June, 2011Archive for

Feds find BrightSource solar project will not jeopardize desert

In the current issue of Forbes, I write about how the iconic and imperiled desert tortoise could prove problematic for some of the dozen big solar power plants approved for construction in the Mojave Desert in California and Nevada. In April, federal officials, for instance, ordered BrightSource Energy to halt work on part of its 370-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System after biologists found more desert tortoises at the project than the 32 predicted. Revised projections had estimat...

Japan's Richest Man Challenges Nuclear Future With Nationwide

Solar panels manufactured by Sharp Corp. at a mega solar power station in Sakai City, Osaka, Japan. I have a very high expectations, especially for our thin-film solar cells which had been limited to overseas sales, said Mikio Katayama , president of Sharp, Japans biggest maker of solar cells. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Solar Impulse arrives in Paris for air show debut

Crew members guide the Swiss solar powered aeroplane, Solar Impuls, to its final destination after landing at le Bourget, airport, near Paris, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, where it will be exhibited at the Paris Air Show, which opens on June 20. Xinhua/Reuters Photo PARIS, June 14 Xinhua -- Solar Impulse, a Swiss solar-powered aircraft, finally arrived in Paris on Tuesday after three days' delay, ready for a debut at the biennial International Paris Air Show. The 1.6-ton solar-powered plane was ex...

DOE offers almost $2B for solar thermal projects

The Department of Energy has been getting the remainder of its loan guarantees out the door at record speed in time for when the program sunsets on Sept. 30 of this year. Here’s the latest two and perhaps two of the last few winners : On Tuesday the DOE announced almost $2 billion in conditional commitments for loan guarantees for two solar thermal projects, which use mirrors to produce heat to generate electricity in contrast to solar panels that convert light into electricity. The first ...

Google grants $280M to solar energy project

Google gave a major boost to efforts using solar energy to power homes and buildings, with a $280-million investment to a firm financing solar installations in the United States. Google said that its aid for SolarCity the search giant's largest clean energy project investment to date should help homeowners and businesses to begin harnessing the power of the sun. This is our largest clean energy project investment to date and brings our total invested in the clean energy sector to more than...

Next solar cycle may be weakest for centuries

Sunspots could be set to disappear altogether after the next solar maximum, new studies indicate. Right now, the sun is in the middle of Cycle 24, and is due to reach a maximum in 2013. The next cycle would be expected to start in around 2020. But separate examinations of the sun's interior, surface and upper atmosphere all indicate that the next cycle will be significantly weakened. Indeed, we may be heading into what's known as a 'grand minimum' - a period of unusually low solar activity. The ...

McGraw-Hill plans record-setting New Jersey solar site

The largest privately-owned, net-metered solar project in the country is coming to New Jersey. Publishing and financial company McGraw-Hill has teamed with New Jersey Resources’ Clean Energy Ventures to plan the project, which will have the potential to produce 14.1 megawatts of power. The project “will significantly offset the need for other energy sources to run McGraw-Hill's offices in East Windsor, N.J.,” according to a June 13 press release. The annual energy output will b...

Utilities Double Solar Capacity

Electric utilities appear to have been on a buying and building spree for solar power in the past year. Thats more than anecdotal information reported here previously, but its also confirmed by a new report by a solar trade association.The Solar Electric Power Association SEPA just released its 2010 Utility Solar Rankings report, which shows an influx of interest in the resource, and much of it is outside of the U.S. Southwest.SEPAs report identifies the Top 10 U.S. utilities that added the most...

MyGen Bundled US-Made Solar by Kyocera

Kyocera Solar, Inc. today announced the availability of bundles for people looking to enter the solar market. Called MyGen, the solar kits are made in America for residential and light commercial projects and come with all major PV system components, disconnects, and grounding equipment required to start generating electricity. MyGen has residential packages that range from about 2.5 to 7.5 kW. Though Kyocera optimized the bundle for quick installation and has a permit package with drawings and...

It is shameful that this government is resisting a solar revolution

You report that "subsidies for large-scale photovoltaic installations are to be cut drastically" Solar power industry dismayed as subsidy for large plants cut, 10 June . However, the most devastating impact of the government's actions will be on "community-scale" solar which is poorly understood but crucial to building a modern green electricity infrastructure.As you state: "The government said its review of feed-in tariffs FITs for renewable energy would divert funds from field-sized ... solar...