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How Going Solar Reduces Gasoline and Electricity Costs to a San Diego Resident

In November 2012, the stars aligned for San Diego resident Artie Nishioka to “go green” by installing Kyocera solar modules to power his new Chevy Volt electric vehicle-- and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I selected Kyocera Solar modules because I believe they are the best-quality PV modules on the market,” Artie stated. Artie did his homework before choosing Kyocera modules, and discovered some great reasons for making his choice: “Kyocera has over 35 years of PV manufacturing experience; the warranty is backed by a financially sound company; they’re manufactured within 50 miles of my house; and they offer high efficiency and output performance.”

His main reasons for going solar were to reduce high electric bills in the summer, and to charge his new Chevy Volt.

Artie chose Mission Solar Electric in San Diego, owned by James Pinon, as the installer. Mission Solar helped size his grid-tied rooftop system for the desired output, and ultimately installed 24 Kyocera 245 watt modules with a DC rating of 5.88kW. The modules were mounted on Artie’s concrete tile roof facing SSW at a 30 degree pitch for optimal sunlight collection. The system also features 24 Enphase M215 micro inverters.

The Kyocera solar PV system has had a major impact on Artie’s electric bills: “Before I installed solar, my average electric bill was $153 per month. Since installing solar, my average electric bill is about $23/month, and that includes charging my Chevy Volt, which uses about 225 kWh per month.”

By driving an electric vehicle, Artie avoids buying more than 500 gallons of gasoline annually – a savings of $2,100 at current gas prices.

In addition, owning a Chevy Volt provides some other great advantages: In California, cars that qualify for a Green Clean Air Vehicle sticker, such as Artie’s Chevy Volt, are permitted in the carpool lanes of California freeways until 2019, no matter how many people are in the car. This encourages citizens to purchase low-polluting vehicles, and Artie has noticed it’s working.

“When I first bought the Chevy Volt, I could get premium parking at shopping centers that offer charging stations, but in the last six months I’ve noticed those charging stations have become more crowded,” he explained. “So, while that opportunity is diminishing, it means that more people are driving electric cars. That benefits our environment, so I don’t have any complaints.”

Artie is pleased with his Kyocera solar electric system and recommends the company’s modules to others considering solar.

“Any solar brand can power your house and charge your car; I selected Kyocera because of quality and performance,” he stated. “Kyocera solar module over-performance means that I get 112% of the power my system was designed to provide. In other words, I get 12% more electric power than I paid for.”

That makes the payback on his green investment faster. And, as Artie likes to say, “’Nuff said!”

Editor’s Note: If you would like your solar story to be published in this newsletter, please send an e-mail with your pitch to infosolar@kyocera.com

KYOCERA Invests in Solar Projects Valued at $38M with U.S. Light Energy

Kyocera leverages federal energy investment tax credit; investment designed to increase growth and market penetration

Kyocera plans to invest in a tax equity partnership for the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects valued at $38 million in New York state, leveraging the 30% federal energy investment tax credit. As part of the investment, Kyocera has also entered into an agreement with U.S. Light Energy (USLE) to utilize high-quality, dependable Kyocera solar modules on all installations. USLE (formerly New York Light Energy) is in the final stages of installing 9.4 megawatts (MWDC) of PV systems, with the expectation that the installations will be completed by June 2014.

“Kyocera’s tax equity investment with USLE enables commercial buildings and schools to benefit from environmentally friendly solar power with no up-front investment,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc.

Kyocera’s solar tax equity investments allow commercial power users to experience immediate cost savings, and to reinvest that money into their businesses, while gaining visibility into their long-term energy costs. USLE’s target is to provide a reduction of at least 20 percent in net electricity costs through its Power Purchase Agreements, as compared to conventional grid electricity.

“Since our company began in 2009, we’ve partnered exclusively with Kyocera because we know the proven reliability and long-term performance record of its solar modules, outperforming the competition after 20 years in the field,” said Alex Lieb, CEO of USLE. “By leveraging federal tax incentives offered for solar programs, we’re able to provide a more competitive price for commercial customers, encouraging more companies to utilize solar and put the savings back into growing their businesses.”

The partnership represents a significant investment in New York with out-of-state funds and has already resulted in the employment of more than 50 people.

Kyocera and USLE maintain high expectations for growth in 2014 in the Northeast region and beyond.

To learn more about Kyocera Solar Solutions for both residential and commercial projects in the U.S. and Mexico, please contact infosolar@kyocera.com or 800-223-9580

Kyocera’s solar sales boosted by demand in Japan

Japanese electronics firm, Kyocera reported increased PV module sales for its 2014 financial year, boosted by both domestic and commercial market demand for solar energy in Japan.

The company’s Applied Ceramic Products Group (ACPG), which houses the majority of its PV related products reported FY2014 net sales of 272,795 million yen (approximately US$2.6 billion), up 12.3% the previous year. ACPG reported a profit of approximately US$326.5 million.

Although PV sales are not reported separately, Kyocera had previously revised PV guidance upwards for the financial year, guiding sales target of 1.2GW, compared to 1GW.

The company noted that solar energy business sales increased substantially as demand continued to rise, notably in the commercial sector in Japan. Sales volume of solar energy products in Japan was said to have expanded more than 2 times over the previous nine months, according to the company, with a sales ratio between residential and commercial around equal.

However, despite expected further growth of 5%)in the PV commercial sector the company said it did not expect an increase in the profit ratio.

Kyocera also noted in its annual report that it planned to increase sales through the development of integrated solar energy systems products, notably energy management systems and controls.

The company said it would develop PV module and energy storage solutions and planned to develop its business involvement in PV power plant design, construction and maintenance, following many other PV manufacturers into the downstream market.

Kyocera guided ACPG sales of around US$2.96 billion in FY2015.