Used EV batteries for large-scale solar energy storage

MIT scientists have suggested that used electric vehicle batteries could offer a more viable business case than purpose-built systems for the storage of grid-scale solar power in California. Such ‘second life’ EV batteries, may cost only 60% of their original purchase price to deploy and can be effectively aggregated for industrial scale storage even if they have declined to 80% of their original capacity.

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A PV antenna for beaming solar power from space to Earth

Researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have launched the first orbital experiment with space-based solar power. They launched a 12-inch square photovoltaic module that is expected to test the viability of space-based solar power systems converting sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere.

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Jinko launches PV module with record output of 580 W

The new module line can cut LCOE and reduce logistics cost for module transport.

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Storing wind and solar with new gravity-based system

Scottish start-up Gravitricity is planning a project to store surplus power from renewables at Port of Leith. A 250 kW, grid-connected prototype facility will have its ability to stabilize the network tested. The system involves a 50-foot rig over a 500 to 5,000 foot shaft.

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500 W-plus panel race intensifies with JA Solar’s new module and Risen’s first shipment

Chinese manufacturer JA Solar has announced a new 525 W+ panel and said the product will be available from the second half. Domestic rival Risen has shipped the first batch of its high-powered modules and intends to stick to pre-Covid-19 plans to ramp up production.

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Lithium-ion storage is here to stay with no ‘post Li-ion’ era in sight

A German-Israeli research group has gathered to discuss which storage technologies may outperform lithium-ion batteries in the future. They concluded that there is no such a thing as a “post Li‐ion” era in sight. They recommended a “side‐by‐side” approach for multiple technologies in different applications, as well as the hybridization of technologies.

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Abu Dhabi’s 1.5 GW tender draws world record low solar bid of $0.0135/kWh

The tariff is around $0.0021 lower than the $0.0156/kWh French oil giant Total and Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corp offered in Qatar’s 800 MW tender in late January. French energy company EDF and Chinese solar company JinkoPower reportedly submitted the record bid in the UAE exercise.

Solar inverters vs. cyberattacks

A U.S. research group is developing inverters and cybersecurity standards to protect solar installations from cyberattacks. The researchers said that inverters can shut down if they are hacked, or contribute to grid instability and result in the overcharging of batteries, while potentially creating problems that we still don’t know how to address.

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Another 120 MW of solar swims with the fishes in China

A 120 MW solar plant located in a fishery near Cixi, in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, was recently completed. The plant, which secured a rate of $0.12/kWh, is the second phase of a 320 MW project owned by Chinese developer Hangzhou Fengling.

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The life of brine

Solar remains an interesting option to power water desalination despite obstacles to its widespread adoption. A recent study has highlighted the processing or dumping of brine waste as an important factor to consider.

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