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Belvedere Vol. Fire Company unveils solar power system

FEBRUARY 9, 2012

By Danielle Bouchat-Friedman Community News

Wilmington, Del. –

Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company unveiled their new 50-kilowatt solar power system today, built from Delaware-manufactured components and Delaware contractors.

The solar system will save the fire company an estimated one-third of its electric utility costs – approximately $400,000 over the life of the system.

“Adding solar power is a great way for a community organization to save on energy costs while reducing pollutants entering and damaging our environment,” DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara said. “It is like taking nine to 10 cars off the road.”

The Belvedere Fire Company was chosen for this project because several volunteer firefighters work at Cermet Materials, located in Wilmington, which manufactures products used in solar panel production. Cermet Materials brought KW Solar Solutions, Inc located in Newark, on board as project manager and installer. Materials were purchased through United Electric, an electrical supply company based in New Castle, and the 208 40-watt solar panels were manufactured by Motech Delaware, which is located in Newark. Nickle Electrical Companies of Newark provided electrical work, and the Delaware Green Energy Program provided additional funding for the project.

“Local business, government and the community came together to give back, putting solar panels up to help power this fire hall and the work these volunteers do,” Gov. Jack Markell said.

DNREC press release

Governor Markell cuts the ribbon on solar power system

for Belvedere Fire Company in Wilmington 

Cutting the ribbon for the new solar power system are, DNREC Secretary Collin
O’Mara. third from left; Belvedere Fire Company President Keith Harmon, center,
holding scissors; Governor Jack Markell; Jim Kelley of KW Solar Solutions, next
to the Governor; and Pansy Tong, in blue, co-owner of Cermet Materials.
DNREC photo.

WILMINGTON (Feb. 8, 2012) – Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara joined a group of Delaware solar companies and volunteer firefighters this morning to cut the ribbon for a new 50 kilowatt solar power system on the Belvedere Fire Company’s Fire Hall in Wilmington. Built from Delaware-manufactured components by Delaware contractors, the system will save the fire company an estimated one-third of its electric utility costs – approximately $400,000 over the life of the system.

“Belvedere’s volunteer firefighters risk their lives to protect their neighbors. They put all of their energy into their service.” Gov. Markell said. “Local business, government and the community came together to give back, putting solar panels up to help power this fire hall and the work these volunteers do.”

Belvedere’s new solar power system, which was completed in December, will provide 65,000 kilowatts of clean electric power annually – an amount that will off-set 44.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to emissions from the annual electric usage of nearly six homes or the annual greenhouse gas emissions of nearly nine passenger vehicles.

“Adding solar power is a great way for a community organization to save on energy costs while reducing pollutants entering and damaging our environment,” said Secretary O’Mara. “This solar power system will be providing clean, renewable, sustainable power to the Belvedere Fire Company at minimal cost and with little maintenance for years to come.”

The idea of solar power for the Belvedere Fire Hall was initially suggested last year by several fire company members who are also employees of Cermet Materials in Wilmington, which manufactures products used in solar panel production. Cermet owners Charlie Falletta and Pansy Tong agreed to help finance the project.

“We are committed to the solar industry, and to supporting the use and growth of solar as a clean, renewable power source,” said Falletta. “This project also allowed us to help out a volunteer group that provides a vital public service to the residents of Wilmington.”

Cermet Materials brought KW Solar Solutions of Newark on board as project manager and installer. Project materials were purchased through United Electric, a Delaware-based electrical supply company in New Castle. The 208 40-watt solar panels that comprise the system were manufactured in Newark by Motech Delaware. Final electrical work was completed by Delaware commercial and residential electrical contractor Nickle Electric Companies of Newark.

Additional funding for the Belvedere Fire Company project came from the Delaware Green Energy Program, administered by the DNREC Division of Energy and Climate. The DGEP provided a grant of $68,400 towards the estimated $273,951 in total project costs.

The Green Energy Program helps Delaware homeowners, businesses and non-profit organizations meet their energy needs in a more sustainable way through the installation of renewable energy systems, including solar, geothermal and wind. Since 1999, the Green Energy Program has supported more than 1,000 renewable energy projects in Delaware.

Vol. 42, No. 33


Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs Office, 302-739-9902, or Brad Himmelberger, KW Solar Solutions, Inc 877-42-SOLAR,

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KW Solar receives BBB A+ rating

JANUARY 10, 2012

As of November 2011, we are proud to announce that KW Solar Solutions, Inc has achieved the highest rating of A+ with the Better Business Bureau of DE.  KW Solar will continue to strive for complete customer satisfaction with our customers and remain the leader in customer satisfaction for solar companies in the State of DE and the mid-Atlantic region. Call KW Solar Solutions, Inc for SOLAR ENERGY DESIGN, SOLAR ENERGY PRODUCT SERVICES & SOLAR ENERGY PARTS

Click the image above: to see KW Solar Solutions BBB A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau.
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Solar Raises Home Values

JULY 25, 2011

An Analysis of the Effects of Residential

Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California


The market for photovoltaic (PV) energy systems is expanding rapidly in the U.S. Almost 100,000 PV systems have been installed in California alone, more than 90% of which are residential. Some of those “PV homes” have sold, yet little research exists estimating if those homes sold for significantly more than similar non-PV homes. A clearer understanding of these effects might influence the decisions of homeowners considering installing PV on their home or selling their home with PV already installed, of home buyers considering purchasing a home with PV already installed, and of new home builders considering installing PV on their production homes.

