Archive for May 13, 2013

Why is SunPower Doing So Well While Others Fail?

SLevy: Every solar investor wants to maximize its return on investment. In my judgement the reason for Sun Power’s success is they provide a product with the greatest return on investment over the long term. What I mean by long term is tens of years and beyond. Their panels produce the highest output power per area of any other manufacturer. We know that the life of the premiere monocrystalline panels is beyond 40 years. Using 40 years in computing the Levelized Cost of Energy results in more realistic results in cost per kilowatt-hour.

PV energy provider (PVEP) SunPower has revealed that demand exceeded its ability to supply product and services in the first quarter of this year.

The PVEP reported that it had exceeded revenue, gross margin and earnings forecast for the first quarter of 2013, while generating significant free cash flow of US$216 million, including lease financing, which was sold out in the quarter.

SunPower noted that due to several massive PV power plant projects in full swing in the US, strong demand for lease financing rooftop business in the US and ongoing PV module partnership success in Japan that was set to continue throughout the year, it was sold out for the year.
Management noted that its project development business was on course to provide US$3.5 billion in revenue and approximately US$1 billion in gross margin from 2013 through 2016.
Importantly, SunPower said that during the first quarter, the company was awarded 65MW of rooftop projects in France during a recent tender process, which had been supported by majority company owner, Total.

With demand increasing, SunPower said that it increased cell production in the quarter to 208MW, up 36% from the previous quarter. SunPower recognised 172MW of sales, while it shipped 186MW. Total module production capacity remained at 1.2GW. Full capacity was expected to be reached in the second half of the year.

original article

The level of carbon dioxide reached a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle, and the level will dip below 400 this summer as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. But experts say that will be a brief reprieve — the moment is approaching when no measurement of the ambient air anywhere on earth, in any season, will produce a reading below 400.

“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a unit of Columbia University.

original article

REAP funding of $70 million annually through fiscal-year 2018

Solar PV for farming

note from SLevy: At this moment TVA is no longer accepting applications for its Green Partners program for this year. The alternative for installers is to:
1. look for work out of state
2. look for niche applications which could include: agriculture, highway signs, corrosion protection, outdoor displays, medical equipment support, mobile emergency power support, military installations and developers who want to sell solar assisted homes without TVA support.

U.S. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, introduced energy legislation on Monday to be included in the 2013 Farm Bill.

According to Franken, the Rural Energy Investment Act will help farmers, ranchers and rural communities by encouraging the growth of agricultural energy technologies, including biofuels and renewable energies.

The proposal includes the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which Franken included in the 2012 Farm Bill that passed the Senate. Franken says the program helps agriculture producers and businesses in rural areas invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects so they can cut electricity bills and earn additional income by selling the energy they produce.

original article

Solar farm project launches in Kingston, TN

PHOTO BY BOB FOWLER

KINGSTON — This city is getting into the solar power business, and it’s not costing taxpayers a dime, Mayor Troy Beets said.

In a cooperative venture with a Nashville company, 200 solar panels are being installed behind the city’s water treatment plant on Highway 58 South, the mayor said after a brief ceremony Tuesday at the facility.

Another 800 panels will be put in place in July on a 1.38-acre tract of city-owned land off James Ferry Road near the plant.

“Our only skin in the game is the property,” Beets said.

Combined, the 1,000 panels should generate the equivalent of enough electrical power to operate the water treatment plant, which has about a $6,000-a-month electric bill.

Full Article

New Music City Center Solar Project

LightWave installs 211 kW Solar on New Music Center

Construction on the $585 million facility began in January 2010 and was completed on April 30, 2013. The Music City Center totals 2.1 million square feet, double the space available in the current convention center. Already more than 100 meetings and 800,000 room nights have been booked.

Project completion will be celebrated on May 19 and 20 at the Music City Center Grand Opening with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Celebration includes open house tours, free street party and concert featuring Sheryl Crow, The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, Fisk Jubilee Singers, and more. Major Dean will give his State of Metro address on Monday, May 20 at 10 a.m.

LightWave Solar recently completed the installation of a 211 kilo-watt (kW) solar system for the Music City Center, and it is the largest solar installation in Nashville.

Installed within the guitar shaped structure on the roof, the system consists of 845 solar panels and four inverters weighing 1,800 pounds each. The system will generate approx. 271,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough electricity to power the electric vehicle charging stations and lighting for the building. Over 25 years, the clean electricity will offset nearly 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 920 cars off the road.

original release