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Solar Energy 2016: Breakout Year. EIA

According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) 2016 is poised to be a break out year for solar energy in the United States. Their report forecasts that solar will be the number one form of new electricity generation capacity, beating out coal, oil, hydro, nuclear, wind and even natural gas. These figures are based on utility scale solar only, and do not even include residential or commercial rooftop solar!

  

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Impressive Solar Tracker Video in the Atacama of Chile

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, February 10 2016 under: Solar Costs, Solar Tracking, SunEdison, Utility Solar

Great video of two SunEdison utility scale power plants using the NEXTracker system in the Atacama of northern Chile. The Crucero Project of 71 MWp using 236,320 solar panels, and the Javiera Project of 69 MWp using 231,074 panels.  High efficiency utility scale tracking systems can increase electricity production by an impressive 40% over a fixed-mount array. At utility sizes like this, that is a huge iincrease in output. The video shows the shear scale of this type of project, and the depth of design and engineering that goes into clean energy production.

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Can Big Solar and Wildlife Co-Exist? Maybe, Says Arizona Conservation Group

Generally speaking, solar energy installations come in two flavors: small- and medium-scale systems that are installed atop roofs and in empty lots (broadly referred to a "distributed generation"); and large, utility-scale solar power plants that sit on acres and acres of land.

A common critique of distributed generation is that, thanks to trees and other obstructions, not every roof is good for solar panels; a common critique of utility solar is that the plants take up lots of land and can disrupt surrounding habitats.

Case in point vis-à-vis the latter: a new assessment released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management

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Really, Really Big Solar Power Project Counts Google Among Its Backers

The Ivanpah solar power plant is a work in progress along a stretch of California desert just west of the Nevada border.

Earlier this week, Google announced it will invest $168 million in the 370-megawatt (MW) project, which relies on solar thermal technology that's sometimes informally called the "power tower" (pictured left). This announcement comes after the Internet search company last week made known its $5 million investment in a Germany-based solar energy facility.

Unlike photovoltaic (PV) systems, which convert the sun's rays directly into electricity,

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California Utility Lays out Vision for Future Smart Grid

While the California officials have been working overtime to approve solar power plants in time to meet a statewide renewable energy goal, its utility companies are faced with a slightly different task: How do we incorporate all of that renewable energy it our electric grid?

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What Does Utility Solar Mean for You?

We hear it all the time: "A new solar energy plant has been built." Or, "A local utility company has entered into a solar power purchase agreement." Even, "More solar energy will be added to the electric grid." But the bottom line is, how does any of this affect how much you're going to have to pay for solar energy?

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TEP to Allow Customers to Buy Directly from New Solar Array

Earlier this week, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) -- the utility service provider for nearly 400,000 customers in southern Arizona -- completed a new 1.6-megawatt (MW) solar installation at the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park in southeast Tucson. Today, the utility is using its new solar source as an opportunity to offer its customers a new way to purchase solar power.

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California Utility Signs Solar Power Contracts, Faces More Opposition

Tuesday brought good news for California in terms of meeting a 2020 goal of getting a third of the state's electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind.

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Big Solar Energy Plant To Be Built Atop Landfill in Western Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts is preparing for its next big solar energy plant. This after the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) -- which serves over 200,000 commercial and residential electric utility customers in the Bay State -- yesterday announced its plan to build a 4.2-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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Cost of Solar Power Debated in California's San Joaquin Valley

Last week, we featured an on-going discussion about solar costs in Florida, where lawmakers are considering adding a small surcharge on monthly electric bills to boost the amount of renewable energy deployed in the state. Today, we switch coasts to northern California's San Joaquin Valley, where utility companies and renewable energy development firms are racing to meet the state's renewable energy mandate while at the same time butting heads over the cost of renewable power.

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