Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meridian Solar Installs Second Round of Solar at LegalZoom’s Austin,TX Facility

AUSTIN, TX --(eSolarEnergyNews)--Solar now spans the entire roof of LegalZoom’s north Austin facility as Meridian Solar has completed the second and final phase of the solar energy system. The two-part installation makes up 520 kW of solar, and the energy generated will be interconnected and operated in parallel with the local utility grid.

The project was installed in two rounds of 260 kW due to the local commercial solar guidelines from Austin Energy stating that up to 260 kW can be installed per customer, per building complex, per year. Thus, phase one consisting of 260 kW was constructed in 2014, and the second phase of 260 kW was completed in 2015. Having met Austin Energy requirements, LegalZoom is able to take advantage of the available Performance Based Incentive from Austin Energy of $.09 per kWh. Therefore, LegalZoom will receive $.09 for each kWh the 520 kW system generates, hedging against rising energy costs and saving money.

“The environmental impact of 520 kW of solar is an annual reduction of 900,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions,” said Mike Wilson, VP of Operations. “This latest LegalZoom investment in solar is not only an investment in clean energy but also an investment in our community.”

Meridian Solar was responsible for the development, engineering, permitting, procurement, and construction of the solar array. The entire system is made up of fixed-tilt modules mounted on the building using a self-ballasted, non-penetrating racking system. This new rooftop investment will reduce operating expenses for Legal Zoom while advancing their commitment to corporate responsibility.

“We are pleased to work with LegalZoom for a second time around to further their dedication to generating clean, renewable energy for their facilities,” says Andrew McCalla, President and Founder of Meridian Solar. “The installation turned out better than we could have imagined, and we are happy to be their partner.”

About LegalZoom: LegalZoom is the nation's leading provider of personalized, affordable online legal solutions for families and small businesses. Founded 14 years ago by attorneys with experience at some of the top law firms in the country, LegalZoom has helped over two million Americans become protected with binding legal documents. Although LegalZoom is not a law firm, it can help people access an attorney through its legal plans. The company has offices in Austin, TX, Glendale, CA, Mountain View, CA, and Melton Mowbray, UK. For more information, visit http://www.legalzoom.com.

About Meridian Solar: Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Meridian Solar specializes in the development, engineering, construction, and financing of high-quality solar electric generation projects. Since 1999, Meridian Solar has designed and built more than 600 installations with an installed capacity of over 40 MW across 15 states. For more information, visit http://www.meridiansolar.com

SunEdison Awarded 33 Megawatt Deal To Modernize The Grid In Southern California With Solar

BELMONT,CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SunEdison, the world's largest renewable energy development company, today announced that it has been awarded contracts to build 33 megawatts (MW) DC of rooftop solar with Southern California Edison (SCE) in the utility company's latest round of solar procurement. The solar systems will be built on rooftops throughout the Orange County and Inland Empire industrial corridors as part of SCE's plan to upgrade and modernize the grid for customers in densely populated metro areas and reduce power interruptions during periods of peak demand. The agreements were awarded to SunEdison during SCE's fourth request for offers under the utility company's Solar Photovoltaic Program. SunEdison is the only company to win projects in all four rounds of the program.

Southern California Edison, an electric utility that serves more than 14 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers, will purchase the electricity from 17 rooftop solar systems through 20-year power purchase agreements (PPA).

"We are very pleased to be working with Southern California Edison to modernize and upgrade the utility grid," said SunEdison Managing Director of Western USA Distributed Generation Sam Youneszadeh. "As this project demonstrates, solar systems can be sized and strategically located to provide maximum benefit to both the utility grid and California homeowners and businesses."

Scheduled to be operational in 2016, the 17 solar power plants will generate 33 megawatts of clean, cost effective solar energy, enough to power the equivalent of 63,000 homes. The rooftop solar systems will be built on industrial properties across Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

These projects are on the Call Right Projects List for Terraform Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants. TerraForm Power intends to acquire these projects from SunEdison upon completion. Operation and maintenance of the solar power plants will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

Sunrun and Westfield Corporation Launch Interactive Home Solar Shopping Experience

SAN FRANCISCO,CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S., today announced a partnership with the Westfield Corporation to bring interactive stations to malls in New York and California. Beginning this week, Westfield malls will unveil stations that educate consumers on the ease and cost savings of making the switch to solar, and provide customized home proposals in minutes.

"Our partnership with Westfield is another way Sunrun is leveraging its platform to bring solar to more consumers in ways that are convenient for them," said Bill Schuh, senior vice president of Sunrun Direct. "Westfield malls are at the forefront of creating engaging experiences for consumers and we're happy to partner with a company that aligns with our brand and our approach."

Sunrun solar consultants will be present at the interactive stations to provide a customized proposal for consumers based on their home's location, size, position and electricity consumption. Shoppers can also receive a real-time estimate of their potential savings by going solar, often up to 20 percent off their bill with their current power company.

"Giving consumers innovative and select choices in an engaging shopping environment is a top priority for us," said Beth Ann Kaminkow, chief marketing officer at Westfield Corporation. "We are pleased to work with Sunrun to further elevate our shoppers' experience and keep them ahead of the curve by providing an interactive way to learn more about affordable energy solutions that meet their unique needs."

This partnership supports Sunrun's unique approach to meeting consumers' needs through a variety of channels and partners, including in retail environments, online, through a local installer or bundled with other consumer services. Interactive stations will launch initially on Long Island and in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, with additional Westfield locations potentially planned for later in 2015. Sunrun has been successful in expanding its presence in other retail locations across the country and continues to diversify its channels to bring home solar to more consumers nationwide.


