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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2017, 03:09:00 pm »

First Utility-Scale Project on Tribal Lands to Power 100,000 Homes
Mar. 21, 2017 01:57PM EST

By Dan Whitten

First Solar held a commissioning event last week on a 250-megawatt solar facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. This is the first utility-scale solar project on tribal lands.

Morgan Stanley put together this cool video on the project as part of their series on sustainable solutions called Capital Creates Change and we wanted to share it with you. It highlights the economic opportunity, the jobs and the clean power that utility scale developers are bringing to Indian Country and to Southern Nevada.

Late last year, I was lucky enough to attend a ribbon cutting at NextEra Energy's Silver State South project, a 250-megawatt project developed and built by First Solar at the southern tip of Nevada, on the California border line. Eight years ago, when developers began surveying the Silver State South site, they couldn't have known what the world or even that little corner of the Nevada and California border would look like in terms of solar adoption. But they did know major change was afoot.


Back then, solar accounted for one hundredth of one percent of the nation's power generation and it was considered by some to be the costliest form of electricity.

In hindsight, the project goes a long way toward explaining the phenomena we are seeing in solar energy today. First off, the region now boasts 1,200 megawatts of solar electricity, which is the size of two big coal plants and no emissions, a fact that helps explain why our greenhouse gas emissions as a nation are lower than they have been in more than two decades.

The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar project continues a trend in Nevada that has seen utility scale grow by leaps and bounds and with it has come thousands of jobs. Economies of scale evident from solar adoption help explain why the cost of solar has dropped by about 70 percent in the last eight years.

And while the utility scale revolution is taking hold in the West, policies governing rooftop solar in Nevada have crippled that segment of our industry and the many benefits that a healthy distributed generation market can provide for our electrical grid. The model is in place for many thousands of megawatts of clean electricity in the West and the hundreds and thousands of jobs that come with it.

The key is making sure there is a welcoming policy environment for continued growth of large scale solar, with triggers that can help distributed solar take pressure off the grid.  


http://www.ecowatch.com/first-solar-moapa-reservation-2321843618.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2017, 02:14:46 pm »

Recent Advancements in the Solar and Renewable Energy Industry

By Daphne Stanford on March 22, 2017 at 15:33 pm   

It’s 2017, but solar cells went into commercial production in 1953, so you do the math: we should probably have access to affordable solar power, by now, but there are numerous dirty fuel proponents working to try to ensure that we continue to be dependent upon them for as long as possible.  However, despite the slow progress, exciting technological breakthroughs are being discovered that should make affordable solar power available to the average consumer sooner rather than later.

Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with how solar energy is generated: first, solar panels collect sunlight; next, power is converted into usable electricity; next, electricity flows into the net meter; and finally, the attached building is able to use the electricity produced by the sun.  In order for solar power to become more widely utilized, it has to become more affordable.  However, National Geographic reports that significant advances in nanotechnology will soon lead to lower costs and higher efficiency rates. 

What kind of advancements, specifically, you ask?  To cite one example, researchers from MIT and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new solar cell—what they’re calling a “step cell”—that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy.

There was also a new development just this month, as reported in Science Daily:

Researchers at The City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute announce the development of a novel low cost, rechargeable, high energy density battery that makes the widespread use of solar and wind power possible in the future.   

Think Tesla’s Powerwall, only more affordable.  Moreover, Green Tech Media recently compared the costs of wind and solar to gas, coal, and nuclear-based energy, illustrating the clear advantage that renewable energy has over fossil fuels, price-wise.  Why are our cities’ and towns’ energy grids so slow to implement clean energy sources?  Michael O’Boyle cites two widespread misconceptions: first, “Misguided alarmism about the reliability of renewables,” and second, “Misconceptions of the cost of running the grid with more renewables.”

The potential cost of implementing solar power into energy grids is even lower due to increased loans to solar energy production companies, so there’s that, too.  All in all, the costs of solar energy are going down—no matter how much the Trump administration would like us to believe in its inconvenience and unaffordability.  Moreover, there has been considerable progress in the renewable energy world in terms of new career opportunities unique to the industry, more affordable consumer options, and new technological advancements.

Over the past year, there have been a number of new technologies developed related to solar efficiency, solar energy storage, wearable solar technology, and solar design tech.   Perhaps one of the most exciting developments that has received a good deal of attention is solar roadways: they are roads with the ability to convert sunlight into energy to be delivered to local smart grids.  According to their website, “Our goal is to modernize the infrastructure with modular, intelligent panels, while producing clean renewable energy for homes and businesses.”

Beyond specific products, there are also a number of careers in sustainability-related fields like forestry and geology that should be attractive to those interested in supporting the renewable energy industry.  A common role for a forestry graduate, for example, is that of a conservation scientist or forester.  Companies typically create this position in order to help them manage their use of forests as resources related to their product supply chain.  Georgia-Pacific, for example, attempts to replenish and responsibly preserve the forest elements that they harvest for business use.

Other related fields, such as geography and geology, offer career opportunities in cartography or geoscience.  The advantage of these nature-related jobs is the sense of purpose that they offer to the potential employee in search of ethical work.  Many people these days, faced with dire news about the state of the environment and climate change around the world, are beginning to feel compelled to search for more meaningful job positions that help to improve people’s lives in some way. 

Because of this new awareness of the importance of sustainability, moreover, it’s not as necessary as it used to be to enter the not-for-profit world in order to find meaningful work.  Many small and medium-sized companies—even larger corporations—are becoming more aware of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and developing more substantial ethical compasses that offer more satisfaction to the socially-conscious job seeker.  More and more people are asking, “Is the world a better, safer, or healthier place because of my company?”  And an increasing number of companies are confidently responding with a resounding, “Yes!” 

