Thursday, October 30, 2014

SolarCity’s New ZS Beam Solar Carport System Makes it Faster, Cheaper, Easier and Safer to Install Solar in Parking Lots

SAN MATEO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SolarCity
, the nation’s #1 solar power provider, unveiled ZS Beam, a new product that allows solar panels to be attached to parking lot shading structures faster, more safely and at a lower cost than was previously possible. The newest product in SolarCity’s Zep Solar line should make it possible for more businesses, schools and government organizations to build carport structures that create shaded parking and also provide solar electricity at a lower rate than electricity from their utility companies. SolarCity expects ZS Beam to significantly reduce the construction cost associated with solar carports, and SolarCity is introducing the product at a time when U.S. solar carport construction is expected to grow dramatically. A recent report from GTM Research forecasts U.S. solar carports to grow from a projected 180.2 megawatts of annual installed capacity in 2014 to a projected 317.9 megawatts in 2016; a 76 percent increase in two years.

ZS Beam uses a special clamp that locks solar panels onto carport or canopy structures. While many solar carport systems require panels to be installed from above, ZS Beam clamps allow solar panels to be connected to the support structure from below, improving safety and increasing installation speed.

ZS Beam further improves safety and increases speed by automatically creating an electrical ground connection when attaching the panels, and by eliminating the multiple loose fasteners and hardware required by conventional carport systems. As with all products in the Zep Solar line, ZS Beam also significantly improves aesthetics by seamlessly connecting panels into a single plane.

The carport system can pair effectively with SolarCity’s ZS Peak; SolarCity’s lightweight, “snap together” mounting system for commercial flat roofs that can significantly increase the number of panels that can be installed on each roof. Together, ZS Peak and ZS Beam will make it possible for more businesses, schools and other organizations to install solar power generation on their buildings and parking lots and immediately pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power. Businesses and other organizations interested in SolarCity’s services can contact the company directly at 1-888-SOL-CITY (1-888-765-2489) for a free, no-obligation solar consultation.

Autumn Vineyards Fade to Brown, While One Temecula Winery Goes Green

TEMECULA, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- The Renzoni family recently completed the construction of their new tasting facility in the Southwest Riverside County agricultural area, known as the Temecula Wine Country, home to 40 wineries. Transitioning most of their electric usage to solar power was an early-stage plan, as was implementing a state-of-the-art water harvesting system, which is already operational. These efforts are making Robert Renzoni Winery the area’s leader in conservation, sustainability and fiscal responsibility.

While the Renzoni family, fourth-generation winemakers, is conscious of the benefits and goodwill of sustainability, financial considerations drove the timing on their decision to go green this year. “We are going solar now to blunt the ever-rising cost of commercial electricity,” said Fred Renzoni. “The latest news we received from SoCal Edison is that they will make effective January 1st, 2015, a utility rate based on time of usage. So, if you want to get the cheapest rates, you need to be open at 3am.”

Utilizing solar for one’s power in California, on the other hand, plays directly into the hand of the Time of Use rate. It allows property owners to make their own power, at a reduced cost, during the time they would have traditionally been paying the most for it. Ambassador Energy was able to articulate this and other benefits, winning the flagship installation in Temecula Wine Country. Said Fred, “We chose Ambassador because they were the most knowledgeable presenters and their pricing was competitive. They have also demonstrated great follow-up since we signed the contract.”

Ambassador Energy committed to deploying their best team for the Renzoni solar installation. The team is primarily comprised of United States military veterans, who were solar-trained by their education arm, Ambassador Energy College and the 501(c)(3) non-profit, The Veteran Asset.

“The Renzoni’s are leaders here in our valley,” said Kelly Smith, president of Ambassador Energy, “and, I think a lot of people are waiting to see how it goes. I started this dance with Fred more than two years ago, and am very proud to be a part of this first significant solar deployment in Temecula Wine Country. We are confident that Robert Renzoni Winery will be a shining example of solar, saving money and being good stewards of this amazing agricultural land. We hope it is the first winery of many to go solar! ”

Minnesota Renewable Energy Experts JJR Power See ‘Unprecedented’ Demand for Solar Power

MINNEAPOLIS, MN --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- As Minnesotans hover on the brink of yet another cold winter and concerns about energy costs come to the forefront, renewable energy experts at JJR Power in Excelsior, Minnesota today said they’ve seen an unprecedented demand for solar power thanks to incentives and grants created last year by the Minnesota Legislature. As utility rates climb and prices for solar power drop, JJR Power officials say they’ve developed solar solutions for a range of businesses and organizations in nine states, including schools, community hockey arenas, and a water treatment plant. They say they’ve helped them navigate the complexities of adding solar power to their energy picture in the most economical way.

