During the past 5 years, NY has increased it’s energy use of solar by nearly 800%.
As solar has begun to become one of the cheapest sources of new energy, the decision for consumers to switch energy sources is not just a green or environmental decision but rather a fiscally conservative one. This article in Futurism provides more details.
In a recent online article (click here for article) Governor Cuomo boasts of New York’s explosive solar growth in large thanks to both public and private sector access to capital.
“According to the governor’s office, the megawatts of solar power installed throughout the state increased by 795 percent over the last five years.”
The continued investment in renewable energy is making electricity more affordable for New Yorkers and and also helping build a more resilient and versatile energy system for the State.Read More
Envision America 2017 has just announced this year’s participants in its Smart City initiative. The following cities have been selected to participate in a workshop hosted in Charlotte, NC from March 6-8, 2017, they include: Jackson, MS; San Antonio, TX; Wichita, KS; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; Detroit, MI; Chula Vista, CA; Greensboro, NC; Kansas City, MO; and, Long Beach, CA.
Envision America issues a challenge to America’s cities to become smarter by accelerating deployment of innovative technologies that tackle energy, water, waste, and air challenges. Cities were selected for participation in the program on the basis of several criteria, including goals, existing cross-sector collaborations, and a commitment to developing innovative approaches foundational to a Smart City. Over the course of the three-day workshop, representatives will collaborate with industry, academic experts and entrepreneurs to develop innovative strategies to help implement “smart” projects in their city.
Other cities, universities and non profits are invited to attend and gain valuable insights around Smart City projects and solutions.
Envision Charlotte will be co-hosting Envision America with the Data Science Initiative (DSI) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The (DSI) is an industry-university-state partnership, led by the College of Computing and Informatics, the Belk College of Business, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Executive Education, and includes collaborative partners across the university and the region. As cities strive to be smarter with their resources and manage them more efficiently, sustainable data is rapidly becoming the cornerstone of these efforts. As a result, partnering with the local university and having the students engage with the participating cities is a unique and valuable resource.
Launched in 2016, Envision America is building on the success of its inaugural workshop. Last January, the first cohort of cities learned what drives the success of smart initiatives from city leaders, utility partners and private sector allies. Representatives from Charlotte, Cambridge, Greenville, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), San Diego, and Spokane discovered that success also requires cross-sector collaboration. Envision America is excited to sustain the momentum that began with last year’s workshop, when participants returned home with a renewed sense of leadership and a drive to innovate.
“Envision was a great opportunity for the City of Pittsburgh to develop some strategic thinking around our approach to Smart Cities,” Pittsburgh’s Chief Resiliency Officer Grant Ervin said of last year’s workshop. “Providing the space to meet with leading cities and cutting edge companies was a great network building and learning opportunity.”
Envision America is a program under Envision Charlotte, which seeks to make the city’s urban core a living laboratory to foster innovation and first-of-their kind programs that improve sustainability, resilience, economic competitiveness and quality of life, all of which can be measured, scaled and replicated in communities outside of the urban core.Read More
NV Energy and Apple announced today they have reached an agreement to build 200 megawatts of additional solar energy in Nevada by early 2019. The projects will support Apple’s renewable energy needs for its Reno data center.
In the coming weeks, NV Energy will file an application with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the solar power plant. The project will bring NV Energy’s total to more than 529 megawatts of new solar resources in construction in Nevada or under review for approval. This is in addition to the 491 megawatts of universal solar resources in Nevada currently serving NV Energy customers. Apple will also dedicate up to 5 megawatts of power to NV Energy’s future subscription solar program for residential and commercial customers.
“We are proud to play a role in helping Apple meet their energy needs with Nevada’s abundant solar resource,” said Paul Caudill, president and CEO of NV Energy. “In partnership with our customers, we continue to develop a more balanced fuel mix in a way that benefits the local economy by providing hundreds of jobs for Nevadans, particularly those in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 357 and 396, and advances the state’s policy goals.”
“Investing in innovative clean energy sources is vital to Apple’s commitment to reaching, and maintaining, 100 percent renewable energy across all our operations,” said Apple’s vice president for environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson. “Our partnership with NV Energy helps assure our customers their iMessages, FaceTime video chats and Siri inquiries are powered by clean energy, and supports efforts to offer the choice of green energy to Nevada residents and businesses.”
