September, 2013Archive for

Is PV Better Than Thermal Solar Water Heating?

Originally published on the Hal Slater website. Solar thermal water heating is a temperamental thing. Water weighs a lot, it expands when it freezes, and it can cause scaling damage to pipes when it boils. Solar thermal systems are wonderfully efficient, and some systems work just fine for decades, but even these need regular inspection. When a solar thermal system fails, however, it sets about destroying itself, and it has been clear for some time that solar thermal water heating is not the wa...

First Wind Enters Solar Market on Massachusetts Projects

First Wind Holdings Inc. began construction on 17 megawatts of solar plants in central Massachusetts, the Boston-based wind-farm developers first photovoltaic projects. The plants comprise a 3-megawatt facility in the town of Millbury and three sites with a total of 14 megawatts of capacity in Warren, First Wind said today in a statement. Borrego Solar Systems Inc. is building the projects and theyre expected to begin producing power by June. The company will sell the majority of the output un...

Ikea selling solar panels in Britain

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has said it will start selling residential solar panels at its stores in Britain, in a move aimed at bringing renewable energy to the mainstream market. The company said it will start selling solar panels made by Hanergy in its store in Southampton on Monday and in the rest of Britain in coming weeks. It said a standard, 3.36 kilowatt system for a semi-detached home will cost 5,700 British pounds $9,200 and will include an in-store consultation and design service as ...

Ikea to sell residential solar panels in Britain

Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea plans to start selling solar panels for the home, like the ones on a house in Coburg, Germany, above, at its stores in Britain and eventually expand the offerings to other countries. Michaela Rehle/Reuters

State extends solar panel program

The deadline for a solar power incentive program in several communities across the state has been extended after unexpected demand for solar panels, state and local agencies said.Solarize Mass, a program that makes solar installation cheaper for individuals by aggregating installations and orders, will give residents in 10 towns — including Brookline, Newton and Medford — another month to sign up for the program. This is the third round of the program, with a fourth set to begin soon...

Big solar now competing with wind energy on costs

The cost of large-scale solar projects has fallen by one third in the last five years and big solar now competes with wind energy in the solar-rich south-west of the United States, according to new research. The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States says the cost of solar is still falling and contracts for some solar projects are being struck as low as $50/...

Fund It: Rent-to-Own Solar Light On SunFunder

Back in March, we featured solar crowdfunding platform SunFunder, which had just been awarded $25,000 by Facebook and the Cleantech Group as winners of the Cleantech Goes Social competition. From that post, here’s a refresher on what’s special about SunFunder: SunFunder dashboard: Shows progress on metrics like dollars invested, number of projects, energy saved, and number of people helped. Users can see the impact their networks of friends are making, and ask others to invest with t...

Former Eastgate Mall to become solar farm

INDIANAPOLIS - A defunct Indianapolis mall that was saved from demolition in 2008 will soon become a solar farm. New Generation Power of Chicago plans to start work this fall on a 4-megawatt array covering at the former Eastgate Consumer Mall. Alex Carroll purchased the mall in 2008 to house Lifeline Data Centers. The site also was home to the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety's regional operations center until the center vacated over fire-safety concerns. Carroll tells the Indianapolis B...

Solar business still sunny; but energy credits cast shadow over Pa

As solar power generation expands vigorously nationwide, an air of darkness hovers over Pennsylvania's sector. "The national growth of solar is extremely impressive," said Maureen Mulligan, government relations coordinator for the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association, a state trade group. "The industry has gone through a lot of changes in Pennsylvania, and not for the good." The troubled condition of the trade in Pennsylvania results from a collapse in the pric...

Middlebury solar house turns green design into a liberal art

What might be the most unorthodox team in the 2013 Solar Decathlon comes from Middlebury College in Vermont. The institution with about 2,500 students doesn't have graduate programs, so no engineering or architecture school, and all of its team members study liberal arts -- think English or economics. Developing a Solar Decathlon house is part of a two-semester, interdepartmental class.