In addition, gaining access to roofs gives firefighters advantages such as venting gases, and the panels get in the way, said Ken Willette, who manages the public fire protection division at the National Fire Protection Association.
Using industry-validated figures from the first half of 2012, they estimated an MSP of $1.19 per Watt for US solar panels, compared to $0.91 per Watt for Chinese solar panels, representing a price advantage of 23 percent for a China-based manufacturer. But when they examined country-specific factors for this price difference, they found that China’s advantage of low-cost labor was balanced by other regional issues, and that the dominant reason behind its success is primarily the scale of solar panel manufacturing in the region, enabled by access to capital and a less restrictive business and regulatory environment.
The city entered a six-year, solar energy partnership with the Colorado-based investment company Falcon Energy Systems. FES agreed to purchase, install and maintain the 156-kilowatt system to receive federal tax credits, while Monona will reap the renewable energy credits.
“Future innovations in silicon solar panels – which may be most quickly and effectively realized through global collaborative effort – have the potential to reduce key investment risks for manufacturers. This would enable manufacturing on an equivalent scale across most regions, bringing the benefits of high volume production to them all.”
Jeanne Hoffman, facilities and sustainability manager for the City of Madison, said Madison has looked at the idea of third-party ownership over the course of several years but has not entered into any solar energy partnerships because Madison remains one of 25 cities nationwide that receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to be a Solar America City.
In addition, Township Engineer Peter Eisenbrown said that the Methacton Soccer Club, which practices at the Redtail Park Soccer Field, wants to expand the field on three sides and add 6 inches of fill on the rest of the field. The expanded field would measure 80 yards wide by 120 yards long.