51st State Goes Live with New Visions for Energy System Change (3/27/15)

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) launched its 51st State Initiative last year as a broad challenge to re-imagine a 21st-century energy system from the ground up, as if for a hypothetical 51st state that has no rules, regulations or market structures in place.  Read more  >>

GOP lawmakers submit bill to extend N.C. renewable-energy tax credits (3/26/15)

A Republican state senator from Mecklenburg and three colleagues have filed a bill to extend the renewable-energy tax credits scheduled to end this year until the end of 2020.  Read more  >>

EnerNOC and SunPower to partner on commercial solar with energy market intelligence (3/26/15)

EnerNOC and SunPower are teaming up to provide energy management software and solar solutions to commercial and industrial customers. SunPower’s existing commercial customers will receive EnerNOC’s software-as-a-service solution for energy management as part of the three-year exclusive agreement.  Read more  >>

SolarEdge goes public, begins trading as SEDG (3/26/15)

Israel’s SolarEdge – a specialist in power optimizer technology for solar modules – has today begun trading on the NASDAQ as SEDG.  Read more  >>

Maine's value of solar study: Is solar worth $0.33 per kWh? (3/20/15)

Solar’s real and whole value could be over $0.33 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), according to an extensive new study done for Maine’s legislature.  Read more  >>

Stanford study: California’s Urban Areas Can Generate Plenty Of Solar To Power State (3/20/15)

The population of California is approaching 40 million, and despite the state’s reputation for overpriced real estate and choking traffic, about 90% of the state’s people live only 10% of the land. For those who see the state as a bellwether of clean energy’s future, it is easy to point out vast empty swaths of land, such as the Mojave Desert. Installations such as the massive 250 MW concentrated solar power plant (CSP) outside of Hinkley, California, come to mind.  Read more  >>

SolarCity Combines Skills to Finance ‘Microgrids as Service’ (3/20/15)

SolarCity, the largest solar installer and financier in the U.S., is now offering "microgrids as a service" by integrating its existing expertise in distributed renewables, inverters, energy storage, and control software.  Read more  >>

All about the REV: How and why New York wants to develop distributed energy markets (3/4/15)

The REV — the industry shorthand for the New York Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding — sounds exactly like “rêve,” the French word for “dream.”  Read more  >>

AES Acquires Main Street Power and Enters Distributed Solar Market (3/4/15)

AES just acquired Main Street Power of Boulder, Colorado, a developer of distributed solar projects in the 300-kilowatt to 5-megawatt range. The acquisition follows the recent trend of utilities and financiers acquiring developers -- Duke's acquisition of REC and Coronal's acquisition of Heliosage are two more examples.  Read more  >>

SolarCity Lawsuit Alleges Arizona Utility’s Fee Hurts Solar (3/4/15)

SolarCity Corp., the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer sued Salt Ruver Project, alleging the Tempe, Arizona-based utility's new pricing policy will " punish customers who choose to go solar."  Read more  >>

Sonoma County Is Building the Largest Floating Solar Project in the US (3/13/15)

Sonoma Clean Power recently announced it has contracted to build the largest floating solar project in the United States, which will produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes when it comes on-line in 2016.  Read more  >>

Could SRP's demand charge unlock a huge opportunity for solar-plus-storage? (3/13/15)

The biggest solar installer in the U.S. is suing a small Arizona public utility for giving it what could be a big boost toward a new business model.  Read more  >>

The US Installed 6.2GW of Solar in 2014, Up 30% Over 2013 (3/13/15)

Applauding a record-breaking year, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review report, the definitive source of installation data, forecasting and policy analysis for the U.S. solar market. Newly installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity for year reached a record 6,201 megawatts* (MW), growing 30 percent over 2013’s total.  Read more  >>

Missouri Co-op to Build State's First Community Solar Array (2/4/15)

Community solar is “a program through which individual members of a community have the opportunity to ‘buy in’ to a nearby solar installation…[and] receive a proportional share of the financial or energy output of the system,” according to the to the Solar Electric Power Association. “Community solar programs may be offered by electric utilities or through third-parties or community groups.”  Read more  >>

Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent (2/4/15)

President Obama just unveiled a $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 that asks Congress for a permanent extension of tax credits for the solar and wind industry.  Read more  >>

Apple is Building a Solar-Powered Data 'Command Center' (2/4/15)

Apple’s sapphire plant project in Arizona didn’t work out, so Apple is investing another $2 billion to convert the facility into a massive data center, the Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi reports  Read more  >>

Obama Budget Aims to Make Solar and Wind Incentives Permanent (2/4/15)

President Obama just unveiled a $3.99 trillion budget for 2016 that asks Congress for a permanent extension of tax credits for the solar and wind industry.  Read more  >>

Hawaiian Electric's Plan to Change Solar Net Metering, Explained (1/27/15)

Hawaiian Electric, the Aloha state's dominant electricity provider, has proposed to end retail net metering by April, replacing it with an alternative tariff structure. The much-watched utility says the changes are necessary to ensure grid reliability and a fair cost distribution for its customers, but solar advocates worry the new valuation scheme is an attempt to tamp down on the spread of distributed generation.  Read more  >>

What Utility Execs Think the Future Holds (1/27/15)

Despite the challenges facing the U.S. electric utility industry, most utility executives remain confident in the sector's future.  Read more  >>

Florida Power & Light to Add 225 MW of Solar in 2016 (1/27/15)

Florida Power & Light to Company (FPL) announced plans on Monday to add some 225 MW of PV to its power mix by the end of 2016, tripling its existing solar capacity of 110 MW.  Read more  >>

