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US Grid Energy Storage: Tesla Builds Largest Plant

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, January 31 2017 under: Energy Storage, solar

Tesla has built the worlds largets grid storage facility in Los Angeles, California. The system is built using the Tesla Powerpack commercial energy storage units, comprising 396 packs using 16,000 individual cells each.  The facitlity was built for Southern California Edison utility and purportedly is 20 MW 80 MW-hours in size.

  

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Solar Industry Pulls for Extension of Federal Solar Energy Grant

Leaders of the U.S. solar industry will have one last shot at convincing the current Congress to extend a key federal solar incentive before a new Republican-controlled congress takes over at the beginning of 2011. Most indications are that the solar grant option -- which has for the past two years provided cash grants worth 30 percent of commercial solar energy system costs -- will sunset at the end of 2010, as scheduled.

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Regulators Approve New Solar Energy Plan in New Mexico

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, September 2 2010 under: utility, New Mexico Solar, PNM, Utility Solar, solar

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has approved a new energy plan for PNM, the largest utility company in the state.

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Low cost solar: IKEA's LED desk lamp

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, June 1 2009 under: LED, Solar Homes, Sunnan, IKEA, lamp, Solar Technology, Cost and Financing, solar

If you're at all familiar with our site, you know that installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is a serious investment. System costs are offset considerably by a 30-percent federal renewable energy credit -- plus any rebates, credits or other incentives available in your state. Like any investment, solar energy can offer meaningful upside potential. In other words, in the right conditions, solar panels offer a reasonable payback period and a solid return on investment. In the wrong conditions, however, solar may not yet make the most financial sense. (Which doesn't necessarily mean that a project isn't worth doing. There are many legitimate non-financial reasons to get solar.) Part of what we do here at GetSolar is to help commercial and residential consumers figure out if -- and why -- solar energy makes sense for them.

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Solar panels: Measuring cost

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 18 2009 under: pricing, panels, levelized cost, Cost and Financing, solar

Updated for 2016: With talk of "continued recovery" and "glimmers of hope" in the U.S. economy, there's a distinct possibility that consumers may actually continue to spending money (gasp!). And with a 30-percent federal renewable energy tax credit* Extended for 2016 through 2020-- plus a number of new, state-sponsored solar incentive programs either in place or soon on their way -- what better time to consider installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system?

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APS pilot program may offer free solar panels

We all know there's no such thing as a free lunch. But if Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) gets its way, there may be such a thing as free solar panels. Arizona's largest electricity utility is working on plans to offer 200 Flagstaff customers a discounted electric rate, over time, in exchange for installing free photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.

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More on Texas solar rebates

Texas -- which already leads the country in wind generation -- is jockeying to become a leader in solar power, too. As Margaret outlined last week, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would increase the subsidies available for solar installations across the state. The bill, which has been forwarded to the House for approval, proposes $500 million in solar incentives and would include rebates, which would be initially set as follows:

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Get to Know an Installer: Sustainable Energy Solutions

This is the first installment of our new Web series, "Get to Know an Installer." We’re going to introduce you to the people who really make the solar industry tick. We also hope to show you how, exactly, our partner installers work with customers to help them meet their energy goals. So without further ado, here's a profile of Paul Fleury and Greg White, two hard-working guys who are trying to bring affordable sustainable energy to greater Charleston, South Carolina.

Spend about a minute on the phone with Paul Fleury, and you'll realize you're speaking with someone who loves what he does for a living. The affable Maryland native left his previous job in the automobile industry to co-found Sustainable Energy Solutions, a Charleston, South Carolina-based company that specializes in installing solar thermal systems. Now Fleury and his partner, Greg White, spend their days helping homeowners understand the benefits of using the sun to heat their domestic water.

When asked what they enjoy most about their new jobs, Fleury chuckled. "No longer having a boss." He then went on, " We enjoy contributing to the community in a way that really helps people. We're trying to help move Charleston forward to becoming a sustainable city. We want people to know that they can reduce their energy use and save money without giving up their lifestyle."

Fleury and White, who both attended the University of Georgia, met in 2004, several years after they graduated. In the interim, White had gained considerable experience with structural wiring and smart monitors for residential applications.

On site in Charleston, South Carolina

Following some preliminary conversations, the two decided to get serious about starting their own company. They spent four months putting together a business plan. The decision to install solar thermal systems was "a natural choice," according to Fleury. He noted that such systems are relatively affordable compared to solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, and offer a solid return on investment. "We saw solar thermal as one of the best ways to help homeowners save money and energy, right off the bat," Fleury noted.

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White Paper #4: Five Things Homeowners Should Know About Solar

Posted by Adam Sewall In Thursday, April 30 2009 under: white paper, Solar Homes, homes, residential, solar

This Thursday, Margaret breaks it down for us with a great introduction to residential solar. Here's the white paper (PDF) to read and share with your friends: "Getting Solar: 5 Things Homeowners Should Know About Solar Energy."

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Virginia sets aside $39 million for renewables

We often remark that the right mix of state and federal incentives -- like tax credits, rebates and renewable energy credit (REC) schemes -- can make a HUGE difference in determining if solar PV is a cost-effective solution for individuals and businesses. These types of incentives help either, (1) by lowering upfront costs, (as is the case with rebates and credits), or (2) by guaranteeing that the PV system can generate respectable future cash flows (as is the case with REC purchase contracts, feed in tariffs, or FITs, and production-based incentives). Details aside, such incentives are key. In those states that offer scant support for solar energy, you're likely looking at a low (perhaps even negative) ROI and a looong payback period. We're talking, like, two decades here folks...

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