Coming on the heels of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) encouraging second-quarter industry report, the Solar Power Mid-Atlantic conference wrapped up this week to much applause. The first-ever Solar Power Mid-Atlantic drew hundreds of solar professionals from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland to the Atlantic City Convention Center for two days of panels and talks on solar opportunities in the region.
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Calling it a win for both the economy and the environment, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), today applauded a decision by the University of California to significantly expand its use of solar energy. As part of an ambitious plan to become carbon-neutral by 2025, university officials this week signed an agreement to purchase the electricity generated by 80 megawatts (MW) of solar – approximately 200,000 MW hours annually.
Solar energy company SolarCity Corp. is planning to add a Baltimore-area location by the end of the year. SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) announced the area location as part of an effort to open 20 new operations centers in seven states. The wave includes one other planned Maryland location, in Clarksburg.
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), the third-best performing solar panel maker in the past year, and the investment arm of China’s Sichuan province will create a 5 billion yuan ($810 million) fund to build solar projects. Sichuan Development Holding Co., Canadian Solar and third party investors will raise the funding, Guelph, Ontario-based Canadian Solar said today in a statement.
Construction has begun on a $1 billion solar power generating station in the Mojave Desert that officials say will produce enough electricity to power about 80,000 California homes when it is completed in 2016. Executives with Arizona-based First Solar and Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources put the cost of the 250-megawatt project, dubbed Silver State South, at $1 billion during a Wednesday ceremony with federal Bureau of Land Management chief Neil Kornze.
A solar-powered plane nearing the close of a cross-continental journey landed at Dulles International Airport outside the nation’s capital early Sunday, only one short leg to New York remaining on a voyage that opened in May.
Albany lawmakers are on the verge of passing solar legislation that promises to allow New Yorkers to lower their energy bills, deliver billions of dollars in economic investment, create thousands of new local job opportunities, modernize New York's aging power infrastructure, and ensure a reliable clean energy supply in the state for generations to come. There's strong bipartisan support for this bill, but precious little time remains on the state legislative calendar to enact the New York Solar Bill before lawmakers adjourn for the summer. So they must act fast.
A goal of mine in writing for Forbes.com on energy issues is to point out intriguing business models, trends, and new concepts that may change the way we think about energy-related issues. Lately, I’ve been focused on dramatic changes in solar models and economics. Things have really changed in a very short timeframe, as the following story illustrates.
David Crane, CEO and president, NRG Energy (NRG)
“With the cost of solar panels now just 10 percent of what they were five years ago, how do we streamline the local approval process and reduce the friction costs so that U.S. homeowners can realize the solar value of their property while paying less for their electricity?”
Utility power plants are many things—sprawling, expensive, often polluting—but one thing they are not is beautiful. Power plants are the engines of modern society, but we’d rather they stay out of the way.