NewEnergyNews More: November 2013

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  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013


    The US has 43 nuclear power plants’ worth of solar energy in the pipeline

    Todd Woody, November 25, 2013 (Quartz)

    “The boom in solar energy in the US in recent years? You haven’t seen anything yet. The pipeline of photovoltaic projects has grown 7% over the past 12 months and now stands at 2,400 solar installations that would generate 43,000 megawatts(MW)… If all these projects are built, their peak electricity output would be equivalent to that of 43 big nuclear power plants, and enough to keep the lights on in six million American homes…Only 8.5% of the pipeline is currently being installed, with most of it still in the planning stages. Some projects will inevitably get canceled or fail to raise financing…But there’s reason to believe that a good chunk of these solar power plants and rooftop installations will get built over the next two years…” click here for more


    Irish wind energy output hits record 1,564MW

    20 November 2013 (SiliconRepublic)

    “Wind power output reached a record 1,564 megawatts (MW) in Ireland this morning, enough to power more than 1m homes, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) reported…The record output, recorded at 8am, corresponded to more than 45pc of the Irish electricity demand at that time, according to figures from EirGrid…The IWEA's chief executive Kenneth Matthews said the new peak shows the vital role wind energy is already playing in Ireland's domestic energy supply, as sustained levels of wind generation are being created…” click here for more


    Submarine Electricity Transmission; HVDC and HVAC Submarine Power Cables: Supply Constraints, Demand Drivers, Technology Issues, Prominent Projects, Key Industry Players, and Global Market Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “The market for high-voltage submarine cables is a small and highly specialized industry that will experience increasing growth over the next several years…As cable technology advances, more projects are being proposed that require longer, deeper, and higher-capacity cables…Even the most conservative growth models show that the industry will expand rapidly and the supply chain has expanded…[T]he primary restraints on the submarine cable market in the foreseeable future are restrictions in financing and regulatory roadblocks. Navigant Research forecasts that the high-voltage submarine cable market will realize $33.8 billion in cumulative revenue between 2014 and 2023 under a conservative scenario…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013


    Bonds Backed by Solar Power Payments Get Nod

    Diane Cardwell, November 14, 2013 (NY Times)

    “…[I]n a milestone of sorts for the emerging solar industry, the finance wizards are embracing a new kind of security, this one backed by solar electricity payments…Standard & Poor’s has given its preliminary blessing to the first offering of this kind, rating a set of notes intended to raise $54.4 million for the fast-growing installation company SolarCity…[I]t gave a rating of BBB+, a low investment-grade designation, to the notes. SolarCity plans to sell the bonds, which are secured by a bundle of residential and commercial power contracts, privately this month…The bonds are expected to have a yield of around 4.8 percent, which, in a time of low interest rates, is a relatively high rate that compensates investors for buying such an untested security. The offering is also relatively small and will be sold only to select institutional investors…[and] will help finance the rapid expansion of SolarCity…” click here for more


    Wells Fargo Wind to acquire interests in 91-MW Colorado wind facility

    Kristine Esperacion, November 18, 2013 (SNL)

    "Colorado Highlands Wind LLC on Nov. 12 applied with FERC to sell Wells Fargo & Co. affiliate Wells Fargo Wind Holdings 100% of the noncontrolling class A interests in the 91-MW Colorado Highlands project…Alliance Power Inc. owns 100% of the class B membership interests in Colorado Highlands Wind while General Electric Capital Corp. subsidiary EFS CHW owns 100% of the class A membership interests…All of the electrical output of the facility is committed to Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association Inc. under a long-term power purchase agreement…” click here for more


    DC Power for Commercial Buildings; DC Building Power Supply Equipment, Building Controls and Functionality, Lighting, Plug Loads, and Building Microgrid Infrastructure: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Public electric utilities deliver alternating current (AC) power exclusively. However, electronics, LED lighting, and certain other common devices operate on direct current (DC) power. These devices must convert power from AC to DC and step down voltage…When using renewable wind or PV energy, additional AC/DC transformations are needed…[O]ver many AC/DC conversions and voltage changes, total power losses can surpass 20% in some systems…Navigant Research forecasts that the global market value for DC power building technologies will grow from $609.1 million in 2013 to $9.7 billion in 2020…” click here for more

    Monday, November 25, 2013


    World Energy Outlook 2013

    12 November 2013 (International Energy Agency)

    For scrolling through. click here for more


    Sun Number rates homes' rooftops for solar panels

    David Shaffer, November 19, 2013 (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

