Opening ceremony keynotes speeches from Intersolar 2016 featuring Kevin de Leon of the California Senate, Bernadette del Chiarro of CALSEIA, Lynn Jurich CEO of Sunrun, Ali Zaidi from the OMB and others with a message that solar powered electrcity is mainstream, and more affordable than ever for more Americans. Lynn Jurich, Co-Founder and CEO of SunRun, a residential solar power installation and finance company said to not bet against America.
The folks over at Clean Power Finance sent us this press release earlier today indicating an expansion of their residential solar financing product to new markets. This is indeed good news as residential solar financing is an important enabler for making solar more affordable for more customers. With low money down or no money down down options becoming more widely available, and with more choice than ever before, potential solar customers can now get clean, long term energy right from their rooftop, without big upfront costs.
What better place to host the biggest solar energy installation at a U.S. national park than Yosemite? Tucked in a region that gets more annual sunshine than just about anywhere in the country, the California park boasts nearly perfect conditions for solar power.
Officials several days ago inaugurated the 672-kilowatt (kW) solar array, which comprises a 500-kW parking canopy for employees and visitors; a 100-kW rooftop solar array atop a warehouse; and a 72-kW wall-mounted installation (pictured above).
As we reported over a year ago, it was originally speculated that the "solar panels are expected to generate electricity at a levelized cost of about 13 cents per kilowatt hour, reducing annual electricity costs by about $104,000." According to The Business Journal, however, those annual energy costs savings are actually projected to be closer to $50,000 -- equivalent to around 12 percent of the park's annual electricity needs.
All 2,800 solar panels were supplied by
Each year, Larry Sherwood of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) releases an annual report summarizing recent trends in the U.S. solar energy market. And guess what? (Get excited...)
His latest report, U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010, was released just a couple of days ago.
In it, you'll read about the phenomenal growth witnessed by the solar industry in 2010. Main highlights include:
- The capacity of photovoltaic (PV) installations completed in 2010 doubled compared to the similar figure in 2009.
- Much of this gain was due to growth in utility-scale solar PV projects,
That's according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which together recently released their quarterly report showing that two-thirds more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was added in the first quarter of this year than during Q1 of 2010. At the start of April, the cumulative size of all grid-tied solar installations stood at 2.85 gigawatts -- enough oomph to power about 600,000 U.S. homes.
Nearly half of all solar-panel systems were installed in sunny California, with about one-sixth in New Jersey, the country's second-biggest solar market. The rest were installed in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, New York and other states.
Beyond the growing number of solar installations, the report
The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company this morning unveiled a new solar charging station (below), which will power electric vehicles parked at its facility in Plainville, CT. Earlier in the week, it announced the launch of FlexEfficiency 50, a gas-fired power plant designed largely to complement solar, wind and other renewable-energy technologies. And (also this week) the company made known its intention to buy FMC Tech, a smart grid start-up company based in Ireland.
Whew. As if that weren't enough,
We commonly think of this globalized economy of ours in terms of American companies shifting production overseas. It turns out the reverse occurs, too, even if at a much smaller scale.
Suntech Power, a leading China-based manufacturer of solar panels, said it has hired 30 workers at its Arizona plant in a push to expand its U.S. operations. To reach a goal of producing about 15,000 solar panels each month, the company will also add a third production shift to run the plant 24 hours a day.
"With growing demand for our U.S.-manufactured panels, we're excited to increase our production capacity and growth in Arizona's solar industry," Suntech's Arizona Production Manager Mike Starr said in a statement.
Suntech opened its Goodyear, Arizona facility
Georgia Power isn't exactly known for its use of renewable energy resources. In fact, given that the utility meets about 75 percent of its power supply with coal, you could plausibly argue the Southern Company subsidiary is known for the opposite.
Nevertheless, more solar energy projects in Georgia may soon be on their way. As relayed by PV Tech, Georgia Power is looking for about one megawatt (MW) worth of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be built within its service territory:
Earlier in the week I took a look at which brands of solar panels have been top choices for residential solar energy systems in California. We found that three manufacturers -- SunPower, Sharp Solar and BP Solar -- have accounted for about half of all residential solar energy systems, judging from the number of rebate applications received under California's main solar incentive program.
The data reviewed on Tuesday go all the way back to 2006, when that incentive program -- the California Solar Initiative -- was launched. I suggested at the end of my previous post that a peek at more recent numbers only would reveal "a rise in the number of installations from manufacturers like Suntech Power, Canadian Solar and Trina Solar relative to makers like Evergreen Solar and SolarWorld."
Well, here's what the numbers look like since 2010:
This morning, I got to tinkering around with some numbers from California Solar Statistics, a program of the state's Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission. What did I find?
Well, beyond a wealth of details on system size, average installed cost and California solar incentives, I verified that most solar home energy systems in the state use name-brand panels from large, well established manufacturers.
Here's a breakdown of all California residential photovoltaic (PV) systems, by solar panel manufacturer: