Friday, September 18, 2020

K-12 Schools Increasingly Turning to Solar for Savings


By Matthew Mercure

Since 2014, K-12 schools have seen a 139% increase in the amount of solar installed, according to a new report from clean energy nonprofit Generation180, in partnership with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The report finds that 7,332 schools nationwide utilize solar power, representing 5.5% of all K-12 public and private schools in the U.S. Over the last five years, the number of schools with solar increased by 81%, and now 5.3 million students attend a school with solar.  The top five states for solar on schools – California, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts and Indiana – helped drive this growth.

“Solar is absolutely attainable for all schools – regardless of how sunny or wealthy it is where you live,” says Wendy Philleo, executive director of Generation180. “Too few schools realize that solar is something they can take advantage of to save money and benefit students today.” 

For the rest of the story visit: https://k-12solarforsavings

Friday, September 11, 2020

Utility-Scale Solar Remains Resilient Despite Pandemic


By Michael Bates

The U.S. solar market installed 3.5 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in Q2, a drop of 6% from Q1 installations. At the same time, utility-scale solar remained resilient despite the COVID-19 pandemic, representing 71% of all new solar capacity brought online in Q2, according to recently released U.S. Solar Market Insight Q3 2020 report.

The report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie, notes that the residential and non-residential segments saw a significant slowdown in the quarter. Installations were down 23% quarter over quarter in the residential segment, and 12% quarter over quarter in the non-residential sector, due to restrictions and shelter-in-place orders imposed to curb the pandemic.

“The growth we see in this report underscores the resilience of the solar industry as we deal with COVID work stoppages, a struggling economy, harmful trade policy and an uncertain tax environment,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “Tens of thousands of our workers have been laid off or furloughed amid this crisis, and SEIA remains firm in our commitment to fight for equitable policy that allows the solar industry to compete and grow our workforce.”

For the rest of the story visit: https:UtilitySolarStrongDespitePandemic

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Sonnen Brings Virtual Power Plants to California Apartment Complexes

 Fresno apartment complex Heron Pointe is a test case for multifamily solar-battery investments. (Credit: Soleil Energy/sonnen)

By Jeff St. John

Multifamily housing is a hard nut to crack for solar and battery developers. Sonnen and Wasatch Group say that bundling the value of solar and storage for tenants, property owners, outside investors, utilities and grid operators can make it work. Now, one year after launching their first project in Utah, they’re bringing the model to California. 

On Thursday, the Shell-owned German home battery provider and the Utah-based real estate company announced plans to direct $130 million of investment to bring 60 megawatt-hours of energy storage to multifamily solar-battery projects across the Golden State over the next few years. 

Their first $19.7 million project at the Heron Pointe apartment community in Fresno, Calif. will feature about 4,800 solar panels and 417 units equipped with sonnen ecoLinx battery systems, said Ryan Peterson, president of Wasatch Energy Group. It’s capable of generating up to 1.85 megawatts and storing up to 8.3 megawatt-hours of energy, according to Peterson.

For the rest of the story visit: https://www.SonnenPowerPlantsCAApartments

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Portland General Electric Jumps Into Virtual Power Plant Business

 Gearing up: The pilot will help pave the road for PGE's ongoing grid modernization plans.

By Julian Spector

Portland General Electric, the largest utility in Oregon, is jumping into the cutting-edge business of turning home batteries into grid resources.

The company announced this week that it has received approval from regulators to link up 525 homes with solar-storage systems into a controllable fleet, often referred to as a virtual power plant. The five-year pilot will study how to optimize the use of these batteries for the grid, while ensuring the customers get what they want out of participating. 

The fleet of small batteries will only add up to 4 megawatts. But it could lay the groundwork for expansion under PGE’s ongoing grid modernization plan, which envisions around 200 megawatts of “distributed flexibility” to balance supply and demand.

“This is part of our overall efforts to really understand distributed resources on our system,” said Andy Macklin, director of the utility's Smart Cities & Grid Products divisions. “We’re looking at a decarbonized future. As we add renewables to our system aggressively, we need a flexible distribution system where customers are excited to bring some of their flexibility to the system to help balance those renewables.”

For the rest of the story visit: https://PortlandGeneralElectricVirtualPower

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Enel Reveals Plan to Add 1GW of Batteries to US Renewables Fleet by 2022

 By Julian Spector

Enel announced a dramatic scale-up of its U.S. energy storage ambitions on Tuesday, saying it will add 1 gigawatt of storage capacity to its renewables fleet by 2022.

That's a huge jump from late 2019, when the Italian utilities group and renewables powerhouse pledged to build another 14.1 gigawatts of renewable power capacity globally by 2022 through its Enel Green Power arm, along with 300 megawatts of energy storage from its Enel X unit.

While Enel X focuses on smaller, customer-sited batteries to help businesses with demand charges, backup power and other needs, the new 1-gigawatt commitment applies to Enel’s utility-scale renewables development business. And it kicks off in Texas, which has long lagged in energy storage development but recently has started to heat up.

“North America is very much at the forefront of Enel’s plans to roll out storage with its renewable generation fleet,” said Ryan Prescott, Enel Green Power’s head of growth strategy and energy storage development, in an interview Monday.

