pvMB 2/22/19: Walls are up at LG’s Alabama solar factory, utilities overspend by billions on T&D and more…


Construction complete on LG’s new Alabama solar factory – Local contractor Doster Construction has told the Birmingham Business Journal that it has completed work on LG’s new solar factory at its Huntsville, Alabama campus. pv magazine has not seen any updates from LG on tool delivery, or when the 500 MW module factory will begin ramping production. Source: Birmingham Business Journal


Electric utilities overspend by billions on T&DElectric utilities across the United States are overspending by billions as they’ve ramped up spending on aging transmission lines and other equipment, recent reviews show, with no competition and no upfront scrutiny in many cases.” The report by the Brattle Group analyzed FERC data from 2013 to 2017. Source: USA Today


Kentucky Senators vote down utility requirement to consider benefits, along with the costs, of residential solar power – “The amendment included a clause to ensure that utility regulators considered the benefits as well as the costs that residential solar provides for utilities. It also grants the solar industry the ability to intervene on behalf of solar customers that go before utility regulators, and provides a 10-year grandfather period for anyone who purchases solar for their home after the initial case sets the new rate, but before 2024.” Source – WFPL


New Orleans City Council declines to reconsider gas plant – Despite a scandal involving Entergy New Orleans hiring a contractor who paid actors to fake public support for the utility’s new gas plant and boo solar, the New Orleans City Council has approved the utility’s plan for the plant, in exchange for a mere $5 million fine. Source: The Lens


NREL to build albedo database for bifacial modules: The National Renewable Energy Lab is building the first national database of albedo, or reflected light values, to help model the performance of bifacial solar panels, the highest-yield type of panel in the industry thus far. The database is an outgrowth of a large field test of bifacial panels at the lab, which includes a variety of fixed-mount and tracker systems and a mix of bifacial panels from different manufacturers. Source: CleanTechnica


Looking at the right place for chargers in Michigan – “The ideal locations and number of fast-charging electric vehicle chargers along well-traveled Michigan highways were announced today in the first phase of a study funded by the Michigan Energy Office. The study focuses on minimizing investment costs and user delay, while ensuring the feasibility of statewide EV travel.” Source: Medium, Michigan agency for energy


Jacobson calls Hochschild “perfect chair” of CEC for the energy transition – Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson has stated that incoming California Energy Commission (CEC) Chair David Hochschild is the “perfect chair for transitioning the state to 100% wind water and solar power.


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