    “…Sun Number, a start-up company that’s expanding in Minnesota, is using massive databases and web-based tools to help homeowners and solar panel installers determine whether millions of U.S. buildings get enough sun to make rooftop solar power worthwhile…[The technology] relies on aerial mapping known as Lidar that takes a three-dimensional snapshot of the landscape, accurately depicting tree and building heights, roof angles and other features…Using sophisticated 3-D analytics, Sun Number has rated the solar potential for 7.5 million properties in eight metropolitan regions…In places where the analysis is done, a free tool at allows people to type in an address and see a score from 0 to 100 for a rooftop’s solar potential. Any score above 70 is worth considering for solar panels…” click here for more


    Could first U.S. offshore wind farm be in Texas? After years of struggles, offshore wind power developers hope they are turning a corner

    James Osborne, November 19, 2013 (Dallas Morning News)

    “Five miles off the coast of South Padre Island lays the beginning of the Gulf Offshore Wind Project, which developers like to refer to by the optimistic acronym GOWind…[I]n three years' time, a team [put together by developer Baryonyx]… is hoping to have the nation’s first commercial scale wind farm installed and eventually generating enough power for 1.8 million homes…While offshore wind power has taken off in countries like Denmark and Japan, the United States has yet to get past the starting line…Price remains the biggest hurdle…[because] government subsidies are a fraction of those in Europe...[and] a megawatt of offshore wind power is estimated to cost twice as much as its equivalent on land…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013


    LA Solar Energy Investment Atlas A Model For Regional Development

    Michael Puttre, 14 November 2013 (Solar Industry)

    "The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin Center for Innovation have released an in-depth solar energy and efficiency study for Los Angeles (LA) County that details investment potentials and development opportunities…The report profiles the potential for clean energy investments and identifies specific areas that could be eligible for funds due to special provisions, such as set-asides for disadvantaged communities…The Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER): Atlas of Investment Potential for Los Angeles County is built around an atlas of maps representing the vulnerability of communities in LA County to the effects of climate change, as well as the potential for clean energy investments. The study is broken down by state senatorial districts and sub-regions across the county as a guide for legislators and other community stakeholders…” click here for more


    Clemson center to test wind turbines and the grid

    Bruce Smith, November 16, 2013 (AP via South Mississippi Sun-Herald)

    "The future of energy is coming online in South Carolina with the dedication of Clemson University's new $110 million Energy Systems Innovation Center…[The 82,000-square-foot facility] houses the world's largest wind turbine drivetrain testing rig as well as a 15 megawatt electric grid research facility…[F]inanced in part by $45 million in federal stimulus money from the Department of Energy…[it] houses a four-story, 400-ton unit capable of testing drivetrains for wind turbines that can produce 15 megawatts - enough energy to power 6,000 homes. It also has a second, smaller drivetrain testing unit. It can test units capable of producing 7.5 megawatts…There are only two other such testing facilities, one in Spain and one in Colorado. But the Clemson site is capable of testing far larger units…” click here for more


    Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey; Consumer Attitudes, Opinions, and Preferences for Electric Vehicles and EV Charging Stations

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “…[B]attery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), are a small but growing portion of the automotive market. Following the commercial introduction of these vehicles in 2010, BEV and PHEV sales volume has grown significantly…Consumers generally hold positive views of electric vehicles (EVs), as well as hybrids…However, even under several different scenarios, interest in BEVs and PHEVs remains below the 50% mark, indicating that consumers like the idea of EVs but may not be won over by the features and price points. Navigant Research forecasts that shipments of BEVs and PHEVs in the United States will reach 30,195 and 59,106, respectively, by the end of 2013. By 2020, shipments of these vehicles are expected to reach 130,641 and 210,772, respectively…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013


    Integrated Solar PV Polysilicon and Wafer Suppliers to Drive Production Costs Below $0.20 per Watt in 2014…

    November 18, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    "Average costs for vertically integrated tier 1 makers are now forecast to fall yet another 6 percent in 2014 to a record low of $0.20 per watt (W)…Since 2008, solar PV wafer manufacturing costs (the combined costs of polysilicon and wafer processing) have declined more than 16 percent per year…[T]hough the rapid pace of cost reduction is starting to decline, the severe oversupply and extremely low selling prices are forcing polysilicon and wafer makers to continue to find ways to lower costs to previously assumed impossible levels…” click here for more


    REpower launches new offshore turbine

    November 18, 2013 (Repower)

