SolarCity to offer solar-powered EV chargers

SolarCity said today that it will begin to offer installation services for solar-powered EV chargers compatible with any electric vehicle currently on the market. To do so, the company is partnering with EV charger manufacturer ClipperCreek, which will supply chargers that use the standard SAE-J1772 charge cable. Installation of a 240-volt Level II charger, which typically charges an EV battery to full capacity in about four hours, for a home or business will start at $1,500 including the price of the charger, according to SolarCity. SolarCity said the offer is not just an add-on for customers who have the company install solar panel systems, but that it's also willing to install a standalone EV charger.

DEGERenergie: Strong demand for MLD tracking in the USA

The worldwide renewable energy boom continues. Now, the euphoria has also arrived in the American solar market. This is what DEGERenergie reports from the Intersolar North America. What surprises recently is the diversity of the demand in the United States. Not only potential investors and solar park operators were interested in information about the most efficient technology DEGERenergie offers for medium and large-scale solar projects – more than ever, specific inquiries also came from individuals wanting to benefit from the advantages of MLD tracking. Michael Heck, Vice President Marketing & Sales at DEGERenergie, puts it like this: "The issue of self-supply is rapidly gaining importance – not only in Germany."

The Groupon for solar looks nationwide

A startup offering Groupon-style group discounts for solar panel roof installations is now looking to connect with potential solar customers nationwide. On Monday One Block Off the Grid (1BOG) plans to expand access to its group solar discounts, installer recommendations and solar information services to another set of almost two dozen states across the U.S. 1BOG works by using the power of the group to leverage a low-cost solar deal in certain areas. Similar to Groupon, 1BOG collects a critical mass of interested solar customers in a given area and uses the volume of people to make deals with local solar installers. Think of the service as a way for entire neighborhoods to go solar in one fell swoop.

GM, ABB rewire Volt battery for back-up power

General Motors and grid equipment supplier ABB this week showed an early version of an energy storage system using battery packs from the Chevy Volt electric car. The two companies are partnering to build a prototype which they say can be used either for large-scale grid storage or back-up power for consumers. They estimate that 33 repurposed Volt battery packs could supply 50 U.S. homes for four hours during an outage or brownout. Batteries lose their storage capacity over time, but used car batteries are still viable for grid storage. GM estimates that once used car batteries have 70 percent of their initial charge, they can still be suitable for grid storage. Finding a viable method to repurpose used EV batteries after seven to ten years of driving isn't just a question of consumer convenience and driving range. Because batteries are the most expensive component of electric cars, car companies and battery makers are trying to ways to draw more money from that asset with grid storage.

Harnessing solar power, on a small scale

No thicker than a piece of paper - because it practically is a piece of paper - a solar panel created by an MIT researcher can be shoved into a pocket or made into a paper airplane, and it will still create energy when exposed to sunlight. The trick is in the way it is made. The panel is printed like ink onto a sheet of paper. Even folded up like a letter, it retains its ability to convert light to electricity. With her colleagues, Karen Gleason, a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published a paper last week in the journal Advanced Materials, demonstrating how they created a solar panel by printing tiny, lightweight layers of electrodes and semiconductors on a piece of paper.

AltEnergyMag - 2011 InterSolar North America Report

Intersolar promotes the development of business opportunities throughout the North American solar industry. There are 800 exhibitors and 22,000 trade visitors expected at the 2011 exhibition, co-located with SEMICON West. The accompanying conference expects 1,600 attendees. Since its establishment in 2008, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in North America. Intersolar North America focuses on photovoltaic and solar thermal technology and has quickly established itself among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service providers as a vital international industry meeting point.

Electric Vehicle Market Expansion in China

China fully intends to make its automotive industry one of its pillar industries; and those who do business there must be ever mindful of that reality. China appears determined to segue from "Made In China" to "Made By China". The profundity of that change in preposition should resonate even among those doing well in China.

SunWave Technology

Smart Solar is highly distributed, large scale solar coupled with Smart Grid technology installed in partnership with utility companies. Smart Solar builds solar in a reliable and cost-effective way that mitigates challenges faced by traditional solar. Smart Solar is the best insurance for long-term grid stability.