To determine whether PV homes sell for significantly more than comparable non-PV homes, Berkeley Lab analyzed a dataset of approximately 72,000 California homes, almost 2,000 of which had PV systems installed at the time of sale. The study also investigated whether premiums for PV installed on new homes were different than those for PV in-stalled as a retrofit on existing homes, and whether the age or the size of the PV system impacted premiums.

A large number of hedonic pricing and difference-in-difference models (see sidebar on next page) were used to ensure that the results were robust.


The research finds strong evidence that homes with PV systems in California have sold for a premium over comparable homes without PV systems. More specifically, estimates for average PV premiums among a large number of different model specifications coalesced near $17,000 for a relatively new “average-sized” – based on the sample of homes studied – PV system of 3,100 watts (DC). This corresponds to an average home sales price premium of $5.5/watt (DC), with the range of results across various models being $3.9 to $6.4/watt.

These results are similar to the average increase for PV homes found by Dastrop et al. (2010), which used similar methods but focused on homes in the San Diego area. The average sales price premiums also appear to be comparable to the investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California (after applicable state and federal incentives), which from 2001-2009 averaged approximately $5/watt (DC) (Barbose et al., 2010), and homeowners with PV also benefit from electricity cost savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.

When the dataset is split between new and existing homes, PV system premiums are found to be markedly affected (see figure on back), with new homes with PV demonstrating average premiums of $2.3 to 2.6/watt, while the aver-age premium for existing homes with PV being more than $6/watt. The report offers a number of possible explanations for why this disparity might exist, including differences in the underlying net installation costs for PV systems be-tween new and existing homes. Additionally, new home builders may gain value from PV as a market differentiator, and have therefore often tended to sell PV as a standard (as opposed to an optional) product on their homes and perhaps been willing to accept a lower premium in return for faster sales velocity and de-creased carrying costs.

PV as a standard (as opposed to an optional) product on their homes and perhaps been willing to accept a lower premium in return for faster sales velocity and de-creased carrying costs.

The research also finds that, as PV systems age, the premium enjoyed at the time of home sale decreases, indicating that buyers and sellers of PV homes may be accounting for the decreased efficiency and remaining expected life of older PV systems.

When the results are expressed as a ratio of the sales price premium to estimated annual electricity cost savings associated with PV (see figure below) they are consistent with those of the m o r e – e x t e n s i v e existing literature on the impact of energy efficiency on home sales prices; the present re-search finds an averages range from 7:1 to 31:1, with models coalescing near 20:1.


Although this research finds strong evidence that homes with PV systems in California have sold, on average, for a significant premium over comparable homes without PV systems, the authors recommend that extrapolation of these results to different locations or market conditions be done with care.

Further Research Warranted

The report outlines a number of additional questions that warrant further research, such as investigating more-recent home sales (the report’s dataset spanned 1999 thru 2009) from a broader geographic area (the dataset included only California homes), and further investigating the difference in premium between new and existing PV homes.


Dastrop, S., Zivin, J. G., Costa, D. L. and Kahn, M. E. (2010) Understanding the Solar Home Price Premium: Electricity Generation and “Green” Social Status. UC Center for Energy & Env. Econ., Berkeley, CA. Dec 9, 10. WP-001.

Barbose, G., Darghouth, N. and Wiser, R. (2010) Tracking the Sun III: The Installed Cost of Photovoltaics in the U.S. 1998-2009. LBNL, Berkeley, CA. Dec, 10. LBNL-4121E.

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KW Solar to Represent Solar Industry at Green Fair

MAY 21, 2011

Silverside Church in Wilmington, DE is to host a Green Fair on Saturday, May 21st from 10-3pm.  Kw Solar will be representing the solar industry for the event.  There will be other representatives from other green industries as well as games, storytelling and ice cream for the kids.

KW Solar recently completed a large 65.8 kw ground mounted solar array for the church that does 100% of it’s annual electric needs.   The array is available for viewing by the general public.  Come join us!

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KW Solar Solutions, Inc to install 128 kw for New Castle County, DE

October 4th 2010

KW Solar will soon be installing two New Castle County solar projects. The first is a 50 kW installation at the Hockessin Library. The second will be a 78kW system at the New Castle County Government Center. Both projects will utilize DE manufactured panels from the Motech Solar facility in Newark. The mounting systems will be supplied by Solar Dock Inc. located and manufactured in Wilmington and Newark DE. We are very proud to be involved with such a project that includes the system components and labor that are all from DE companies.

