Top News

Yotta Energy is putting batteries under solar modules — in the same spirit as microinverters and optimizers

Yotta has a potential solution for solar-plus-storage in the urban environment. Will the micro-storage startup become the next SolarEdge or Enphase? Or the next JLM energy? And whatever happened to SolPad?
Manufacturing

The futurology of solar power: robots, hackers, 5G, cheaper modules, repowering, and really cheap electricity

Module efficiencies will continue to increase, while the price of an individual module will stay the same. Not only will this hardware produce more power, it'll work far longer -- with predictions of 30-year module warranties, roughly the projected lifet...
Markets & Policy

Job moves at LG Solar, Constellation, Rosendin, Sun Tribe, Clearway, Worley, Brightcore, Blue Planet

Executive and boardroom moves in solar, storage, cleantech, utilities and venture capital.
Announcements

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The latest batch of energy yield results from the outdoor test field at Xi’an, China are out.

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Markets & Policy

Morning Brief: TVA plans 200 MW solar, 200 MWh storage, Arizona Public Service announces Clean Energy Future project

Also in the brief: NYSEIA forms the Long Island Solar & Storage Alliance, Sol-Ark named a finalist for "American-Made Solar Prize,' Gas South and Cobb EMC break ground on solar + storage project and more.
Technology

Fuel cell builder Bloom Energy continues streak of business math errors and lack of profits

A likely profitless 2019 will bring Bloom's streak to 76 profitless quarters. Its most recent business math error has the firm restating years of earnings.
Installations

In a major shift, the MISO territory has 57 GW worth of big solar projects in its interconnection queue

MISO's renewables mix is set for a potential shift from wind to solar -- if it can confront the challenge of transmission costs.
Markets & Policy

New entrants Sunnova and Loanpal are key to record residential solar loan ABS issuance

Interest in in residential solar loan ABS is rising, particularly among institutional investors as they incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision-making processes.
Markets & Policy

Morning Brief: unenthusiastic solar bill in West Virginia, battery storage is suffering from ‘growing pains’

Plus the Rise and Fall of Real Goods Solar, Australian solar predictions and 50 MW of PV in Zimbabwe
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Press Releases

The world’s first hot-spot free module heads to USA

The world’s first Smart Hot-spot Free module at Intersolar North America, 2020 AE SOLAR – German Innovator in Solar Energy industry heads to US market and exhibits at Intersolar North America, 2020. Company’s R&D team is always focused on new innovations and emerging technologies in photovoltaic.

The Town of Simsbury Connecticut, Asante Energy and Greenskies Renewable Energy complete rooftop solar project

Announcing the completion of a 220kW solar project for the Town of Simsbury under the State of Connecticut ZREC program.

Energy Toolbase Ranks No. 1,011 on the 2019 Inc. 5000 List as One of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America

Energy Toolbase was recognized as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, ranking number 1,011 on the 2019 Inc. 5000 List.

Standard Solar Releases eBook Offering Critical Insight On Executing Successful Community Solar Projects

Nationally known community solar expert Standard Solar has launched a new eBook Community Solar: What You Need to Know. This free, comprehensive guide to community solar, the fastest-growing segment of the burgeoning U.

Opinion

Featured

Reactive power produced on-site increasingly important as solar power and EVs go mainstream

Cutting costs and integrating clean energy with local reactive power generation.

How to solve Hawaii’s solar and storage problems

“Smart imports” could be the solution Hawaii needs. Two new bills that would allow smart imports are pending this month in Hawaii’s 2020 legislative session.

Is California trying to kill the community-scale generation market?

The community-scale market segment has been plagued by ongoing policy neglect, and otherwise poor policy choices. Will policymakers heed the track record of demonstrated failure and finally create new programs that address previous problems?

Virginia is a state to watch on renewables

A once red state’s embrace of a renewable portfolio standard could be a boon to ratepayers. The Virginia Clean Economy Act is currently working its way through Virginia’s General Assembly and, if passed, would be the most ambitious clean energy policy in the state’s history.

Why Europe and the US failed to capitalize on the benefits of thin-film solar

Is First Solar stalled in innovation and growth? Markus Beck, a thin-film solar expert and former chief scientist at First Solar, provides an industry perspective on the fate of thin-film PV in the U.S.

Florida municipal utilities should look to Florida Power & Light for guidance

Daren Goldin, CEO of Goldin Solar, describes the flaws in reasoning behind fixed-rate increase proposals and suggests that utilities instead focus on creating value for customers and exploring business models to benefit customers and their bottom lines.

Installations

Featured

Hardware and Services Brief: Cold rated lithium ion, fencing, a creative installation in Miami, more!

S-5! working with a metal roofing company to install two unique products on one site, SMA has launched a containerized medium voltage transformer that ties directly to their big inverters, and - so far - module pricing is flat in China. Send your hardware and service announcements USA-Editors@pv-magazine.com

Recognizing and solving challenges in renewable energy land usage

A new report released by The Brookings Institute looks at the land density and communal opposition issues raised by new renewable development, offering both logistical and policy-driven solutions.

New Jersey calls for 14 GW more solar through 2035

New Jersey can reach its clean energy goals at almost the same cost as “business as usual,” according to a state energy plan. Counting health gains, the cost of clean energy is lower. The plan includes electrification of most transportation and heating.