“Utility rates have gone up 40 percent in the past decade and Xcel Energy’s rates are set to go up another 6-7 percent just in the next two years,” said John Jaffray, president and founder of JJR Power. “It’s a growing industry. People are demanding solar, but where do you start? It’s not about the technology, it’s not about the efficiency of the panels, it’s about whether or not solar is a good fit for your company or organization. We help guide you through the decision-making and grant process.” Solar energy legislation passed last year in Minnesota requires local, investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy to provide millions of dollars in financial incentives over the next five years to promote installation of solar energy systems. “Now’s the time to make an informed decision about solar,” said Mike Woodley, Director of Business Development, “and we help our customers do that.”

Meanwhile, solar costs continue to drop steadily. The average installation cost per watt of capacity has fallen from $4.50 in 2009 to $2.50 currently, according to Jaffray. By 2020, it’s expected to drop to below $1.50. “It’s a broad trend—not a new trend, but absolutely a trend we expect to continue,” Woodley said. “These falling costs plus the government incentives, which won’t be around forever, have made solar power a viable, cost-effective solution for many businesses and organizations.”

About JJR Power
JJR Power is a Minnesota-based energy and finance firm founded in 2006. We work with installers, constructors, developers and organizations interested in financing and developing solar projects. We’ve capitalized on opportunities in the energy sector and have created a vehicle for investing in assets with long duration, excellent credit quality and high risk-adjusted returns. For the past 8 years, JJR Power has been active in power markets across the United States, beginning with memberships in MISO, PJM, and ISO-NE. In 2009, we began advising, developing and financing companies and nonprofit organizations on their solar power installations in Colorado, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota. We provide increased value for off-takers, installers and developers, optimizing yield and safety of return for investors in the solar, wind and renewable energy space.

For more information, go http://www.jjrpower.com or call (952) 715-3082.

Canadian Solar Supplies Modules to Major Project in Nicaragua

GUELPH, ONTARIO --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Canadian Solar, one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced that it completed the supply of 3.1 MW of CS6X-300P modules to a solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Tipitapa, Nicaragua. This PV plant, entitled Planta Solar Zona Franca Astro Nicaragua, will power 26 companies and supply approximately 30% of total energy consumption for the Zona Franca Astro Nicaragua industrial park.

Financed by two local banks, Centro America Renovables and Energia Solar Aplicada, the PV plant will be completed in 2014. At its completion, this plant will become the largest private solar farm among industrial parks in Central America, as well as the largest private grid-connected solar array in Nicaragua.  Planta Solar Zona Franca Astro Nicaragua will create over one hundred local jobs and contribute significantly to the region's local renewable energy efforts.

Mr. Gregorio Kim, General Manager in Astro Nicaragua, S.A. said, "After evaluating several different PV module suppliers, we chose Canadian Solar because of the company's excellent quality, performance, and experience in global solar projects. In addition, Canadian Solar's dedicated post-sales team gives security to financial entities."

"As a leading developer of worldwide solar projects, Canadian Solar's corporate operations span over fifteen countries," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. "The market outlook for Canadian Solar in Central America is robust, and we expect our opportunities in this region will continue to expand in 2015 and beyond. We are pleased with the successful completion of this solar project and the positive impact that Canadian Solar has had on the local economy in Nicaragua."

SunEdison Wins 150 Megawatts Of Solar Photovoltaic Projects In Karnataka India

JAIPUR & CHENNAI, INDIA  --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SunEdison, a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, today announced that it has won 5 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totaling 150 megawatts (MW) from Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) as announced by the Government of Karnataka. SunEdison or SunEdison affiliates, including Yieldcos, are envisioned as the ultimate owner(s) of these solar projects, and will sell the electricity generated to various entities via Power Purchase Agreements (PPA's).

"This is yet another milestone in the journey of SunEdison in India to build a strong pipeline of projects that will be developed and commissioned in the coming years," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president Asia Pacific Operations, adding that the PPA's are likely to be signed in the next two to three months.

While 44 developers responded to KREDL's tender for 500 MW of grid-connected solar power plants, SunEdison's 150 MW represents the largest share awarded to any single company.  Following SunEdison's recent announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 5 gigawatts (GW) with the Rajasthan Government, this award solidifies SunEdison's position as the clear leader in India's rapidly growing solar market.