Archive for April 23, 2012

EPRI Knoxville Testing Communication Protocols for the Smart Grid

The following article was originally published Solar Novus Today website: and is important to the advancement of the integration of new energy sources to the future electrical power system under development (Stephen Levy)

: Four Advanced Energy 260kW’s inverters were installed at this 1 MW ground mount PV Project in Knoxville, Tennessee. Photo courtesy Advanced Energy Industries

The term “smart grid” means many things to many people, but for solar and utility engineers, the effort around perfecting solar smart grid tools has focused on refining the grid-capable properties of inverters and storage components. Communications protocols are being drafted and harmonized, and component manufacturers and utilities are entering a new phase of testing these protocols with the grid’s next-generation hardware.
“We’ve gone as far as we can on paper, as far as we can in a committee room,” says Brian Seal, technical executive at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). “Now we need field results, tangible results from field demonstrations that would shed light on how well these paper efforts actually work.”


Buy an Electric Car, Get Rooftop Solar for Under $10,000

Ford has partnered with SunPower, one of the nation’s largest solar companies, to offer Focus Electric buyers discounts on home solar installation. Which makes for a intuitive pitch: Buy an EV, get a discount on a solar array that will power the car for under $10,000.

The discount SunPower offers varies from state to state, depending largely on where there are tax incentives for clean energy. But the company guarantees that the bill will come to less than $10K, before taxes, for the array and installation. Then your car will be running on 100% clean power no matter where you live.

The cost might seem a little steep, but look at it this way: The average American driver guzzles 558 gallons per year, costing him/her $2,100 when gas is $3.80 per gallon. Using a home solar array to power your EV, you’ll break even in 5 years—and the solar system is guaranteed for 25. Plus, when you’re not driving as much, you’ll be saving on general electricity costs.

For more info on this great deal, please click here

Wells Fargo Giving 30 Billion to “Green” the Economy

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today an enhanced commitment to environmental leadership that includes the following goals to be achieved by 2020: $30 billion in loans and investments in support of a “greener” economy, $100 million in community grants for grassroots environmental initiatives, and a 40% increase in the company’s energy efficiency.

“Our commitment to the environment reflects our belief that Wells Fargo’s responsibility as a corporation goes beyond its mission of helping customers succeed financially. We also have a major role to play in promoting the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life of the communities we serve,” said Chairman, President and CEO John Stumpf. “By bringing our talents and resources to these efforts, we seek to work jointly with businesses and communities in protecting and preserving this planet and its precious resources for future generations.”
To read more about this click here