With the flip of a switch, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) building in Philadelphia today became host to Pennsylvania's largest solar energy system. Able to generate over half-a-million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar electricity annually, the system will power nearly five percent of all of the building's electricity needs.
In California, San Diego and San Jose lead the way in the Golden State's push toward making solar a prevalent source of power throughout the state. But at a smaller scale, there's plenty of variation (and competition) among California municipalities.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc., an innovative electric-car maker, began trading today on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TSLA. At first glance, it may be surprising TSLA finished the day up some 40 percent: the Palo Atlo, California-based company has just one vehicle model currently in production; it has produced a net lost of $290.2 million since its founding in 2003; and there's no guarantee the firm will get out of the red until 2012.
Here at GetSolar, we deal mostly with putting solar panels on or beside buildings. Occasionally, however, we talk about putting solar on other things, like luggage, radios, ipods and iphones, bluetooth headsets, helmets and even summer vacation. This next one, I have to admit, is especially cool and intriguingly practical.
Due to the success of its recent ENERGY STAR appliance promotion, New Jersey's Clean Energy Program will provide additional rebates for the purchase of qualified energy-efficient appliances. This latest offer is good for eligible purchases made between July 1 and August 31 of this year, or while funds last. According to a recent newsletter,
If you're looking for a sign as to how far the solar energy industry has come in recent years, look no further than Gilbert, Arizona, a town in the Phoenix area that's aiming to become known for its solar-powered, energy-efficient communities. Last week, Gilbert became home to the Meritage Green Homes community, the first community in the United States whose standard home is 80 percent more energy efficient than the national average.
Just one day following its ousting from one international competition, Team USA came back to catpure gold in another.
New Jersey's solar energy rebate program is somewhat fickle, to say the least. In recent months, the state's Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) has been switched off, then on, then back off again. Last we heard, the solar rebate was tentatively slated to return at the beginning of September -- but no one knew at what level, and uncertainty abounded.
The French food retailer Casino Group, and its renewable energy subsidiary GreenYellow, have signed another deal with SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA, SPWRB) to buy 20 megawatts (MW) of solar panels from the San Jose, California-based manufacturer. According to the press release, the panels in question are SunPower's E19 solar panels, which are said to offer a world record efficiency of 19 percent.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made a clear statement yesterday: as far as California goes, the electric vehicle (EV) is the future of the automotive industry. And in order to prepare for that not so distant future, the CPUC has approved a roughly two-year pilot project for SDG&E to conduct a pricing study on residential rates for plug-in EV charging.
In Kibera -- often referred to as the largest slum in Africa -- you can find some one million Kenyans living without electricity. In an effort to address this shortage of power, two groups with a single bright idea are working to bring the benefits of solar energy -- and the spirit of the World Cup -- to Kibera's residents.
For Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), over-achievement has become the norm. Beyond being one of the biggest employers in the Sunshine State -- it currently has 10,500 workers -- the Florida utility company regularly exceeds national averages for service reliability. And, thanks to its heavy investment in natural gas plants and nuclear power, the utility's carbon footprint is smaller than many of its coal-dependent peers'.
Life's good for LG, the international electronics company that has had early success in the solar energy industry. The company kicked off its entry to the industry in late 2009 with the completion of a solar-panel manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea, just southeast of Seoul.
A California initiative that seeks to overturn the state's restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions has qualified for the November ballot, via the L.A. Times. The proposed changes were spearheaded by Texas oil firms, Valero Energy and Tesoro Corp. The news, it seems, has made Arnold pretty damn angry:
The state of North Carolina has set a renewable energy standard that requires all of the state's utilities to meet a minimum percentage customers' electricity needs with clean, renewable energy by 2021. Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, is taking the first steps toward meeting this goal, which for investor-owned utilities is 12.5 percent.
A brand-new solar home installation in Escondido, California is showcasing an array of solar energy equipment, including a solar hot water (solar thermal) system, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and SolarEdge Technologies inverters, which have an industry-leading efficiency rate of 97.5 percent. Generally speaking, this means that only 2.5 percent of the energy is lost when converting the direct current (DC), which is generated by PV panels, to alternating current (AC), which is used to power homes.
