Archive for January 20, 2012

Pilot Program Will Offer Solar Options for All Customers

San Diego Gas & Electric for approval of its new solar proposal called “connected…..to the sun.” The proposal complements rooftop solar and includes two different pilot programs that would give all SDG&E customers options to buy solar power even if they do not own a home, cannot afford a solar investment, or do not have the ability to put photovoltaic panels on their roof. Customers could choose to buy all or some of their energy from solar projects located in SDG&E’s service territory or negotiate directly with a local solar provider.
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Module Prices To Continue to Fall in 2012

As part of its monthly survey, collecting PV module pricing from suppliers, integrators, installers and distributors, IMS Research also identified expectations of how prices will develop throughout the supply chain in January 2012. The survey found that whilst on average distributors expected a decline of just 4%, their customers expected prices to decline by more than double that amount during the month.

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REAP Grant announced for 2012

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation’s critical energy needs. For 2012, USDA has approximately $25.4 million budget authority available to fund REAP activities, which will support at least $12.5 million in grant and approximately $48.5 million in guaranteed loan program level awards. USDA is accepting the following applications:

  • renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until March 30, 2012;
  • renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications on a continuous basis up to June 29, 2012;
  • renewable energy system feasibility study applications through March 30, 2012; and
  • energy audits and renewable energy development assistance applications through February 21, 2012.

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PV Tech Newscast – Jan 20, 2012

The Sunflower: Secret to Solar’s Efficiency Success?

Finding inspiration in the structure of a sunflower, a group of scientists has designed a concentrated solar power plant (CSP) that will require 20 percent less land than existing plants while increasing theamount of sunlight its solar mirrors are able to collect. To read mor eplease follow this link: Sunflower is key to solar

Solar Power is making Science possible in Developing Countries

An innovative project led by a chemistry academic at the University of Southampton is using solar generators to provide IT resources and ‘hands-on’ science for students in developing countries. To read more about this please follow this link: Solar Powered Science

PV Tech Newscast – Jan. 13, 2012

Mortenson Construction releases U.S. solar industry market study

Mortenson Construction today released a new study on the current state of the utility-scale solar industry and the outlook for the future. The report highlights both the significant challenges and promise industry professionals see in solar energy and the ways contractors can most help owners execute successful projects.  It is based on feedback from more than 250 professionals including utilities, developers, independent power producers, financiers, and suppliers. To look at the study please follow this link: Mortenson study pdf

Plastics may help lower cost in PV cells

Plastic materials are being evaluated by several leading research institutions for broadened commercial solar cell applications due to their advantages of significant cost-savings and flexibility. Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells use materials such as glass and plastic to concentrate solar radiation onto small, high-efficiency photovoltaic cells. Full article can be found here: Plastic in Solar

State Announces Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program

In addition to the state government projects, the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program will provide financial assistance to local governments, utility districts and private businesses and organizations in Tennessee for a variety of projects using innovative technology to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Eligible categories include:

· Cleaner Alternative Energy – biomass, geothermal, solar, wind

· Energy Conservation – lighting, HVAC improvements, improved fuel efficiency, insulation, idling minimization

· Air Quality Improvement – reduction in greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, hazardous air pollutants

A total of $2.25 million will be available in the first round of grants. The maximum grant amount per project is $250,000. Grant applications are available on TDEC’s website atwww.tn.gov/environment/energygrants and will be accepted until March 30, 2012. Recipients are expected to be announced by mid-May.