Currently, NV Energy customers are served by more than 1,900 megawatts of renewable resources in Nevada, including 19 geothermal energy resources, 13 solar energy facilities, six hydro plants, one large wind farm and a variety of biomass, methane and other renewable energy projects.
NV Energy, Inc., provides a wide range of energy services to 1.3 million customers throughout Nevada and more than 40 million tourists annually. NV Energy is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, do business as NV Energy. NV Energy is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Information about NV Energy is available on the company’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via nvenergy.com.Read More
PSEG Solar Source today announced it has acquired two North Carolina solar facilities from BayWa r.e., with a total capacity of 47 MWs-dc, representing a total investment of $74.6 million. The PSEG Cork Oak Solar Energy Center and the PSEG Sunflower Solar Energy Center are under construction and scheduled to begin operation later this year. The two facilities have a 10-year power purchase agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Co. and are located about 90 miles northeast of Raleigh in Halifax, N.C. These are the second and third projects PSEG Solar Source has developed in collaboration with BayWa r.e..
“It’s a pleasure to work with a top-notch organization like BayWa r.e. on these projects, which will provide North Carolina with more safe, clean and reliable energy,” said Diana Drysdale, president of PSEG Solar Source. “These are important transactions for us, as we continue to expand our solar portfolio across the country.”
BayWa r.e. developed the project and is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for both projects and will operate the facilities for PSEG Solar Source when each goes into operation. Almost 149,000 poly-crystalline Trina Solar panels will be installed at the two facilities, which will use SMA inverters. “BayWa r.e. is delighted to complete another transaction with PSEG Solar Source. We look forward to growing our relationship with PSEG Solar Source over the coming months and years,” said Jam Attari, CEO of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects.
PSEG Solar Source now has 21 utility-scale solar facilities in 13 states, including five in North Carolina. The company currently has 326 MWs in operation and another 70 MWs under construction.
Canadian Solar Inc. one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy has reached commercial operation of the adjacent 100 MWac/131 MWp Astoria and 75 MWac/100 MWp Astoria 2 solar projects located in Kern County, California.
“With the help of our trusted partners, the Astoria projects will power more than 40,000 homes with clean energy,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “These projects, which began operating in late 2016, are part of Recurrent Energy’s milestone 1.2 GW 2016 project portfolio.”
GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, provided a tax equity investment for both projects. Financing for the Astoria project was announced in November 2015. A financing announcement for the Astoria 2 facility followed in January 2016. Both projects employ GE’s state-of-the-art solar inverter technology.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Recurrent Energy on the Astoria projects and see them through commercial operation. As we continue to invest over $1 billion annually in the U.S. renewable energy market, well-developed assets such as the Astoria projects are critical to our success,” said Kevin Walsh, managing director and head of Renewables at GE Energy Financial Services.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company will buy electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the Astoria project under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). Electricity and associated RECs from the Astoria 2 project will be purchased by the Southern California Public Power Authority and four of its members (Cities of Azusa, Banning, Colton and Vernon), the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority, and the Cities of Corona, Lodi, Moreno Valley and Rancho Cucamonga.Read More
Suntech, one of the world’s leading solar modules manufacturers recently announced that its highest mass production conversion efficiency of multicrystalline silicon solar cell has reached 20%.
In recent years, Wuxi Suntech devotes to the technical innovation to improve the conversion efficiency of solar cells. On April 2015, its high-efficiency monocrystalline solar module “HyPro” module was launched to the market and on June 2016, the highest cell conversion efficiency reached 21.3%. In the meantime, the Hydrogenation technology which was co-developed by Wuxi Suntech and Australia UNSW can decrease the LID (light induced degradation) rate of the multicrystalline silicon solar cells to zero.
According to the average conversion efficiency of the mass production of multicrystalline silicon PERC solar cells, 72 cells module will reach 330W, which is 15W higher than the normal 315W module. Wuxi Suntech will continue to develop high performance products and technology to further improve the conversion efficiency of solar cells and modules.Read More
Sunnova, a market leader in residential solar services, today announced the expansion of its EZ Own Loan, allowing homeowners to own their solar power system with no out-of-pocket expenses for down payments or maintenance.
“The EZ Own Loan allows Sunnova to provide more homeowners with the option to choose solar and lower their electricity costs,” said Jordan Fruge, Chief Marketing Officer at Sunnova. “The loan offers customers the combined benefits of ownership and a power purchase agreement, providing the best of both options.”
