Tucked away in this former tin-mining town, past the small farms of banana trees and oil palms, is one of the solar industry’s best-kept secrets. The six factories here with cavernous rooms up to one-third of a mile long constitute the production backbone of First Solar. Working alongside minivan-size robots adapted from car assembly plants and other industries, 3,700 employees produce five-sixths of the American company’s solar panels. Workers in Ohio make the rest.
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Vivint Solar (Lehi, Utah, US), provider of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States, on December 12th, 2014 announced that it plans to open more than 20 new sales and operations offices in 2015.
Continuing its strong solar progress, North Carolina installed 95 megawatts (MW) of solar PV in Q3, more than all the solar installed in the state in 2010 and 2011 combined and enough to rank the state 3rd nationwide for added capacity, according to the new quarterly report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The Solar Market Insight Report found Q3 2014 represented a 172 percent increase over the previous quarter for North Carolina.
Demonstrating continued support for clean, renewable energy, residential solar installations in Colorado in Q3 were up more than 30 percent over the same period last year, according to the new quarterly report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
In another step forward for clean, renewable solar energy, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved raising the net energy metering (NEM) cap from 3 percent to 6 percent for all utilities. At the same meeting, the PSC announced plans to advance Community Shared Renewables, an innovative concept that could enable renters and millions of other New York energy consumers to go solar for the first time.
The mindbogglingly large number of people in the world–1.3 billion–without access to electricity is providing a growing market opportunity for a lot of social entrepreneurs. I just wrote about one, Nokero, selling solar-powered light bulbs.
US Senator for Colorado, Mark Udall and his cousin, Tom Udall, senator for New Mexico have teamed up to introduce legislation that would set renewable energy targets for utilities.
The legislation introduces the first national threshold, for utilities to purchase 25% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025.
A growing number of major corporations with operations around the world are harnessing energy from the sun to save on electricity bills. The Solar Energy Industries Association and Vote Solar recently released data showing some of the most iconic brands have gone solar in 2013.
The first bill U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has introduced in the Senate would require utilities to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources.
One of the most common solar-related myths out there is that it’s mostly just the rich who are going solar. We’ve seen indication in the past that this stereotype was not true. However, a study just released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) is certainly the most recent and most comprehensive study on the matter that I’ve seen.