For the rest of the story visit: https://Enel1GWBatteries

Friday, August 14, 2020

What Other Countries Can Learn From Australia’s Roaring Rooftop Solar Market

 Lots of sun, high power prices, and the abundance of single-family homes have driven Australia's residential solar boom.

By Jason Deign

Policymakers looking to speed up renewable energy deployment have a best-practice case study to look to: Australia is rolling out renewables 10 times faster than the global average, offering lessons as to what factors can improve the uptake of clean energy.

A RenewEconomy analysis of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) figures for 2019 shows Australia’s per-capita deployment rate was also four times higher than fast-developing renewable markets such as China, Europe, Japan and the U.S.

In terms of overall capacity, Oceania still only accounts for a tiny share of global renewables. Its 40 gigawatts of renewables amounted to just 2 percent of clean energy worldwide in 2019, IRENA figures show. But it added 6.2 gigawatts of capacity last year, growing more than 18 percent. That compares to 6 percent growth in North America, 7 percent growth in Europe and 9 percent in Asia.

Australia’s modest population of 25 million means per-capita growth rates are even more extreme.

For the rest of the story visit: https://AustraliaRoaringRooftopMarket

Friday, August 7, 2020

NextEra Energy to Build Its First Green Hydrogen Plant in Florida

 The emerging green hydrogen market could open new opportunities for NextEra to use its renewable power.

By Karl-Erik Stromsta

NextEra Energy is closing its last coal-fired power unit and investing in its first green hydrogen facility. 

Through its Florida Power & Light utility, NextEra will propose a $65 million pilot in the Sunshine State that will use a 20-megawatt electrolyzer to produce 100 percent green hydrogen from solar power, the company revealed on Friday.

The project, which could be online by 2023 if it receives approval from state regulators, would represent the first step into green hydrogen for NextEra Energy, by far the largest developer and operator of wind, solar and battery plants in North America.

“We’re really excited about hydrogen, in particular when we think about getting not to a net-zero emissions profile but actually to a zero-emissions carbon profile,” NextEra Energy CFO Rebecca Kujawa said on Friday's earnings call.  

For the rest of the story visit: https://NextEraGreenHydroinFlorida

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Why America’s Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations

An acre of solar panels in an old soccer practice field will power Galesburg High School.
By Amanda Schupak
On the campus of Galesburg High School in Northwestern Illinois, there is a football field, a track, eight tennis courts, two baseball and two softball diamonds, and an acre of photovoltaic panels capable of generating nearly 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

The array will knock at least $40,000 off the school’s energy bill over the next few years, and superintendent John Asplund expects the number to go up after that. At a time when the coronavirus threatens not just school administrators’ ability to bring kids into the classroom but also their latitude to keep teachers and assistants employed, energy savings could translate to saved jobs.

“Some say they haven’t gotten into [solar] because it seems too good to be true,” said Asplund, whose district includes five other schools, three of which have their own new solar arrays. “But it really is true. You can save a lot of money ... and you can help the environment.”

Galesburg High School is one of dozens of schools around the state and some 5,500 schools across the country now producing their own solar electricity, making a strong case for turning schools into power stations. On top of the cost savings (which, in the case of public schools, goes back to taxpayers), adopting solar in schools has the benefit of bringing the technology to areas that might not otherwise have much exposure to renewables, and provides the perfect opportunity for teaching the next generation about green energy.

For the rest of the story visit: https://www.SchoolsintoPowerStations

Friday, July 31, 2020

Industry Partner Cal Couillard, Owner and CEO of Speed Solar Inc., Receives High Impact Technology Conference 2020 Industry Recognition Award

This award represents HI-TEC's commitment to recognize industry colleagues who make significant contributions to the education and training of today's technology workforce. Nominees for the award must have had a demonstrated broader impact on technology education on both a local and national level. The Industry Recognition Award recognizes key industry personnel for outstanding contributions to promote advanced technological education.

Cal Couillard, a self-described “crazy inventor guy,” is currently leading his fifth business, Speed Solar Inc., a Midwest distributor of solar photovoltaic panels and hardware. In Cal’s words, he has “invented his way through multiple businesses to reach his true passion—designing solar solutions to address global warming and climate change.” He hopes to transform the energy marketplace by promoting wide-scale adoption of solar photovoltaics and electric vehicles.

For the Rest of the story visit:https://HI-TEC2020Awards

Congrats Cal!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center Releases The 50 States of Solar Q2 2020 Report

Raleigh, NC – (July 22, 2020) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2020 Edition of the 50 States of Solar. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on distributed solar policy, with a focus on net metering, distributed solar valuation, community solar, residential fixed charges, residential demand and solar charges, third-party ownership, and utility-led rooftop solar programs.

The report finds that 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, took some type of distributed solar policy action during Q2 2020 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions continuing to address net metering policies (54), community solar policies (36), and residential fixed charge or minimum bill increases (27). A total of 156 distributed solar policy actions were taken during Q2 2020, with the greatest number of actions taken in Virginia, New York, Arkansas, and New Hampshire.

For Additional Information Visit: https://Q250StatesSolar2020