Takeaways from a strong Q4 for ‘the new SunPower’

A rare profitable quarter has anchored an even rarer profitable year for SunPower, as confidence in the decision to split off the company’s module manufacturing business into Maxeon Solar Technologies rises.

California’s solar mandate to deliver more than 1 GW

California has long led the way when it comes to solar deployment – both on the rooftop and at utility scale. The state is now pushing forward with a solar mandate for new homes, which could be a ‘eureka moment’ for the U.S. solar sector.

Software can drastically improve the economics of commercial solar

Jigar Shah of Generate: “Load flexibility is the giant issue nobody is talking about…Extensible Energy’s load-flexibility software is a win-win for the solar contractor and the building owner. Building owners get a higher ROI and faster payback time, and the solar contractor can offer an easy-install demand charge solution with or without batteries.”

Manufacturing

Featured

Government report says Trump’s solar tariff has accomplished little

The U.S. ITC has released a report highlighting changes in the domestic solar cell and module manufacturing industry, showing that while there has been an increase in domestic module manufacturing, the overall program's success, relative to the $740 million in tariffs, has created little measurable benefit.

Jinko Solar, China dominate module shipment totals again in 2019

Jinko shipped 14.2 GW of modules in 2019, up 33% from the previous year, the high mark in another year dominated by Chinese manufacturers.

Let the solar games begin — more innovation on the Intersolar show floor

Plenty of innovative hardware at the show that isn’t a module, battery or racking — as well as services and the Solar Games.

Energy storage innovations and exhibitors at Intersolar San Diego

EMP/solar flare-hardened gear, storage-behind-the-PV-module and Generac made appearances at the Intersolar show in Southern California last week.

What’s the efficiency of a Tesla glass tile solar roof?

It depends. We attempt to do the math. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

Italian PV panels destined for recycling were instead smuggled to Syria and Africa

Illegally re-badged panels were sold to Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Turkey and Syria. Italian authorities found 60 tons of panels.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Morning Brief: Philly signs an 80 MW PPA, Sunnova closes securitization of rooftop systems

Also in the brief: Fayetteville municipal buildings are two-thirds powered by solar, climate change is a defining issue for Nevada Democrats, Smithville, Texas approves 1 MW project, and more.

Morning Brief: 160 MW coming to Oregon, Vision Solar Expands to Massachusetts

Also in the brief: an 18 MW community solar portfolio proposed in Oregon, Sunnova partners with Generac and more.

Explosive growth: BNEF expects California residential battery installations to quadruple this year

As a California installer has said, “I kind of compliment PG&E because they’re our best marketing department when it comes to battery storage. Now the challenge is there’s a very limited number of battery storage systems that are going to meet the reliability threshold.”

Idaho regulators rule that net metering rates belong to the system, not the customer

Idaho regulators have amended an earlier ruling, now stating that the legacy rate given to customers who installed residential solar systems before December 20, 2019 applies to the system, not the customer.

Morning Brief: Cubico acquires 102 MW, LONGi to supply modules for 74 MW Microsoft project

Also in the brief: Solar Support partners with SEMIKRON to tackle utility-scale inverter stack shortage, investors say changes at Hawaiian Electric can ‘happen fast,’ Dynamic Energy sells 11 MW solar + storage portfolio to Amp Energy and more.

Ten sunniest US states added 1.8 GW of small-scale solar in 2019, as solar advocates press for more

Solar contractors added another 1.8 gigawatts of small-scale solar in the ten sunniest states last year. In Hawaii and California, solar groups described their ambitious policy goals to keep the momentum going.

Technology

Featured

The inner workings of a lithium battery

An international group of scientists has developed a method to track the microscopic processes at work in lithium batteries. Employing a ‘virtual unrolling’ model developed for ancient manuscripts too sensitive to be opened, the group peeked inside the layers of a commercial battery to gain a better understanding of the processes at work and the degradation mechanisms affecting them.

Silicon heterojunction solar cell hits 23.5% efficiency with new hole-selective contact

Researchers from Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have used molybdenum oxide as the hole-selective contact in a heterojuction silicon cell. The scientists claim the compound can compete with traditional contacts despite a lower level of optimization.

Trump budget request boosts nuclear, clean coal – while solar, ARPA-E and energy R&D are cut

Presidential budget requests rarely make it through congress. Nevertheless, this budget reveals the administration’s radical goals. Bad news for ARPA-E , EPA and Energy-Star.

Recycling heat for a ‘385% efficient’ solar desalinator

MIT scientists have developed a solar desalinator which sends heat from the sun through a ten-stage process of evaporation and condensation. The group estimates that a $100 device incorporating their innovation could provide the daily drinking water needs of a family.

MIT researchers say PV innovations should be deployed in niche markets first

Solar module manufacturers should begin testing new technologies in higher-value niche markets, say scientists at the U.S. institution. For example, bringing perovskite technology directly to the mainstream market remains prohibitive in terms of initial investment but segments such as building-integrated PV or microelectronics may offer better routes to commercial maturity.

Solar and the snow

Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are working to quantify the effects of abundant snowfall on a PV system and identify cost-effective strategies to mitigate energy losses and reliability issues caused by the presence of snow and ice.

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