More people, also, are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of personal responsibility, when it comes to sustainable living and eco-friendly lifestyles.  There are a number of simple, tangible actions that you, personally, can take at home in order to maximize your energy efficiency and long-term monthly expenses, as well.  For example, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money just by getting rid of wasteful, out-of-date appliances. 

Conducting a home energy audit requires little energy on your part after you make a call to a local certified energy rater or auditor.  An auditor will be able to determine the areas in your home that need additional insulation and weatherization.  You can also make sure that your appliances and lightbulbs are up to date, in terms of the most energy-efficient models and light sources—if in doubt, look for the “Energy Star” symbol on products when searching for replacements.  Lastly, be mindful of your water usage and the amount of food waste you throw out; the simple act of composting can relieve much of the burden on our local landfills.

*   *   *

Living in a sustainable manner requires all of us working together to ensure we’re picking the most socially and environmentally responsible options—whether it be an appliance, a job position, or a political vote supporting renewable, energy-efficient policies and legislation in favor of clean energy.  What are you doing to contribute to a more sustainable world?

http://lnr.politicususa.com/recent-advancements-solar-renewable-energy-industry-2218/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:55:19 pm »

March 13, 2017 | Rona Fried | Corporate Sustainability, Renewables & Efficiency

Apple Opens Solar Spaceship Headquarters in April, Amazon Also Expands Renewables

After four years of construction, 12,000 employees start moving into Apple’s new spaceship campus in April. Now called Apple Park, the 175-acre campus near Cupertino, California will be a model for energy efficiency and 100% powered by renewable energy.

The building’s circumference hosts one of the largest on-site solar systems in the world – a massive 17 megawatts (MW) of solar panels!  :o   That will supply 75% of the electricity; the rest comes from buying half the output of a nearby 280 MW solar farm and 4 MW of on-site fuel cells. As the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, it will require No heat or air conditioning for nine months of the year  ;D. Almost all of the materials from demolishing previous buildings at the site has been reused or recycled – virtually every piece of concrete, glass, and metal.

Apple spaceship

Worldwide, 93% of Apple’s power for offices and retail comes from renewable energy, and 100% of power for data centers.  The next step is manufacturing – the source of 77% of its greenhouse gases. A 170 MW solar farm in Mongolia will begin powering China’s factories and a supplier in Japan is building 20 solar plants including one of the largest floating solar systems. In tandem with suppliers, over 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewables will be added around the world by 2020, including 2 GW in China.

“We’re switching to greener materials to create safer products and manufacturing processes. We’re protecting working forests and making sure they are managed sustainably. We’re even creating a more mindful way to recycle our devices using robots,” Apple says on its Environment page.

Amazon Steps Up

Amazon.com also made a big announcement – over the next three years, it will put solar on the roofs of 50 warehouses around the world. Solar will provide as much as 80% of power at sites in California, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, starting this year. The company is building the 253 MW Amazon Wind Farm Texas and a 180 MW wind farm in Ohio, adding to its wind farms in Indiana and North Carolina.

“We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It’s a win-win,” says Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations.

Last year, Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft filed an amicus brief in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, now under attack by the Trump Administration.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/apple-opens-solar-spaceship-headquarters-april-amazon-also-expands-renewables/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 14, 2017, 01:09:20 pm »

Amish tap into God's Grid!        

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2017, 04:49:56 pm »


New Solar Farm Powers Hawaii at Night   :o  ;D

Tesla unveiled a new 13MW solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai Wednesday, bringing the state closer to its ambitious goal of sourcing 100 percent renewables by 2045.

The farm includes nearly 300 Tesla Powerpack batteries, which provide 52 MWh of capacity and will allow the farm to sell stored power during the evening. The company estimated that the farm will offset 1.6 million gallons of fossil fuel usage per year  in the state, which relies heavily on oil-fired power plants and has some of the highest electric rates in the country.


According to The Verge:

It's the first major solar-plus-storage project for Tesla since its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity last year, and Tesla said in a statement that it "will work with energy providers around the world seeking to overcome barriers in the way of building a sustainable, renewable energy grid of their own."

Stationary storage is "something I think will probably be as big as the car business long term," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a tour of the Gigafactory last year. "And will actually have a growth rate probably several times that of what the car business is per year. The growth in stationary storage is really under appreciated. That's a super-exponential growth rate." 


http://www.ecowatch.com/tesla-hawaii-solar-farm-2307566259.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 09, 2017, 02:36:42 pm »

UK slaps massive 800% tax increase for rooftop solar panels

Mihai Andrei March 9, 2017

The US isn’t the only developed country backtracking on environmental development: the UK recently announced a new law that will bring a devastating tax increase on solar energy. As it has become so common in recent months, the government said it’s a good thing which will help development, but provided no explanation as to how it will help anything.

Although it is still a leader in European solar power generation, the UK    is making huge strides in the opposite direction. The country’s solar industry already lost 12,000 jobs last year and there has been an 85 percent reduction in the deployment of rooftop solar schemes, largely due to political intervention: the government drastically cut incentives for householders to fit solar panels and ended subsidies for large-scale “solar farms”. Now, they’re taking things even further, announcing that schools and businesses who haven’t been paying taxes for solar energy will now have to pay, and those who have been paying will pay 8 times more. To make things even peachier, the tax increase doesn’t apply to private schools, for a reason that has not been disclosed.

