Written by Interconnection Systems, Inc., Central City, Nebraska
Solar panels require sunlight to generate electricity for your home so they do not work in darkness. Thus they will not produce at night, but what about on a cloudy day? The purpose of a solar panel system is to absorb sunlight, also known as photovoltaic (PV) energy, and convert it to direct current (DC) power. This DC power is then sent through the solar array’s inverter to be converted to alternating current (AC) power, which is the type of power households run on. At that point, your solar array can feed electricity into your home and out onto the electric grid.
If the homeowner has a solar array equipped with a battery system, they may use power directly from their solar array. Otherwise, all energy is sent to the grid and measured by a bidirectional meter. This allows the power utility to credit the customer’s account, reducing their energy bill. Click here to download the article.
Photo by SoCore Energy: Kearney Solar Farm (See Solar Examples)
NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS
For a small Colorado utility, 100% renewable energy is old news, Energy News Network
Nebraska wind farm near Kimball has helped the municipal utility, Aspen Electric, offset 100% of its electricity with renewable energy.
NEWS & OPINION FROM OTHER STATES
- Iowa hints at how it became a nation-leading wind power house, Windpower Engineering Development
- 210 MW-DC solar farm proposed for Wisconsin, PV Magazine
Two Wisconsin utilities are in talks to purchase the NextEra project, which is in excess of state renewable energy requirements and will be four times as large as all of the cumulative solar built in Wisconsin to date
- Xcel details plans to shut 660 MW coal, build 1.8 GW renewables in Colorado, Utility Div
- Hawaii first state to enact 100% carbon neutral goal, Utility Dive
- Consumer choice has suddenly revolutionized the electricity business in California. But utilities are striking back, Los Angeles Times
- How California is bringing solar energy to low-income renters, High Country News
- Tesla stays on top of the California solar market, PV Magazine
While Tesla/SolarCity, Vivint and Sunrun still made up the top three in 2017, the “long tail” of installers is gaining market share.
- Solar Panels Power New Schools – And New Ways Of Learning, Wired
- South Carolina towns, schools that embraced solar power look forward to large savings, The Post and Courier
- Sustainable Missoula: Solar is no longer an ‘alternative’ energy source. Opinion by Andrew Valainis, executive director of the Montana Renewable Energy Association
MREA Photo: 85-kilowatt solar installation on Missoula’s Park Place parking garage
NATIONAL NEWS & OPINION
- US Senate introduces solar tariff repeal bill, PV Magazine
U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) have introduced a bill to rescind the duty and tariff-rate quota on imported solar. This follows the introduction of a similar bill in the U.S. House.
- Study evaluates interconnecting grids to improve power flows, News OK
- New solar industry initiatives could open business-utility collaborations, Utility Dive
- 5 Reasons Car Companies Are Betting Big on Energy Storage, SingularityHub
- Residential energy storage grows 9x in Q1 2018, PV Magazine
The 36 megawatt-hours of residential energy storage installed in the United States during Q1 is the latest in a year of accelerating growth rates, driven by policies in California and Hawaii.
- As the CEO of a Company, I Set the Green Standard — So Should You, Contributor, Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit. Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks is the president and CEO of Earth Friendly Products, maker of ECOS products, including its well-known laundry detergent, as well as more than 200 other plant-based cleaners.
- Building A Sustainable Future: Psychologists are helping cities and corporations embrace more eco-friendly behaviors, American Psychological Association (APA) Monitor on Psychology cover story, May 2018
GLOBAL NEWS & OPINION
- How the Nordic countries outsmarted us again, CNN Opinion
- China’s solar energy explosion reveals a dim future for fossil fuels — here’s what it looks like, Business Insider
- China plans to build $3 billion-worth of solar farms shaped like giant pandas, Business Insider