Following the announcement of a new solar power plant in Wyandot County, Ohio, comes the completion of another solar thin-film installation -- the second the state has seen in as many weeks.
It doesn't take a solar power expert to know that parts of North Africa, like Algeria, get a lot of sunshine. Nor does it take an energy analyst to know that, given its relatively large, dense population, the Europe Union needs a lot of electricity. So, why not make solar power in Africa and sell it in Europe?
Late last week, Juwi Solar, a Colorado-based solar power project developer, announced that it completed a 12.6-megawatt (MW) thin-film solar energy installation on 77 acres of land in Ohio's Wyandot County. The company says the plant is now the largest solar-energy generating facility in the state.
Despite Europe's recent economic turmoil, the continent is the main reason why nine countries are on pace to grow photovoltaic (PV) market sizes over 250 megawatts (MWs) in 2010. In 2009, that figure was six.
Welcome to Monday, everyone. We'll skip right to the chase this morning. Here are today's notable solar energy (and miscellaneous energy) stories:
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA) earned international recognition last week when six of 17 universities competing in Solar Decathlon Europe chose to use the company's high-efficiency solar panels. The solar home-building competition began on Friday and will be held through June 27 in Madrid, Spain.
On June 10, the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sent a letter concerning the fees the federal government will charge solar companies to develop projects on public land. Now, it seems, Uncle Sam is Under Fire.
For the third and final installment of our GRID Alternatives series, Getsolar hit the road and visited a GRID installation site in Oakland, California to gain a better understanding of how the organization is impacting some of California’s low-income communities.
Part two of our GRID Alternatives series focuses on the people behind the mission: the organization’s 4,000 or so volunteers who have gained real-life training while helping complete solar energy installations in low-income communities across California. It is this symbiotic relationship -- between the organization and its volunteers -- that each year lures hundreds of individuals to the call of the organization's mission.
What better place to test the performance of solar panels than sun-soaked New Mexico?
It seems Dover, Delaware will play host to a 10-megawatt (MW) solar energy installation -- one that will be the largest of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region. State and local officials yesterday gathered in Dover City Hall to finalize the agreement, paving the way for construction to begin later this year.
Here it is -- your daily moment of solar power.
If you're planning on heading to northern California's wine country this weekend, be sure to check out Sonoma County's second-annual Solar Energy and Efficiency Fair, to be held this Saturday, June 19 -- which, aptly enough, happens to be National Solar Day. The admission-free event offers an opportunity for solar energy novices to learn the basics of solar technology through workshops and live speaking events featuring industry professionals. If you're a homeowner or business owner, you're sure to come across information to help you decide whether a solar energy system suits your needs. Or, if you're just out to enjoy the nice weather, stop by for food, beverages and live entertainment on the fair's solar-powered stage.
It's increasingly evident that U.S. homebuilders are piling into solar energy for the long haul.
Officials from the Arizona Challenger Space Center announced yesterday that the organization will receive a $50,000 solar energy grant as part of a larger $55.4 million federal stimulus grant given to the Arizona Department of Commerce. The center will use the money for two projects. One will be a 72-panel rooftop solar energy system. The other will be a solar panel exhibit within the center that will show live time energy savings.
The Vote Solar Initiative, a non-profit, industry advocacy organization, recently released a report detailing the possible impact of the New York Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2010 (aka the "Solar Jobs Act"), which is currently pending in the state legislature. Among the report's notable bits:
The Boston Red Sox added a new power hitter to the middle of their lineup today, bringing on board an "Official Energy Conservation Partner." As part of the agreement, Solar Blue, a Florida-based company, will help boost the energy efficiency of the franchise's operations.
Welcome to Monday, everyone. (Insert collective groan here.) We've got a few solar energy-related stories for you this morning, to help is you ease into the week...