States Drive Impressive Fuel Cell Growth

The fuel cell industry is still finding its foothold in the energy technology portfolio, but supportive state policies that help foster fuel cell installations, company relocations and growth will help keep the U.S. at the forefront of fuel cell commercialization for a wide variety of applications and power needs.

Assessment of wind resources will help onshore development to take off

Systematic wind mapping offers a standardised data foundation for regional planning, taking the identification of areas which are particularly suitable for wind-farm projects to a completely new level. At the same time, it supports investors, planners and operators in identifying attractive sites and estimating amortisation periods. The independent TÜV SÜD experts have long-standing international experience, supporting wind projects across the world from planning to construction and operation.

St. Louis County Missouri Parks & Recreation Dept begins incorporation of Solar Equipment

The four larger panels pictured, consist of two systems. Upon a closer look, an observer will notice that visually the system is divided up in to two pairs of collectors that have a slightly different appearance from one another. Of the two pairs, one pair creates hot water for the facility and the other pair creates warm air for the structure.

InterSolar North America 2011 - AltEnergyMag.com has all the News from the show

Intersolar North America - North America's Premier Exhibition and Conference for the Solar Industry Intersolar promotes the development of business opportunities throughout the North American solar industry. There are 800 exhibitors and 22,000 trade visitors expected at the 2011 exhibition, co-located with SEMICON West. The accompanying conference expects 1,600 attendees. Since its establishment in 2008, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in North America. Intersolar North America, focuses on photovoltaics and solar thermal technology and has quickly established itself among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service providers as a vital international industry meeting point. As a media partner AltEnergyMag.com is hosting a Special InterSolar newspage sponsored by Trojan Battery, Schneider Electric and CentroSolar. We invite all exhibitors and attendees to check out and submit all your Conference news here. Also, stay tuned for our InterSolar Conference report which will go online following the show.

Feds offer $105M loan guarantee for "Project Liberty" biofuel plant

Poet's so-called "Project Liberty" biofuel plant, which will use corn waste instead of edible corn, is getting some support from the U.S. government. On Thursday, the Department of Energy announced it will offer Poet a $105 million loan guarantee to build out Project Liberty in Iowa, which is supposed to eventually produce up to 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Through loan guarantees, the government promises to pay back loans if borrowers can't. In many cases, the government is providing the loans as well, via the Federal Financing Bank. The financial support could help Poet finally get Project Liberty into commercial-scale production, and the plant has been in the planning stages for years now. Poet initially was hoping to start building the plant in 2009 and operating it in 2011, and back in 2008, the company was aiming for the plant to eventually produce 125 million gallons of biofuel per year.

Clean-tech incubator gets down and dirty

BOSTON--An everyday office building doesn't quite work when you need to hammer out a prototype of a solar-powered chiller or an inflatable wind turbine. So a group of entrepreneurs here have created a hands-on workshop to bring their clean-energy ideas to life. Greentown Labs held its official opening last week, bringing fellow entrepreneurs, city officials including Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and investors looking to plug into the active clean-energy technology scene. About 40 people from 10 fledgling companies have moved into this former baker and confectioner's supply warehouse in South Boston with the hopes of finding more like-minded green-tech start-ups. Among the offerings was beer chilled by solar panels. Their work environment is definitely not class A office space. A disorderly room houses work areas shared among four or five companies. There is separate space for small offices and another with a lab table set aside for electronics testing. In the basement is a large machine shop where inventors can bang out their first prototypes.

Harnessing the Sun's Power

KUKA Systems North America has made a successful entry into the burgeoning Canadian solar panel manufacturing sector, demonstrating in the process how it can adapt its extensive suite of automated production solutions to a panel maker’s unique requirements. KUKA Systems provides photovoltaic panel manufacturers around the world with fully automated production lines or any level of automation short of that, from cell layout through all stages of module assembly and quality control, regardless of type or dimensions. For its first Canadian customer, KUKA Systems is installing three partially automated, post-lamination framing lines for trimming, framing, testing and packout of photovoltaic panels, a $12 million contract. Each line consists of five robots, as well as applicators, conveyors and other handling and testing equipment. Installation began in the first quarter of 2011.

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