The new 150-megawatt Mesquite 3 solar array is located in Arizona, but the electricity it generates will be sent to California’s electric grid and will power roughly one-third of the electricity needs of 14 naval installations in the state.
There’s definitely a value to storing solar energy in batteries, and then discharging that energy to meet grid and customer needs. Measuring that value — and finding a way to share it between battery-equipped solar customers and their utilities — is a trickier matter.
In December, Congress unexpectedly extended a tax credit set to expire at the end of 2016. Yet instead of energizing the industry, the extension has hurt growth, as solar companies no longer rush to meet a deadline.
Between 2010 and 2012, the first five utility scale plants in the US came into being with the support of the DOE loan program. The latest update from the Energy Department, which came out on October 14, puts the figure at 45 additional projects for a grand total of 50.
DOE has announced a new grant program solicitation for approximately $7 million in funding to support the development of sensors and modeling that allow utilities to more effectively integrate distributed clean energy sources into their power grids.
For Amy Ginsberg, the financial incentives of going solar were hard to beat. The Pasadena woman received a trio of rebates, including $2,500 off her property tax bill from Anne Arundel County, $1,000 from the state and a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government.
The nonprofit group VA SUN is helping Virginians across the state convert to solar power. They’re using a co-op model that brings residents together to bargain for competitive prices and advocate for clean energy. Virginia Currents producer Catherine Komp has more.
Sunlight is free, but the gear that transforms it into electricity is pricey. For 134 low-income D.C. households this year, though, the Solar Advantage Plus Program will make a photovoltaic system as affordable as the rays that power it.
Less dirty energy, more clean energy. These are the fundamental drivers of the Clean Power Plan’s push to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and while that’s a potential boon to wind and solar power, it could also provide a boost to technologies that can help integrate that renewable energy into the grid as a means to its end.
Renewable energy investment set a new world record in 2015, with emerging economies led by China topping the investment of developed nations for the first time, according to a United Nations-backed report unveiled Thursday.
By Amit Ronen
The solar energy world is buzzing about community solar. The concept, which also goes by the now interchangeable designations of shared solar and solar gardens, has even attracted mainstream attention. An Associated Press headline last March declared “New concept in solar energy poised to catch on across US”, and similar articles have recently graced publications such as the Washington Post and USA Today.
Many solar supporters say the loss or reduction of the credit will be a ‘cliff’ for the industry. But others say the credit’s impact is overstated and solar will continue to grow.
The five-year investment tax credit (ITC) extension was a strong victory for solar, but is not completely safe from being dismantled by a future US president, according to Amit Ronen, director of the George Washington University Solar Institute. Ronen was involved with some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ push for the recent ITC extension and authored the 2008 8-year ITC extension when he worked for Senator Cantwell.
Solar power has been criticized for helping the wealthy and punishing the poor. Some groups — largely, it should be noted, utilities and advocacy groups funded by fossil fuel interests — say only affluent people can afford solar, leaving less-affluent people to pay more than their share for the grid.
A growing number of electric industry leaders agree that it’s only a matter of time before renewable energy resources dominate their grid systems.
Backing large-scale solar farms in locales like California, Mongolia, China and Nevada may have just been a warm up for Apple’s foray into clean energy.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest conservative group to start spreading anti-solar messages. In an email sent to supporters on Wednesday, the chamber attacks net metering, a policy in place in many states that pays people with solar panels on their roofs for the electricity they feed into the grid. The group also posted a video on YouTube last week making its anti-net metering case. This is fairly new territory for the chamber, according to energy regulation experts.
Last July, Georgia Power launched a rooftop solar consultation service and a separate solar installation business. Together, the new offerings were designed to benefit the utility, consumers and other solar companies all at the same time.
Leading investment bank Morgan Stanley believes the Australian energy market is seriously underestimating the grow of solar and battery storage, and says the technology will be installed at rates four times quicker than the incumbent energy industry expects.
It’s a statistic that could startle an entire industry: Cost effective distributed energy resources (DERs) are expected to displace 320 GW of centralized generation from 2014-2023, according to Navigant Research.
The California utility that owns the state’s last operating nuclear power plant at Diablo Canyon announced it plans to close the facility within the next decade, signaling the end of the nuclear era in the Golden State – and with it, some green advocates hope, the start of a new era of marked by surging solar, wind and other renewable energy resources.
The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.