We love talking about solar. We get to do it every day. But it’s pretty hard to stay “little picture” when discussing solar with a homeowner or a corporate sustainability executive. Eventually, conversations about renewable energy in Washington and Oregon hit a “big-picture moment,” and we end up talking about the Pacific Northwest’s favorite energy superstar: hydroelectricity. The good news is...

Editor’s Note: A&R Solar continues to monitor the evolving battery storage market. In addition to waiting for the Tesla Powerwall to become available to installers in the Pacific Northwest, we are also researching other companies that offer similar systems. While the Tesla Powerwall dominates in the media, a competitor is quietly gaining ground in the U.S. storage market. Sonnen, a Germany company...

Tesla created a frenzy in the renewable energy market when it announced its first two energy storage products in 2015. The Powerwall and Powerwall 2 have been piloted in a few select areas in the United States but has yet to become widely available. However, Tesla isn’t the only--or the first--player in the storage game. A number of competitors are emerging in...

Congress has passed a five-year extension to the federal Solar Income Tax Credit (ITC), which allows homeowners and businesses to claim a significant income tax credit based on the cost of their solar energy systems. The 30 percent tax credit was scheduled to expire at the end of 2016 and will now extend through 2019. In 2020, the credit will drop...

A&R Solar wrapped up installation of a unique community solar project in Gig Harbor. The 60 kW system is installed on the Harbor History Museum, a nonprofit that houses the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula and serves as a community gathering place. Many community solar projects are ground mounted systems, making the museum project unique. The 216 Made-in-Washington Itek solar panels...

A revenue-neutral carbon tax campaign is gathering signatures to promote both clean energy and fairer taxes in Washington State. Initiative 732 would bring the issue to the Legislature, forcing lawmakers to either pass the measure in spring 2016 or send it to voters on the November 2016 ballot. I-732 encourages greater use of clean and renewable energy by taxing carbon pollution...

If you have an old-school analog meter, it really will. When your PV system makes more power than your home uses, your electrical service meter reverses — you can watch it go backward. However, utilities have moved to digital metering. These will not give you the satisfaction of watching the meter spin backward, although the backward-pointing arrow on the digital display elicits...

A program designed to help homeowners and businesses offset the costs of installing solar systems may be extended and overhauled before the Washington State Legislature wraps up this year’s session. A&R Solar is part of Solar Installers of Washington, a trade association that is lobbying for changes to the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program that would help thousands of...

We don't encounter much Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) products out in the market place. Often times architects are drawn to the beauty of a window that can also produce electricity or shingles that function as both a roof and a PV array. The problem is that BIPV is often more expensive, less efficient, and has long-term maintenance issues. Even so, who is...

This video was originally posted by the Northwest Power & Conservation Council. It's a three minute video featuring Bob Jenks, executive director of the CUB Policy Center, talking about the growing need for flexibility in the region's power system. A transcript of the video is below. Can you explain what power system flexibility is? System flexibility is really a way to use your...