2015 State Solar Power Rankings

Of the top ten states for solar, only New Mexico is what we would consider a traditionally "sunny" state. And most of the top ten is made up of northeastern states, which see plenty of wind, rain, snow, and clouds.

Energy in California Conference 2014

Being very involved in getting environmental permits to build renewable energy facilities, I am very interested in the question of how the industry is going to solve the grid integration issue. Since renewable energy is generated during daylight hours and the highest period of demand is in the evening, there is a mismatch.

Everything is Bigger in Texas - or not:
The State of the Texas Solar and Electricity Markets

Today, Texas only has 200 MW of solar capacity, less than New Jersey, Massachusetts, and a handful of other states.

California Electric Car Owners Can Get Cheaper Car Insurance

California could be at the forefront of these car insurance savings because it is one of the earliest adopters of clean cars (including Hybrids, Plug Ins & electric cars) in the nation.

SolarWorld announces expansions of solar panel and advanced cell production in Oregon

SolarWorld, the largest crystalline silicon solar producer in the Americas for nearly 40 years, announced that in 2015, it would add a solar-panel production line in Hillsboro to bring the panel-assembly factory's capacity up to 530 megawatts (MW), expand advanced cell production capacity by 100 MW and add 200 jobs.  "It is no secret that the last several years have been tough for SolarWorld and for U.S. solar manufacturers in general," SolarWorld U.S. President Mukesh Dulani said. "However, thanks to a variety of factors, including our trade cases against China, difficult but necessary financial controls and a fantastic group of employees, we have turned the corner. Today's announcement shows that SolarWorld is not only here to stay, but it also is ready to extend our leadership in the American solar manufacturing industry."    Dulani was joined at a morning news conference by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. Sen. Wyden received a commemorative plaque thanking him for his years of support for SolarWorld and its workers during the cases. He also spoke at a SolarWorld employee forum after the news conference. 

Sunrun, OutBack Power Pilot Renewable Energy Storage Systems For Homeowners

Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the United States, today announced a partnership with OutBack Power Technologies, Inc. to pilot renewable energy storage-based systems for a select group of Sunrun solar customers. OutBack Power is a designer and manufacturer of power conversion systems incorporating energy storage for off-grid and grid-connected renewable energy applications. As part of the pilot, Sunrun will combine and test OutBack Power's technology consisting of weather-resistant batteries and inverters with home solar systems in both indoor and outdoor environments.  "It is now more affordable than ever for consumers to run their homes with clean power, and we strongly believe that the next evolution of solar as a service for our customers is home solar paired with energy storage," said Sunrun's chief operating officer, Paul Winnowski. "With OutBack Power, we will further our commitment to providing customized and affordable home solar that allows customers to be a part of the solution for building a clean, modern grid that provides power when it is needed the most." 

Why Is There So Much Confusion About "Small Wind"?

Have you ever noticed energy blogs or articles about small wind turbines comparing them directly with big wind technology and solar? I am writing this article to provide a little background on where small wind turbines can be very successful and where they make absolutely no sense. It also explains why the market for “Small Wind” is vastly different from that of “Big Wind.”   First of all, “Small Wind” has been defined by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) as any turbines under 100 kW of rated power. As we all know, 100 kW wind turbines aren’t small! Therefore, others have decided to define them as anything up to 10 kW. For the purpose of this article, we use the same definition as AWEA, up to 100 kW. Full Article:

Battery Backup for Rooftop Solar Power Systems Too Costly

Using batteries to retain energy from rooftop solar systems will be too expensive for at least two years, according to industry executives.   That means homeowners who add solar panels to save money on utility bills will continue to lose electricity during blackouts, even after an 80 percent decline in battery costs over the past decade.   Residential solar systems typically send power to the grid, not directly to the house, and don’t run the home during a blackout. For batteries to save consumers money, stored energy must be drained daily, said Jamie Evans, who runs the U.S. Eco Solutions unit for Panasonic Corp., which supplies lithium-ion cells for Tesla Motors Inc.   “Solar will need storage for grid stability,” Evans said yesterday in an interview at the Solar Power International convention in Las Vegas. “Battery costs need to come down and regulatory structures have to change to really scale up.”   As residential solar become more common from California to New York, utility grids will increasingly become stressed without storage to ease supply and demand imbalances, he said.   For now, that means battery storage only makes economic sense for large businesses that get hit with extra fees when their power usage exceeds utility expectations.  

Solar Power International 2014 AltEnergyMag Tradeshow Report

AltEnergyMag.com has once again partnered with SPI 2014 to bring all the industry news and exciting new products to help our readers make sense of this key tradeshow. Here we have compiled a list of some product releases from this years show.

Special News Report for SPI 2014

Here are press releases and announcements from SPI 2014. Exhibitors are welcome to post their news here too.

SPI 2014 - Interview with Mark Cerasuolo of Outback Power Technologies

For SPI in 2014, we will be introducing the all-new control capabilities of our OPTICS RE user application. Launched this spring, the OPTICS RE cloud-based user-interface application provides installers and owners of OutBack systems the ability to easily monitor PV/solar system operation, performance and output via an intuitive dashboard from any Internet-enabled device.

SPI 2014 - Interview with David Briggs of IronRidge

This year we are focusing our new XR Rail Family, which was first introduced in mid-July. It's a significant improvement to our Roof Mount product line, both in terms of cost and installation efficiency.

SPI 2014 - Interview with Rita Hazen of Joyce/Dayton Corp.

SPI does a good job of organizing the business areas of interest in a logical manner making it easier to focus on those areas that are important to our business.

Solar Power International underway in Las Vegas.

This years show takes place October 20 - 23, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Over 15,000 + visitors are expected in attendance to learn about the latest technology innovations, financing models, business best practices and policy and incentive programs that are contributing to the growth of the solar industry. With over 600 exhibitors from 100 countries on display showcasing the entire system of solar technology and advances in solar cell and module technology, balance of system components, solar heating and cooling and energy storage. This year Solar Power International will offer  100 sessions, eight tracks, Master Speakers, 25-minute QuickTalks, and some of the best education in the industry Whether you’re an attendee or an exhibitor, an installer or manufacturer. As a media partner AltEnergyMag.com is covering Solar Power International 2014 and bringing  industry news and exciting new products to our eMagazine to help our readers make sense of this massive event. Make sure to check out our special  SPI 2014 Newspage  for Exhibitor news.   Click here to check out our SPI 2014 Tradeshow report to see what exciting new products we found at this years show.

Lockheed announces major breakthrough in nuclear fusion

The largest military contractor in the United States is developing a nuclear fusion reactor that is small enough to fit on the back of a truck but has the ability to produce the energy required to power a warship. Lockheed Martin said in a statement released on Wednesday this week that its secretive Skunk Works division — the unit responsible for the U-2 spy plane and F-117 stealth jet — has already applied for several patents related to the high-tech reactor it has in the works, and expects it to be deployed during the next decade if interested industry and government partners sign on to help starting soon. “Our compact fusion concept combines several alternative magnetic confinement approaches, taking the best parts of each, and offers a 90 percent size reduction over previous concepts,”  Tom McGuire, the compact fusion lead for the Skunk Works’ Revolutionary Technology Programs, said in a statement. “The smaller size will allow us to design, build and test the CFR in less than a year.”

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