    "…[Repower, part of the Suzlon Group, the world’s fifth-largest wind turbine manufacturer, unveiled] its new offshore turbine, the REpower 6.2M152…The new turbine features a rotor diameter of 152 metres, with the rotors sweeping an area larger than three football pitches. The nacelle alone is as big as two detached houses and will be constructed offshore at a height of between 95 and 110 metres…[It} achieves an increase in energy yield by up to 20 per cent at wind speeds of 9.5 m/s. With a rated power of 6.15 megawatts, each REpower 6.2M152 turbine can supply around 4,000 homes with electricity…” click here for more


    Demand Response Tracker 4Q13; Global Demand Response Programs by Region, Country, DR Market, Resource Type, and Customer Segment

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Demand response (DR) has proven to be an effective way for utilities and grid operators to manage supply and demand of electric power, such as during peak periods when demand exceeds supply or when the demand is unstable and fluctuates…Regulatory and technological changes are making it possible for DR to evolve to the next and more advanced phase in every nation…At present, there are only a few dozen DR schemes outside of the United States, in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. However, China, Singapore, India, Malaysia, and Israel, which are currently testing the use of DR, will become the next frontier. Navigant Research has identified 1,364 DR programs currently underway worldwide…” click here for more

    Monday, November 18, 2013


    Facebook Says Iowa Server Farm Will be Wind-Powered

    Jason Novet, November 13, 2013 (Data Center Knowledge)

    "…Facebook’s data center in Altoona, Iowa, will run exclusively on renewable energy, thanks to a wind project located less than two hours away…The Wellsburg wind farm in Iowa’s Grundy County will be functioning next year, and will produce as much as 138 megawatts for the Iowa grid — more than enough to power up the Altoona facility when it starts handling traffic in 2015…MidAmerican Energy will own the new Iowa wind farm, which Facebook started working on with the wind development company RPM Access. RPM last year received an equity investment from Google, which has a data center of its own in Iowa...[Following strong criticism from Greenpeace, Facebook declared in 2011] a goal of running all of its equipment with renewable energy…” click here for more


    After 18-Month Downturn, European Solar Photovoltaic Demand to Rebound in 2014…European solar PV revival to be driven by Germany, the U.K., Italy, and France

    November 6, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “The European solar photovoltaic (PV) market is poised to recover during the fourth quarter of 2013 (Q4’13), after an 18-month downturn that redefined the role of Europe within the global solar PV industry. Quarterly PV demand from Europe is now set to stabilize at the 2.5 gigawatt (GW) level during the first half of 2014, with moderate growth forecast in the second half…Germany, the U.K., Italy, and France are forecast to drive the European solar PV recovery next year…[with] almost 8 GW… more than 75 percent of the solar PV capacity that will be installed…Solar PV demand from Europe declined significantly during Q3’13…primarily caused by dramatic declines in solar PV demand in Germany and Italy…Year-over-year declines in 2013 are also forecast for Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Slovenia, and Spain; however, the severity of the European downturn in 2013 has been softened by strong Y/Y growth from the U.K., Romania, and Austria…” click here for more


    Microgrid Deployment Tracker 4Q13; Commercial/Industrial, Community/Utility, Institutional/Campus, Military, and Remote Microgrids: Operating, Planned, and Proposed Projects by World Region

    4Q 2013 (Navigant Research)

    “Most microgrids in operation today are essentially retrofit projects that cobble together existing assets and derive revenue from an overlay of controls used to enable legacy technology…[But] microgrids are beginning to move more into the mainstream…As of 4Q 2013, Navigant Research has identified a total of 4,148 MW of total microgrid capacity throughout the world, up from 3,793 MW in the previous Tracker update in 2Q 2013. North America is still the world’s leading market for microgrids, with a planned, proposed, and deployed capacity of 2,712 MW, accounting for 65% of global microgrid capacity…34 projects and 207 MW [added] since the 2Q 2013 update…1,503 MW is currently online and 1,224 MW is in the planned/under development or proposed phase…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013


    Senators, Advocates Push For Funded Energy Title In New Farm Bill

    8 November 2013 (Solar Industry)

    "Eight U.S. Senators have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry urging it to include a strong energy title in the current farm bill it is developing. A collection of environmental, renewable energy and agriculture advocacy organizations led by the Agriculture Energy Coalition (AgEC) fired off its own letter in support…[The Sneators] pushed for a number of energy programs by name, including the Rural Energy for America Program, which provides grants and loans to help rural businesses and agricultural producers invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, including solar and small wind projects…[The supporting letter] urges the Agriculture Committee to adopt a five-year farm bill that includes $900 million in mandatory funding for the energy title…” click here for more


    Beyond 2015: Could Michigan Triple Its Renewables Mandate?

