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The Big Embrace: Electric Utilities Accept Wind and Solar as Reliable Sources, Plan for the Long Haul
Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that the Clean Power Plan is being repealed, the attractive cost of renewables and improvements in battery storage technology mean that wind- and solar-generated power are here to stay. [...]
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Massachusetts Opens RFP for the First 100 MW of “Smart” Solar
On November 13, utilities in Massachusetts announced that they would begin to accept bids pursuant to the new “Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target or SMART” program, which seeks to ultimately add up to 1,600 MW of solar capacity. The SMART program was voted into law in April and explained in great detail by Renewable Energy World contributor John Farrell in this post. Farrell likens the program to the California solar incentive and Germany’s long-expired Feed-in Tariffs, which kick starte [...]
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Putting Solar+Storage to Work for Africa’s Farmers
BayWa r.e. renewables subsidiary successfully commissioned its first project in Southern Africa, a combined solar PV plant and battery system in the Zambian province of Chisamba in October. [...]
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Solar Companies Scramble to Find a Critical Raw Material
Solar manufacturers are being battered by higher costs and smaller margins after an unexpected shortage of a critical raw material. Prices of polysilicon, the main component of photovoltaic cells, spiked as much as 35 percent in the past four months after environmental regulators in China shut down several factories. [...]
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The Smartest Money for C&I Solar Is Coming from Inside the House
Investment banks aren’t interested, and neighborhood banks just don’t understand. So where is someone who has a great commercial solar project supposed to get funding? [...]
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Listen Up: Home Backup Power System Primer
This week, we review the spectrum of backup power solutions from generators to home battery backup power systems connected to solar. I’ve been installing home battery backup power systems on and off for 20 years.  [...]
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Solar Installers Are Getting Closer to Profitability
There’s long been a Catch-22 about residential solar: despite staggering market demand, it’s been hard to make money doing it—until now. Sunrun Inc. said Wednesday that it’s cash-flow positive. And Blackstone Group LP-backed Vivint Solar Inc. expects to hit that mark next year. [...]
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Telsa, Green Charge Help PG&E Learn How to Control Aggregated DERs
Over the summer about 33 customers in Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) territory started a new journey with their utility. PG&E is hoping that through this and other pilot projects, it will learn how responsive batteries, solar PV and smart inverters are when they receive a signal from the utility.  [...]
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Listen Up: Designing a Reliable Electric Grid
Over the past few months we’ve experienced a solar eclipse, several devastating hurricanes, another under-construction nuclear plant shutdown, and a backwards-looking Department of Energy Grid Reliability study.   [...]
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Musk Says Solar Roof Tiles Market Is Going to Be a 'Behemoth'
Since unveiling its solar roof tile designs a year ago, Tesla has been testing the product, which CEO Elon Musk says is going to be a significant part of the company’s business down the road. [...]
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This Is How One Firm Is Promising a Solar Performance Boost
Solar entrepreneur Bill Gross, the CEO of Edisun Microgrids, has successfully penetrated the commercial and industrial solar market segment with dual-axis trackers, promising a 30 percent performance boost for a cost increase of only 10 percent compared with a standard fixed-tilt PV installation, at optimal U.S. locations, he says. [...]
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Commissioners Recommend Solar Tariffs and Quotas in Trade Case
In a hearing held today, October 31, the U.S. International Trade Commissioners announced their recommended tariffs, quotas and other recommendations for solar modules imported into the United States from anywhere else in the world.  [...]
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What Happens When Solar Installers Get Frustrated with Loan Options?
Listen to Blake Jones and Aaron James discuss solar loans and the decisions consumers are making about financing today, new financing options and services, and the question of transparency in the solar loans market. [...]
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Supply Update: Yes, Depending on the Country, There Is a Module Shortage
The solar PV industry is at a high degree of capacity utilization in 2017 driven by strong demand in China for PV deployment. Globally from 86 GWp to 92 GWp is on track to be installed in 2017. Currently the industry has 92 GWp of manufacturing capacity and at the beginning of the year there was 3 GWp of inventory on the supply and demand sides.  [...]
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Tesla Is Planning $340 Million Securitization With Solar Contracts
Tesla Inc. is preparing to bundle about $340 million of solar power purchase agreements and leases into a bond offering. [...]
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Getting Serious about Solar for Disaster Response and Recovery
The prospect of using solar power on a temporary basis, including for disaster response and recovery, is not new, of course. Indeed, Hurricane Hugo in 1988 is believed to be the first time that solar power was used for relief in the aftermath of a natural disaster.  [...]
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New Connection Technology Is Cutting Cost of Solar Installation
Utility customers in Ohio and Nebraska are among those taking advantage of a new and simpler technique for connecting solar arrays and other renewable energy systems to the grid. [...]
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How to Address Over-Generation of Solar Energy
In 2013, the California Independent System Operator published a chart that is now commonplace in conversations about large-scale deployment of solar PV power. The duck curve—named after its resemblance to a duck—shows the difference in electricity demand and the amount of available solar energy throughout the day.  [...]
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SunPower Obtains $53 Million Financing for Residential Solar
SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. panel manufacturer, arranged more than $53 million in financing for residential-solar installations. [...]
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First Look at Sono Motors' Solar and Battery-Powered Electric Car
Considering the reputation of crowdfunding and also the state of the EV startup scene, which hasn't delivered in a while, it's pleasantly surprising to see some actual progress with a new electric car concept. After a successful crowdfunding effort, German startup Sono Motors has unveiled the Sion, a battery-electric car partly powered by solar power with onboard solar cells, earlier this year. [...]
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Solar Wants to Help Fix a Power-Grid Problem It Helped Create
Big solar farms helped create a power-grid predicament in California. And now they’re offering to help solve it. Solar panels have proliferated in the Golden State, flooding the grid with power supplies in the middle of the day when the sun’s out — and then quickly vanishing after sunset.  [...]
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Egypt Draws $1.8B To Develop 1.4 Gigawatts of Solar Capacity
Egypt’s fledgling solar industry attracted $1.8 billion of investment, largely from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. The EBRD is backing 16 photovoltaic projects, and the IFC is financing 13 in the sunny North African nation with a combined capacity of 1.4 gigawatts. They are writing loans for $380 million and $203 million, respectively, and have mobilized the rest from co-investors. [...]
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The Effect of Natural Disasters on Electricity Prices
Solar leasing promoters have long claimed that electricity costs will keep rising, but we haven’t see this happening – yet.  Actually, almost all of the standard generation sources are benefiting from lower costs – natural gas is low, coal is low, and nuclear is… well it’s not dramatically more expensive than it has been. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that prices are going to go up. [...]
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All PV Predictions Were Wrong
At the Intersolar Middle East Conference, which took place on September 26 and 27 in Dubai, 86 international speakers presented past, present and future solar PV market developments. A total of 408 attendees made the Intersolar conference in Dubai the biggest standalone PV conference in the region. [...]
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