22/12/2014 at 4:35 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
Back in 2008, a dedicated organisation of people were formulating a prophesy for a multigenerational village that would be an innovative housing choice for farming Midcoast Maine. The outcome was Belfast Cohousing Ecovillage, a 36-unit village with clustered homes on 42-acres, that use 90 percent reduction appetite for space heating. Individual homes are smaller since an approximately 4,900 block feet common chateau with a kitchen, vital room, dining room, guest room, and children’s playroom are accessible for use. Members work an on-site worker-share plantation to grows veggies, immature children can safely try with singular organisation (because vehicle entrance is limited), and 22 homes are now nearby net zero.
When a homes were assembled by G•O Logic, home buyers had a event to have a solar complement installed. Revision Energy commissioned 12 solar systems (11 photovoltaic and 1 solar thermal system) during a construction proviso of a project. Some of a homes were net 0 over that period, generating as many electricity for heat, prohibited water, cooking, and block loads as a home consumed over a march of a year.
Recently, 11 some-more photovoltaic systems were commissioned by a common squeeze and designation plan by Capital City Renewables. Despite trimming in distance from 2 to 5 kW, all of a systems use Axitec 250-watt PV modules with Enphase microinverters, so members could accept indiscriminate rates on a squeeze of a panels and components.Two ecovillagers were lerned by a Capital City Renewables organisation and helped implement a systems.
Belfast Ecovillage is a solar enthusiast’s dream come true. All homes are solar-ready, with a solar orientation, a connection box on a steel roof, passage from a roof to a electric use panel, and dedicated circuit breakers in each unit.
Installation costs were low due to a village layout. All a homes are ideal for solar, so no pre-installation surveys were indispensable to establish viability. Because a homes are clustered on 6-acres, a panels and components were drop-shipped to a site. When needed, machine already on-site for constructing a common chateau helped ride a panels to homes.
“I consider a village solar squeeze was a good idea,” says Hans Hellstrom, a member of Belfast Ecovillage and a member in a new solar project. “Not usually is it good for gripping a cost down, though there was also a feeling of comradery. It also unequivocally supports [the Belfast Ecovillage] mission, operative towards sustainability.”
Built to a Passive House customary (but not certified), a homes are exhilarated mostly by solar gains, and feverishness from occupants and appliances. Generous amounts of insulation, nearby indisputable construction, triple-pane windows and doors, and a high-efficiency Zehnder feverishness liberation movement system make these some of a many fit homes in a state. Electric baseboard heaters accept minimal use.
“Because a homes are rarely appetite fit and are all electric, a village has a event to beget all their possess appetite and be truly net zero,” explains Kiril Lozanov, a Belfast Ecovillage member who orderly a village solar squeeze and clamp boss of Capital City Renewables. “One large advantage to electricity over other sources of appetite is a ability to control a source.”
Despite regulating electricity for heat, prohibited water, and cooking, a 1,500 block feet Grace/Mabee chateau is net 0 with a 4.5-kW solar system. The 900 block feet McBride chateau generates 95 percent of a possess appetite with a 2.7-kW solar system.
“We didn’t wish to lorry in deliveries of hoary fuels, so [heating] oil and propane were out,” says Alan Gibson, a Belfast Ecovillage co-founder and a principal for G•O Logic, a pattern build association formed in Belfast, Maine. “The speculation is that if we can means solar panels comparatively easily, [electric feverishness in a super-efficient house] is a greener alternative.”?
Residents of Belfast Ecovillage informally share and trade many things, such as child care, use of pickup trucks, tools, and even flocks of chickens. With solar prepared homes and a passion for sustainability, a village solar squeeze was a healthy fit, as Belfast Ecovillage members mostly use community-minded meditative to save money, make life easier, or relieve their environmental impact.