Alta Energy Announces Completion of 504kW Solar Installation at Los Angeles Shopping Center

SAN MATEO, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Alta Energy today announced the completion of 504.7kW solar generation system project at Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles, California. Managed by Alta Energy, Inc., this project represents the sixth solar PV system deployed at Westfield Corporation properties, continuing Westfield’s goals of reducing energy consumption and sustainability.

The Westfield Century City project is a part of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program. The system is forecasted to generate over 730,000 kilowatt-hours of power annually, which represents a significant portion of the mall’s energy consumption. The project will remove 568 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to removing 107 passenger vehicles from the road, and it will save the emissions from 193 tons of waste that are sent to the landfill instead of being recycled.

Westfield’s Executive Vice President of Management Tom Tierney said, “The Century City system is the sixth PV solar generation system installed in Westfield’s U.S. portfolio and will support our conservation initiatives, produce green energy and improve both environmental and operational results. Alta Energy continues to provide us with solid methodology to help us assess and optimally deploy renewable energy systems at the right location at the right time.”

Alta Energy VP of Development Services, Jeff Hintzke, said, “We are pleased to see Westfield’s forward-thinking strategies culminate into real, green-power generating assets. The current slate of active projects for Westfield’s portfolio will certainly raise Westfield to the top ranks of renewable energy adopters in the commercial shopping center world, setting a high bar for other players to aspire to. The idea that green power generation can benefit both economic and operational goals of a consumer-facing facility is a very powerful concept that should encourage others to follow.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SolarWindow Announces Easy Power Connection System for Installation of its Electricity-Generating Windows

COLUMBIA, MD--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SolarWindow Technologies today announced plans to replace traditional electrical wiring connections with a simplified next-generation system for collecting the power produced by its see-through electricity-generating windows. In addition to reducing costs, ease of electrical installation will be important to window fabricators, glass installers (i.e., glaziers), electricians, and maintenance personnel.

The replacement of today’s cumbersome methods with the Company’s easy power connection system (‘module interconnects’) is also important for new construction and retrofit applications of SolarWindow™ electricity-generating window modules on skyscrapers and tall towers.

SolarWindow™ products, currently under development, already boast the industry’s fastest published financial payback of less than one year. Last month, the Company’s Power Production and Financial Model was reviewed and validated by a team of third-party, independent engineers and scientists at the University of North Carolina Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (UNCC-EPIC).

“We have always had absolute confidence in the financial case for our SolarWindow™ products, and with the support of independent validations, we’re now focused on addressing the very real needs of future customers and end-users.

“Low-cost scale-up and manufacturing, ease-of-installation, and warranties are at the top of our list of ongoing development efforts,” explained Mr. John A. Conklin, President and CEO of SolarWindow Technologies, Inc.

Recently, based on encouraging durability test results that show transparent SolarWindow™ electricity-generating coatings have the capability of meeting or exceeding warranty periods for commercial-grade window products, the Company announced plans to accelerate its durability testing. Working see-through SolarWindow™ modules have set records for both size and power production.

A single installation of SolarWindow™ products on all four sides of tall towers could generate 50-times greater power than traditional rooftop systems and 15-times their environmental benefits.

Module Interconnection: Ease of Manufacturing, Installation, Maintenance

For those who will be involved in the manufacturing, installation, and retrofitting of SolarWindow™ products, today’s announcement could prove especially important.

The newly-announced easy connection system would allow glaziers and electricians to collect electricity from SolarWindow™ modules by connecting building wires anywhere along the entire edge of the glass inside the window frame. Previously, electricity generated on SolarWindow™ modules was collected at individual, hard-wired points on the glass.

As a result of this new interconnection system:

  •     Sheets of electricity-generating glass could be manufactured to allow connection points for wiring anywhere along the entire edge of the window.
  •     High-speed and high-volume production processing becomes far easier when individual solder points are replaced with an entire edge surface capable of collecting electricity;
  •     SolarWindow™ installers would not need special wiring connections; and
  •     Electricians could connect their building wiring at any point along the edge of the glass rather than seeking specific soldering points.

Previously, glass window manufacturers would be required to physically apply electricity collection terminals on to the glass at specific points along the edge. Then, glaziers and installers would need to be especially attentive to ensure that these terminals were within reach of electrical wiring connections, inside a conduit or building wall. Finally, electricians would be required to make a physical connection to building wires at specific electricity collection points on the glass.

This traditional installation process could be space constraining, time consuming, labor intensive, and create potential maintenance issues; hence, the need for a simplified system.

“There’s little doubt in my mind that this new interconnection approach could substantially simplify the installation of SolarWindow™ products.

“While the rapid calculated financial payback of SolarWindow™ is impressive, ease-of-use and installation make customer acquisition and product adoption so much easier,” stated commercial photovoltaic design and installation specialist, Mr. Kelly Provence.

Mr. Provence is America’s first expert in his field to concurrently hold four of the most coveted certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. He holds three NABCEP certifications; Certified PV Installation Professional, Certified PV Technical Sales Professional and Certified Solar Thermal Installer and has been a Licensed Master Electrician since 1995.

“The replacement of soldering points and individual electrical connections with a single power-strip makes it far easier for everyone involved in manufacturing, installation and maintenance – a wonderful engineering approach,” concluded Mr. Provence.

SolarWindow™ products are under development in aesthetically attractive colors in high demand by architects, designers, and building developers. Unique to SolarWindow™, its technology is capable of generating electricity from both natural light and artificial light sources such as fluorescent systems inside offices. SolarWindow™ also works in both direct and indirect or shaded light conditions, making installation possible on all four sides of commercial towers.

For conventional solar systems to produce the equivalent amount of power as a single tower with SolarWindow™ installation would require at least 5-11 years for payback and at least 10-12 acres of valuable urban land.