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3@3 on Solar PV: POWER-GEN, Energy Imbalance Market, Solar Trade Case
Today's topics include highlights from POWER-GEN, the largest show for the power generation industry, the energy imbalance market, Azeb Asnake, the solar trade case and more.   [...]
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Can Utility-Scale Solar PV Help with Grid Reliability?
As soon as solar started being introduced to the grid, operators and engineers raised concerns about solar resources causing instability. Is it possible, however, for utility-scale solar PV plants to provide grid reliability services? Mahesh Morjaria, vice president of PV systems for First Solar, says yes.   [...]
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The Solar Trade Case: It's Gonna Be President Trump's Decision!
Not much new surfaced at today's public hearing on the Section 201 trade case. Rather it was a reaffirmation by both sides of what they had previously stated in the two public hearings at the International Trade Commission.  The hearings started off with Governor McMaster of South Carolina and Senator Heinrich of New Mexico testifying against the imposition of any tariffs. There were no elected officials testifying on behalf of Suniva/Solar World.  [...]
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Looking for New Solar Markets? Think Water.
So if solar won’t be growing in the United States, where should developers look for new markets? One place is in disaster relief. Yung Wong, engineering manager with WorldWater and Solar Technologies explained that when disaster hits, the first thing that the Red Cross and the military do is fly in water bottles. He said that the cost to transport water comes out to about $1.85 per gallon whereas his company can provide drinking water for just a few cents per gallon though a mobile self-sustai [...]
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Clean Energy Leaders Fear Brutal Impact on Renewable Growth As US Tax Reform Takes Shape
In the early morning hours of Dec 2, lawmakers in the U.S. Senate passed their version of a tax reform bill. Unlike the version of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate bill makes no changes to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and the Production Tax Credit (PTC), on which wind and solar energy developers rely to help finance projects. However, the bill makes changes to the way corporations can use tax equity, in a provision called BEAT (base erosion and anti-abuse tax), [...]
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850 MW Solar Thermal Plant Will Support Oil Extraction in California
A new 850-MW solar thermal project will help oil and gas producer Aera Energy power its operations at the Belridge oilfield in Southern California. The project will use solar steam and solar electricity for the oilfield, reducing natural gas currently used at the site. Steam is injected into a reservoir in the heavy oil production process called thermal enhanced oil recovery. [...]
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Will Solar Panels Clean Themselves in the Future?
The accumulation of dirt on solar panels has been proven to reduce their efficiency significantly, placing a heavy burden on owners to keep the panels clean in order to ensure project viability. U.K.-based Opus Materials Technologies says it has received funding that will help it validate a new coating that will allow solar panels to clean themselves. [...]
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Is This Funding the Boost Solar Needs in Afghanistan?
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $44.76 million grant to develop Afghanistan's first 20 megawatts (MW) on-grid solar photovoltaic plant and boost the country's renewable energy generation and supply.  [...]
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As Mexican Solar Auction Prices Scrape Bottom, Will Quality be Threatened?
The latest round of solar auctions in Mexico yielded an unheard-of average price of US $20.57 per MW, including a $17.70 per MW bid by Enel, a coup for the government. However, as developers and EPCs scramble to under-bid one another in the current market, the price eventually will erode the quality that is deliverable. Indeed, this auction round may have hit the crossing point suggests Enrique Roig, the director of the Solar Steel business of Gonvarri Steel Services, based in Madrid. [...]
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China on Pace for Record Solar Capacity as Forecasts Jump
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80 percent. About 54 gigawatts will be put in place this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said Monday, raising a  forecast of more than 30 gigawatts made in July. That amount of additional capacity would likely surpass all the solar energy generated in Japan in 2017. [...]
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Why the Bifurcation of an Industry’s Supply and Demand is Bad for Everyone
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.  In the solar industry, strong markets are alike in that they have incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive growth and adoption but also a fair amount of political and economic risk and every weak or collapsing market is alike in that it no longer has incentives, subsidies and/or mandates to drive it and its political and/or economic risk has become a reality. A weak market [...]
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Spread Solar for the Holidays: Four Gift Giving Ideas for 2017
It’s that time of year again: holidays! Until 2018 begins, we try to set aside some extra time for family, eat delicious meals together, exchange gifts and generally close out the year with good wishes and good intentions for the next year. While Renewable Energy World is a business-to-business publication for the global renewable energy industry, we occasionally get press releases and notifications about interesting inventions that are designed for the general public. And as the holidays appr [...]
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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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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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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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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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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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COSEIA Fights Special Solar Rates Proposed by Black Hills Energy 
Black Hills Energy has proposed rates that would increase fixed charges for all residential customers and put net metered solar customers in a separate rate class that would have to pay even more. COSEIA filed testimony opposing the  proposed rates, which increase fixed charges by 54 percent for net metered customers, claiming they  are discriminatory and seek to undermine solar generation in Colorado. However, the Office of Consumer Counsel, which receives tax dollars to represent ratepayer [...]
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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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