First Solar Launches Free Online Power Plant Assessment Tool (1/20/15)

U.S. thin film manufacturer and project developer First Solar has launched its free Energy Capacity Assessment Tool, which allows potential power plant developers or investors to plot out a PV power plant online to assess its feasibility.  Read more  >>

Where the Clean Energy Money Flowed Last Year (1/20/15)

New investments in clean energy — from project financing to government funding to VC — rebounded in 2014 to $310 billion invested globally, just shy of the annual global record for clean energy investments in 2011, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  Read more  >>

There are about as Many Solar Jobs as Coal Jobs in the US (1/20/15)

Putting solar power on rooftops is pretty labor-intensive. You need people to design and manufacture the panels. Then people to market the panels to homes and businesses. Then people to come and install them.  Read more  >>

A Solar System Is Installed in America Every 2.5 Minutes (1/13/15)

In 2013, we reported that a solar installation was being completed every four minutes in America. Installation volumes have increased considerably since then.  Read more  >>

Canadian Utility Partners with Clean Power Finance for Solar Roll-Out in North America (1/13/15)

Toronto-based Just Energy has signed a long term agreement with Clean Power Finance (CPF) to roll out rooftop solar to its 1.6 million customers. The deal will provide a finance platform for Just Energy to provide solar leases, loans and PPAs to its established customer base.  Read more  >>

Michigan Study Shows ‘Modest’ Costs to Expand Renewables (1/13/15)

Michigan could expand its renewable energy portfolio standard to 25 percent over the next 10 years at a cost of $2.60 a month for the average household, according to a report released today by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute.  Read more  >>

California Governor Jerry Brown Calls for 50% Renewables by 2030 (1/6/15)

California Gov. Jerry Brown has upped the ante on the state’s green energy goals, calling for a big increase in renewable energy, alternative fuels and building efficiency over the next fifteen years -- along with the smart grid investments to put them to use.  Read more  >>

Xcel to double down on renewable energy in Minnesota (1/6/15)

Xcel Energy Inc. said Friday that it wants to more than double the amount of electricity it gets from wind and solar in the Upper Midwest.  Read more  >>

Predictions 2015 Part 1: 7 energy insiders envision the year to come (1/6/15)

In December, we asked you to predict what will happen in 2015, and we were overwhelmed by the response. In fact, we received so many predictions for the utility sector in the year to come, we just can't fit all the good ones in one post.  Read more  >>

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America (12/16/14)

Over the next two years, America will build roughly 13 gigawatts of utility-scale solar PV plants. When up and running, those projects will surpass the country's cumulative solar capacity across all sectors reached at the end of 2013.  Read more  >>

First Solar buys into CEC, the leading U.S. community solar developer (12/16/14)

Community solar projects are typically less than 5 megawatts and send their power directly to the grid. Individuals in high rises or in densely shaded homes purchase one or more of the array’s modules and earn credits from their utility that lower their electricity bills.  Read more  >>

Ivanpah Solar Power Plant Is PennWell’s Renewable Energy Project of the Year (12/16/14)

The winner was announced and recognized at the co-located Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo and Power-Gen International in Orlando, Florida during the Annual Awards Gala on Monday night.  Read more  >>

Arizona regulatory staff rejects APS bid to own rooftop solar

The Arizona Corporation Commission's (ACC) staff has recommended that its commissioners reject a controversial proposal from Arizona Public Service to install and own rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar systems on 3,000 homes, saying the plans are too costly, according to SNL Energy.  Read more  >>

SCE Announces Winners of Energy Storage Contracts Worth 250MW

Southern California Edison has just revealed the winners of a massive 250-megawatt energy storage procurement, one that could set new standards for incorporating distributed and customer-owned energy assets into grid operations.  Read more  >>

Germany: New Guidelines for PV Solar Pilot Tender

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy continues to work on the regulatory framework to implement the pilot tender for ground-mounted photovoltaic systems. pv magazine has obtained a copy of the key points currently being discussed by government officials.


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How Utilities can Integrate Solar into their Distribution Plans (10/28/14)

Detailed analysis of suitable rooftops suggests solar in some western cities may meet 100% of midday load within 20 years.Utilities that aren’t planning for that could be in trouble. 

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Alevo Unstealthed: A New Gigawatt-Scale Grid Battery Contender (10/27/14)

From out of nowhere, a startup named Alevo has emerged as a serious rival to Tesla in the race to achieve next-generation grid battery manufacturing at gigawatt scale.

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Community Solar Allows Utilities to Adapt, Thrive as Energy Landscape Evolves (10/27/14)

Adaptability is the key to survival — both in nature as Charles Darwin observed, and in the business sector. 

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SEPA Prez Brings in the Light (8/20/2014)

Julia Hamm, president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), opens up the utility industry to the sun—both literally and figuratively.  Read more  >>

How Should Utilities Value Solar? (8/4/2014)

Solar is a revenue opportunity utilities can no longer ignore. In the next few years, electricity providers will have to face the question of how solar will fit into their businesses.  Read more  >>

Solar Reaching Mainstream for Utilities (7/29/14)

New figures released by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) reflect the central role utilities will continue to play in the growth and change of the U.S. solar industry in emerging trends that have been identified as current and future market drivers, according to the organization.  Read more  >>

SEPA: Utilities should own solar inverters (7/8/14)

Rising penetrations of distributed generation (DG) solar has made it imperative for utilities to ensure that DG solar installations add value to the grid. Ownership over the inverter could make utilities more amenable to the growth of rooftop solar.  Read more  >>