Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Standard Solar Installs Largest Rooftop Array in Virginia

ROCKVILLE, MD--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Standard Solar has completed the installation of a 1 MW (dc) rooftop solar array at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, Va. Installation of largest single rooftop solar array in Virginia completed

The 3,200-panel array’s output will exceed 1,330 MWh/year and will offset 918 metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of one year’s electricity use for 200 typical homes). The project is currently the largest single rooftop array in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power financed and developed the project under the Dominion Solar Partnership Program; Standard Solar installed the array.

“We commend Dominion Virginia Power and Chesapeake Public Schools on their commitment to solar energy making this groundbreaking project possible,” said Tony Clifford, Standard Solar’s CEO. “We were excited at the prospect of powering public education with the state’s largest rooftop array and working with Dominion Virginia Power on this project.”

“This solar array marks an important step in our journey to a cleaner energy future, and Chesapeake Public Schools should be proud of its leadership in that effort,” said Robert M. Blue, president of Dominion Virginia Power. “It extends beyond the power of the sun to an even more important resource – brainpower that will come from both the teachers and students of Western Branch High School.”

Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy. It provides energy or products and services to more than five million customers in 14 states.

Students, teachers, local officials, and community leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 27 to learn more about the solar system and how the output will transfer to the energy grid as sunlight is converted into electric power.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Regency Centers Completes Major Solar Panel Installation in California

JACKSONVILLE, FL.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Regency Centers,  a national owner, operator, and developer of grocery-anchored shopping centers, in partnership with SoCore Energy and several of its retail partners, is announcing the installation of over 750 KW of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems at Persimmon Place in Dublin, CA and East Washington Place in Petaluma, CA. Combined, the systems include approximately 2,500 modules and are expected to produce over 1,200,000 kilowatt hours of clean and renewable electricity each year.

“This is a win-win scenario for Regency, our retail partners that are participating in this unique offering, and the environment,” said Mark Peternell, Vice President of Sustainability for Regency Centers. “We generate income from an unused portion of the shopping center roof, and the participating retailers save on their monthly electricity expenses.”

There can be a lot of hurdles that pop up which can prevent solar energy from working in a property type like this, and this structure overcomes some of the more challenging. With Regency owning the solar system and the real estate, they are able to offer shorter power purchase agreement terms than more traditional solar developers. Additionally, since Regency maintains responsibility for both maintenance of the solar system and the roof, there is an inherent alignment of incentives to keep both functioning optimally.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average household uses 911 kilowatt hours per month and the power generated between these two sites annually will be equivalent to that used by over 100 homes each year. The photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electricity is one of the most reliable and widely-used methods of sustainable energy production in the world. It’s low maintenance, combined with it’s near limitless source of power make it one of, if not the, most natural sources of energy on the planet.

“Nordstrom is always looking for opportunities to minimized the impact our business has on the environment, and to reduce our contribution to climate change,” said John Pedrini, vice president of Facilities and Energy at Nordstrom. “We’re excited to be a part of this project, which gives us an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of solar-powered energy.”

Smart Solar Lighting Takes off First in Rural Africa

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Azuri has today announced HomeSmart™, a self-learning capability for its solar home systems. While conventional solar home systems work well in sunny conditions, they often shut off early on cloudy days because they run out of power. HomeSmart uses learning technology to monitor both climatic conditions and historical customer usage patterns to ensure a full night of light, even following cloudy days. This is believed to be the first time that such machine-learning approaches have been used in small domestic solar home systems and marks the next step in intelligent automation.

For grid-connected customers, solar power is a way of saving money. For off-grid customers, it is often the only access households have to electrical power for lighting, phone charging, radio, TV and other essential devices. Without the grid as backup, customers rely solely on the stored power to provide services at night and if that power is insufficient, households are often forced back to solutions such as candles and kerosene lamps.

HomeSmart™ solves this problem in two ways: Firstly, the system actively monitors customer usage to determine a typical expected performance. Then, by accurately monitoring the climatic conditions, the system automatically adjusts the light brightness to meet the user’s expected lighting duration. This active optimisation of light brightness, battery charging and load conditions ensures the system delivers the best possible match to the customer’s typical daily requirement with the available power.

