City of Denton Approves “GreenSense” Solar Incentive Program
For a number of years now, cities across the country have been declaring their transition from fossil-fuel power generation to clean, renewable power plants. These cities are citing a variety of reasons for going green: cost certainty for energy through long-term fixed rate pricing, as well as mitigating risks and volatility associated with market and regulatory forces.
While large scale renewables will help play a vital role in this transition, it’s important not to dismiss the role that distributed energy resources (DER’s) will play in the new energy economy. Distributed energy, like rooftop solar and energy storage, are significantly valuable in helping utilities manage their peak load and reduce local emissions.
The City of Denton announced back in February their plan to become the second all-renewable city in Texas by 2020. On Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 the City of Denton set the plan in motion by approving the Greensense Incentive program, allocating a $500,000 budget for solar rebate funding.
According to Denton Municipal Electric’s (DME) Incentive Program manual, the objective of the GreenSense Incentive Program is to “reduce energy demand and consumption by promoting energy conservation, thereby reducing the utility bills of City customers, reducing the peak load of the City’s electric system, and reducing emissions in the state”.
How it Works
The program offers incentives in the form of credits on the electric service bills of the City’s electric retail customers, as well as cash incentives for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels.
The solar incentive is tiered as follows:
Chart 1: Denton Municipal Electric GreenSense Incentive Figures
Here’s an example to help you understand how to calculate your solar incentive:
Let’s say your household uses 15,000 kWh a year. According to the PV Watts calculator, an average 1 KW solar PV system facing due south in Denton County will produce between 1,495-1570 kWh per year.
Chart 2: PV Watts Calculator for Estimated Annual Solar Energy Produced in Denton County
Let’s say this homeowner wants to cover 100% of their energy needs from solar. Looking at Chart 2, I can tell that a ~10 KW (DC) solar system will meet their goal for a net zero home.
In order to calculate the estimated incentive amount, I need to convert the DC system size to AC.
The DC system size can be converted to AC by using the following equation:
PTC (Performance Test Conditions) * Number of Solar Panels * Inverter Efficiency = AC System Size
For this example, let’s say we utilize Good Faith Energy’s best-value system:
30, 330 Watt Panasonic Solar Panels (30 * 330W)= 9,900 watts (DC)
PTC for this panel is 311.3 Watts (see figure 1 below)
30, Enphase IQ7x Microinverters
Inverter Efficiency: 97.5% (see figure 2 below)
Total AC System Size:
30 * 311.3 * .975 = 9105.53 AC watt
Total Incentive Amount:
9105.53 AC watts * .60/watt (refer to Chart 1)= $5,463.32
Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program Requirements:
- Applicants must be a home or rental property owner.
- All equipment must be new when purchased. No leased or lease to purchase equipment.
- No rebate will be paid on a partial installation.
- All installations must be for accounts served by DME.
- All installations must meet all applicable national, local, and manufacturers’ codes and specifications .
- Requests for payment must be received by Conservation Program Coordinator within thirty (30) days of installation.
- Funding for this rebate is limited to funds availability.
- Program guidelines and payments are subject to change by DME without prior notice.
- DME may discontinue the Program without prior notice.
- Minimum PV install of 3 kW.
- Minimum battery install of 3 kWh or reasonably sized to PV install
- No direct meter connections or double lugging.
- 24/7 Meter Access. Costs related to giving the City meter access will be at customer’s expense
- All PV installations must meet all applicable national, local and manufacturers’ codes and specifications and the City’s Interconnection Guidelines.
- Installed systems shall carry a 5-year warranty from the installer in addition to a minimum 10-year manufacturer warranty on inverters and 20-year manufacturer warranty of solar panels.
- Licensed electrical contractors shall obtain appropriate permits and perform all electrical interconnections.
- All inverters and solar modules must be new.
- Panels must face South, East, or West.
- Panels must be unobstructed and non-shaded. Tree removal and any tree trimming will be at customer’s expense.
- If re-roofing is required, PV system removal and reinstallation is at customer’s expense.
- Contractor shall include any required service upgrade costs, and permit fees in the original bid.
- PV system shall be interconnected to the City’s electrical grid at customer’s expense.
- PV system shall comply with current City guidelines governing interconnection with the City’s
How to Get Started
To secure your Greensense solar incentive and installation priority, text the word “Sunpower” to the number 36260, or feel free to contact us through our website at https://goodfaithenergy.com, call us at 469-209-5910, or send us an email at email@example.com
You can also find more information by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Energy Programs Office at 940-349-7529.
Figure 1: Panasonic 330W Solar Panel Spec Sheet
Figure 2: Enphase IQ7x Microinverter Spec Sheet