Archive for November 30, 2011

$1 Billion Solar Project Goes Ahead Without DOE Backing

We’ve heard a lot about Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt despite lots of federal subsidies. But on Wednesday, a solar installation company and one of the country’s biggest banks announced a billion-dollar project to put solar systems on the roofs of military housing. And they’re doing it without the kind of federal help Solyndra got.

When SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive came up with a plan to put solar on the rooftops of military housing around the country, he was sure he’d need federal backing to get loans for such a big project.

But after his company and the Department of Energy missed a deadline to get that help, SolarCity and its lender, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, didn’t give up.

Now they’re announcing a deal to install solar systems on up to 120,000 military homes.

“It will be the largest residential deployment of solar in American history,” says Rive.


Phoenix Solar USA Builds 1.4 Megawatt Solar Plant in Tennessee

Phoenix Solar AG (ISIN DE000A0BVU93), a leading photovoltaic system integrator
listed in Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, today announced, that the US subsidiary of the company, Phoenix Solar Inc., built a strategic alliance with Silicon Ranch Corporation to develop and construct solar photovoltaic power plants in Tennessee and the Southeast. The companies said their first 1.4 megawatt project in the city of Pulaski, Tennessee will be the largest privately owned solar installation in the state. Phoenix Solar, with support from Chapel Electric, has begun construction on the Pulaski solar plant. Phoenix Solar will also provide long-term Operation and Maintenance support to monitor and optimize the plant’s ongoing energy production.

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Solar Power Creating Jobs, Boosting Tennessee’s Economy

Tennessee’s state government may not being doing a lot in the way of offeringincentives for its residents and small businesses to install renewable energy systems, but the Volunteer State’s economy is benefiting from growing use of solar power nonetheless.

Tennessee’s Solar Future Looks Bright

A worker passes solar panels at the West Tennessee Solar Farm, which sits on 200 acres of land adjacent to Interstate 40 in Haywood County. (Photo: Lance Murphey)

The president of the Chattanooga, Tenn., company building the West Tennessee Solar Project in Haywood County says Tennessee has a lot of so far unrealized potential for large utility scale solar arrays. And Ben Fischer of Signal Energy calls the economic development potential of the large arrays “essentially manufacturing without a roof.” “Not only has the technology improved, the cost has really come down in just the equipment,” Fischer said. “The installation methods and the ways in which they achieve economies of scale on large-scale projects has made us more cost effective as well.”

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India’s Total Solar Market to Grow From 54 MW in 2010 to more than 9 GW by 2016



Over the next five years, India will become an anchor of global solar demand, installing more than 9 GW between 2011 and 2016, according to a new report, The India Solar Market: Strategy, Players, and Opportunities from GTM Research and BRIDGE TO INDIA. The market’s gigawatt-scale emergence will be spurred by the maturing National Solar Mission (NSM) and a collection of state-level incentives, as well as an influx of expertise from global solar players entering India.

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Solar Power Could Get Boost from New Light Absorption Design

Metal grating developed by Koray Aydin's research team. (Credit: Image courtesy of Northwestern University)

Solar power may be on the rise, but solar cells are only as efficient as the amount of sunlight they collect. Under the direction of a new McCormick professor, researchers have developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology.

Business Models: Creating New Market Opportunities

U.S. electric utilities are participating in a growing number of solar projects with an expanding variety of utility solar business models (USBM). These USBMs can effectively, and often uniquely, align utility interests with policies favoring solar development. Many examples benefit both utility ratepayers and utility shareholders, while helping to further develop solar markets.

Knoxville Mayoral Candidates Stake Environmental Positions at Forum

Rogero said she already has a lifelong personal and political record of being environmentally friendly. Her family has always been environment-oriented, she said, and under her directorship of the city’s Community Development Department, the agency supported a number of green and environmental-friendly projects.One week before election day, Knoxville mayoral hopefuls Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett came to what was billed as a debate on green energy matters.Rogero said that one of the most important steps that can be taken to protect the environment is to establish adequate protection for ridgetops and hillsides.

This site offers an excellent analysis of savings concerning solar power.

Lightwave Solar Website

Solar Intermittency: How Big is the Problem?

Intermittency is one of the major criticisms of solar — the majority of the energy is delivered when the sun is shining brightly, but virtually none is created at night or in substantial cloud cover.  How do solar developers view this issue — does it pose a huge stumbling block to current projects, or is it something that has been effectively managed? I spoke with two gentlemen, Martin Hermann, CEO of 8minutenergy Renewables and Paul Copleman, communications manager at Iberdrola Renewables, to find out more.
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