Image Credit: Revision Energy and Belfast Cohousing Ecovillage
20/12/2014 at 7:14 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
“This is a initial time that a attention is means to clear such a formidable understanding in Africa,” Araluce pronounced by phone. “This will palliate destiny projects and I’m certain it’s a initial of many to come in Africa.” He declined to divulge a value of a order.
The project, to be built about 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) from a pier city of Mombasa, would beget adequate energy to accommodate about 15 percent of a nation’s electricity demand. While about 420 kilometers of delivery lines will have to be built to bond it to a grid, a plant will save East Africa’s biggest economy about 150 million euros ($186 million) in fuel imports any year, Vestas said.
“Eastern and southern Africa are pivotal markets for Vestas, and a Lake Turkana plan will settle Kenya among a continent’s wind-energy leaders,” Christoph Vogel, boss of Vestas Central Europe, pronounced in a statement.
The multiple of dried and lake meridian formula in clever and solid winds, with an normal speed of 11.3 meters per second, Araluce said. Vestas is assured it can announce some-more deals in Africa in a subsequent dual years, he said.
Sub-Saharan Africa might this year supplement about 1.8 gigawatts of renewable-energy capacity, incompatible vast hydroelectric energy plants, Bloomberg New Energy Finance pronounced in August. Investment in countries including South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia is estimated during $5.9 billion, and might strech $7.7 billion in 2016. Lake Turkana had been behind by about 3 years since of problems in securing financing.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Lead image: Wind turbines around Shutterstock
20/12/2014 at 4:14 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
The breeze and object can furnish good amounts of power, though it can customarily usually be harnessed when it’s breezy and a object is shining. Researchers during Grand Valley State University and Ann Arbor-based Vinazene are operative to change that by formulating a new form of upsurge battery record that will concede a capture, collection and storage of appetite by organic compounds.
The project, saved by a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research extend by a U.S. Department of Energy to Vinazene, includes researchers from Grand Valley’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) and Chemistry Department.
Andrew Lantz, associate highbrow of chemistry during Grand Valley, Bill Schroeder and John Schroeder, investigate consultants for Grand Valley, and a organisation of students are building and contrast a antecedent device to showcase a redox upsurge battery record concept.
Lantz pronounced a upsurge dungeon record is identical to batteries, solely that instead of all a chemicals contained in a battery, a chemicals — or electrolytes — are stored in batteries on vast outmost reservoirs and are pumped into a battery as indispensable during assign or liberate cycles.
“The categorical roadblock with many renewable appetite sources is their miss of unchanging appetite outlay over time,” pronounced Lantz. “Flow battery record can assistance understanding with this emanate by storing appetite pot during times of rise collection and discharging a appetite when it is needed.”
While other companies and universities are conducting identical research, Vinazene owner Paul Rasmussen, highbrow emeritus of chemistry and macromolecular scholarship and engineering during a University of Michigan, pronounced many rest on expensive, wanting elements to supply a batteries; his organisation is regulating organic compounds that are reduction costly and some-more accessible.
Lantz pronounced as a nation shifts to renewable energy, this judgment will be generally good matched for solar and breeze appetite sources.
The organisation will continue to perform investigate by Apr with appropriation by a SBIR grant.
19/12/2014 at 10:07 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
“This project will help prove the economic operation of concentrated solar power technology in the earth’s sunbelt,” German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said. “Because it can store energy, this technology is also suited for basic electricity supply and therefore highly innovative.”
The European Commission will provide through KfW an additional 15 million euros from its Latin America Investment Facility aid program.
With the sunniest desert on earth, a windswept coast and limited fossil-fuel supplies, Chile is among the world’s busiest markets for new renewable-energy projects. Developers are pursuing contracts to deliver electricity to mines run by companies including Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd., which consume one-third of the country’s power.
The solar-thermal project will be built by Abengoa Solar Chile in the Atacama desert in the north of the country and will start generating electricity from 2017 for mining companies in the region.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Lead image: Chile flag via Shutterstock
19/12/2014 at 10:05 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
And, as a new NRDC fact sheet published now illustrates, a electric grid can hoop many aloft levels of zero-carbon breeze and solar power, distant some-more than what’s required to grasp a comparatively medium CO glimmer reductions in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s devise to extent wickedness from existent appetite plants. But first, a small credentials on how a nation’s electric complement works.