Needless to say, reactions have been highly critical of this move. The speech of Chancellor Philip Hammond on the 2017 budget barely even mentioned renewable energy, although he did emphasize a promise to help the oil and gas industry “maximise exploitation” of the remaining reserves in the North Sea.

Quote
“This is slightly less than helpful for the British solar industry,” the Solar Trade Association’s Leonie Greene told The Independent, in a very British fashion. “It’s absurd. Energy tax policy is going in the opposite direction to how we know energy needs to change and how it’s changing. What he is doing is advantaging old technology and disadvantaging new ones. It’s nonsensical.”

Despite pleas from the industry, schools, businesses, and the public sector, the government refused to back down on this. They specifically mentioned that this will be beneficial for schools but again, did not mention how. A petition with over 200,000 signatures from a school in London will be delivered to England’s Treasury Department today, but expectations are minimal.

ALSO READ Scotland just powered itself completely from wind power the entire day

This is extremely ironic because according to the government’s own figures, solar is expected to become the cheapest form of electricity generation sometime in the 2020s. It’s like the UK just decided to shoot itself in the leg — and this won’t only affect the businesses (especially small businesses), schools, and farms with solar panels, it will also affect average consumers, driving the price of electricity up by a notch. Leonie Greene adds:

“That is crazy because it is the cheapest and most popular source of energy. What that means is consumers are paying more. We are taking away the competitive pressure solar has put on other technologies. We need something to change for the solar industry. We are just trying to get a level playing field with fossil fuels.”

In a normal world, where politicians are unbiased and simply want the best for their citizens, they should be offering great support for renewable energy — especially in the UK. The country is going through a severe pollution crisis. The situation is so bad that the UK has been taken to court twice and lost, being ordered by the supreme court to take action against climate change. Yet not only are they withdrawing subsidies and support for renewable energy, they’re actually making it harder for renewables to complete against fossil fuels. Just like in the US, the government hangs on to the oil and gas pipedream, ignoring both the environmental and economic reality: renewables are getting cheaper, and fast. Fossil fuels may be the past, they may be a big part of the present, but they’re certainly not the future. Installing new renewables is already cheaper than fossil fuels.

ALSO READ  Pesticides linked to massive bee die off, largest study of its kind confirms

James Thornton, chief executive of ClientEarth, the NGO that sued the UK and won, declared:
Quote

“Despite being ordered twice by the courts to take urgent steps to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis, it seems the Treasury has still not grasped the urgency of the situation,” he said. “We fear that Government plans [on air pollution], which are due out next month, may well fall short of what is needed.”

His fears — to say the least — seem rational. With Brexit right around the corner, the government seems set to scrape several of the EU regulations and give into the fossil fuel lobby. Although not as vocal and not as absurd as the Trump government , there are clear similarities to be drawn.  


http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/climate/solar-energy-tax-uk-09032017/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 02, 2017, 02:38:04 pm »

Startup makes solar panels that can blend with any environment. It can match a rooftop, show an ad, anything basically :o   ;D

Tibi Puiu February 27, 2017

Credit: Sistine Solar

Less than 1 percent of American homes employ solar to power their homes. Some can’t afford the upfront costs while others don’t make this step because they aren’t convinced it’s going to work for them. But there are also a lot of people who can afford to and would like to install PV panels on their rooftops but choose not out of aesthetic considerations or out of concern their homes’ market value will suffer. A startup fresh out of MIT’s engineering and MBA classrooms hopes to render this argument moot.

The startup in question, called Sistine Solar, is offering solar panels that instead of the familiar blue luster can display virtually any image the client desires. For instance, a homeowner might want to cover all of his rooftop with PV panels and have them match the tiles. Business owners can cover kiosks or offices with panels that display ads or their logos. Strikingly, there are minimal efficiency losses involved.


Credit: Sistine Solar

This design of SolarSkin is not all that different from public transit see-through ads which cover a bus in billboards but inside passengers can see through them. These work by reflecting some of the light in a distinct pattern so people outside the bus can see the ad while allowing enough light through so passengers can see out. In the case of the Sistine panels, however, this effect is stretched to the max so only a minute quantity of light is let to reflect leaving the bulk of photons to hit the module, preserving efficiency. As for the cost, buyers can expect a 10 percent increase over panels of the same rated power capacity.


Credit: Sistine Solar

Sistine Solar is, of course, not the only company catering to solar aesthetics. Last year, Tesla announced with much fanfare a new line of ‘solar tiles’. It reportedly costs less than a new rooftop to install — we’ll just have to see about that now that Tesla announced it will start selling them by the end of the year.

Sistine’s offering, however, is different. While Tesla’s rooftop panels are actually tiles, Sistine is making panels that look like tiles. Any pattern or image can be displayed by the layer that covers the solar panel, no matter how intricate.

“We’ve come up with a process where we color-correct the minimal information we have of the image on the panels to make that image appear, to the human eye, to be similar to the surrounding backdrop of roof shingles,” says Anthony Occidentale, an MIT mechanical engineering student.

SolarSkin was first installed on a house in Norwell, Massachusetts where the 10-kilowatt system mimicked a cedar pattern. Sistine Solar now has 200 orders, mainly in California and Massachusetts. Custom designs aren’t all that popular instead most buyers opting for one of the patterns offered by the company. These include common rooftop patterns in the United States, such as asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and slate.

“We think SolarSkin is going to catch on like wildfire,”  said co-founder Senthil Balasubramanian for MIT News. “There is a tremendous desire by homeowners to cut utility bills, and solar is finding reception with them — and homeowners care a lot about aesthetics.”

