Every week, The SEIA Solar Update includes top news stories covering the solar industry, major upcoming events, policy updates, and much more. This newsletter is open to SEIA Members and to the general public.
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SEIA is the solar energy industry’s go-to source for the latest coverage on solar power, including U.S. and international policy, research and polls, business and financing trends, and more. Our staff strives to support the media covering solar energy issues and guide our members on effective media outreach with clear statements, background materials, news and multimedia resources.
SEIA is committed to informing policymakers, the media, and the American public about the benefits of solar energy for today’s communities, our economy, and our country.
Learn more from our statements and industry news below.
About 80 Austin-based employee volunteers from global solar innovator, SunPower, brought solar energy to four low-income families in Austin’s Blackland Neighborhood. Working with national solar nonprofit Grid Alternatives over two days, the volunteers installed four rooftop solar systems totaling 13 kilowatts of generating capacity. The systems are expected to save each family electricity costs, and collectively reduce approximately 233 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over their expected 25-year life.
Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a California-based solar power project designer, developer, installer, and operations and maintenance (O&M) provider, says that since expanding its O&M services to all owners of commercial- and utility-scale PV plants in early 2015, the company now has 265 MW of assets under contract. The current portfolio is more than double what Borrego Solar managed in 2014 and quadruple that of 2013. Prior to 2015, the company only offered its O&M services to PV system owners of the projects it designed and built.
Soon after SolarCity acquired solar panel maker Silevo in the summer of 2014, it announced the construction of a 1.2-million-square-foot 'Solar Gigafactory' in Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo solar gigafactory aims to start producing solar cells in 2016, with a ramping up to 1 GW of annual capacity by 2017. If all goes well, the facility could eventually be expanded to 5 GW/year at some point. The solar cells produced there have a target price of around $0.50/watt, which would make them very competitive with other power sources.
An aquaponic nursery in Hawaii is using solar PV, battery storage and an energy management system to operate independently of the utility grid. EnSync Energy Systems says its energy management system has been operating continuously for four months, enabling Mari’s Garden to store power from its solar system and discharge it at a later time. Mari's Garden faces high energy consumption due to aquaponics on site that combine growing plants hydroponically with growing fish through aquaculture.
Continuing its strong growth from 2014, Nevada ranked second in the nation in new solar capacity added in the first quarter of this year, according to the recently-released U.S. Solar Market Insight Report compiled by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
California has become the first state in the nation to top 10,000 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, which was just released by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Today, California has more solar assets than most nations, including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia and Belgium.
As part of its annual awards ceremony in Miami Beach, marketing and communications industry leader PR News announced the winners and honorable mentions for its prestigious 2015 Social Media Icon Awards for companies, agencies and organizations which “broke the mold in social media communications.”
In an effort to lead by example and further educate residential solar consumers across America, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is launching the first SEIA Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power.
As part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainability and reduce harmful carbon emissions, the U.S. Navy and General Services Administration (GSA) have announced plans to develop more than 10 megawatts (MW) of new solar facilities in the nation’s capital, building on progress already made through the launch of the Capital Solar Challenge. Today, nine percent of the federal government’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources, including solar, putting the White House on pace to reach its goal of 30 percent renewable energy use by 2025.
Utility officials flipped the switch on Colorado’s newest, huge solar power plant on Dec. 23.
Solplicity has expanded its service area to include the greater Sacramento region and further bolstered its Los Angeles County presence with the addition of a Burbank office.
8minutenergy Renewables, LLC and an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C. (DESRI) announced the completion of permitting, financial closing and start of construction of the 191 megawatts-dc (150 MW-ac) Springbok 2 Solar Farm, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles in Kern County, California. 8minutenergy recently announced that it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Springbok 2 Solar Farm with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in the 200-megawatt (MW) Garland solar facility under construction in California from Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. Recurrent Energy is constructing the facility and will retain the remaining interest in the project. Southern Power and Recurrent Energy have now announced the development of three jointly owned projects that together are expected to generate more than 550 MW of solar electricity in California and Texas.
Sonnenbatterie has rolled out its plug-and-play home battery system in the U.S. ahead of Christmas, beating Tesla to the punch in what is expected to be a competitive market in 2016. Sonnenbatterie manufacturers its storage devices in San Jose, California, and has secured supply contracts with 30 dealers across the U.S. Demand for the battery is already strong, with a Sonnenbatterie spokesperson telling PV Magazine’s German-language website that around 1,000 products have already been ordered.
August 14, 2003, was a dark day in U.S. history – in a lot of different ways.
It started off as a quiet Thursday. Then a single tree limb in Ohio came crashing down, touching off a power outage which cascaded across eight states and parts of Canada, leaving 50 million Americans in the Northeast in the dark. Commuters were stranded. Businesses closed. People sweltered in the heat. And the U.S. economy took a huge beating, losing an estimated $10 billion.
I’m looking forward to speaking at Senator Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit next week in Las Vegas. I’ll be on the “21st Century Energy Market” panel where we’ll address what can be done to make the grid friendlier to renewables while ensuring long-term access to affordable and reliable electricity.
For the first time in decades, Congress appears serious about tackling the issue of comprehensive tax reform. But for the solar industry, there’s a real risk is that some members of Congress will try to eliminate all renewable energy tax credits in order to reduce corporate tax rates--and that could roll back the tremendous progress solar has made in recent years.
This week, the Solar Energy Industries Association joined other renewable energy advocates, businesses, and environmental groups to urge the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to reject a new proposal from Xcel Energy that would discourage net-metered solar energy growth in its territory.
Following months of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, it appears the Senate will begin debate soon on critically important legislation which could help American consumers, businesses and the federal government to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year by using less energy. And using less energy gives us a big leg up in the fight against climate change.
Like thick smog hanging stubbornly overhead, many of the arguments against President Obama's climate change policy are stagnant, potentially dangerous and pose a serious, long-term threat to America's future.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is historically one of the greatest catalysts of technological innovation. Through its procurement power alone it has the ability to transform markets.
Someone once said: “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” Without question, the pilots of Solar Impulse, Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, are living proof of that. These two great adventurers made solar and aviation history last weekend when Solar Impulse touched down at New York’s JFK Airport.
As we celebrate the 4th of July holiday, Americans everywhere will take a moment to remember the men and women who have made freedom possible.
From an environmental perspective, few things in the future threaten our freedom more than climate change. Leaving a world void of hope and bankrupt of resources would be as oppressive as any tyranny.
Today, I testified before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade on behalf of the American workers and businesses in the U.S. solar industry about India’s restrictive and unfair trade practices.