Solar farms are cropping up on Illinois’ open land, spurred by state requirements and a new state program, but several built-up suburbs are carving out room for solar power as well. From Evanston to Oak Park to Will County, communities are embracing solar power as a means to help meet renewable energy goals. And in Aurora, the state’s second-largest city, some advocates see solar power as part of their vision to get half of all Aurora’s energy from renewable sources within roughly 10 years . . . The growth of solar projects is spurred in part by the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, which took effect in 2017 and, among other things, created new solar programs and incentives. Read more here.
Virginia’s solar freedom bill In this op-ed for PV Magazine, Ivy Main looks at new legislation to remove barriers and allow Virginia to develop its distributed solar potential. Ivy is a lawyer, writer and energy consultant who also serves as the Renewable Energy Chair for the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. Her articles on Virginia energy topics appear regularly in the Virginia Mercury and her blog, PowerforthepeopleVA.com.
How Tesla is taking over neighborhoods with solar energy, Electrek Tesla has been betting on word of mouth to promote most of its products and solar has been no exception since it has acquired SolarCity. Here’s how Tesla has been taking over neighborhoods with solar energy thanks to the help of satisfied customers. Photo Credit: SolarCity
The joint venture announced this week, described as the first of its kind, is designed to expand the U.S. electric bus fleet by reducing upfront costs. Generate Capital will invest $200 million to buy and lease the buses. Warren Buffett-backed BYD, one of the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturers, will make and market the buses to public- and private-sector customers. Read more here.
The company’s main project has been the 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia, the largest in the world for now. But now instead of being a large centralized battery system using Tesla’s Powerpacks, the new project announced today is using Tesla’s residential battery system, the Powerwall, to create decentralized energy storage, which basically results in creating a massive virtual power plant. South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill announced the deal today – the biggest of its kind by far. Learn more here.
Photo Credit: Tesla
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Elon Musk’s Tesla plans to give thousands of homes batteries: here’s how it would work, by Nick Harmsen, ABC News
South Australia’s Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has unveiled what he expects to be a vote-winning power policy before the March state election — ‘free’ solar panels and Tesla batteries for 50,000 homes. And it’s all thanks to the guy on the right. Yep, it’s the latest gift in the ongoing bromance between Mr Weatherill and billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk, after the pair teamed up to help fund the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery (which is already producing power in the South Australian grid). Read more here.
Facebook Photo: Jay Weatherill and Elon Musk are changing South Australia’s approach to power generation.
Tesla has updated its Supercharger maps on its website to reflect current expectations for buildout in 2017. Going by thecurrent map, also currently being constructed (and soon to open) are stations in Calgary, eastern Nebraska, western Kentucky, northern Colorado, coastal South Carolina, Las Vegas, and one near the Olympic peninsula in Washington state. There also appears to be a plan to install one in Honolulu in Hawaii. There are no plans for any Supercharger stations in Alaska, though, from the looks of it. Read more here.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Omaha’s public bike-sharing system is set to nearly double in size by 2019, by Kelsey Stewart, Omaha World-Herald
Heartland B-cycle has partnered with the City of Omaha to nearly double the size of the public bike-sharing system by 2019. B-cycle will add 36 stations and 150 bikes. Organizers hope to have the first round of new equipment, which includes 20 bikes, installed in Omaha next year, said Ben Turner, executive director of Heartland B-cycle. The program will help meet many goals related to the city’s master plan, particularly in providing multiple modes of transportation,
said Derek Miller, the city’s transportation planner. Read more.
B-cycle stations are solar powered, keeping this green transportation emissions-free.
While 15 states and the District of Columbia have policies to support community solar, each policy is structured differently and many, when put into practice, have not driven growth. As a result, only five states have active markets. To rectify this, experienced developers in the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) put together a report that aims to help policymakers design community solar programs. Read more here.
Photo credit: Coalition for Community Solar Access
Download Community Solar Policy Decision Matrix: Guidance for Designing Community Solar Programshere.
About the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) Founded in February 2016, CCSA is a business-led trade organization that works to expand access to clean, local, affordable energy nationwide through community solar. These programs can also expand access to solar energy to low-income households. For more information on CCSA, visit the website at www.communitysolaraccess.org,
Elon Musk just showed us the grand unification of Tesla: Fast Cars, big batteries, and a stunning solar rooftop
By Tom Randall, Bloomberg
On Friday evening as the sun descended over the old Hollywood set of “Desperate Housewives,” Elon Musk took to a stage and fired up his presentation about climate change. It was a strange scene, with hundreds of people crowded into the middle of a subtly artificial suburban neighborhood. It wasn’t until about a minute into the speech that Musk casually let the crowd in on Tesla’s big secret. “The interesting thing is that the houses you see around you are all solar houses,” Musk said. “Did you notice?” Continue reading.
Available in different styles, Tesla’s solar roofs are designed to mimic traditional styles. Photos from Tesla Media Release.
If you’re wondering about Elon Musk’s latest vision for Tesla, think Apple. Apple succeeded in turning a bland market for electronic devices into a coveted and connected lifestyle where your phone, your tablet, your computer, your watch and your television can all be bought in one place and work seamlessly together. Continue reading.
Image: Tesla is looking to create its own ecosystem, this one centered on sustainable energy, solar panels and batteries. Credit: Kagan McLeod
The move would turn Tesla into a vertically-integrated clean energy company, with operations in the manufacture, sale and operation of products spanning from energy production to storage and consumption. Click to read more.
By Davide Savenije, Krysti Shallenberger, Gavin Bade, Utility Dive
If the deal goes through, [Tesla CEO Elon] Musk expects SolarCity would come under the Tesla brand, which would then have three product categories: cars, batteries, and solar panels. The combined company would focus on both residential and utility-scale applications. A combination of electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and battery storage can be used in tandem by consumers to reduce their usage of the power grid. Read more.