While I personally don’t believe rooftop solar is ugly, I know some people think this way — and they’re running out of excuses fast. 


http://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/sistine-solar-panels-43242/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:58:00 pm »

Solar Now Produces a Better Energy Return on Investment Than Oil


The future is not good for oil, no matter which way you look at it. Motherboard
SNIPPET:

Solar — it’s not just a clean power source producing zero emissions and almost no local water impact, it’s also now one of the best choices on the basis of how much energy you get back for your investment. And with climate change impacts rising, solar’s further potential to take some of the edge off the harm that’s coming down the pipe makes speeding its adoption a clear no-brainer.

In 2016, according to a trends analysis based on this report by the Royal Society of London, the energy return on energy investment (EROEI) for oil appears to have fallen below a ratio of 15 to 1 globally. In places like the United States, where extraction efforts increasingly rely on unconventional techniques like fracking, that EROEI has fallen to 10 or 11 to 1 or lower.

Meanwhile, according to a new study by the Imperial College of London, solar energy’s return on investment ratio as of 2015 was 14 to 1 and rising.      What this means is that a global energy return on investment inflection point between oil and solar was likely reached at some time during the present year.

Great charts and info! 


https://robertscribbler.com/2016/12/19/solar-now-produces-a-better-energy-return-on-investment-than-oil/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 16, 2017, 05:28:08 pm »

U.S. Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy   

by
Chris Martin

‎February‎ ‎15‎, ‎2017‎ ‎12‎:‎01‎ ‎AM 

Solar installations surpassed gas and wind for first time
Record 14.6 gigawatts of solar panels added in 2016, SEIA says

SNIPPET:

Solar developers installed a record 14.6 gigawatts in the U.S. last year, almost double the total from 2015 and enough to make photovoltaic panels the largest source of new electric capacity for the first time.

Solar panels on rooftops and fields accounted for 39 percent of new generation last year, according to a report Wednesday from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. That beat the 29 percent contribution from natural gas and 26 percent from wind.

The surge is further evidence that solar power has become an important part of the U.S. energy mix, even as President Donald Trump pushes for wider use of fossil fuels. The solar industry employs 260,000 people and accounted for 2 percent of all new U.S. jobs last year, and Republican and Democratic governors from 20 states sent the White House a letter Monday saying that clean energy is an important economic driver.

Full article with fact filled charts:



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-15/u-s-solar-surged-95-to-become-largest-source-of-new-energy




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 11, 2017, 09:48:06 pm »

Jimmy Carter Continues His Green Energy Legacy With 10-Acre Solar Farm

  Julia Travers

SNIPPET:

Former President Jimmy Carter leased 10 acres of his land to Atlanta-based SolAmerica to develop a 1.3-megawatt solar farm in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. An opening ceremony was held Feb. 8 to launch the project, which is projected to produce more than 55 million kilowatt-hours of energy in the next 25 years. The project will provide more than half of the power needs for the 683 residents.

Great Pictures!  ;D

http://www.ecowatch.com/jimmy-carter-solar-farm-2253275469.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 09, 2017, 02:26:14 pm »

Agelbert Note: Excellent Comments from intelligent Vermonters:

Quote


Tom Hengelsberg  • 4 hours ago 

As an architect who has also done many assessments of low-slope roofs, some with solar panels already installed in exactly the manner depicted in the article's accompanying photograph, I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Snell. I have not seen any issues or reduction in the lifespan of the roofing membrane that would have been caused by the placement of the solar panels. If anything, the panels shade and protect the membrane, possibly prolonging its lifespan. Understand that the panels are installed on a rack system that sits on protective "feet" on top of the membrane, and the whole assembly is weighted down with concrete ballast blocks that also sit on protective slipsheets. The rack system does not penetrate the roof. When the lifespan of the roof is up, the racking can be removed, the roof replaced, and the panels reinstalled (or more likely replaced with a more efficient panel - they keep getting better and better.) The good news is, the lifespan of a membrane roof and a set of panels are about the same: 20-25 years. So if they are installed at the same time, they can be replaced at the same time.

I wholeheartedly support this initiative! Many in the architecture profession have been advocating for years to add solar PV to the underused resource of low-slope rooftops.
 
R.J. Adler  • 5 hours ago 

Requiring solar on big rooftops is a great idea. Big store owners can pay as much as $50,000 or more per year in electricity costs. If they have the space, solar developers can help retailers drive those costs into a system they own, and once the system is paid off that means erasing a $50,000/yr line item from your budget! Think of it as the difference of renting a house vs. buying a house and paying a mortgage. Lower operating costs would make business much easier in the state of Vermont.

Even if those retailers can't foot the bill- solar developers are willing to rent out that roof space (creating another revenue stream), and offer discounted power to other folks in town. That means more power created in Vermont, which is more efficient overall. That also means more job opportunities created in Vermont in a growing field that employs young people like me.
 

Stephen M. Frey > R.J. Adler  • 3 hours ago 

RJ I think it's a win win for building owners, operators, the public and the clean energy industry. How much Megawattage in statewide flat roof, low-slop roof generation capacity are we talking about? Any sense of this from Sun Common's perspective?
 


Senator raises idea of requiring rooftop solar for big buildings

Feb. 8, 2017, 8:47 pm by Mike Polhamus

https://vtdigger.org/2017/02/08/senator-raises-idea-requiring-rooftop-solar-big-buildings/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 30, 2017, 08:15:03 pm »

I have not built my system. I have all the components other than some posts for the ground mounts and a structure to house the batteries to keep them cool.