    Joseph Bebon, November 7, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “…Five years ago, Michigan established a 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS), but what lies ahead for the state's energy landscape when the mandate expires? That, as it turns out, is a question Gov. Rick Snyder seems determined to answer…[He] tasked the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Michigan Energy Office (MEO) with gathering data and issuing reports to help inform decision-makers…Earlier this week, the MPSC and MEO submitted their first final report to the governor…In addition to evaluating Michigan’s current RPS status, the report gauged various scenarios to see if the state could support a larger mandate. Surprisingly, the report finds that, yes, 15% by 2020 and 30% by 2035 targets are achievable…” click here for more


    Western Energy Imbalance Market Design Gets Approval From CAISO Board

    November 8, 2013 (Renew Grid)

    "The design framework for a California Independent System Operator Corp. (CAISO) energy imbalance market (EIM) has received approval from the CAISO board of governors…[T]he EIM will allow western grid operators to voluntarily participate in a real-time energy market that enhances grid reliability and responsiveness, integrates renewable power, and saves wholesale energy costs…[The CAISO and its] first EIM partner, PacifiCorp…[are preparing] for implementation of the market…on Oct. 1, 2014…Significant increases in the amount of wind and solar power in recent years require grid operators to hold additional flexible generation in reserve…Without an EIM, operators generally must rely on generation assets within their balancing authority for any last-minute balancing…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013


    5 Charts That Explain the Great Energy Shift; The rise of fracking and the decline of coal

    Todd Woody, November 4, 2013 (The Atlantic)

    “The United States is undergoing the greatest revolution in energy production in decades thanks to the shale-gas boom and the rise of renewable energy…The lure of cheap natural gas has led utilities to shutter aging and carbon-spewing coal-fired power plants…Pending federal emissions regulations make it unlikely that any new coal plants will get built…while state renewable energy mandates and the declining cost of solar and wind technologies have triggered a boom in green power…Power plants are multibillion-dollar investments…designed to operate for decades…[T]hose natural gas-fired power plants and solar and wind farms coming online now will be fueling the economy for a good chunk of the 21st century…A lot of the dirty coal plants are more than thirty years old.” click here for more


    NRG Energy, NRG Yield and SunPower Begin Commercial Operations at 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch; Utility-scale solar facility in San Luis Obispo County, one of the world’s largest, provides clean power to an estimated 100,000 California homes

    October 31, 2013 (NRG Energy)

    "NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG), NRG Yield, Inc. (NYSE:NYLD), and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR)…announced the completion of the final phase of the California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) photovoltaic (PV) generating facility in San Luis Obispo County, California, bringing total electric generating capacity of the plant up to 250 megawatts (AC). NRG acquired CVSR from SunPower in 2011, and the project is jointly owned by NRG Yield (48.95%). CVSR is one of the world’s largest operating solar PV power plants and will sell its electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric under two long-term power purchase agreements…CVSR received a federal loan guarantee for $1.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. CVSR created more than 700 jobs during its two-year construction period and generated an estimated $315 million of economic development for the local economy…” click here for more


    Three Wind PTC Issues That Still Need To Be Resolved

    Hannah Hawkins, November 5, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    "In the American Taxpayer Relief Act, enacted in January 2013, Congress made perhaps the most significant change to the wind production tax credit (PTC) in the incentive's 20-year history…[by changing] the requirement that PTC facilities be placed in service by a date certain to a new standard that requires projects to merely begin construction by a defined date…The new PTC rules, however, left open…[three] unresolved issues that could prove challenging in qualifying for the PTC…[pertaining to] what are continuous efforts and what are acceptable delays…whether multiple facilities can be treated as a single facility…[and how] to document that construction has begun for projects which are not yet identified [or how pre-purchased equipment should be allocated]…” click here for more

    Monday, November 11, 2013


    White House Honors Energy-saving Veterans for Innovations

    Terri Moon Cronk, November 6, 2013 (U.S. Department of Defense)

    "…[A White House event honored 12 military veterans as] ‘champions of change,’ who perform ‘extraordinary work’ to advance clean energy and increase climate resilience and preparedness in their communities…[T]he 12 veterans continued to use their specialized skills and experiences to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy, made communities more resilient to climate change effects, and improved national energy security…Many veterans see a strong link between their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan and their commitment to energy security…” click here for more


