Top News

Oil giant Total increases stake in solar efficiency leader SunPower

Total will be acquiring 676,000 shares worth about $31 million, according to SEC filings. 
Markets & Policy

Morning Brief: D.E. Shaw buys Rancho Seco Solar II, DTE Energy must procure renewables

Also in the brief: CVE finances a 31.3 MW SMART portfolio, SolarEdge adds Karamba Security software to inverters, CIT leads $140 million financing for esVolta and more.
Markets & Policy

The duel for the future of Indiana’s energy identity

While state legislators decide the fate of a bill aimed at adding restrictions to the retirement of existing generation plants, the state's second-largest utility has issued the results of an unprecedented solar solicitation.
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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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Installations

Energy storage roundup: Kore’s 110 kw-hr rack, KiloVault’s 7.5 kW-hr wall-mount, NeoVolta’s 24 kw-hr battery system

Falling battery costs, shifting utility strategies and new PUC policies are drawing fresh entrants and incumbents into an invigorated energy storage sector.
Markets & Policy

How Canadian hydro could save New England and New York $5.4 billion

MIT researchers model how 4 GW of powerlines connecting the northeast USA to Quebec hydroelectric facilities eliminates the need for up to 60 GW of wind, solar and storage as the two regional power grids approach 100% clean energy.
Installations

Morning Brief: How clean is energy storage? New York clean energy and California solar mandate under attack

Also in today's brief: New Hampshire solar wildlife access, Iowa solar compromises
Installations

California Solar Mandate weakened by Commission’s new definition of community solar

Does the update to California's solar mandate undermine residential solar and storage, as advocates claim? Or does the new definition of "community solar" provide more choice to builders and low-income homeowners? The answer might be "yes" to both questi...
Manufacturing

Hanwha officially exits polysilicon business

Hanwha Solutions has confirmed that it will shut down its polysilicon business over the course of the next year, only a week after saying that it was still evaluating its plans for the sector.
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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

Americans want renewables and are willing to pay for them

U.S. renewable energy use has grown significantly in the last decade, yet data from a new survey suggests many Americans may not fully understand the importance of solar and wind.

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.

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.

Installations

Featured

German PV tender delivers record low solar power price of $0.038/kwh

The 100 MW tender was five times oversubscribed.

Solar development on farms can save farmers and farmland

At Solar and Storage Northeast in Boston, panelists comprised of solar experts, policy directors and national community solar leaders sat down to discuss what can be done for the symbiotic relationship between community solar projects and agricultural landowners.

Solar electronics leaders Enphase and SolarEdge post strong Q4 and massive 2019

The leaders in solar module-level power electronics are profitable and making enormous jumps in revenue. All signs point to a strong 2020 for residential solar — which could keep the momentum going.

Morning Brief: Google’s airborne wind turbine ‘moonshot’ closes, SEIA on Black History Month, solar under storm

Also in the morning brief: Maine’s renewable procurement, Scatec Solar’s big South African solar plant, Silfab Solar’s manufacturing expansion in Washington, plus the NABCEP conference is next month.

Pennsylvania solar advocates call for 6 GW by 2025

Pennsylvania’s solar trade association and a state renewables association both call for an update of the state’s solar and renewable goals.

Morning Brief: South Dakota’s largest project has a buyer, largest solar-plus-storage project in the Caribbean

Also in the brief: Safari Energy completes 60th commercial solar development, a 28 MW installation in New Jersey, Nautilus Solar acquires 3.5 MW Rhode Island project, solar aircraft designed to stay aloft for a year makes maiden flight.

Manufacturing

Featured

First Solar announces surprise Q4 loss, considers sale of its development business

“First Solar, at its core, is a technology and module manufacturing company,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Given the significant evolution of developing utility-scale PV projects in the United States, we believe now is an appropriate time to evaluate our options with respect to our U.S. project development business line.”

Tesla can continue to cut trees for German ‘gigafactory’

Tesla has secured approval from the Berlin-Brandenburg administrative court to start clearing 91 hectares of forest for its first European “gigafactory,” which is scheduled to start operations in summer 2021.

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?

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 lifetime of gas assets.

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

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.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Rocky Mountain Power, a Warren Buffett-owned utility, is again seeking to kill off residential solar power

Rocky Mountain Power has proposed an almost 80 percent cut to the rate paid to net metered solar electricity, dropping it from the current 9.2¢/kWh to a rough average of about 2.0¢/kWh.

US solar hits near record employment as Southeast shines

The solar industry, which represents 2.6% of overall U.S. electricity generation, already employs twice as many workers as the U.S. coal industry.

Beijing to develop 500 MW of solar in Uganda

State-owned China Energy Engineering said the PV capacity will be developed in two phases in a deal worth $500 million.

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.

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.

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.

Technology

Featured

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."

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.

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.

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