Money and the Sun Copyright David McNew, Getty Images

Money and the Sun

With state-level debates raging over net-metering and other incentives for residential solar systems, keep an eye on the economics to anticipate how quickly distributed generation may take hold in your market.

As the sun breaks through the clouds, its rays fall on racks of solar panels on rooftops across the neighborhood bringing a surge of electricity onto the grid. As another bank of clouds glides in and the houses return to drawing power from the grid for their occupants’ needs, the utility must have power plants ready to provide that power, and must have systems in place to handle the change.

The money side of that phenomenon — for instance, how building owners with rooftop solar

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