Set up program to allow every state citizen to buy ~$1,000 for 1Kw worth of solar PV system + 1 iPod Touch.
The Touch can be charged with the panel, of course. A power monitor could be the alternative tech package. The money is spent up front, and the panels come in 6-8 weeks. Big bulk discount ensues when massive buys are scheduled. Immediate financial boost for that fiscal qtr, saving some budget items slated for shutoff.
State carbon footprint plummets, allowing state to sell Renewable Energy Credits. Jobs created immediately in manufacturing, installation, consulting, energy efficiency audits and retrofits.
The touch or energy monitor dashboard app (cheap to develop, maybe $10k total) which connects to Seattle City Light via CarbonContest, Google Power Meter or Microsoft Hohm to monitor your current household power load, compare to past bills, see how much energy you use vs neighbors. SCALLOPS groups compete for "most energy productive community".
Since the panels create consistent clean power for between 15-30 years, State can take out a loan against the production value. State doesn't even have to buy the panels (avoiding law about public-private gain), just arrange for the sale and gather the buyers. Some money goes to the State, but only to pay for program costs.
With many households just needing a small nudge to go big into solar, this kick-starts bigger projects. Current 6658 solar community law is enhanced by group buy. Manageable, Smart, Grid-Aware Private and District scale power grids can now be tested and optimized across the state.
Eastern WA farmers get theirs first, using them to power irrigation pumps and sprinklers. Scheduled buys are known to buying group and solar mfr, staggered to allow adequate training programs to come online.
Big state buildings, festivals, and parks get discounts powering lights, pumps, power instead of noisy, polluting diesel generators.
$1,000/kw is extremely discounted on the face, but the rest of the cost is defrayed over time with power production instead of money. System pays literally for itself, then continues over its 20 yr average lifespan, paying against utility costs or paying back.
Solar installers from California might be needed to install the first round, but state can facilitate training programs through Community Colleges, Universities, Vocational-Tech, and military reserve connections.
You can take the panels home, or you can buy them for use a public space with your name or custom message on them. Like Pike Place floor tiles. You still get all current incentives either way, with a bit higher incentive if you install as groups on municipal property (maximizing the 6658 incentive payback).
When paid off in 10-15 years, you can donate power production to favorite cause, take panel home, or renegotiate terms.
Chunk of the up-front sales proceeds used to bolster low-income/disadvantaged fund for energy efficiency programs.
Group discounts when buying 1,000 kw or more, of course. Use the discount to give to the general service fund, causes, or to buy more power.
$1,000 per 1000 watts is a simple calculation number to use, making a lot of the math much more clear to average folks just trying to do the right thing by the planet.
Of course, you can buy more than $1,000, that's just the break-even minimum. The more power you buy, the cheaper the up front per-watt cost, and the bigger hedge against inexorable future energy hikes.
No tax on the exchange to the customer, State takes the tax against income for itself perhaps. Dollar amount must be in $1,000 increments.
Alternately, use the ARRA stimulus money slated for renewable energy to buy the first panels pledged, or use as matching funds, or use as a loan for people to get FREE $1,000 worth of solar power that they pay back with their long-term lease to own program.
Many more implications result from "letting" people buy their own solar power in smaller increments as a platform for bigger systems.
The program will very quickly create the opportunity for the State to also become Carbon Neutral or Carbon Negative in short order without govt overhead or long red-tape delays.
The program would be simple to oversee, since the state is just facilitating the buy rather than doing the installations. Money goes directly to pay for panels rather than set up expensive program. Politically Neutral idea, leans Independent-Libertarian if at all. Capitalism pays directly for Public and Private Good.
Aaron Campbell Energy,
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