New Castle County solar projects 50 kW installation at the Hockessin Delaware Library in New Castle County
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Fort Indiantown Gap PA – KW Solar Solutions, Inc completes a 20 kW system for the U.S. Military.

September 20,  2010

Fort Indiantown Gap PA – KW Solar Solutions, Inc completes a 20 kW system for the U.S. Military.

The 20 kw system was installed on a new barrack facility at the PA fort complex.  This will be the 4th solar array installed by KW Solar Solutions, Inc for the US Military.

Fort Indiantown Gap, also referred to as “The Gap” or “FIG”, is a census-designated place and U.S. Army post primarily located in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. A portion of the installation located in eastern Dauphin County. It is located adjacent to Interstate 81, 23 miles northeast of Harrisburg, just north of the northern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 934 at I-81’s Exit 85. The installation is an active National Guard Training Center and serves as headquarters for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Pennsylvania National Guard. The fort surrounds Memorial Lake State Park. It is served by the Annville, Pennsylvania post office, ZIP Code 17003. As of the 2010 census the population was 143 residents.

The Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation is protected by a full-time police force, the Fort Indiantown Gap Police Department, which enforces traffic and other state laws. The post includes 18,000 acres, with numerous ranges and training areas for the 28th Infantry Division, the 213th Area Support Group, and the Eastern Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (EAATS), Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) at Muir Army Airfield. The installation is also home to the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center (NCTC).

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Solar Safety at Aetna Fire Company

August 25, 2010

The KW Solar Solutions, Inc team presented a fire safety program at the Aetna Fire Companies monthly meeting. Several topics were discussed a length to assist the first response personnel in knowing what hazards and precautions might be encountered on structures that are equipped with PV Systems.

Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder Company
Assisting Agencies: Christiana Fire, Mill Creek Fire Company – Stations 2&21, Cranston Heights Fire Company, Hockessin Fire Company – Station 19, Delaware City Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1, Inc., Station 15, New Castle County Paramedics, and University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit.

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Same as Cash Solar Program- no money down!!

August 1st 2010

KW Solar Solutions, Inc is now offering “same as cash” financing through Sungage Financial Inc. This program allows the customer to install a photovoltaic system with little or no cash down. Grant payments and federal tax credits can then be applied to the loan balance as they are received from the various government agencies. 


Toll Free: 1-877-42SOLAR

Phone: 302-838-8400

for details!

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Kw Solar Installs 51 kw system for Fire Hall

July 1st 2010

Leipsic Fire House- kW Solar has completed a 51 kW solar installation at the Leipsic Volunteer Fire Co.  This is our third project completed for a DE Fire and Rescue facility.

We are very proud of our involvement with those dedicated to the safety and protection of the public.

Drive by with Google and take a look at the Solar PV system KW Solar Solutions, Inc installed
Leipsic Volunteer Fire Co
Fire station in Leipsic, Delaware:
Address: 318 Main St, Leipsic, DE 19901 Kent County, Delaware
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Solar Energy Costs to Achieve Grid Parity by 2013

June 29, 2010

The solar energy market has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two years, driven by a new abundance of polysilicon, the effects of the worldwide financial crisis, and the plunging price of solar modules.  As a result of these factors, the solar industry has shifted from supply-constrained to demand-driven, and a few strong companies have been able to improve their revenues and market share based on a low cost per watt combined with high module efficiency.

According to a new report from Pike Research, this market realignment will set the stage for a new era of solar growth over the next several years, and the cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that by 2013, in many markets, solar costs will reach the long-elusive goal of grid parity, the cost of electricity from traditional power sources.  Between 2010 and 2013, Pike Research forecasts that solar demand will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24%.

“Solar prices are plunging quickly, and lower pricing will fuel a surge in demand in 2010 and beyond,” says senior analyst Dave Cavanaugh.  “However, pricing trends and oversupply of solar modules will also place huge pressure on solar suppliers, especially Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies that are not well-equipped to weather the storm.  We expect a significant shakeout among solar suppliers in the next two years.”

Cavanaugh adds that 10 key factors will determine success and survival for solar suppliers during this period of industry consolidation:

Low-cost polysilicon and wafers

Low-cost process materials

Low-cost processing

Module efficiency

Economies of scale

Market presence in key growth countries

Supply chain integration

Strong balance sheets and internal financing of growth

Module manufacturing in North America and low-cost European Union countries

Strong position in niche markets

Pike Research’s report, “Global Solar Energy Outlook”, provides a comprehensive analysis of the supply and demand dynamics in the rapidly changing global solar market.  It examines the underlying economics of solar manufacturing and assesses the industry’s progress toward grid parity from a cost perspective.  The report includes a detailed analysis of key solar industry players and outlines the key differentiators that will cause some suppliers to thrive, and others to fall by the wayside.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, Corporate Sustainability, and Building Efficiency sectors.