Government policies incentivizing renewable energy have made New Hampshire one of the top locations for solar energy companies. As David Solomon’s recent Union Leader article points out, high electric prices increase the potential savings from solar installations, while the state’s renewable energy fund and net metering laws create additional incentives for potential customers.
The Granite State has established itself as an undisputed leader in state climate legislation. They have written a climate action plan, have one of the most robust renewable energy portfolio standard plans, maintain public benefit funds for energy efficiency, create financial incentives for biofuels and has set a state emissions target of 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
A month after the behemoth energy company SolarCity announced plans to enter the New Hampshire market, Sunrun announced a plan to follow suite. Specializing in residential roof-top solar, Sunrun was the first company to offer a leasing option for homeowners who can’t afford or don’t want to own rooftop solar arrays, which that has accelerated the rate of installations in states like New Hampshire that allow such arrangements.
“We took a look at what’s been going on with utility rates, and with the increases we’ve seen — particularly the winter rates — we saw an opportunity,” said Ed Steins, general manager of Sunrun Northeast. “And the policy in New Hampshire is great for solar.”
68 solar companies currently operate in New Hampshire, employing over 600 people.
It is estimated that New Hampshire could gain 8,000 jobs and about $650 million in investment revenue if $150 billion was invested in clean energy nationwide, and drop unemployment by 1 percent. Sunrun’s upcoming move is just the beginning.
Steins said Sunrun is currently looking for office space in Manchester. “I think it’s fair to say that we see a great runway for the adoption of solar in New Hampshire,” he said.