The Living Light Solar House, designed by more than 200 UTK students, has been donated by the University of Tennessee to the Oak Ridge Children’s Museum. The home is 750 square feet and is a zero-energy structure, providing an example of what energy efficient housing could look like in the future. Originally produced to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, the house will now serve as an educational and inspirational tool for children and visitors to the museum.
Archive for Solar
SAN MATEO—In a recent move by SolarCity, the company will attempt to bring solar energy into the hands of a much larger portion of the population. Currently, photovoltaic solar panel systems are out of reach for many people because of their prices, forcing them to continue to rely on energy produced using fossil fuels. However, SolarCity’s goal is to change this, producing solar energy grid components on such a large scale that their prices will become low enough so as to become more economically viable than fossil fuels. In order to achieve this goal, SolarCity has purchased Silevo, a solar panel manufacturing firm, which SolarCity will expand, opening a new manufacturing plant in New York, and potentially more in the future. SolarCity will target a true “Gigafactory” to produce more than a gigawatt of solar power capability. “What we are trying to address is not the lay of the land today, where there are indeed too many suppliers, most of whom are producing relatively low photonic efficiency solar cells at uncompelling costs, but how we see the future developing,” the company’s blog post read. “Without decisive action to lay the groundwork today, the massive volume of affordable, high efficiency panels needed for unsubsidized solar power to outcompete fossil fuel grid power simply will not be there when it is needed.”
Silevo is known for its ‘tunneling junction’ solar cell structure. Combining the benefits of increased carrier generation, back of the cell contacts, matrix redundant cell connections, and eliminating bussbar current collection will create the next generation of silicon solar cells and panels that will reduce the cost of the panel by increasing the overall efficiency. The target is rooftop solar which is the kernel of SolarCity’s business.
With TVA sales on the down side, it would be a great coup if TVA could entice SolarCity to build a plant here in Tennessee. One gigawatt sized factory would create a $200 million yearly income for TVA and employ hundreds of workers with high paying manufacturing jobs.
KNOXVILLE, TENN. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is studying the value of electricity produced from small, dispersed sites, such as solar, wind or small gas turbine installations.
According to a news release from the utility, the initiative will develop methods to set the value of distributed generation to the electric grid and the value of the grid to the small energy producer. TVA will undertake the study with the help of local power companies and other stakeholders.
Solar energy will be the first resource investigated. The process is expected to last through the end of 2014. Public comments will be accepted and stakeholder group information will be posted at http://www.tva.gov/dgiv .
Note: Stakeholder group meeting should be available to the public as utube, webinar or as published on the TVA site..
Three Rivers Market in Knoxville, TN is going solar! Help them celebrate the installation of their new 50 kW solar installation on Saturday, June 21st between 12:00 to 3:00. There will be free Solar Solstice T-Shirts and mini-cupcakes from Magpies Bakery, tours of the installation, and great deals on products made with solar energy! The install features Stion solar panels (Made in the USA!), Power-One inverters and DPW racking. Thanks to ARiES Energy for making the install happen! More Details
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ASES Sixtieth Anniversary Membership Discount Offer
Our birthday gift to you: Save money on your membership or renewal
To celebrate our 60th anniversary, the American Solar Energy Society today launches its 2014 drive for new membership. Our goal: double ASES membership by this time next year.
To kick off the campaign, ASES is pleased to offer one month of discounts on new memberships and membership renewals, as our gift to members and ASES newsletter subscribers.
This is an opportunity to save money on
New memberships for colleagues and friends
An upgrade to Professional, Business or Life membership
Your membership renewal (if your membership will expire before the end of 2014)
Remember: Professional Members are entitled to a 25 percent discount on registration at SOLAR 2014, the 43rd National Solar Conference in San Francisco, July 6-10. Don’t delay: Join or upgrade now and save on Conference registration!
This offer ends July 10, 2014.
Just click here. Then choose your level of membership and enter the appropriate discount code:
Basic Membership (usually $39)
This month $30, save 23 percent: discount code ASES60th-Basic
Professional Membership (usually $89)
This month $60, save 32 percent: code ASES60th-Pro
Business Membership (usually $300)
This month $240, save 20 percent: code ASES60th-Business
Life Membership (usually $1200)
This month $900, save 25 percent: code ASES60th-Life
Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of renewable energy professionals and advocates. ASES is the United States Section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Our mission is to speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.
