The media has recently been full of stories about electric utilities being nervous and down right reactionary to adding solar (and wind) on the electric grid. On October 15th, The Huffington Post’s story on the Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) reported, “hundreds of Oahu customers have gotten burned in their transition to solar. They have gotten caught in limbo since September 6 when HECO changed the rules for connecting solar systems.”
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In northern New Mexico the sun shines nearly every day of the year. If solar energy is going to be viable anywhere, it will be here—and a small electric cooperative in historic Taos is taking advantage of it. In addition to supporting new solar projects in its service area, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is offering its customers the opportunity to buy solar energy from “plots” in a “garden” of solar power generation.
WASHINGTON, DC – A study released today shows ratepayers in North Carolina could see $26 million in energy savings annually if the state were to add 400 megawatts (MW) of wholesale solar and 100 MW of distributed solar generation.
Farmers in Japan can now generate solar electricity while growing crops on the same farmland. In April, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) approved the installation of PV systems on existing crop-producing farmland. Previously solar generation on farmland, productive or idle, was prohibited under the Agricultural Land Act.
This co-existence or double-generation is known as “Solar Sharing” in Japan. The concept was originally developed by Akira Nagashima in 2004, who was a retired agricultural machinery engineer who later studied biology and learned the “light saturation point.” The rate of photosynthesis increases as the irradiance level is increased; however at one point, any further increase in the amount of light that strikes the plant does not cause any increase to the rate of photosynthesis.
Georgia Power has agreed to buy more power from solar-equipped homes and businesses as part of its plan to boost the amount of solar power it sells, the utility told regulators Thursday.
On Wednesday Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC and SolarCity® announced plans to provide up to 13.2 megawatts of solar energy on 4,700 military homes at Balfour Beatty-managed residential communities at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the adjacent White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico.
The temperature in Massachusetts may be getting increasingly colder as winter approaches, but the state's solar energy industry continues to heat up thanks in part to available financial incentives. After all, it's not by coincidence that the Bay State has had the 10th fastest growing market for photovoltaic power since late 2009, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Last Friday, DOE also said it would distribute a $62 million grant to a handful of companies researching and developing concentrated solar power projects for electric utilities. CSP uses mirrors to collect and focus sunlight on a surface to produce steam for electric power generation.
Just because Veteran's Day has already passed does not mean it's time to forget the work of current and former military personnel. In fact, the solar energy industry has been instrumental in powering operations for all branches of the military and in providing reliable and cost-effective electricity for when veterans return home from deployment.