Ulster, NY sets per-MW permit fees for large-scale solar arrays – In an effort to cut down on the costs of permitting fees when developing solar projects, the town of Ulster, New York has set up a system where project fees are determined by MW capacity rather than square footage. Under this new system, projects are charged $1,000 per megawatt for a Planning Board review, $900 per megawatt for a building permit, $1,000 per megawatt for battery installation planning reviews and $4,500 per megawatt for a battery installation building permit. For the 6 MW Landau Solar project set to be developed in the area, this cuts permitting costs from over $100,000 to around $44,000. Source: The Daily Freeman
Antarctica’s Casey Research Station goes solar – With capacity that nearly matches that of the entire state of North Dakota (kidding but also not), Antarctica’s Casey research Station is harnessing the power of the sun. The station has installed on its north wall 105 panels, totaling 30kW in capacity. Interestingly enough, the north wall was a more favorable installation location than the roof due to the low angles of sunlight the base receives. Source: Solar Quotes
Ubiquitous sets new world record for efficiency of a transparent solar cell – “-Ubiquitous Energy has certified a record transparent solar cell with 9.8% power conversion efficiency. The transparent cell based on the company’s ClearView Power™ technology has an average visible transparency of 38.3% and a resulting light utilization factor (efficiency multiplied by average visible transparency) of over 3.75. This is the highest performance combination ever reported for a transparent solar cell.” Source: Ubiquitous Energy
First commercial-scale solar project for cannabis completed – It may not be the biggest commercial-scale project, but it’s a step in the direction of the cannabis industry enlisting solar to help alleviate its energy consumption. After a two-year approval process, Canndescent Cannabis out of Desert Hot Springs, California put up the solar installation in around eight weeks. Source: New Cannabis Ventures
Bangor issues solar RFP – The city of Bangor, Maine is preparing to issue a request for proposals after a study done by developer ReVision Energy found that the city could save up to $4 million by installing a solar project. The site, however, is a bit limited, consisting of 13 acres on Maine ave that could house a reported 17 rows of panels. Source: Bangor Daily News
Even utilities are looking to offset their electrical use – Looking to cut back on its annual electricity use, Bella Vista Water District recruited the help of CalCom Energy to develop a 693 kW solar project, which is helping the utility offset 75% of its annual electricity usage. The project was financed through a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant and district funds, with an estimated cost savings of $3 million over 25 years. Source: CalCom Energy
Anti-solar commercial making waves in Iowa – A commercial promoting Senate File 583, the newly-approved bill which establishes a fee on solar owners (and which you can read about here) in Iowa has drawn the ire of those who dispute its message. This message includes the claim that solar owners don’t pay to use power lines, a claim which ignores the benefits of distributed energy including peak shaving and reduced use of power lines. The ads are being run by an organization called the ‘REAL Coalition.’ Source: KCRG
And to end your MB, nothing like a good ol’ American Chopper/Renewables crossover meme:
— Miles Keogh (@kidcongo) March 20, 2019
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Entertaining “First World Problem” solution unveiled! While the rest of the world struggles to gain access to any energy (let alone low carbon energy), we in the First World are patting ourselves on the back for a job well done by undertaking the first step in addressing the high carbon intensity load growth required to grow our weed. When this “problem” first manifest itself in Colorado, the response to any concerns raised over this reality were… “Utilities should be happy we are increasing our electric purchases!”
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