I had my first system, a small 360W "portable" system up and running for a couple of years, but it just recently died. I need to do a post mortem.

Because I don't live on my rural property full time, I have held off because I worry about possible vandalism. I have spent the last several months working on fencing, to improve security. I have access to cheap grid power, and my well presents another set of problems for solar, as it's a conventional deep well with a submersible pump at 330 ft. Not sure the new system I designed would be adequate to run the pump, without adding a timer and a cistern, or converting to a pump jack system, which would be a better option. I have a pump jack, but it takes a well pro with the right equipment to pull the old pump, change to a windmill foot valve and install the rods, etc.

When it does get built, I expect I'll try to get one big robust inverter (of better quality), better than the AIMS, and keep them for spares. 

Security is a very costly stumbling block to PV system durability. The only thing fossil fuel powered machines ever had going for them is that, unlike Renewable Energy infrastructure such as wind or solar, they are easy to secure. But passive geothermal is just as easy to secure. Even the Bush Ranch had (has?) passive AND active geothermal. With that as a base, you could easily round out renewable energy sources for your spread with monitors and alarm systems for wind and PV for a 24/7 sustainable operation.

I hope you are someday successful in running that place exclusively on Renewable Energy. Expecting the polluting energy sources we have all grown up around to continue to be available is a pipe dream shared by too many. The REAL real world will eventually prevail, regardless of the magical and clueless thinking of so many.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 20, 2017, 05:30:42 pm »

Grid Optimization

First Solar Proves That PV Plants Can Rival Frequency Response Services From Natural Gas Peakers

In California, an important test for solar farms as grid-balancing agents
by Jeff St. John 
 January 19, 2017

Last summer, First Solar and California grid operator CAISO ran a set of tests to show that utility-scale solar PV, instead of being a disruptive influence on the power grid, could actually help stabilize it.

Over a series of days in August, First Solar slightly curtailed power output at a 300-megawatt solar farm in California, enabled its array of inverters, and plugged into CAISO’s system. It then orchestrated the plant’s output to follow CAISO’s automatic generation control (AGC) signals, respond to its frequency regulation commands, and use inverters for voltage regulation, power factor regulation and reactive power control.

The results, according to a report released last week, showed that First Solar was able to meet, and sometimes exceed, the frequency regulation response usually provided by natural-gas-fired peaker plants. First Solar was also able to provide inverter-based services throughout the day -- and possibly even at night.

It turned in a respectable performance matching CAISO’s wholesale market price signals -- even when clouds appeared on the afternoon of the second day of testing, reducing First Solar’s capacity to shift its load.

All told, the data from CAISO, First Solar and the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) indicates that a utility-scale solar farm, equipped with standard inverters and software controls, can serve to smooth out grid fluctuations from the solar itself or from other sources.

And for California, a state with 9,000 megawatts of transmission-connected solar and plans for 20,000 megawatts more by 2030, that could be a valuable resource. “If PV-generated power can offer a supportive product that benefits the power system and is economic for PV power plant owners and customers, this functionality should be recognized and encouraged,” the report noted.

Utility-scale solar PV is already causing California some grid challenges, in the form of the duck curve -- a deep midday drop in net load driven by lots of solar flooding onto the grid, and a steep ramp-up starting in the late afternoon that extends into evening as solar fades away.

CAISO is also experiencing “periods of oversupply conditions, especially pronounced during weekends when electricity demand is low and renewable production is high.” Currently, when faced with potentially destabilizing conditions like this, CAISO has no choice but to curtail renewable power.

“Significant levels of renewables curtailment took place during certain days of the spring of 2016,” the report noted, including one day in late April when more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable generation had to be taken offline.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/PV-Plants-Can-Rival-Frequency-Response-Services-From-Natural-Gas-Peakers
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:24:00 pm »

Solar Employs More Workers Than Coal, Oil and Natural Gas Combined

 Lorraine Chow  13 Jan 2017

SNIPPET:

Quote
In a sign of promise for the booming industry, solar employers reported that they expect to increase employment by 7 percent this year.

Solar is becoming the cheapest form of electricity production in the world, according to statistics from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Last year was the first time that the renewable energy technology out-performed fossil fuels on a large scale. 

http://www.ecowatch.com/solar-job-growth-2197574131.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:37:27 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Newly elected Governor Scott is a one of the rare Republicans with common sense.  8)

     

Scott hails solar firm as part of job-creating energy effort

Jan. 9, 2017, 5:09 pm by Mike Polhamus

SunCommon touts its Solar Canopy product Monday at the Hunger Mountain cooperative store in Montpelier. Photo by Mike Polhamus/VTDigger (at article link)

Gov. Phil Scott plans to move forward with the state’s goal of getting 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050.

The push to move away from fossil fuels will create jobs and invigorate the economy, Scott said Monday to a crowd of around 50 people at the Hunger Mountain cooperative store in Montpelier.

“We want to attract young professionals, like yourselves, and working families to Vermont,” Scott said. “Companies like SunCommon that are creating jobs and innovating here in Vermont are exactly what we need.” That echoed a theme from his campaign.

Waterbury-based solar firm SunCommon hosted the event to show off what the company calls a Solar Canopy, which consists of a timber-frame structure topped with enough solar panels to power a home.

SunCommon unveiled two solar canopies in the parking lot at Hunger Mountain. The structures currently send power to the store but will soon power charging stations for electric vehicles, company representatives said Monday.

The solar canopies serve a growing demand from Vermonters who want to purchase solar panels for their homes, but whose roofs can’t bear the weight of the panels, said SunCommon co-founder James Moore.