Research undertaken by Azuri has revealed a wide variety of customer usage patterns. For example, some customers use the product only in the evening, whereas others use it during the day and in the early morning. By adjusting the power profile of the Solar Home System based on historical customer usage patterns, HomeSmart delivers a solution that is automatically tailored to each individual customer’s needs. Just as Azuri’s PayGo removes financial and product risk from the consumer, HomeSmart helps take away any operational concerns. The customer no longer has to second-guess how much sunlight there has been or how much the lights have been running as their system itself can be relied up to deliver the optimal performance.

With this example of “Reverse Innovation”, where leading technology is first available in rural off-grid households, Azuri aims to deliver a simplified, highly accessible service that delivers tailored benefits and peace of mind for each customer. It reflects the company’s commitment to enabling rural African consumers to benefit from top quality products whose performance and efficiency exceeds that found in most typical homes and businesses in developed markets.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

First Solar, Silicon Ranch Build on Strategic Partnership

TEMPE, AZ & NASHVILLE, TN.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--First Solar and a subsidiary of Silicon Ranch Corporation have entered into a framework agreement for 231.6 Megawatts (MW) DC of First Solar’s advanced technology thin film modules for use in Silicon Ranch projects to be constructed in 2017 and early 2018.

This agreement builds on previous agreements for more than 180MW DC of modules used in Silicon Ranch projects entering commercial operations in 2015 and 2016, located in Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. The southeastern U.S. region is rapidly emerging as a growing market for photovoltaic (PV) solar development, where Silicon Ranch has played a leading role as a developer, owner and operator.

First Solar’s thin film technology has demonstrated clear advantages over conventional multicrystalline silicon (mc-Si) solar products in all regions of the world, most significantly in the hot, humid climates that make up a large part of Silicon Ranch’s project footprint. When taking into account conversion efficiency, temperature coefficient, spectral response and shadow tolerance, First Solar technology provides an energy density of more than 10 percent over mc-Si products in this region. That means that, given the same land area with an equivalent module ground cover ratio, First Solar’s modules will produce more annual energy from the same land area than mc-Si.

“First Solar is pleased to strengthen our relationship with Silicon Ranch through this deal,” said Roger Bredder, First Solar’s Vice President of U.S. Business Development. “There is deep value in aligning with a trusted, major solar developer, and our previous endeavors with Silicon Ranch have allowed us to jointly benefit from working in a region with exciting growth opportunities.”

“As long-term owners of all our projects, Silicon Ranch recognizes the importance of quality and performance in every choice we make,” said Pete Candelaria, Silicon Ranch’s Chief Technology Officer. “First Solar is a U.S. manufacturer with superior products and a strong balance sheet, all of which were important factors in our selection. Furthermore, their technical and logistics units are the best in the business, which made them a great fit for the Silicon Ranch team.”

Similar to a portion of the 2015/2016 Silicon Ranch projects, some of the 2017 projects may also employ First Solar’s balance of system solutions, including the company’s single-axis tracker. Silicon Ranch plans to begin to take delivery of the first modules under this agreement in the first quarter of 2017 and will continue to supply its projects until the first quarter of 2018.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SolarCity Announces New Fund to Finance Over $131 Million in Solar Projects

SAN MATEO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SolarCity, the top residential and commercial solar provider in the U.S., today closed a new tax equity fund to finance over $131 million in residential, commercial and military solar projects. The financing partner was not disclosed. The fund covers the capital cost of solar equipment and installation, making it possible for many homeowners to pay less for the power the systems produce than they pay for electricity from the local utility.

"This is the second tax equity fund we've closed during the first quarter as we continue our cash generation post–ITC extension and plan to continue our momentum," said Radford Small, SolarCity's Executive Vice President, Capital Markets.

The solar industry installed more than 7 GW in 2015, the largest annual total ever and 16 percent above 2014, according to the newly released GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 report.