Commercial Solar Integrator Adds a Residential Focus

With a strong chance for passage of major new solar legislation in California elements of the solar industry that don’t currently focus on the residential market are increasingly eyeing a strategic shift. In a recent example, WorldWater & Power, known typically for large solar photovoltaic (PV) installations coupled with water pumping systems, is shifting at least some of their focus to the residential market.

This initial addition to the company’s business will target only the top U.S. solar markets today: California and New Jersey. The first two contracts signed in New Jersey for the new division are solar electric generation and distribution systems on two private homes in Mercer County, one in Lawrence Township and the other in Princeton Township. The installation on the Lawrence Township residence of Al and Lisa Eversen will use (PV) panels in two fixed roof-mounted arrays with a total output of approximately 8 kW. The system is designed to generate an average of 10,519 kWh annually and is expected to meet 99 percent of the current electric usage charges for the residence. The Princeton Township system will also use fixed roof-mounted arrays, with a total output of approximately 6 kW. The system is designed to generate an average of 7,890 kWh annually, estimated to eliminate 85 percent of the residence’s current electric usage charges. The total cost for the two installations is about $114,000, of which between 65 and 70 percent of the cost will be refunded to the owners by the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. The Clean Energy Program administers the Customer On-Site Renewable Energy (CORE) rebate program. New Jersey has one of the highest, most active rebate programs for residential and commercial purchasers of solar electric systems in the nation. The first two projects are admittedly small, but reflect a larger shift for WorldWater. “I believe these two projects represent the tip of the iceberg in consumer interest in solar installations to provide energy for residential use,” said Quentin T. Kelly, Chairman and CEO of WorldWater. “The generous rebates available to New Jersey homeowners make the systems affordable, and the substantial energy savings help the systems essentially pay for themselves.” A statewide network of sales representatives is planned to service the New Jersey Residential Sales Group, to be headed by Cassandra Kling, Director of Business Development for the Eastern U.S. In California, WorldWater announced less than a month ago the signing of a contract to install a solar electric generation and distribution system in a prestigious architectural model residence in Southern California. The bi-coastal residential work is in addition to four other projects currently in pre-construction or under construction by WorldWater: two water utilities — the Atlantic County Utilities Authority in New Jersey and the Idyllwild Water District in California; and two agricultural projects — a tree farm and an avocado ranch, both in California. The latest two most recent contracts bring the total backlog of projects in 2005 to some $12.6 million, compared to total revenues of $5.8 million in all of 2004, according to Kelly.

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