The nation’s high-power delivery complement is done adult of 3 mostly apart grids: one on possibly side of a Continental Divide (roughly) and a third in Texas. The dual largest grids are serve subdivided into regions managed by opposite informal and internal application grid operators.
Source: MJ Bradley Associates regulating Ventyx Velocity
Grid operators are a atmosphere trade controllers of a appetite system, handling a upsurge of electrons from appetite plants to business opposite thousands of miles of delivery lines. They work a grid underneath intensely minute procedures and standards.
Planning for a Next 5 Minutes and a Next 10 Years
To safeguard a arguable delivery system, grid operators consider in several time frames. In a evident seconds to hours, they run a grid according to a minute set of mercantile and electrical engineering manners embedded in worldly mechanism programs. These programs dispatch appetite plants with a lowest handling costs first, theme to critical constraints to safety a grid’s fortitude and equivocate blackouts.
Grid operators also devise years into a destiny to safeguard reliability. In a same approach that one would not set out to expostulate opposite a dried on a half-tank of gas, they wish to safeguard adequate appetite exists and can be delivered to accommodate consumer direct years ahead. To do so, they brand factors that could possibly boost or diminution a need for some-more appetite and appetite lines, and afterwards devise accordingly.
Wind and Solar Power Hit a Big Leagues
There is some-more renewable appetite issuing by a appetite grid than ever before. At times, breeze has granted some-more than 60 percent of a sum direct on some application systems, but trustworthiness problems. And solar appetite now customarily contributes 10 to 15 percent of midday electricity direct in California, that has some-more solar row installations than anywhere in a country.
Source: American Wind Energy Association eccentric research formed on genuine time information publicly accessible by ISOs and utilities
Accurate Forecasts and Advanced Technologies Matter
Due to some-more accurate continue forecasts and worldly technologies, grid operators increasingly can predict–and control–wind and solar era levels. Accurate predictions of breeze speed and solar conditions assistance grid operators well report renewable appetite into a system. Using modernized and often-automatic control systems, grid operators can both boost and diminution a appetite outlay into a grid, that helps to stabilise a grid’s electrical magnitude and say reliability.
Wind and Solar Need Less Backup Power than Coal, Gas and Nuclear
Every appetite plant on a grid needs “backup” appetite in box something happens to forestall it from generating as many electricity as planned. PJM, in assign of many of a grid from New Jersey to Illinois, now binds 3,350 MW of expensive, fast-acting strait pot 24/7 to safeguard that it can keep a lights on in box a vast hoary or chief appetite plant suddenly breaks down. In contrast, MISO – a grid user for a center partial of a republic with a many breeze appetite in a republic – needs roughly no additional fast-acting appetite pot to behind adult a 10,000-plus MW of breeze appetite on a system.
Why is so small backup appetite indispensable for breeze and solar? In contrariety to a large, abrupt, and mostly indeterminate changes in electricity outlay from spark and chief appetite plants, breeze outlay changes tend to be light and predictable, generally when breeze turbines are widespread over incomparable areas. The fact that a breeze plantation is a collection of many smaller turbines also helps, given a disaster of one has small impact on a farm’s sum output.
Our Grid Is Successfully Integrating Clean Energy Now and Will Continue
The appetite grid has always blending to changing state and inhabitant appetite trends and needs, interjection to unchanging operations and formulation frameworks. Forty years ago grid operators schooled to accommodate a remarkable waste of era that can come from integrating really vast chief appetite plants into a system.
Now, as utility-scale breeze and solar appetite fast expand, grid operators are successfully integrating these new resources into a grid while timid many outdated, costly, and polluting spark plants. And they’re doing it but many Americans even noticing. Maybe that’s a best explanation that breeze and solar appetite are not only prepared for a large leagues, they’re already there.