“Vermonters ship hundreds of millions of dollars every year outside the local economy, for dirty energy they don’t want to support,” Moore said.

Vermonters and other Americans will continue to demand renewable energy even if financial support from the federal government dries up, Moore said.

“This is happening because people want it to happen,” he said. “It’s not happening because of the government. People want to really lessen (their reliance on) fossil fuels that are hurting the economy and our environment.”

SunCommon offers solar canopies to customers at no upfront cost, using financing obtained through Vermont credit unions, said company spokeswoman Emily McManamy. The structures carry a value of around $30,000 apiece, McManamy said.

She said their timber frame construction was intended to hew to Vermont’s aesthetic sensibilities. The canopy is meant to offer protection from the elements when installed over driveways, patios, firewood stacks or even chicken coops, she said.

The state has committed to reducing carbon dioxide pollution emitted within its borders in coming decades.

Vermont established a goal last year of meeting 90 percent of its power needs from renewable sources by 2050 — a significant expansion over the statutory mandate that the state obtain at least 25 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025.

Scott on Monday reiterated his commitment to that goal, established in the state’s 2016 comprehensive energy plan under his predecessor, Gov. Peter Shumlin.

https://vtdigger.org/2017/01/09/scott-hails-solar-firm-as-part-of-job-creating-energy-effort/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 28, 2016, 01:07:51 pm »

It's Official: Solar Energy Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels   

 Lorraine Chow

SNIPPET:

Renewable energy has reached an important milestone. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has determined that in many parts of the world, solar energy is now the same price or even cheaper than fossil fuels for the first time.

In a handbook released this month, the WEF observed how the price of renewable technologies, particularly solar, has declined to unprecedented lows.

Full article with EYE OPENING chart:  :o  ;D
http://www.ecowatch.com/solar-cheaper-than-fossil-fuels-2167117599.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 27, 2016, 02:47:06 pm »

Panasonic to invest over US$256 million in Tesla's US plant for solar cells

Posted 28 Dec 2016 03:20

TOKYO: Panasonic Corp will invest more than 30 billion yen (US$256 million) in a New York production facility of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, deepening a partnership of the two companies.

Tesla's shares were up 3.5 percent at US$220.75 in early trading on Tuesday.

Japan's Panasonic, which has been retreating from low-margin consumer electronics to focus more on automotive components and other businesses targeting corporate clients, will make the investment in Tesla's factory in Buffalo, New York.

The U.S. electric car maker is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic as part of the deal, besides providing factory buildings and infrastructure.

In a statement on Tuesday, the two companies said they plan to start production of PV modules in the summer of 2017 and increase to one gigawatt of module production by 2019.

The plan is part of the solar partnership that the two companies first announced in October, but which did not disclose investment details.

Tesla is working exclusively with longtime partner Panasonic to supply batteries for its upcoming Model 3, the company's first mass-market car. Panasonic is also the exclusive supplier of batteries to Tesla's Model S and Model X.

(Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

- Reuters

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/panasonic-to-invest-over-us-256-million-in-tesla-s-us-plant-for/3397596.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 25, 2016, 10:18:17 pm »


2 remarkable facts that illustrate solar power’s declining cost

It’s not “the cheapest electricity in the world,” but it’s getting really cheap .

Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com   Dec 22, 2016, 8:40am EST

Article with eye opening charts!


http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/12/22/14022114/solar-year-two-remarkable-facts
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 02, 2016, 06:23:40 pm »

Energy| Dec. 02, 2016 08:30AM EST

World's Largest Solar Farm Leapfrogs India to Third in Utility-Scale Solar


Kamuthi solar plant

Lorraine Chow

http://www.ecowatch.com/india-solar-market-2118202661.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 30, 2016, 02:58:20 pm »


State’s largest solar array now making power for GMP
Nov. 29, 2016, 7:48 pm by Morgan True

ESSEX JUNCTION — Vermont’s largest solar project was generating power Tuesday, said officials with the state’s largest utility, although production was diminished by overcast skies.

The roughly 20,000 solar panels cover 55 acres and at peak delivery will produce 4.7 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power 1,100 homes. The next largest solar arrays in the state deliver just over 2 megawatts, according to Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Kristin Carlson.

The massive solar installation is in Williston on land owned by GlobalFoundries. The semiconductor manufacturer owns 750 acres in Williston and Essex Junction.

Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power, joined state and private company officials to announce the Vermont Weather Analytics Center at a news conference at the State Emergency Operations Center in Waterbury on Wednesday.

With GMP owning the arrays, the arrangement produces electricity for about half the cost of buying it from a third party, said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. The project shows that GMP is “all in for the energy revolution,” Powell said.

“We are excited to work with GlobalFoundries to bring this solar array to life to benefit our customers and show once again how energy can be a force for good and economic development,” Powell added. GMP serves roughly 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont.

In addition to lease payments, GlobalFoundries will get 500 kilowatts of the power generated — a tiny fraction of the energy it uses on a daily basis. During peak energy use at the site, GlobalFoundries uses as much power as the city of Burlington, according to Janette Bombardier, a senior GlobalFoundries executive. The rest of the power produced will go to GMP customers.

Another unusual aspect of the project is that 4 acres of solar arrays are set aside for use by Sandia National Labs, a research and development corporation operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The space will house the Vermont Photovoltaic Regional Test Center, where private companies will be able to test new solar products and gather data on their performance. The center is one of five Sandia operates nationwide.

The other centers are in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Florida, in sites that don’t see the harsh winters, precipitation or dramatic changes in weather that are a hallmark of Vermont’s climate.

