inside ases | American Solar Energy Society news
ASeS Chapter Links Small-PV owners, SreC Payments
By Alex ABdAllAh
Alex Abdallah is an associate editor at SOLAR TODAY.
To share your local ASES
chapter or division news,
contact her at aabdallah@
When the city of Naper- ville’s Renewable Energy Program was searching
for a source of renewable energy certificates to satisfy its renewable energy
portfolio requirements, the Illinois
Solar Energy Association (ISEA) —
an American Solar Energy Society
(ASES) chapter — stepped up to
the plate. By volunteering to create
a Renewable Energy Credit Aggregation Program (RECAP), ISEA not
only boosted its chapter membership,
but it also provided a valuable service
to its members.
ISEA launched RECAP in 2009 in
partnership with Community Energy
Inc., a for-profit solar and wind developer. Geared toward small-photo-voltaic (PV) system owners — 10
kilowatts (k W) or less — ISEA aggregates solar renewable energy credits
(SRECs) and does a direct sale on
behalf of its program members.
Do your part.
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needle forward in your
community? Join more
than 160,000 solar
enthusiasts on Oct. 1 in
the largest grassroots
solar event in the United
States: the 15th Annual
ASES National Solar Tour.
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Burns, tour manager, at
The program has grown each year:
In 2009, it offered $65 per SREC to
20 program participants. In 2011, 40
members will receive $200 per SREC.
In March, the 30 members of the
2010 program received checks from
ISEA totaling $22,767.75.
Tom DeBates, ASES and ISEA
member and owner of Habi-Tek
Renewable Energy Systems, informs
his customers of the various renewable
energy programs offered at both the
state and federal level. Richard Born
and Albert Moriondo, both Habi-Tek
customers and 2010 RECAP participants, joined ISEA upon DeBates’s
In order to apply to RECAP, ISEA
first requires applicants to be chapter
members. So in 2010, 21 out of the
30 RECAP participants were also new
Members have been ecstatic about
the program, said Michelle Hickey,
program coordinator for ISEA and
program manager at Community
Energy. Considering how easy the
application process is, it’s no surprise
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
Richard Born received a ReCAP check for $203.18 for his system,
which became operational in late September. he expects to receive
around $1,200 for his 2011 solar renewable energy credits.
that the program for 2011 is already
at membership capacity. ISEA hopes
to continue to expand the program
in upcoming years, especially because
homeowners with PV systems larger
than 10 k W have expressed a desire to
participate as well.
According to Hickey, Illinois has
fairly low utility rates, so RECAP
allows homeowners to install a small
system and still cut the payback time.
“This certainly beats any incentive
that is provided by my electric utility company, and I am on both net
metering and real-time pricing,” said
Since joining ISEA, Born has
become a PV system advocate. “I
need to do all that I can to build
interest in my hometown,” he said.
“I believe I may be the first resident
of DeKalb, Ill., to install a PV system,
so I look forward to participating in
the 2011 Solar Tour, during which I
will have the opportunity to promote
Businesses are more likely to have
the time, knowledge and capacity
to trade their energy credits on the
market. But small-system owners
don’t always have those resources.
Together with the backing of a local
chapter, they become a reliable source
of energy credits for a buyer.
The cycle of benefits is clear, from
the local chapter to the customer to
the installer. But, as Born said, “the
most important thing is protecting
our planet, so that my grandchildren,
and their grandchildren, ad infini-
tum, can live happy, environmentally
Hickey believes this program can
be started through any ASES chapter
and she is happy to talk about it. If
your chapter is interested in starting
a similar program, contact Hickey at
solartoday.org SOLAR TODA Y June 2011 61