    Veterans Stand Up to Corporate Attach in Ohio Renewable Energy Standard

    Matt Kasper, October 15, 2013 (ClimateProgress)

    “Ohio’s clean energy law has come under attack by a lawmaker affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the group funded by fossil fuel companies, corporate interests and the ultra-conservative billionaire Koch brothers — but local vets are taking a stand…Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) is pushing a bill that would weaken Ohio’s renewable energy standard — a law that requires a certain amount of the state’s energy portfolio be derived from renewable sources…But in Ohio, a group of 2,000 veterans, military family members and supporters is pushing back against Seitz’s effort and other bills aimed at weakening Ohio’s renewable energy standard…[A recent study on the state’s law concluded that [Ohioans are already benefiting from renewables]…” click here for more


    Iraq war vet to graduate in December

    Eladio Jaimez, November 8, 2013 (Valley Morning Star)

    “After serving in the United States Army for 10 years, living in Korea and completing three tours in Iraq, Georgia native Dominic Williams has found a home in the Rio Grande Valley…Williams is set to graduate in December with an associate’s degree in wind energy technology. He already has an associate’s degree in biomedical equipment technology but chose to continue his education because the only jobs he could find required [he and his wife] to move from the Valley…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013


    Edison Electric Institue enters net metering fray with Arizona ad buy

    Patrick O’Grady, November 5, 2013 (Phoenix Business Journal)

    "The Edison Electric Institute is entering the fray over net metering in Arizona, joining many utility groups and solar proponents waging a war of words over the Valley’s airwaves with new advertisements…The Washington-based association that represents investor-owned utilities would not disclose how much it was spending on its ad buy. It said the campaign was education based for consumers…[Net metering is] the process by which residential rooftop solar system owners are compensated for their excess power...Arizona Public Service Co. and solar installers have been arguing for months over how much those payments should be. The Arizona Corporation Commission is set to determine this month if they will change the program or come up with a different solution…” click here for more


    Deepwater Wind Moves Into 'Execution Mode' For Demo Block Island Wind Project

    Mark Del Franco, October 24, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    "Jeff Grybowski, Deepwater Wind's chief executive officer, says the offshore wind developer has moved well beyond the early stages of development and is now squarely focusing on completing the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, located off the coast of Block Island, R.I…[C]onstruction activities will begin in late 2014, beginning with…a 21-mile, medium-voltage submarine cable connecting the offshore wind farm to the mainland…The jacket foundations will begin arriving in spring 2015, with Siemens delivering five 6 MW direct-drive turbines that summer and grid completion expected in the fall. That time frame would make Deepwater's Block Island Wind Farm among the first, if not the first, offshore wind farm in the U.S…” click here for more


    Smart Grid Venture Capital Funding In Two-Year Slump

    October 23, 2013 (Up Front via Renew Grid)

    “Smart grid venture capital (VC) funding in the third quarter of this year (Q3'13) totaled $65 million in 12 deals, compared to $50 million in 10 deals in Q2'13…[according to Mercom Capital Group. That's a 30% rise…[but] VC funding in the sector has remained flat at this level over the last eight quarters, with the exception of Q3'12, when $238 million was raised…[T]otal corporate funding in the sector in Q3’13 was $129 million, including $64 million raised in what Mercom says is a rare initial public offering (IPO)…[H]ome and building automation companies received the most funding with $36 million in seven deals followed by grid optimization companies with $20 million in one deal…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013


    Yingli Green Energy and Jinko Solar Forecast to Announce Solar PV Shipment and Cost Records for Q3’13…Chinese solar photovoltaic industry rebound continues, as Yingli approaches 3 gigawatts annualized shipments and Jinko decreases blended costs to $0.50/watt

    October 30, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    "During the third quarter of 2013 (Q3’13), the recovery of the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry took a major step forward. Nine of the top ten solar PV module suppliers are forecast to achieve quarterly shipment growth, with six set to claim all-time shipment records. Module pricing for leading tier 1 Chinese suppliers stabilized for the third consecutive quarter, at approximately $0.63/W, allowing gross margins to increase to 18 percent, according to [SolarBuzz]…For the trailing twelve month (ttm) period ending in Q3’13, leading Chinese module suppliers Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar, and Canadian Solar occupied the top three global rankings for total megawatts shipped, with Jinko Solar likely to grab the third ranking position…[B]lended gross margins for the top 20 solar PV module suppliers increased to 12.5 percent in Q3’13, compared to 11.3 percent in Q2’13…” click here for more


