Archive for March 17, 2013
Kemery Company, our newest business member, is having an all-day training program beginning at 8 am and continuing through lunch (included in the price) until 4:30. The location of this training will be the Jubilee Banquet Hall, 6700 jubilee Center Way, Knoxville TN 37912. The cost of the all day training is $90.00 per person. Two or more individuals registering together reduces the price of each reservation to $80. Attendees will get a binder with important information for installing PV systems. Reservations are limited so call Kemery Company at 865-933-6261 or go to the following website which contains more information on the training and the link to the reservation form.
U.S. photovoltaic installations in 2012 increased 76 percent over 2011 numbers to 3,313 MW, with an estimated market value of $11.5 billion, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s “U.S. Solar Market Insight 2012 Year In Review.”
Cumulative PV capacity operating at the end of 2012 was 7,221 MW. The U.S. accounted for 11 percent of all global PV installations in 2012. The report predicts the U.S. PV market will grow 30 percent in 2013 with 4.3 GW of new PV installations anticipated during 2013 across all market segments.
Installed prices dropped 27 percent last year and at least 13 percent in each market segment (residential, non-residential and utility).
California led the U.S. in 2011 and 2012 with 1,033 PV installations in 2012, compared to 577 in 2011. Arizona moved up one spot this year to No. 2 with 710 installations in 2012. New Jersey dropped from second in 2011 to third last year with 415 installations in 2012, Nevada jumped from tenth to fourth with 198 installations and North Carolina rounded out the top five with 132 installations.
German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar park at its Tennessee assembly plant. The 33-acre installation next to the Chattanooga plant has a capacity to produce more than 13 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That’s the equivalent of the amount of energy used by 1,200 area homes each year, according to Volkswagen.
“We are proud to power up the biggest solar park of any car manufacturer in North America today,” Frank Fischer, the chairman and CEO of VW’s Chattanooga operations, plant said in a release.
The new solar park will meet about 12.5 percent of the plant’s electricity needs during full production, and will power all of its operations during off-peak periods. Volkswagen will consume all of the electricity produced by the park, unlike a more common arrangement where electricity is sold back to utilities.
The rising cost of construction of nuclear power plants, combined with the allure of cheap gas, has lawmakers in Georgia and Florida asking why ratepayers should be on the hook for expensive, over-budget, past-due projects, the Associated Press reports.
In Georgia, a coalition of tea party conservatives and consumer advocates have banded together in support of a proposal to cut into Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) profits to penalize the regulated monopoly for going over budget. “Conservatives do not believe in incentivizing failure,” a tea party activist recently told lawmakers, according to the AP. Currently Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co., earns about 11 percent in profits when investing its own money in power projects, reports the AP.
Reacting to the recent closure of the Crystal River nuclear plant, Florida lawmakers are considering proposals to prevent utilities from collecting consumer fees before electricity is ever produced on a project. “A lot of people are paying for something that they’ll never see any return on their money,” said a Republican legislator behind one proposal, according to the AP. A similar Democratic proposal is on the table as well.
Plant owner Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) stands to earn up to $50 million in profits on the $500 million collected from customers to pay for upgrades that ended up causing still greater damage to the facility and leading to its closure. Changes in the fee collection law could affect construction of the proposed Levy County nuclear plant, for which ratepayers have already paid $1.5 billion. Under current law, Duke could earn up to $150 million in profit even if the project is never completed.