Tag Archives: PV Magazine

Buying rooftop solar, in bulk

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

One of the oldest ideas about how to cut costs is advancing, not through a business, but through a non-profit. Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is reporting that it has added 13 “solar co-ops” in ten states over the last six months, which are allowing participating homeowners and small business owners to essentially buy rooftop solar in bulk, 30 roofs at a time.

These new cooperatives span the nation, from Arizona to Maryland, with four in a state that is experiencing a minor boom: Florida. Beaches Business Solar Co-opMiami Digital Solar Co-opOrlando Solar Co-op and Pasco County Solar Co-op. These co-ops work by gathering neighbors together through informative sessions run by SUN, and getting them to sign up more neighbors, often through word of mouth. Read more here.

Solar United Neighbors (SUN) Resources

Additional PV Magazine News Stories & Resources

  • FPL redefines community solar
    Florida Power and Light (FPL), in collaboration with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Vote Solar, and Walmart has officially filed a settlement to establish the nation’s largest community solar, after announcing plans for the program in the spring. The program, named Solar Together will be the biggest in the United States by a pretty wide margin, a piece of the larger 30×30 program that aims to install 30,000,000 solar panels by 2030, being described by SACE as 30×30’s ‘backbone.’
  • Solar + storage to survive disasters
    Roth Capital Partners has released a new research note on conclusions made and predictions about the solar industry, based off of observations made at Solar Power International 2019 (SPI). While the note is chiefly concerned with industry-wide solar stock performance, one bit of information stood out: Roth expects the U.S. residential solar market to exceed anticipated growth, increasing 25% year-over-year in both 2019 and 2020.
  • Energy storage and inverters to get you through power outages
  • Vertically integrated advanced energy manufacturing from SolarEdge
    SolarEdge is still fundamentally based on solar power, however, it is turning into a vertically integrated energy manufacturer and service provider.

U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab Report: Tracking the Sun

Berkeley Lab’s annual Tracking the Sun report summarizes installed prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States.

The latest edition of the report focuses on systems installed through year-end 2018, with preliminary trends for the first half of 2019. The analysis is based on project-level data from approximately 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PV systems installed in the United States through the end of 2018.

Key findings from this year’s report include the following: Continue reading here.

A webinar summarizing key findings from the report will be held on October 2, 2019, at 12 pm Central Standard Time. Register Here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Small solar is bigger, cheaper and more efficient in the USA, PV Magazine

Solar and pollinators: a photo essay

By Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy
at Fresh Energy, PV Magazine

A promising new trend is showing signs of incrementally helping the solar industry to increase revenue, decrease operations and management costs, open up new markets, accelerate permitting, decrease litigation risk, and attract new land lease partners. It’s not a new module, inverter, or racking — it’s an innovative approach to the vegetation design and management. Civil engineers working on LEED-certified building design have long known that the vegetation specified in a project can provide meaningful functional benefits, in addition to being a cost-effective way to gain points toward the standards. These innovations—using ecology to benefit technology—have now made their way into the solar industry in projects throughout the country.
Continue reading here.

 

Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy.
Posts by Rob Davis

 


Previously Posted

Kearney’s Solar Farm is a pollinator-friendly site.


Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Program for All Ages


Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification Program

This program is open to Nebraska homeowners, schools, businesses, parks, homeowner associations, farmers, acreage owners and community gardens.

The Nebraska Pollinator Habitat Certification application form with complete requirements and lists of pollinator-friendly plants is available here.

Renewable energy will surpass coal in April & May

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

According to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), renewable energy sources including hydroelectricity are set to generate more electricity than coal, for the first time ever. The analysis shows that renewables generate 2.32 and 2.27 terawatt-hours (TWh) in April and May, ahead of the 2.00 and 2.24 TWh anticipated to be generated by coal . . .  Not only does EIA predict that 7 gigawatts of coal additional coal plants will go offline by the end of 2020, but an analysis by Energy Innovation has shown that in 74% of cases it is cheaper to build new wind and solar than to keep running existing coal plants, and that this number will increase to 86% by 2025. Read more here.

Also Published by PV Magazine

The Solar Decathlon winner designs solar+lifestyle living space, by John Weaver

Virginia students have won the 2019 Solar Decathlon Design Challenge with their treeHAUS highly sustainable solar+storage+trees+food waste+sound and so much more design focused on expanding their local campus’ student housing resources.

Photo: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Solar Decathlon design

Hormel Foods to Be Powered by Nearly 50% Renewable Energy

By Emily Holbrook, Energy Manager Today

Hormel Foods recently announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for wind energy. Through this and other initiatives, the company will be supplied by almost 50% renewable wind power. In addition, the project will result in a reduction of approximately 197,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new wind farm will be located near Milligan, Nebraska. Construction is expected to be completed in 2020. The farm will be capable of generating 74 MW of power and an estimated 349,000 MWh of electricity each year. Read more here.

Recommended Reading
Virtual Power Purchase Agreement: Introduction to the Virtual Power Purchase Agreement, Rocky Mountain Institute

Nebraska Also In The News Here:

  • NPPD/city relationship remains a strong one, by Melanie Wilkinson, York News-Times
    Looking to the future, NPPD is considering a solar power generation facility for York, as the organization continues to look at renewable energy options.
  • Supersized solar in the Midwest, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
    Long seen as a slow region for solar deployment, the U.S. Midwest has seen an explosion of project development in recent years. And while there is still a lot of speculation and uncertainty, one way or another this region is going to see major development.

Analysis: New wind, solar cheaper than operating most existing coal plants

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.