    Utilities Across The U.S. Are Cashing In On The Lower Price Of Wind Power

    Joseph Bebon, October 31, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    "…[New] installed U.S. wind capacity is taking a steep dive this year…[but more] utilities are embracing wind power…According to the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) third-quarter 2013 market report, U.S. utilities have locked in more than 5.67 GW of wind under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) and announced over 1.87 GW of self-builds since the beginning of this year - a total surpassing 7.5 GW…[U]tilities’ increasing interest in wind power is mostly a matter of economics…[W]ind PPA prices dropped 43% on average across the country between 2008 and 2012. Last year, the PPA price range was anywhere from $30/MWh to $80/MWh. And the costs may be getting cheaper still…[Improvements] are being made across the industry to push down costs and push up performance - which lowers the price of energy…” click here for more


    Sacramento Utility to Launch Concentrating Solar Power-Natural Gas Project

    October 31, 2013 (U.S. Department of Energy)

    “…[A] new concentrating solar power (CSP) project led by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)…will integrate utility-scale CSP technology with SMUD’s 500-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired Cosumnes Power Plant. Supported by a $10 million Energy Department investment, this project will help design, build and test cost-competitive CSP-fossil fuel power generating systems in the United States…Hybrid systems couple traditional fossil fuel-powered plants with CSP technology…and marry baseload power with new, cost-effective capacity…[B]etween 11 and 21 gigawatts of CSP could be built and integrated into existing fossil fuel plants in the United States…[The SMUD project]…will feed solar-produced steam directly into the plant’s turbines – generating at least 10 MW of new electric generation capacity. The project will include energy storage technology to improve system performance and meet peak and off-peak power needs…” click here for more

    Monday, November 4, 2013


    Technology Gains are Powering Wind Energy (Op-Ed)

    Brad Gammons and Rolf Gibbels, October 17, 2013 (LiveScience)

    “…One of the reasons [for wind’s growth] is better technology…In the United States, design advances — such as switching to concrete from steel— have made it possible to erect towers as tall as 100 meters (328 feet), or nearly 30 stories…[A]s a rule of thumb, the stretch can boost output by up to 14 percent compared with one of today's 80-meter (263 foot) towers…As the towers get taller, the turbine blades get longer…[B]y stepping up to a diameter of 120 m (394 feet), from 103 m (338 feet), a recent turbine design can deliver up to a 15 percent boost in output. Longer blades are in the works…Today's turbines are loaded with sensors and precision controllers, which constantly tweak the blade assembly's position in order to optimize the use of the wind energy and provide information to advance operations…IBM believes advanced analytics software will play the most critical role in sustaining wind's tenuous, but rapid growth...” click here for more


    Multicrystalline Silicon Modules to Dominate Solar PV Industry in 2014, According to NPD Solarbuzz; Solar PV module production set to reach 50 GW landmark in 2014, as leading PV manufacturers continue to resist common technology roadmap

    October 25, 2013 (SolarBuzz)

    “…Solar PV manufacturers are currently planning to increase module production by 25% in 2014, to 49.7 GW of modules, compared to the 39.7 GW of modules being produced in 2013. This is in line with the upgraded forecast…that end-market solar PV demand will reach 45-55 GW next year…[P]olysilicon and wafer supply is considered adequate…Thin-film production will continue to lose market share, declining from 9.4% in 2013 to 8.9% in 2014…Standard p-type multi c-Si modules will continue to be the leading solar PV technology, with 35% of PV modules produced in 2014. However, the strongest technology share gains in 2014 will come from the advanced p-type multi segment…” click here for more


    St. Louis Rams Team Up with Microgrid Solar on Clean Energy Initiatives Partnership Will Further Team’s Green Objectives While Reducing Operating Costs

    October 25, 2013 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

    "The St. Louis Rams are greening their operations, from recycling and waste reduction, to energy efficiency and the use of recycled materials. As part of these efforts, the Rams have partnered with St. Louis based Microgrid Solar to further their efforts around clean energy…Microgrid will be handling an ‘Energy Makeover’ that will include a series of projects aimed to reducing energy costs, while contributing to the Rams Green Initiative…The clean energy improvements will begin with a solar installation, with a combined 25 kW output, at Rams Park that will include both a rooftop Solar PV array, as well as a solar sculpture…Additionally, an energy audit will be performed which will yield recommendations for additional facility upgrades…” click here for more