This essay was creatively pubished on NRDC and was republished with permission.
19/12/2014 at 7:05 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
Ahhh. The Holy Grail of Customer Acquisition. Maybe it’s low cost … good association repute … special record … code name products … entire marketing? I’ve attempted all of them and they all work, to a degree. But these strategy are not cheap, unchanging or scalable.
There is an answer, one that is flattering most right in front of a eyes. Research into this subject is described in a following paper: “Spatial Patterns of Solar Photovoltaic System Adoption: The Influence of Neighbors and a Built Environment.” This investigate was spearheaded by Dr. Kenneth Gillingham, a highbrow of economics during Yale University. Dr. Gillingham is not an ivory building solar newbie. He’s been doing investigate in a solar courtesy for over a dozen years going behind to his days during Stanford. Interestingly, one of his projects was crunching a numbers in an huge spreadsheet that led to a mercantile justification for a California Solar Initiative.
Ken’s investigate confirms that if your neighbor has rooftop solar, there is a most larger possibility that we will have solar (or wish to get solar). Rooftop systems tend to cluster in a neighborhood, regardless if these neighborhoods are rich or liberal. It’s roughly as if solar is contagious! Please join me on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy universe as Ken explains a approach in people are shabby to go solar, that is termed a Diffusion Effect. So listen adult to this week’s uncover for some unsentimental tips on anticipating new business and shortening your patron merger costs.
Find some-more episodes of The Energy Show here.
About The Energy Show
As appetite costs devour some-more and some-more of a hard-earned dollars, we as consumers unequivocally start to compensate attention. But we don’t have to renounce ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically revoke these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and recommendation to revoke your home and business appetite consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will assistance cut your appetite bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut by a hype so that we can make intelligent and cost-effective appetite choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time disciple of renewable appetite and is a widely famous solar appetite expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to turn a largest inhabitant residential solar installer by a center of a final decade with over 10,000 rooftop business seashore to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to emanate Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sole a association in 2012.
His pioneering work on shortening costs of rooftop solar appetite systems embody Andalay, a initial solar row with integrated racking, education and wiring; a initial UL listed AC solar panel; and a initial entirely “plug and play” AC solar panel. His stream efforts are focused on shortening a soothing costs for solar appetite systems, that means complement prices in a U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry might be famous for his outspoken work in a solar industry, he has hands-on knowledge with a far-reaching operation of appetite saving technologies. He’s been doing residential appetite audits given a punch label days, grown one of a initial ground-source feverishness pumps in a early ‘80s, and always abides by a Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock
19/12/2014 at 4:05 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
The Illinois solar marketplace is marching forward to an eventful 2015. Recent movement on a Supplemental Procurement Plan means solar appetite complement owners should demeanour for a Illinois SREC marketplace to come to delight really soon.
Earlier this month, a Illinois Commerce Commission expelled a breeze Proposed Order on a Illinois Power Agency’s (IPA) Supplemental Procurement Plan. In a breeze Proposed Order, a Commission reviews objections and comments submitted to them per a IPA’s devise and creates rulings on any issue. Many of a rulings solidified changes we examined in past articles on a Illinois solar market[s2] . The following conclusions are quite notable for stream or impending solar complement owners in Illinois:
1. “New” vs. Existing Systems
First, a Commission validated a IPA’s preference to gain SRECs exclusively from “new” solar systems. Several parties doubtful this indicate on a basement of a outcome on cost and integrity to existent systems. The Commission concluded, however, that a IPA’s due structure is unchanging with a government that combined a Supplemental Procurement and is true to a vigilant of a drafters. Existing solar systems can attend in a IPA’s due unchanging procurement, that is governed by a apart plan. Maintaining a concentration on new systems does a most, in a eyes of a IPA, to foster new solar build and a reduced SREC cost over time.
