 kilowatts.

Eventually, the total is reportedly going to exceed 2.2 MW,
that's 2,200 kilowatts!!!!  Even if this provides less than 2% of the total energy consumed by Epic, it probably accounts for 10% or more of their energy costs.  This is only a guess, but is based on the fact that Epic Systems has tons and TONS of computer servers, all which require significant cooling capacity to keep them running smoothly.  And, when the summer sun is hot, Hot, HOT, the energy requirements are hi, High, HIGH, and their DEMAND COSTS go way up.  Having solar online will help keep their PEAK demands more manageable and normalize their grid energy requirements, which will improve their cost profile very much.  Smart going, Epic Systems!!

Buy Now, or Soon. Solar prices are stabilizing and some are already rising again.

From: Investor Ideas dot com

December 22, 2011 ( Newswire) - According to EnergyTrend research, the current spot market price has ceased falling and stabilized – some products have even seen a price increase. In terms of January 2012 contract price, some upstream suppliers are planning for a slight increase. However, negotiations are still underway, and EnergyTrend believes that the polysilicon contract price trend in 2012 will depend on the stance of downstream makers – wafer manufacturers in particular.
Read more: 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Goodbye, Section 1603, Hello 50% Bonus Depreciation

As 2011 draws to a close, the congress in Washington has had enough trouble tying their shoelaces much less get anything done to help stimulate the economy or to improve the tax burden for the middle-class.  So, one of the casualties is certain to be the Section 1603 Treasury Grant for qualified energy equipment.

Slated to expire December 31st, the 1603 grant allowed billions in investment capital to be put into service to develop wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects that bring jobs and new market opportunities (as well as increased grid security) to America.  Although there is still a chance for more projects to get a headstart through a 5% Safe Harbor down payment  before the end of the year, next year's solar projects will still benefit from the 30% Investment Tax Credit still in play through the end of 2016.

Another silver lining is the continuation of BONUS depreciation for commercial firms who invest and put into service solar equipment through the end of 2012.  In January, a 50% Bonus Depreciation is allowed for year one in addition to the standard MACRS depreciation for this type of equipment.  One stipulation may be that the equipment must have a usable lifespan of 20 years or less.  Talk with your tax advisor for more information on this opportunity.

For any and all solar questions, please feel free to contact Kurt at  If I can't answer your question today, I have an extensive network of professionals in this field who can help.