When I visited the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which sits in the Mojave Desert on the border between California and Nevada, I had to be careful where I looked. The engineers warned me not to look directly at the receivers arrayed on top of the centralized solar towers, which collected the desert sunlight concentrated by thousands of mirrors on the desert floor. The solar receiver was as bright as the heart of the sun, glowing with a retina-melting white. I had to force myself to look away.
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Joy Hughes was living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, a place with a “tremendous amount of solar potential,” so good that the valley’s residents were being overwhelmed by proposals for large-scale solar power plants. One had a “field of things like radar dishes” and another included a “600 foot tower.” The influx of outside companies seeking solar profit led Joy to ask, “Why not just set up solar arrays that can provide power for people in the local community and offset their electric bills?”
A solar-energy group is offering a plan to resolve a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, saying import duties currently in place are crippling the industry in both nations.
U.S. solar-panel installations more than doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier led by demand in California, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
SunPower Corp. (SPWR) has signed a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric or PG&E for delivery of the 100-megawatt (AC) Henrietta Solar Project in Kings County, Calif. According to the company, the project is likely to create nearly 200 jobs during construction and inject $72.7 million into the local economy.
Envision Solar International announced on Thursday that one of its Tracking Solar Trees®, which includes a SunCharge™ electric vehicle charging station as its trunk, will be going up at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.
The solar-power business is expanding quickly in the U.S., helping lift the cloud that has surrounded the industry since the demise of Solyndra LLC a year ago. But the growth isn't coming from U.S. solar-panel manufacturing, despite the money and rhetoric devoted to the industry by the Obama administration. Instead, it is in installations of largely foreign-made panels, whose falling price has made solar more competitive with other forms of power.
A previously approved plan that will allow many city-owned facilities to be partly powered by the sun saw a new partner added to the contract Tuesday night.