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02
DEC
2014

New Law in South Carolina Paves the Way for More Solar Energy

 

South Carolina has recently taken initiative in preparation for the progressive movement from traditional energy utilization to renewable solar energy.

Environmentalists, solar advocates and utilities and electric cooperatives teamed up to form an Energy Advisory Council, producing what is known as Act 236. The proposed law essentially provides a guideline to regulations on solar energy that will enable an increase in use while keeping costs down. Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina Government Relations Vice President John Frick expressed the importance of implementing such an Act to avoid any future issues associated with set policies that could hinder solar energy growth.

Act 236 includes a number of provisions that organize the legalities of ownership, methodology of rate structures and installation cap expansions. The Act uses a Value of Solar (VOS) methodology to develop rate structures that incorporate distributed energy resources (DERs) in the equation. DERs are smaller energy sources that can be combined with renewable technology to meet the requirements of energy consumption. Utilization of DERs is a key component in transitioning to solar energy, and Act 236 provides a solution to the complex issue of valuing these rate structures.

Another provision of Act 236 allows third party ownership (TPO) of rooftop solar. The implementation of TPO gives homeowners and lessees discounted utility bills while larger funds take on the responsibilities of ownership. This factor has been proven to have a large impact on increases in solar use in other states.

Other provisions of Act 236 involve requirements for two of the state’s large utilities, Duke Energy Carolinas and South Carolina Electric and Gas, to get two percent of their five-year rolling peak load average from renewables by the end of 2020. Further, restrictions on commercial and industrial installation caps have been expanded, and regulators now must harmonize DERs in their rate structures as their use increases today.

Utilities are somewhat of a controversy in regards to Act 236, as it requires cooperatives to avoid cross-subsidization between customers. The problem arises from rural customers who do not wish to progress into solar energy. Those customers cannot be charged for something they do not use.

Some energy executives are optimistic about the new changes brought on by Act 236, while others remain skeptical. Act 236 must work out the bugs and stand conclusive by its deadline of March 2015. If all goes accordingly, we will see major advancements and changes in solar energy. Changes to regulations and policies, along with steady annual decreases in installation costs are all major factors that advocate the future increase in the utilization of solar energy.

As solar energy hardware and software providers, Sorapro is excited about Act 236 and the implications for the future of solar energy. To find out more about Sorapro solar monitoring, contact us today: http://www.sorapro.com/quick-quote/

04
APR
2014

Can Solar Costs Compete with Traditional Sources of Energy?

We are fast approaching the point where solar energy will shift from being an interesting alternative for traditional energy sources to a fully viable competitive option that can outdo coal, natural gas or petroleum in terms of price in addition to its other benefits.
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08
AUG
2013

Solar could power more than 1/3 of the US West finds new study

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That’s if the SunShot Initiative’s goals to reduce the cost of solar are realized, according to a new University of California, Berkeley. The research used computer modeling to predict what the U.S. West’s energy infrastructure could look like by 2050.
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08
AUG
2013

Solar Panels Donated by Motech Americas LLC Helps Special Needs Family Afford Medical Care for Two Disabled Sons

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A just-completed housing project features solar panels donated by Motech Americas LLC, a solar company with a 20-year heritage of manufacturing the highest quality solar panels, to help a special needs family significantly reduce the energy costs for the family with two disabled young sons. This Habitat for Humanity Project, championed by MOTECH’s partnering company, Sungevity, will significantly defray the cost for operating essential monitoring devices for the boys who have physical and mental disabilities. Sungevity is one of the nation’s Residential Solar Leasing Companies, making solar affordable for everyone.
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08
AUG
2013

China Sunergy Launches Super Black Module

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Rapid Time-to-Market Following Custom Order

China Sunergy Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: CSUN) (“China Sunergy” or “the Company”), a specialized solar cell and module manufacturer, today announced that the Company has introduced the Super Black module following an initial custom order for a 60KW rooftop project in Hawaii.  Delivery is expected in mid-August.
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08
AUG
2013

Wattner Buys 48 Megawatt Solar Power Plants

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Ten Solar Power Plants Acquired in Germany

Wattner has bought ten utility-scale solar power plants with a total capacity of 48 megawatts (MW). The total transaction volume is approximately 60 million euros.

All plants have been commissioned in 2012 and 2013 on sites throughout Germany. The two largest plants with a rated power of respectively 10 MW are located in Suelte, Mecklenburg and Schwarzheide, Brandenburg.  Further eight solar power plants with a total capacity of 28 MW are located throughout other parts of Eastern Germany.
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06
AUG
2013

SunPower Solar Science Academy Inspires Students Across California

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Ten California School Districts Participate in Summer Learning Program’s Second Year

Approximately 250 students from ten California school districts are participating in this summer’s SunPower Solar Science Academy, an academic program launched last year by SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), a global solar technology and energy solutions company. The project- and work-based learning program is delivered over the course of one week in each participating district, immersing district students and teachers in a solar-focused curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
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06
AUG
2013

Solar energy week in review: EU caves to China Imports, as more US homes go solar

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Solar energy week in review: EU caves to China Imports, as more US homes go solar

The biggest news in solar last week is likely that the European Union’s trade commission didn’t enforce the strict duties on Chinese PV imports that some had expected. Across the pond, however PV installations are still going strong with reports showing that solar does add homeowner value and more. Meanwhile Arizona was named the top solar state in the U.S.—even as its biggest utility is pushing back against solar in its pipeline.
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06
AUG
2013

Study: Solar Energy Especially Benefits NJ, Other Mid-Atlantic States

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Health, environmental improvements found to far exceed impact in warm, sunnier regions.  For years, solar-energy advocates have complained that critics of the technology and its higher costs ignore the environmental and health benefits the arrays produce by replacing “dirty” power from more traditional generating units.
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30
JUL
2013

Bermuda: New Solar Energy Showroom Set To Open Today

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Bermuda Engineering will become the island’s first solar energy company to open its doors to the public with a new solar energy showroom, which opens today [July 30] at 48 St. John’s Road.