In March, we introduced you all to GRID Alternatives, the non-profit, California-based organization that provides free solar photovoltaic (PV) home energy systems to low-income communities. In order to do so, GRID Alternatives combines California's alternative energy incentives with its own fundraising dollars.
If you're a resident of Delaware and have installed solar panels on your home in the last two years, your long wait for a solar rebate check will soon end, according to the state's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
A rather interesting development is taking shape on New York's Coney Island, the southern most portion of the Big Apple's Brooklyn Borough. It has nothing to do with the Astroland Amusement Park or the annual Mermaid Parade. Instead, it's solar power that's stealing the spotlight from Sea Gate to Manhattan Beach.
Lately, the solar energy news rundowns have been light on the sarcasm and side comments... What do you think? Do you miss the sass? Should we continue to focus on simply relaying solar news stories? Feedback is welcomed.
Here's an exciting press release for your reading pleasure.
In 2008, a wave of fortune crashed upon Solar Sailor as the innovative shipbuilder sold one if its ferries to Suntech Power, a leading China-based manufacturer of solar panels. The deal is a main reason why 2010 will be the company's first profitable year since it opened for business in 1999.
In case you missed the news out of the Sunshine State at the end of last week, Bluechip Energy broke ground on the first stage of the Rinehart Solar Farm project in Central Florida.
Here it is, your (brief and slightly belated) moment of solar power...
Back in January, we relayed news that Apple had in 2008 filed a patent for solar-powered handheld devices. Now, ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2010, it seems the Web is abuzz again with talk of solar iPhones and solar iPods and -- dare I say it -- solar iPads.
Collaboration between the Sanyo North American Corp. in San Diego, California and the Jacoby School of Engineering at the University of California at San Diego could make southern California even more of a hotbed for solar innovation.
Well ahead of the German solar subsidy cuts slated for July 1, German demand for solar modules from powerhouses Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd. and First Solar has been high—high enough to have prompted the former to add 1 gigawatt in production capacity in Shanghai over the following three years, and high enough to have induced the latter to announce its inability to meet demand this year.
The International Medical Corps (IMC) received added support this week when Google.org donated 3,000 solar chargers worth $216,000 to the IMC's international relief efforts.
If you're strolling through New York City's Times Square during the evening, you might see a giant billboard blacked-out amid thousands of other illuminated signs.
Beazer Homes, a large U.S. homebuilder, will this weekend introduce its new line of energy-efficient solar homes in Phoenix, Arizona.
Happy Friday, everyone. Here it is, your moment of solar power...
With California's 2010 deadline for state utilities to meet 20 percent of electricity demands fast approaching, and the 2016 goal of 125 megawatts' worth of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations not far behind, one utility is working to see that its obligations are met.
At the end of 2009, the electronics-manufacturing company Panasonic bought 50.2 percent of Sanyo, its biggest rival in the industry at the time.
Kyocera (NYSE:KYO), the Japan-based maker of electronics and solar power equipment, today announced it started making solar panels in San Diego, California. The announcement comes after news in March that Kyocera would open a U.S.-based plant.
SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), has activated a 300,000-square-foot, 1.1-megawatt (MW) solar energy system atop a Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) fulfillment center in La Mirada, California. It marks the 32nd SunEdison solar power system to be hosted by the office supplies retailer.
CalRENEW-1, a large California solar power installation, was today dedicated in the city of Mendota, in Fresno County. As the first utility-scale solar energy project to connect to California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) transmission grid, the project is the first of its kind. Many more like it are expected to follow.
A little over a year ago, we reported that Oregon lawmakers were developing a pilot feed-in tariff program, following the passage of House Bill 3039. Now, countless meetings later, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has finally issued rules on the new initiative. Assuming you don't want to read the hundred or so pages of background and draft rules, we've set out to provide a quick overview of the most pressing questions.
Here it is, your random amalgam of solar energy news and information for this Wednesday...
In anticipation of a rise in home solar energy system installations in several southern California cities, MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California is offering a reduced rate for students interested in its solar photovoltaic (PV) training course.
Self-Help Enterprises, a California-based organization, is working to install solar panels on 22 new homes in the state's central valley.