Archive for March 12, 2012

Germany, China, US Could Install Record Amount of PV in 2012

Despite subsidy cuts and an early estimation that the 2012 year would be a slow decline in the amount of installed PV, this study foresees 2012 to have more installed PV than 2011. This is great news for the industry, with most of the installations in 2012 happening in Germany, China, and the United States. To read the full article click here.

What Is the Best PV Panel for Your Roof?

Reporter Herman Trabish recently talked to several installers that compared efficiency and price of some of the top solar panel used on the market today. This information can be very helpful when determining which panels are right for your house and your energy needs. It is important to weigh the cost, efficiency, and other factors such as installation to get the correct system.The full article can be found here.

New Utility Tactic to Avoid the Carpetbaggers

Got the latest Photon Magazine, Issue 3, and came across an article on page 33 that caught my attention. Steve Ivey, Nashville Music songwriter, producer, has initiated a 30 MW solar farm in Social Circle Georgia. The information that caught my attention is Georgia Power has scheduled a start date for the connection to it’s system in June 2015. If the system is on line any sooner, Georgia Power will pay a reduced rate! Georgia Power had initiated a procurement initiative to bring on line 50 MW of solar offering a 20 year contract. Ivey approached the Georgia Public Service Commission to develop a solar farm on his property. Here is a factoid: the cost of the project is $90 million or $3 per watt. Solar Ranch and Phoenix Solar provided Ivey with assistance in executing the Power Purchase Agreement with Georgia Power, then Silicon Ranch acquired Ivey’s project. Good solar ranching to Matt Kisber and former Governor Bredesen.

Bingaman Brings Back Clean Energy Standard

After several unsuccessful attempts in recent years to pass a renewable energy standard (RES), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is resuscitating efforts that many assumed were dead in an election year.

The Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, introduced today by Bingaman, amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act to include a federal clean energy standard (CES).
The legislation – co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Mark Udall, D-Colo.; Al Franken; D-Minn.; Chris Coons, D-Del.; John Kerry, D-Mass.; Shelton Whitehouse, D-R.I.; and Tom Udall, D-N.M. – is designed to encourage zero- and low-emissions energy development and innovation across the country.


Randy Velker: Tariffs would cloud solar’s future

You don’t need a solar-powered crystal ball to know what these huge tariffs would mean for the industry. China would retaliate against American-made solar products. Prices would rise on solar components of all kinds, whether manufactured in the U.S., China or other countries. Sales of solar energy systems would decline. Businesses would downsize. Workers would lose their jobs.
Why would new tariffs mean less growth? Because the solar industry relies on steadily falling prices. With the price of solar energy falling by about 30 percent over the past year, the U.S. solar industry added some 7,000 new jobs, for a total of more than 100,000 employees. That’s a growth rate of about 6.8 percent — almost 10 times as much as the meager 0.7 percent employment growth rate in the entire economy. Over the year ahead, the solar industry is expected to add another 24,000 jobs.


A LEED Platinum First For Chattanooga Airport

Chattanooga Airport’s new energy-efficient, 9,000-square-foot corporate flight center terminal facility, which was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification, making it the first aviation terminal in the world to achieve this level of certification. The airport recently completed the first phase of a 3 MW solar power project, installing a 1 MW array to help power airport operations, and the terminal facility continues that build out with almost 4,000 more solar panels, installed just south of the terminal.