That creates a significant opportunity for private companies to test solar products designed to operate in places where sunlight is not always plentiful, Bombardier said.

Powell and Bombardier said the town of Williston worked closely with them to obtain a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board and during the permit process.

https://vtdigger.org/2016/11/29/states-largest-solar-array-now-making-power-gmp/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 21, 2016, 09:55:03 pm »

Solar energy deployment could double in Massachusetts


By Danielle Ola
 Nov 21, 2016 11:36 AM GMT

http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solar-energy-deployment-could-double-in-massachusetts
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 16, 2016, 02:28:32 pm »

Florida's Amendment 1 defeat  ;D  shows why solar won't be stopped, Trump or no Trump

David Pomerantz, executive director of the Energy and Policy Institute, wants utilities to 'co-thrive' with DERs

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/floridas-amendment-1-defeat-shows-why-solar-wont-be-stopped-trump-or-no/430373/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 14, 2016, 08:41:35 pm »

IEA: Global Solar PV Capacity Surpassed 227GW in 2015   

SNIPPET:

Last year was a record year for global PV installations, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Trends in Photovoltaic Applications report, released last week. Worldwide installed capacity amounted to 51 gigawatts in 2015, up from around 40 gigawatts in the two preceding years.

After 20 years of PV development, the report finds there are now at least 227 gigawatts of PV installed around the world (GTM Research puts the total higher at more than 250 gigawatts), making up more than 1.2 percent of global electricity demand.

The annual PV contribution to electricity demand has now passed the 1 percent mark in at least 33 countries, with Honduras leading the pack at 12 percent, followed by Italy and Germany at 8 percent, and Greece above 7 percent.

While solar PV makes up a higher share of overall electricity demand in other countries, China led the globe in terms of new installations. As in 2013 and 2014, China ranked first place, with 15.15 gigawatts of solar capacity added in 2015, according to the National Energy Administration. China bested its own previous record of adding 10 gigawatts of solar PV in a single year.

Full article with encouraging stats:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/global-solar-pv-market-sees-record-growth-in-2015
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 30, 2016, 04:22:51 pm »

Musk is a doer and person of great accomplishment. His place in History is assured.             


Talk is cheap, action is the thing.  agree 

                       
                                                 

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk wasn’t kidding when he said that the new Tesla solar roof product was better looking than an ordinary roof: the roofing replacement with solar energy gathering powers does indeed look great. It’s a far cry from the obvious and somewhat weird aftermarket panels you see applied to roofs after the fact today.

The solar roofing comes in four distinct styles that Tesla presented at the event, including “Textured Glass Tile,” “Slate Glass Tile,” “Tuscan Glass Tile, and “Smooth Glass Tile.” Each of these achieves a different aesthetic look, but all resembled fairly closely a current roofing material style. Each is also transparent to solar, but appears opaque when viewed from an angle.

                                                 
The current versions of the tiles actually have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel, according to Elon Musk. But the company is working with 3M on improved coatings that have the potential to possibly go above normal efficiency, since it could trap the light within, leading to it bouncing around and resulting in less energy loss overall before it’s fully diffused.

Of course, there’s the matter of price: Tesla’s roof cost less than the full cost of a roof and electricity will be competitive or better than the cost of a traditional roof combined with the cost of electricity from the grid, Musk said. Tesla declined to provide specific pricing at the moment, since it will depend on a number of factor including installation specifics on a per home basis.

                        Standard roofing materials do not provide fiscal benefit back to the homeowner post-installation, besides improving the cost of the home. Tesla’s product does that, by generating enough energy to fully power a household, with the power designed to be stored in the new Powerwall 2.0 battery units so that homeowners can keep a reserve in case of excess need.

The solar roof product should start to see installations by summer next year, and Tesla plans to start with one or two of its four tile options, then gradually expand the options over time. As they’re made from quartz glass, they should last way longer than an asphalt tile — at least two or three times the longevity, though Musk later said “they should last longer than the house”.               



https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/28/these-are-teslas-stunning-new-solar-roof-tiles-for-homes/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 27, 2016, 05:36:47 pm »


City of Montpelier Invests in 1 Megawatt of Solar

Sep. 26, 2016, 11:35 am

News Release — Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee  September 22, 2016

Contact:
 Kate Stephenson, Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee Chair
 Phone: 802-225-8933
 Email: netzeromontpelier@gmail.com
 Web: www.netzeromontpelier.org

MONTPELIER, VT – Thanks to the efforts of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee, the City of Montpelier is getting a significant portion of its electricity from the sun. Partnering with Novus, a Montpelier-based firm specializing in the development of solar powered projects, the city government has entered into a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement for municipal electrical use.

This month the first 500KW array located in Sharon, Vermont came on line and the power produced is shared by the city and the Montpelier school district. A second 500KW array will be built off Log Road in Montpelier. Still in the permitting phase, this project will come on line in the fall of 2017. 100% of the energy produced from the second array will help to offset municipal power consumption.
Quote

Over the 20 year contracts, these two solar arrays combined will save the City and schools approximately $50,000 per year  , and provide about 55% of the City’s total municipal electrical usage.

The best news for taxpayers? The City of Montpelier will not pay for any of the costs to build or maintain these systems. Equally important, these solar arrays will help the city achieve our 2030 goal to become the first Net Zero state capital in the United States!

“This is a great step forward in the city’s efforts to become the first Net Zero state capital,” said Mayor Hollar today. “My thanks to the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee and city staff for negotiating these agreements. I look forward to the Montpelier-based array off of Log Road.”

http://vtdigger.org/2016/09/26/city-montpelier-invests-1-megawatt-solar/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 27, 2016, 01:43:49 pm »

New solar panel integrates battery storage, inverter, and smart software into a single unit   

This startup is reinventing the solar panel, and aims to cut the cost of integrating clean power and energy storage to homes by half.