ASES publishes the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, and the newsletters Solar@Work (for renewable energy professionals) and Solar Citizen (for renewable energy advocates).
We organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference, and publish its Proceedings.
We lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world.
ASES brings the renewable energy communities together with:
Regional chapters in 41 states and the District of Columbia
7 Student Chapters at colleges across the country
9 Technical Divisions, with academic and engineering members from all disciplines, to serve as a clearing house for basic research across all renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies
In answer to the question What new technology will it take, Dr. Swanson replied.
“Solar panels now account for less than half of the cost of a solar panel system. For example, installers spend a lot of time and money designing each rooftop solar system. They need to have a certain number of panels in a row, all getting the same amount of sunlight. A bunch of companies are automating the process, some with the help of satellites. One of the most exciting things is microinverters [electronics that control solar panel power output] that allow you to stick solar panels anywhere on a roof—it’s almost plug and play.
To almost everyone’s surprise, silicon is still chugging along. The new developments are pretty amazing. Panasonic just announced a record solar cell efficiency. We need to do things like keep improving efficiency with new solar cell architectures, like the one Panasonic used. There are three basic new cell structures, and all of them are nearing or are already in production. We need to make thinner silicon wafers, improve ways of growing crystalline silicon. We need to switch to frameless solar panels because the cost of the aluminum frame hasn’t been going down much. We need to get rid of silver electrical contacts and replace them with cheaper copper. It’s tricky, but it can be done.”
President Obama’s new plan to fight climate change depends heavily on states’ devising individual approaches to meeting goals. The regulation unveiled on Monday offers the states flexibility to pick from a menu of policy options. Intended to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 — represented Mr. Obama’s boldest step in using his executive authority to halt the warming of the planet. In order to comply with the new national rule, states can, among other actions, shut down coal plants, install wind and solar power and energy-efficiency technology, or join the California or Northeastern cap-and-trade programs. E.P.A. officials said states could even choose to comply by enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution.
It will be interesting to see what the Tennessee state legislature plans to do, if anything, to comply with the EPA order. It will be up to the supramajority of state Republicans to decide on how to implement the reduction in carbon emissions. Ask your legislator why Tennessee does not have a master energy plan for the state. Might get some interesting answers.
Boulder, Colo., June 2, 2014 — The American Solar Energy Society is pleased to announce the appointment of its new executive director, Carly Rixham. Rixham is a renewable energy professional with a diverse background in solar, biofuels, education and wastewater management.Rixham served as a volunteer on several ASES membership and fundraising projects, establishing a close relationship with the staff and executive committee. She is passionate about nonprofit organizational development, and plans to take ASES into the next generation, reaffirming the organizations role as a leader in the renewable energy community.
As solar energy gains success in the market place, Rixham is interested in pushing the solar agenda on a grassroots level. Dedicated to connecting science with the greater community of solar advocates, she is eager to support local chapters to help get real people involved in solar. She envisions a stronger connection with universities, as a way to recruit a new generation of professionals in renewable energy.
Knoxville, TN– Today, Tuesday June 3, in front of children playing in Market Square’s fountains, volunteers and supporters from Organizing for Action Tennessee (OFA-TN), the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club, and Oak Ridge’s Citizens’ Climate Coalition are holding a community action event, If Not Now, When?, as part of a nationwide Day of Action to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants, which will help curb the dangerous carbon pollution causing climate change and threatening our health. While climate change deniers still ignore the basic science of climate change and try to block progress, President Obama is proposing what the New York Times called
“the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”
Scheduled speaker Rose Williams said,
“A child born this year will be 36 in 2050, a benchmark year that scientists mention when they warn us about the consequences of inaction. You realize that it’s not the distant future when you think about it that way. That’s all we want, is for our children to have the same opportunities that we have. That’s why we are staging our event with the water-play fountain in the background where children are having fun, children who count on us to leave them a healthy planet.”
“Climate change is real, it is now, and it is dangerous to our health, our economy, and our communities,”
“The good news is that we have the solutions we need to keep the lights on, create jobs, and protect our children. The President’s plan is an essential step,” Williams said.