2. System Size Categories
Second, a Commission resolved that a IPA accurately interpreted a law when it motionless to gain SRECs from systems in dual distance categories: systems reduction than 25 kW, and systems between 25 kW and 2 MW.
Again, several parties objected on a basement of cost and integrity to regulating distance as a criteria in bid selection. The Commission upheld a use of graphic distance categories, and as we speculated, they concurred a intensity disadvantages of a 30-kW complement competing opposite systems as a vast as 2 MW. While IPA is not thankful to emanate additional distance categories for a whole procurement, IPA contingency supplement a third distance difficulty to a second procurement, that will take place in November. As a result, a Nov 2015 solar buying will gain 50 percent of a SRECs from systems reduction than 25 kW in size, 15 percent from systems between 25 kW and 500 kW and 35 percent from systems between 500 kW and 2 MW.
3. What is a “new” system?
Third, a Commission simplified that a date used to establish eligibility, and validate as a “new” system, will simply be a date a complement was energized. In sequence to validate as new, this date contingency start after a final capitulation of a Supplemental Procurement Plan, that we design to start in late Jan 2015.
4. Credit Requirements
Fourth, a Commission deliberate a ask to serve revoke a credit mandate (deposits have been reduced once already from a strange proposal). While acknowledging a regard over a due credit mandate a Commission upheld a now due levels. In light of a need for a IPA to change a aim of compelling extended appearance with a shortcoming to strengthen opposite bad peculiarity or bad faith bids, a Commission upheld credit deposits of $16 per SREC for suppositional bids and $8 per SREC for bids from systems that have been identified.
5. Miscellaneous Issues
The Commission also privileged adult several teenager issues such as metering requirements, authorised platforms for tracking and transferring SRECs, and potentially treacherous information about competent installers, The Commission also destined a IPA to yield serve information on a website, privately geared towards owners of tiny solar systems.
The Illinois Solar Market: Looking Forward
Interested parties can record Exceptions to a due sequence by Dec 22nd. Replies contingency afterwards be filed by Dec 30th, after that a Commission will examination both Exceptions and Replies and emanate a final sequence by Jan 26th, 2015.
19/12/2014 at 4:01 am | Solar Blog | No comment
Combining solar panels with batteries means users can store appetite during a day and use it during night, shortening electricity bills. Those assets can be some-more poignant for business who compensate aloft rates for electricity during rise periods, Shayle Kann, comparison clamp boss of GTM Research, pronounced in an interview. So-called time-of-use pricing is typically some-more common now among blurb users.
The news totalled systems that are connected “behind a meter” to a appetite grid, permitting households to sell appetite behind to utilities when their panels are producing a surplus. Such setups will turn some-more common with blurb business as well, Kann said.
The biggest marketplace for solar-with-batteries will be California, followed by New York and Hawaii, Kann said. These states have comparatively clever solar markets, high electricity prices and policies that might coax direct for appetite storage. California, for example, has mandated that a state’s 3 categorical utilities gain 1.3 gigawatts of storage ability by 2020.
The U.S. is on lane to implement 6.5 gigawatts of solar ability this year, 36 percent some-more than 2013, according to SEIA. By 2018, GTM Research expects one out of each 10 blurb solar installations will be interconnected with storage systems.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Lead image: Solar rooftop around Shutterstock
18/12/2014 at 9:57 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
The rates attracted floods of solar applications, so much so that utilities who are required to buy the power for their transmission grids say they are being overwhelmed. Plus, the supply is unstable.
As many renewable energy projects haven’t started even years after winning approval, the new rules allow utilities to strip a renewable energy provider of grid access if they miss the start date.
The same can happen if they fail to pay for access within a month of signing a contract, according to a document released by the ministry today.
As wind and solar power is intermittent based on the weather, the ministry will also expand a rule that allows utilities to reduce or stop intake of renewable energy for up to 30 days a year without compensating the suppliers.
That rule, applicable for when supply exceeds demand, was for producers with capacity of 500 kilowatts or more.