SNIPPET:

Quote
"SolPad’s flexgrid inverter can automatically detect when to charge from the sun or charge from the local utility grid, adjusting for cloudy or rainy days, as well as changing local electricity rates. During the most expensive daytime hours, SolPad Home will switch to stored battery power, then switch back to grid power when rates are low.

Flexgrid will also detect when there’s a power outage or blackout and safely disconnect itself from the grid. Once off the grid, SolPad automatically forms a personal solar micro-grid that will keep delivering power to specific lights and appliances. The SolPad Home Connect™ system is the most innovative power delivery interface to get power from your roof into your home.

Connect is a wire-free system that links two or more SolPad Home panels together on your roof, completely eliminating the need for any complicated cabling or wiring, simplifying the installation and greatly reducing cost and installation time." - SolPad

 

http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/new-solar-panels-integrate-battery-storage-inverter-and-software-single-unit.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 21, 2016, 12:24:46 pm »

Sep. 21, 2016 10:32AM EST

World's Largest Solar Plant Goes Online

By Lorraine Chow

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is now home to the world's largest solar power plant, according to local reports.

The massive, 648-megawatt array was officially linked to the grid after being hooked up to a 400-kilowatt substation, the operator Adani Green Energy Ltd announced Wednesday.

The plant is spread across 2,500 acres in the town of Kamuthi in the Ramanathapuram district and will supply enough clean, green energy for 300,000 homes. 

The Deccan Chronicle reported that the $679 million solar park consists of 380,000 foundations, 2.5 million solar modules, 576 inverters, 154 transformers and 6,000-kilometers of cables. The plant was built with parts and machinery from around the world.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani formally dedicated the structure to the nation.

"This is a momentous occasion for the state of Tamil Nadu as well as the entire country," he said. "We are extremely happy to dedicate this plant to the nation; a plant of this magnitude reinstates the country's ambitions of becoming one of the leading green energy producers in the world."

India has an ambitious solar energy goal. In 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to increase solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022, five times higher than the previous target.

http://www.ecowatch.com/worlds-largest-solar-plant-2011318629.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 13, 2016, 05:30:13 pm »


India Wants to Build 10 Gigawatts of Pumped Hydro Storage to Support Solar

The country expands its hydro storage plans as PV capacity soars.
by Jason Deign 
 September 12, 2016

India is embarking on a plan to build out gigawatts of pumped hydro facilities    to help store the massive levels of renewable energy it will be producing within a decade.

S.D. Dubey, chairperson of India’s Central Electricity Authority, last month confirmed plans for 10 gigawatts of pumped hydro storage across the country. The plan will cost 80,000 crore rupees (about $17.2 billion) over the next five to six years according to The Economic Times.

Dubey said pumped hydro storage costs could be a fraction of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. He said the capital costs of the plants would be between 6 and 8 crore rupees ($1.3 million and $1.7 million) per megawatt.

This compares to a per-megawatt capital cost for solar projects between 5 and 6 crore rupees ($1.1 million and $1.3 million). India has a potential for up to 90 gigawatts of pumped hydro storage, said the report.

Although supporting solar is a goal, Indian renewable energy analyst Madhavan Nampoothiri said the pumped hydro reserves would be a boon for the grid in general.

“Considering a target of 175 gigawatts of renewables capacity by 2022, India will need to be ready with all technologies at its disposal to manage the grid, which will have to handle a progressively increasing quantum of intermittent solar and wind energy,” he said.
 


http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/india-to-build-pumped-hydro-storage-for-solar

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 13, 2016, 01:43:10 pm »

pv magazine

Electricity flat rate thanks to integrated solar PV and home storage units

Bavarian storage manufacturer sonnen will offer a free power flat rate to consumers that install the company’s integrated solar PV and home storage systems, sonnen announced in a press release.

The flat rates will be financed with revenues the company receives from offering its customers’ storage capacity in the balancing power market, where prices are higher than in the regular markets. Up until now, sonnen only received permission for the Swiss market, but will nonetheless offer the flat rate to German customers as well, writes pv magazine in an article.

The home systems are connected to the grid and each other in a virtual power plant, thus being able to provide the size and reliability needed for balancing power.

Customers produce about three quarters of the electricity they need themselves and receive the rest externally, writes pv magazine.

http://www.pv-magazine.de/nachrichten/details/beitrag/sonnen-bietet-flatrate-mit-erlsen-aus-primrregelleistung-an_100024328/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 12, 2016, 03:29:38 pm »

Sep. 12, 2016 09:50AM EST

Solar Industry Experiences Record-Breaking Growth
SNIPPET:


The industry is growing faster than ever and here is what else we saw in this SMI report:

•Solar prices fell across all market segments, with declines ranging from 2-7 percent (see Figure 2.3).

•As a whole, the price of solar is 18 percent lower than it was one year ago and 63 percent lower than it was 5 years ago.

•Solar represented 26 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the first half of 2016.

•There are now 1,162,000 individual solar systems installed in the U.S., including more than a million residential systems.

•The utility-scale sector installed more than 1 GW for the third consecutive quarter and will install nearly 10 GW by the end of this year.

•Thanks to strong growth by non-traditional markets like Texas and Utah, the residential sector experienced another record quarter, installing 650 MW.

http://www.ecowatch.com/solar-energy-record-growth-2003130851.html

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