Several Ministers will be attending the ribbon cutting and will kick off the celebrations, which will continue into the evening; and other dignitaries will also be in attendance.
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30
JUL
2013

India: Solar energy is the way!

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Most of the states in India are blessed with an optimum amount of sunlight needed to set up solar energy plants and light up the place yet many villages today turn gloomy as the sun sets and they have to strain their eyes under the candle light. Children can’t study well, womenfolk work in clumsy houses with no light or fan and irrigation isn’t facilitated with electrically powered pumps. How can we expect such places to develop?

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30
JUL
2013

JinkoSolar to Supply 39MW PV Modules to AMEC for Three Projects In the US

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JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (“JinkoSolar” or the “Company”) (NYSE: JKS), a leading global solar PV power product manufacturer, today announced that it will supply AMEC, one of the world’s leading international engineering and project management companies, with 39 MW of high-efficiency photovoltaic (“PV”) modules for three solar projects in the United States.

Located in Marion County, Indiana, all three projects will utilize JinkoSolar’s 300W 72 cells, high-efficiency PV modules and are the largest utility-scale solar projects in Indiana. Once connected to the grid, the facilities will generate enough power to supply 7,500 homes. According to terms of the agreement, deliveries will be completed during the 4th quarter of 2013.
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30
JUL
2013

Georgia Power helps TOTO USA power its business with 5.8 million kilowatt-hours of Green Energy

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50 percent of Georgia manufacturer’s annual energy usage generated by renewable sources

 Georgia Power announced today that TOTO USA, Inc., a high-volume manufacturer of bathroom fixtures in Morrow, Ga., has become one of the largest purchasers of Green Energy. The Green Energy program is available to the company’s residential and business customers and enables them to purchase electricity produced from renewable generation sources including solar and biomass.
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29
JUL
2013

Why the US Will Be the World’s Largest Residential PV Monitoring Market in 2013

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Large-scale solar PV plants are almost always managed with monitoring software, but this does not hold true for smaller systems.

A report recently published by GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting assesses that in most residential PV markets around the world, the attachment rate of monitoring software varies between 5 percent and 20 percent, with one noticeable exception: the U.S. boasts a uniquely high rate of 80 percent.
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29
JUL
2013

SolarCity to Provide Solar Electricity to 7,500 Military Homes at Island Palm Communities at Multiple Army Bases in Hawaii

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One of largest SolarStrong projects to date expected to add 12.8 megawatts of generation capacity throughout Oahu, including Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks 

SolarCity (Nasdaq: SCTY) today announced plans to add 12.8 megawatts of new solar generation capacity to provide solar power to up to 7,500 military homes at Lend Lease-managed Island Palm Communities throughout the island of Oahu, including Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawai’i. The projects are the latest to be announced under SolarCity’s SolarStrong initiative, a five-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar projects to provide power to up to 120,000 military homes in the United States. SolarCity has now initiated projects that are expected to provide renewable power to approximately 22,000 military homes when completed.
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29
JUL
2013

Weather: Flossie To Cross Hawaii Today; Dry In Arizona, New Mexico

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In the West, a break in the monsoon has allowed mostly dry weather to return to Arizona and New Mexico. However, beneficial showers dot the Intermountain West, while cooler air is overspreading the Northwest.

On the Plains, beneficial showers are easing stress on rangeland, pastures, and summer crops across central portions of the region. Rain is also developing on the northern Plains, slowing winter wheat harvesting but aiding immature, spring-sown small grains.
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29
JUL
2013

PaCE Launches Pilot Solar Grant Program For South Carolina Schools

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Some students in South Carolina may soon see solar panels on their school’s rooftops – thanks to a pilot program sponsored by Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE), a South Carolina nonprofit that promotes renewable energy resources.

The Solar Matching Grant Pilot will target K-12 schools in South Carolina. The $250,000 program will cover 50 percent of a school’s rooftop solar installation – up to $50,000. K-12 schools and not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational institutions in South Carolina are eligible.
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29
JUL
2013

Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments 100 Percent Leased In Just 10 Weeks

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In just 10 weeks, the progressive new Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments developed by H.G. Fenton Company in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego has achieved full occupancy.

During construction, the priority reservation list grew quickly for the 114-unit apartment community, which has earned national acclaim for being the first in San Diego County to provide residents with the solar generated power they need for daily living.
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29
JUL
2013

Packed House in Tucson, Arizona for Energy Round Table Listening Session with Rural Utilities Administrator

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Sorry Mr. Wolfe. As it turns out, you actually CAN go home again…and John Padalino recently did.

Padalino is the Administrator for the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a branch of USDA Rural Development. Born in south Tucson, Padalino grew up along the border where his father was a customs agent. Recently he was back in Tucson to facilitate a  Rural Development Energy Round Table. Read More

28
JUL
2013

States take a shine to solar energy

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The USA has tripled its solar-power-generating capacity since 2010 and increased it tenfold since 2007, according to a new report from the non-profit advocacy group Environment America.

The report said California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, New Mexico and New Jersey lead the country when it comes to the amount of electricity being generated from the sun’s energy.

Although those are some of the country’s sunniest states, the report says it’s the political commitment that makes the most impact: Lawmakers in those states have passed solar-friendly laws and regulations.
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