Under new rules, it will apply to solar and wind projects of any size — including residential rooftops — according to a separate ministry document. In addition, the maximum period for no compensation will be calculated by hour not daily to better reflect demand and supply.
The measures come after at least five of the country’s utilities began restricting the access of new solar farms to their grids earlier this year and examined how much more clean energy their grids can add.
Another measure will formalize what is already happening in the industry; namely, a renewable energy provider will receive grid access from a utility when it agrees not to be compensated for reducing output.
Grid capacity is tight especially in regions covered by Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co.
The utilities, Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tohoku Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., and Okinawa Electric Power Co., will restart grid access to renewable projects after the rule changes in January, according to the ministry.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg
Lead image: Rules and regulations via Shutterstock
18/12/2014 at 9:57 pm | Solar Blog | No comment
Solar plan expansion is cyclical: some-more collateral chases projects, oversupply of collateral brings down yields, collateral exits a space, some-more projects chase a money; rinse, lather, and repeat.
As we simulate on 2014, we will remember it as a year when an abundance of unite equity was met with a necessity of bankable plan opportunities. Here’s why, along with a predictions for blurb and industrial (CI) solar in 2015.
1. Transaction Costs Reinforce CI Growing Pains
The law-breaker for CI’s prosaic expansion is once again a vast transaction costs compared with comparatively smaller plan sizes (as against to multi-megawatt residential portfolios and utility-scale projects). Since any series of issues can kill a plan opportunity, we suggest operative with a financing partner early on to assistance tackle issues with interconnection, horde credit, skill taxes – we name it.
2. Diminished Incentive Regimes
With inducement programs drying adult in several vital markets (Gainesville, Indiana Power Light, LIPA, NIPSCO, etc.), many developers are struggling to emanate bankable plan opportunities. Why not bank on a markets that work but incentives, and with usually a assuage PPA (i.e. California, Arizona, and Hawaii)? Also, follow a opportunity: there are several underrated solar markets that aren’t saying scarcely a expansion activity that they should be (New Jersey, Maryland, and 650kW in Massachusetts).
3. Hungry, Hungry YieldCos
Yieldcos have eaten many of a larger, “middle of a fairway” bankable plan pipeline, contributing to a necessity of financeable plan opportunities that are left for investors. However, it is critical to remember that generally it is usually a many transparent cut, “perfect” projects are being placed into YieldCos — generally, multi-megawatt belligerent mountain projects with an investment-grade offtaker, expected a application or publicly-rated corporate entity.
Because Yieldcos are not as stretchable on distance or credit, we expect them carrying issues “feeding a beast” in 2015 and beyond. Stay tuned; usually time will tell.
Think Diligently in an Undersupplied Project Marketplace
You can count on tables to spin over a years. Along with a lessen and upsurge of a sappy solar marketplace itself, shopping and offered appetite will fluctuate, creation long-term relations essential to profitability.
In 2014, we still saw solar developers reject a initial bids since a bid from another financier was “too good to be true.” Turns out they mostly were, and a same deals resurfaced for a group after in a year.
This is since we advise solar developers to conduct industry on their solar investors, just as they oldster your association and plan opportunities. Together, we can scale a CI market.
This is an mention from a Solar Project Finance Journal, a monthly electronic newsletter examining a solar industry’s latest trends formed on a singular position in a solar financing space. To perspective a full Journal or subscribe, greatfully e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a solar appetite financial and investment firm. The association has facilitated financing for 171MW distributed era solar projects on interest of Fortune 100 corporations, word companies, utilities, banks, family offices, and individuals. It has over $550 million in resources underneath government as of Sep 2014. Sol Systems provides secure, tolerable investment opportunities to financier clients, and worldly plan financing solutions to developers. The company’s tailored financial services operation from taxation structured investments and plan acquisition, to debt financing and SREC portfolio management. For some-more information, greatfully visit www.solsystemscompany.com.