By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy. “We’re not talking about replacing every coal plant overnight,” said report co-author Eric Gimon at Energy Innovation. “What we’re saying is every coal plant should be looked at.” How do coal plants compare to solar or wind energy in the analysis? Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Photo by SoCore Energy: Kearney Solar Farm

Kathiann M. Kowalski is the author of 25 books and more than 600 articles, and writes often on science and policy issues. In addition to her journalism career, Kathi is an alumna of Harvard Law School and has spent 15 years practicing law. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Small Iowa town hopes benchmarking makes big impact on energy efficiency, by Karen Uhlenhuth

As state lawmakers and investor-owned utilities in Iowa retreat from energy efficiency investments, Bloomfield stands in stark contrast. The building benchmarking program is part of an aggressive plan to tap efficiency and renewables to meet a goal of total energy independence by 2030 for the small town of about 2,700 people in far southeastern Iowa. Photo by Jo Naylor, Flickr, Creative Commons: Bloomfield, Iowa

Microgrid boosters hope Michigan ‘energy district’ will spur more interest, by Andy Balaskovitz

Microgrid advocates hope a Michigan utility’s proposed “energy district” can help demonstrate the technology and spur more interest in similar projects. Consumers Energy announced plans last month for a smart energy district on a 4-square-block area near the utility’s headquarters in Jackson. Though not formally a microgrid, the plan calls for developing a “smart energy community” around renewables, battery storage and electric vehicles, mirroring concepts of interconnected “smart cities.” Photo Credit: Consumers Energy

NextEra, Nebraska farmers aim to build largest solar farm in the Midwest

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a massive solar project in northeastern Nebraska that, if built, would be the largest in the Midwest and among the largest in the country. The 423 megawatt project is in the early stages of development and still hinges on how much it will cost to connect to the regional transmission grid. “We’re in a holding pattern until we get clarification from the Southwest Power Pool,” said Phil Clement, NextEra’s project director in Nebraska. “We need to know if it’s viable.” Sean Gallagher, vice president for state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the project could be a sign of things to come in the region, which is increasingly attractive for large solar projects.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Previously Posted

2018 solar power year in review (part 1)

By Christian Roselund and John Weaver, PV Magazine

There’s a reason it’s called the solar coaster. And while we’ve had a number of difficult years over the past decade, 2018 took the cake for pure drama. But against all of that, the slings and arrows that it has suffered, the solar industry has shown remarkable resilience, and is coming out of 2018 not only swinging, but stronger than ever. So today we’re taking a moment to reflect on what we’ve come through, with our list of our top stories from 2018. Continue reading here.

2018 solar power year in review (part 2)

Mars, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase: Insights From Early Adopters Of Corporate Climate Policy

By Jeff McMahon, Forbes

It’s a story of stunning progress and staggering challenges. Some of the first corporations to make climate commitments have found that clean energy saves them money wherever they can find it, but often they can’t find it where they need it most.

Mars Corporation, for example, has signed power purchase agreements with wind farms in Texas, Mexico and Scotland and with a solar farm in Australia. In each case, the agreement covers 100 percent of the power demand for the direct operations of a Mars facility.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Mars Corporation: Mars candies and pet foods are powered in part by the Moy Wind Farm in Scotland.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Commitments to renewable energy are a great start — what comes next?, GreenBiz. This essay was contributed by one of the NGOs that make up the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a consortium dedicated to growing large buyer demand for renewable power and helping utilities and others meet it. 


To date, 158 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.


COP24 NEWS


Cop24 live blog
PV Magazine’s Max Hall will be pounding the vast spaces of the COP24 venue in Katowice to bring you the latest developments in Poland and trying to shine a light on solar’s presence here.


NEW INVESTMENT ALLIANCE

  • The U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance (USASF), based in New York City, will work to encourage more climate-friendly and sustainable finance innovation across the U.S. capital markets. This initiative brings together private sector actors in line with the aim of meeting the United States’ targets of the Paris Agreement.
  • Wall Street staking claim for sustainable finance supremacy, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine. The press release noted that research indicates a sevenfold increase in global clean energy investment — $2.4T annually versus the current investment levels of $333.5B as estimated by BloombergNEF — is needed to limit the most devastating effects of climate change.

Seven steps to community solar

By John Weaver, PV Magazine

Nationwide, over 220 utilities offer community solar programs across 36 states, and a growing number of rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and investor owned utilities are exploring or implementing community solar program offerings. Currently there is only around  1 GW of community solar installed, but some see a path toward 84 GW by 2030.

To assist in reaching this ambitious goal, Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) have released their Checklist for Voluntary Utility-Led Community Solar Programs. The document divides its advice into seven sections: Continue reading here.

IREC Photo

How Much Power is 1 Gigawatt?, U.S. Department of Energy

UPCOMING WEBINAR

IREC and Vote Solar will host a joint webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at 12pm Central Time to discuss the recently-released Checklist for Voluntary Utility-Led Community Solar Programs and other shared renewables tools, including IREC’s National Shared Renewables Scorecard and Shared Renewables Policy Catalog. To register, click HERE.


About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council increases access to sustainable energy and energy efficiency through independent, fact-based policy leadership, quality workforce development and consumer empowerment. A not-for-profit organization since 1982, IREC’s state-by-state work and national leadership make clean energy possible and reliable, including for low- to moderate-income customers and underserved communities. Learn more at www.irecusa.org

About Vote Solar
Since 2002, Vote Solar has been working to lower solar costs and expand solar access. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Vote Solar advocates for state policies and programs needed to repower our electric grid with clean energy. Learn more at www.votesolar.org