With the EZ Own Loan, customers can choose solar and start lowering their electricity bills with zero money down and low monthly payments. Consumers retain ownership over their solar system while Sunnova provides a comprehensive warranty package, including system maintenance, repairs and 24/7 monitoring to ensure stable and reliable power production.
Sunnova offers easy transfer services in the event of a sale of the home, making it a more flexible and convenient option compared to competing products on the market. Additionally, EZ Own customers can prepay balances, in total or partially, at any time without penalty or fees, and may also be eligible for the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
“The solar revolution is here, and we want everyone to have the chance to join in,” said Sunnova’s Chief Executive Officer William J. (John) Berger. “The EZ Own Loan helps make that possible for many homeowners by providing peace of mind and more control over their electricity.”
The EZ Own Loan will be offered through Sunnova’s network of local partners. This program is currently available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, South Carolina and Texas, with Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SERCs) offerings in Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts.Read More
A California-based solar energy company called Sunflare is offering solar panels it hopes will help innovate the industry. After years of research and development, Sunflare says it’s the first company to successfully mass produced light, flexible, and affordable copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels that can be installed with ease on practically any surface.
At long last, the cost of generating solar energy is now equal to that of fossil fuels, according to a December report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).Read More
The United States solar market just shattered all previous quarterly solar photovoltaic (PV) installation records. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) Q4 2016 U.S. Solar Market Insight report, 4,143 megawatts (MW) of solar PV were installed in the U.S. in the third quarter of the year, a rate of one MW every 32 minutes. That pace is even faster today, as the fourth quarter will surpass this past quarter’s historic total.
The report points to an “unprecedented rate of project completion” in the utility-scale segment as a key growth driver. In fact, the utility-scale segment represented 77 percent of solar PV installed in the third quarter of the year. GTM Research anticipates that a massive 4.8 gigawatts (GW) of utility PV projects will come on-line in the fourth quarter of the year – that’s more than was installed across the entire utility PV segment in all of 2015.
“Driven by a large pipeline of utility PV projects initially procured under the assumption of a 2016 federal ITC expiration, the third quarter of 2016 represents the first phase of this massive wave of project completion – a trend that will continue well into the first half of 2017,” said Cory Honeyman, associate director of U.S. solar at GTM Research.
The non-residential segment posted its second largest quarter ever. With 375 MW installed, the segment grew 15 percent over the second quarter of the year and 37 percent annually. Part of this growth is attributed to a community solar pipeline that is finally beginning to materialize, a segment that accounted for a record 20 percent of the non-residential PV market in Q3 2016.
This past quarter marks the sixth consecutive quarter in which more than a half GW of residential PV was installed; however, the segment is experiencing a slowdown from its peak growth quarters. The residential PV segment grew just 2 percent year-over-year and actually fell 10 percent from last quarter’s total. The report cites changes in the sales cycles in mature state markets, like California, and challenges posed by rate design reform, such as the elimination of net metering in Nevada, as reasons for the shift.
A mere three years ago, the United States eclipsed 10 cumulative GW of PV installed. By the end of 2016, GTM Research forecasts the United States to install 14.1 GW this year alone, up 88 percent over 2015’s total.
Primarily driven by utility PV, the U.S. installed 4,143 MWdc of solar PV in Q3 2016, increasing 99% over Q2 2016 and 191% over Q3 2015. This marks the largest quarter ever for the U.S. solar industry.
On average, a new megawatt of solar PV capacity came on-line every 32 minutes in Q3 2016.
Between Q1 and Q3 2016, solar accounted for 39% of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the U.S, ranking second only to natural gas as the largest source of new capacity additions.
Through Q3 2016, the U.S. solar PV market has already surpassed its record total from 2015, driven by 14 states that installed more than 100 MWdc between Q1 and Q3 2016.
In Q3 2016, California became the first state ever to add more than 1 GWdc of utility PV in a single quarter.
For only the second time in five years, the residential PV market fell quarter-over-quarter, primarily due to a slowdown in major state markets, especially California.
In Q3 2016, community solar added more capacity than the segment installed in all of 2015, playing a key role in supporting the second-largest quarter ever for the non-residential PV market.
GTM Research forecasts that 14.1 GWdc of new PV installations will come on-line in 2016, up 88% over 2015. Utility PV is expected to account for over 70% of that new capacity.