One thing Iowa lawmakers got done before suspending the session amid the Covid-19 pandemic this month was to unanimously pass a compromise bill regarding solar energy. Senate File 583 was the result of months of discussion between utility companies, environmental groups, solar trade associations and farm organizations. At its core, the bill puts net metering into law, says Kerri Johannsen, energy program director for the Iowa Environmental Council. The bill also calls for a Value of Solar study to be done and to be overseen by the Iowa Utilities Board using a third-party consultant. Source: Kenosha News
Chinese fishery hosting 260 MW of unsubsidized solar: The solar plant was built with fixed structures on a 400-hectare water surface at a fishery in Anhui province. The project was the first unsubsidized plant approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2019 and is selling power at a price of $0.054 per kWh. Source: pv magazine global
An international research team has developed a new type of solar cell that is 26.7% efficient in power conversion. They published their results on March 26 in Science. The researchers, led by Byungha Shin, a professor from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST, focused on developing a new class of light-absorbing material, called a wide bandgap perovskite. Shin and his team built a double layer solar cell, called tandem, in which two or more light absorbers are stacked together to better utilize solar energy. “We developed a high-quality wide bandgap perovskite material and, in combination with silicon solar cells, achieved world-class perovskite-silicon tandem cells,” Shin said. Source: Science Daily
Amid the insanity that is Netflix’s Tiger King, you may notice solar panels in the background of some shots at Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida (specifically episode six at the 26:58 mark). This certainly piqued pv magazine‘s interest, and a quick search revealed that in 2012, the preserve partnered with Sungevity to install a 15.5 kW system on the campus. In 2015, the preserve expanded on that commitment to renewables by signing a contract with Arcadia Power, making the park entirely powered by renewable energy. The announcement was also accompanied by a video touting, well mostly the cats, but the solar installation as well, showing some of the installation process. pv magazine has not yet received word on Joe Exotic, nor Doc Antle’s renewable commitments. Source: Big Cat Rescue
In the face of pandemic and market uncertainty, solar installer Powerhome is hiring. Powerhome reports that the company is currently hiring energy consultants and installers in all markets it services (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia). Those interested can follow this link.