What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is a broad term to describe any type of energy harnessed from sun’s rays. This can even be the age-old trick of using a magnified glass to start a fire. Of course, today we understand it to be a conversion from the sunlight into useable electricity through the use of solar panels.

What is a solar battery?
This is a product that can allow you to store unused energy to be able to utilize it at another time. For example, if you have unused energy during the day then the battery will then utilize it during the night.
What are the benefits of a solar energy battery?
  • Solar batteries can help you take even more advantage of energy savings.
  • It can give you peace of mind you are utilizing all the energy your panels are creating.
  • Battery storage can give you either partial home back up or whole home back up.
Does solar energy pollute the air?
The answer: yes & no. Yes, from the materials needed to make the solar panelsNo, because once installed and running they produce zero air pollution. Solar panels makeup for the pollution created during manufacturing and then some. Thus, still making them the best alternative resource.
How does solar energy work?

The full name for solar panels is solar photovoltaic panels which means, “relating to the production of electric current at the junction of two substances exposed to light.” Once the solar panels are installed on your home & the sunlight hits the panels the solar cells (that makeup the panels) are energized. Electrons are then released from the atoms and set into motion which produces an electrical current. Then comes the inverter. Solar panels produce an energy called direct current (DC) which is not the type of energy needed to power a home or business. Therefore, an energy inverter is installed to convert the energy into alternating energy (AC) this is what is utilized to energize your property. 

When was the first solar panel invented?
During the Industrial revolution physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerellar was the first to discover the photovoltaic effect. This is a solar cell having the ability to turn sunlight into electricity. Many years later in 1883 inventor Charles Fritts created the first ever solar panel array on a rooftop. Fritts placed his solar panels on one of Thomas Edison’s coal plants. Edison later wrote about the photoelectric effect which won him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921.
What are some benefits of going solar?
Energy Independence: even if you don’t plan on living “off grid”, having solar panels gives you control of your energy. Your energy system can provide backup power when the grid goes dark and you can stop paying the electricity company less!
Adding solar energy to your home also increases your home value. Placing your house on the market with solar panels has proven to sell for premium prices compared to homes without. 
One of the biggest benefits is being able to reduce your carbon footprint providing a cleaner, safer environment for future generations. 
Does Tennesee offer "buy back" or net metering?

There is currently no form of net metering offered throughout the state. This is unfortunate, but it hasn’t stopped Tennesseans from forging ahead for a better future! However, Tennessee does have another option. The Tennessee Valley Authority has a “Dispersed Power Program” that homeowners can utilitze to recieve some credit for excess energy from TVA.

What are the financial incentives for Commercial Projects?
30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Similar to the Residential Federal Income Tax Credit, The 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is available to businesses and tax-exempt entities. Under the bill recently passed, tax-exempt entities are eligible to receive reimbursement via direct pay for 30% of total system cost. The 30% solar tax credit has been extended until 2032. Additionally, there are ways for system owners to claim a 40%-50% solar tax credit depending on the area of the project.

MACRS Accelerated Depreciation
Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is a method of depreciation in which a business’s investments in solar property can be recovered through federal tax deductions. MACRS benefits can be taken all in the first year and generally range anywhere from 20-24% of your project cost back to the business within year one. To read more on MACRS Bonus Depreciation, please visit https://news.energysage.com/macrs-overview/

USDA REAP Grant for Small Businesses
For eligible rural businesses, the USDA offers a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant for solar energy systems of up to 50% of total solar energy project costs! Green Wave Solar has grant writers on staff with REAP grant approval track records of 95%. The next USDA REAP grant application deadline is March 31, 2023.
Altogether, this means your business may qualify for up to 100% funding and credits by taking advantage of the incentives listed above!

How much solar does my business require?
The Green Wave Solar team will work with your company’s clean energy goals, project budget, and electricity usage to customize a solar project specific to your needs.
Some of the top things to consider when deciding to go solar! ????
  • Placement of your panels! In order to generate the most energy possible solar panels must be south facing. Solar panels facing North produce 30% less than South facing panels. So, when thinking about going solar find where the best placement would be on your property.
  • Where to put your battery & mainframe: Tennessee has changed the regulations around where the batteries and mainframes can be placed indoors. This is huge because we get service calls almost every week about batteries not working after they have been subject to cold weather outdoors. There are times when outdoor placement can work, but if you have a place indoors this is preferred!
  • Know who you are contracting with! Solar energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. With that comes a lot of people trying to turn a profit over making a difference. There are a few companies in Tennessee that are taking on this challenge of solar energy providers and making it their mission to raise the standards of this industry. Do your research and ask your questions!
  • Understand your goals: investing in solar energy is not something one take lightly as it can be one of the largest purchases you make for your home. Understanding your “why” is one of the best ways to start this journey. Why do you want to go solar? Is it to reduce your energy bills? To reduce your carbon footprint? To be as energy independent as possible? You tell us and we will make it happen!
Are Solar Panels sustainable?

48 metric tons per year is how much energy one household consumes. That is equivalent to 5,401 gallons of gasoline. Homes contribute 11% to our overall greenhouse gas emissions. Our global numbers continue to rise and finding sustainable alternatives has not only become a necessity it has become an emergency.
Sunlight never runs out at least not for billions of years! The sun’s light is composed of particles called photons. After centuries of technologically advances solar panels are able to convert these photons into usable energy. This energy can then power your home by utilizing an endless energy supply.
Solar energy is sustainable. The 5.5 billion tons of greenhouse emissions comes from homes using electricity. Switching to a resource that produces 96% fewer CO2 emissions means: less water pollution, lessens the demand for non-renewable resources, reduces your carbon footprint, & improves the quality of life for all living things.

How much do solar panels cost?

Average cost of solar panel system on a home is $15,000 to $25,000. However, utilizing the tax incentives you can recoup 30% of that cost. Plus, what you stand to save when the solar panels are offsetting your monthly electricity bill.
There are a few key points you can look at when considering going solar to see if they will benefit your home: your current electricity bill (the higher the bill the higher the savings), your sunlight exposure, and identify all tax incentives you are eligible for.

About the 30% Tax Credit for renewable energy:

First, we always suggest reaching out to your personal CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for your exact tax liability calculation. There is only one qualification when it comes to claiming the Residential Energy Tax Credit: that you pay federal taxes. If you plan on financing your solar panels, then the finance company suggests you claim the tax credit within the first 2 tax seasons. Also, solar financing is for 70% of the project under the assumption that you will put the 30% tax credit towards paying off your solar energy system.