Tag Archives: solar energy storage

Off Grid Solar

By Joseph P. O’Connor

Off Grid Solar is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build a solar system with the free sunshine available to us all. “The limitations to widespread solar are not centered on the cost, the efficiency, or the need for advancements in technology. The limitations are solely due to the lack of widespread knowledge on the subject.”

About the Author

Joe O’Connor is a solar manufacturing entrepreneur as well as a consultant, speaker, and writer on solar energy. He has built off grid solar energy systems in the U.S., Haiti, Nepal, Portugal, Guatemala, and most recently in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. To learn more about his work in the Congo, click here to read SolarCity, Tesla, and Virunga: Building Solar Micro Grids for the guardians of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse national park.

Seeking to amplify his impact after over a decade of traveling to remote places to install solar, Joe decided to share his knowledge and experience of off-grid solar energy systems by writing this book.

He is currently a Senior Applications Engineer for Energy Storage at Mercedes-Benz Energy. In his previous position at SolarCity, he supported the Micro Grid Team and the GivePower Foundation by designing solar photovoltaic and Tesla Powerwall systems. He also prototyped, designed, and patented a new solar racking system that enabled SolarCity to become one of the largest commercial installers in the U.S.

Prior to his work at SolarCity, Joe launched a cost-efficient solar racking product at solar manufacturing start-up, Sollega. He has also worked with Sustainable Energy Partners in San Francisco, completing dozens of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Joe earned his M.S. from NYU Polytechnic University in Manufacturing Engineering and was selected as a recipient of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship. He earned his B.S. from Cal Poly University in Industrial Technology.

He first became passionate about renewable energy after volunteering with GRID
Alternatives—the Habitat for Humanities of the solar industry—when he teamed up with other volunteers to install solar electric systems on homes of low-income families in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Joe believes that advancements in the renewable energy industry will help our global society break its dependency on oil, coal, and natural gas. He is on a mission to make renewable energy the dominant energy source on our planet.

Source: Amazon

Trading solar-generated power between households to change the way consumers buy electricity

Tesla_PowerwallBy Amy Bainbridge, ABC.Net, Australia

This month’s arrival of the Tesla battery in Australia is slated as a major shift in favour of consumers taking charge of their energy storage . . . Jitendra Tomar, from the Sydney-based start-up Local Volts, said it was about changing the way consumers buy electricity. “Anybody, whether you’re big or small, whether you’re a farmer or residential person, whether you’re a high school or tennis club, can become an energy farmer,” he said.

Read more here.

Photo by Tesla Motors: Tesla’s Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores energy generated from solar panels at a household level. 

German battery maker launches scheme to share solar power

German village with solar. Photo: Solar Electric Power

German village with solar. Photo: Solar Electric Power

Published by Reuters

German battery maker Sonnenbatterie has launched a scheme to connect households with solar panels and other consumers, aiming to better distribute surpluses of the renewable energy and help members to become more independent of conventional suppliers.

The start-up company hopes the scheme, called “sonnenCommunity”, will boost demand for its batteries which store solar power, allowing owners to use the clean energy even when weather conditions are not favorable.

Read more at Reuters 

Tesla’s Powerwall is the latest step toward our clean-energy future

By Vivek Wadhwa, Washington Post

Most people are skeptical that we’re heading into a clean-energy future. They find it hard to believe that solar energy is fewer than 14 years away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. They argue that today solar energy hardly provides one percent of Earth’s energy needs and that we can’t effectively store sunlight — and therefore have a long way to go.

But when technologies advance exponentially as solar is doing, one percent solar means we are halfway from 0.01 percent to the goal of 100 percent. The prices of solar panels have fallen 75 percent in the past five years and are advancing on a scale comparable to Moore’s Law, as tech guru Ramez Naam has documented. At this rate, solar energy is only six doublings away from 100 percent. Even then we will use hardly 1/10,000th of the sunlight that falls on Earth, so we can increase our usage dramatically without fear of running out.

Read the entire article here.

Watch YouTube video: Elon Musk Debuts the Tesla Powerwall

Additional Recommended Reading
Why Tesla Wants to Sell a Battery for Your Home, by Phil McKenna, MIT Technology Review 

Top five takeaways from Elon Musk’s Tesla Energy reveal, by Kirsten Korosec, Fortune

Tesla Ventures Into Solar Power Storage for Home and Business, by Diane Cardwell, New York Times

New Solar + Storage Microgrid Project to Provide Resilient Power

With support from the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) and Clean Energy Group (CEG), Green Mountain Power, a Vermont utility, has broken ground on a major new solar + storage resilient power microgrid located in Rutland, Vermont.

This will be among the first microgrids in the country to be powered exclusively by solar PV, with over 7,700 solar panels on the site, backed up with 4 MW of battery capacity, and absolutely no use of fossil fuels.

The microgrid will be built on a landfill, contributing to the city’s brownfield recovery efforts, and will help to integrate solar generation on the distribution grid; it will also supply resilient power to a public school designated as a Red Cross emergency shelter, powering the shelter in emergencies when the grid is down (Rutland suffers frequent power outages due to storms).

Visit CESA’s website to read the full press release: http://www.cesa.org

Upcoming Webinar: A Solar Storage Microgrid for the Energy City of the Future

CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) will host a webinar on the Stafford Hills Microgrid Project on Friday, August 22 from 12-1 pm Central Daylight Time.

Green Mountain Power has broken ground on its solar plus storage microgrid located in Rutland, Vermont.  This will be among the first microgrids in the country to be powered exclusively by solar PV, with over 7,700 solar panels on the site, backed up with 4 MW of battery capacity, both lithium ion and lead acid types.

The microgrid will be built on a landfill and will help to integrate solar generation on the distribution grid; it will also supply resilient power to a public school designated as an emergency shelter, powering the shelter in emergencies when the grid is down (Rutland suffers frequent power outages due to storms).

This is the first step in a larger plan to make Rutland, VT the “energy city of the future.”  The project is funded in part by grants from the state of Vermont and from U.S. DOE, Office of Electricity, with support from CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership. 

• Imre Gyuk, Energy Storage Program Manager, U.S. DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
• Josh Castonguay, Director of Generation and Renewable Innovation, Green Mountain Power
Categories: Technology
Related Project: Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership:

To register for the webinar, click here: http://www.cesa.org/webinars/estap-webinar-a-solar-storage-microgrid-for-the-energy-city-of-the-future/view/2014-08-22


4 Major New Rulings That Will Boost Solar Power and Energy Storage in California

by Eric Wesoff

“As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation.”

Two of the rulings Wesoff reports on will greatly impact poverty mitigation and community economic development in California, creating inspiring model programs for other states:

SB 43 initiates a 600-megawatt shared solar limit and virtual net metering program, of which 100 megawatts are reserved for “the most impacted and disadvantaged communities” and “areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution.”

AB 217 expands and extends California’s low-income solar program, with the state’s goal of installing systems equivalent to 50 megawatts of generating capacity for low-income housing.

To read Eric Wesoff’s article, click here: