Home Developers Include Solar Energy Option

Ditton Realty and Renewable Technologies, Inc. (RTI) of Sutter Creek announced the availability of solar electric energy systems for homes to be constructed in the Meadow Springs Ranch Estates development in Coarsegold, California. Lot owners have the option to include roof or ground mounted systems that will generate clean, renewable electric power whenever the sun shines on their new homes.

“Meadow Springs Ranch utilizes a combination of natural resources, solar energy and a recycled “gray water” (soon to be submitted for approval), to create an environmentally friendly residential development,” said Brad Ditton, of Ditton Realty. RTI’s team will provide the design and installation of the PV systems, which they are calling SolarStar, at Meadow Springs Ranch. Each system is comprised of Shell Solar SQ-165 PV modules plus SMA Sunnyboy inverters. State of California rebate funds are available to the homeowners and rebate funds have been reserved through the California Energy Commission (CEC) for a combined total of $946,000.00 for 236.5 kW of solar. These funds are reserved at the rate of $4.00 a watt, even though the CEC’s rebate levels have since declined to $3.00 a watt and will further decrease on 01 January 2005 to $2.80 a watt. For example, if a 10 kW system is included in a new home, the CEC will rebate up to $4.00 per watt ($40,000) toward the cost of the solar system. Additional State tax considerations are also available. Although the addition of a PV system increases the home’s value, under AB1755, there is a property tax exemption for the solar improvements. The electricity made during the lifetime of the combined systems will offset 7,380 tons of carbon monoxide that would have been produced by conventional power plants, the equivalent of planting 70 acres of trees each year, according to RTI. “By providing homeowners with choices such as SolarStar systems, green buildings, and energy efficient appliances, the developers at Meadow Springs Ranch are leading the way to change the way communities will co-exist in the future,” said Darryl J. Conklin, President and CEO of RTI. “Using the earth’s natural resources and clean energy from the sun creates a symbiotic relationship between the individual homeowner and ecostewardship.”

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