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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Solar


Going Solar: Options Abound for Co-ops Committed to Harnessing the Sun

Rural Electric Magazine, June 2015, by Cathy Cash.

"Co-op creativity is on display in trail-blazing integrations of  PV systems."

Solar Canopies Turn Parking Lots Into Power Plants with Benefits

Solar Industry, June 2015, by Michael Puttre.

"Solar developers say solar carports are emerging as one of the fastest-growing segments of the market -- particularly in places where getting into your car at the end of the day feels like laying tar in the hot sun."

Solar-Ready Homes are Lean, Green and Seen

Solar Industry, May 2015, by Erin Clark.

"Regulations, incentives and home buyers are pushing builders to incorporate solar as a standard feature."

Denver Authority Lets Solar Shine on Affordable Housing

Solar Industry, May 2015, by Victoria Mills.

"City authority opens up solar benefits to low-income families through a program of retrofits and new builds."

A Survey of State and Local PV Program Response to Financial Innovation and Disparate Federal Tax Treatment in the Residential PV Sector

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, LBNL-181290, June 2015, by Mark Bolinger and Edward Holt.

"High up-front costs and a lack of financing options have historically been the primary barriers to the adoption of photovoltaics (PV) in the residential sector. State clean energy funds, which emerged in a number of states from the restructuring of the electricity industry in the mid-to-late 1990s, have for many years attempted to overcome these barriers through PV incentive and, in some cases, loan programs. While these programs (incentive programs in particular) have been popular, the residential PV market in the United States only started to achieve significant scale in the last five years – driven in large part by an initial wave of financial innovation that led to the rise of third-party ownership."


The Game Changer [Energy Storage]

Solar Today, April 30, 2015, by Maureen McIntyre (Editor & publisher)

"The global energy landscape is shifting, and the game changer is energy storage."

Solar Gardens: A Fast-Growing Approach to Photovoltaic Power

Power Magazine, May 2015, by Kennedy Maize.

"How to give electricity customers who can’t take advantage of rooftop solar access to the sun? Community solar—a shared resource—is a fast-growing segment of the renewable energy market, making solar photovoltaic power more accessible while offering another approach to distributed generation."

NREL Report Estimates Market Potential of Shared Solar and Discusses Relevant Securities Regulations

NREL News Release, Apr. 27, 2015.

"Analysis from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that by making shared solar programs available to households and businesses that currently cannot host on-site photovoltaic (PV) systems shared solar could represent 32 to 49 percent of the distributed photovoltaic market in 2020."

Solar Power Purchase Agreements: a Toolkit for Local Governments

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), Mar. 2015. [Requires free registration to view full report.]

"In an effort to reduce solar soft costs and assist local governments and other public entities seeking to install and finance rooftop solar systems, IREC developed a comprehensive toolkit on retail solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), sometimes referred to as solar service agreements. With this new resource, IREC seeks to help overcome the common challenges and costs associated with PPAs by providing a full suite of legal resources and related documents in a highly user-friendly format."

Centralized & Decentralized PV Power Plants: Vendor Perspectives

SolarPro, Mar/Apr 2015, by Joe Schwartz.

"As the capacity of utility-scale PV plants has increased in the US, so has the capacity of the centralized power-conditioning units used in these projects. Today, many plants utilize factory-integrated skids that combine inverters, medium-voltage transformers and switchgear into packages that range in capacity from 1 MW to 2.5 MW. These integrated systems offer project developers many advantages, including optimized component compatibility, as well as reduced installation time and expense."


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