Energy Innovation: Solar Roadways and Solar Sidewalks

PV-powered roads and walkways being tested in U.S. Federal Highway Administration research program Get to know a solar-to-electricity system that isn’t stuck on the rooftop. Thus is s story about tenacity in renewable energy research and a long-range vision that might provide one solution to take on climate change using a network of solar roads, driveways, and sidewalks. Meet Scott and Julie Brusaw, co-founders of Idaho-based Solar Roadways. Here is the story as it is told on their website: “Suppose we…

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First Solar Selected by Tenaska to Build 150MW Solar Facility in Southern California

First Solar, Inc. has announced that it has been selected by independent energy company Tenaska Solar Ventures to design and build the 150 megawatt (MW)AC Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West project near El Centro, California. First Solar will provide full Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services on the project, employing its advanced thin film photovoltaic modules and single-axis tilt technology. The project sits on approximately 1,100 acres of previously disturbed land in Imperial County. Tenaska Imperial West is the…

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The Birth of On-Grid Rooftop Photovoltaics

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this contribution about the introduction of rooftop photovoltaics. The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. John Ericsson had gained great fame in America for designing the Monitor, the first iron ship that helped save the Union forces during America’s Civil War. After the Union’s victory in 1865, he devoted the rest of his life to solar pursuits. Ericsson made a momentous discovery not very…

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Do-It-Yourself Solar Power Kits Available on Amazon

Andalay Solar has just announced that it is making its do-it-yourself solar power kits available for sale on Amazon. Now potential solar customers all over the US have an easy way to access the equipment necessary to get free electricity. Andalay’s AC (alternating current) solar system allows homeowners to install their own photovoltaic system, and even to add on to an existing Andalay system, by simply plugging in more panels. This keeps the entry costs for solar power down, encouraging…

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Proposed “Shared Clean Energy” Program Would Allow New York Renters to Go Solar for the First Time

Advocates applaud Assembly Bill 9931 for expanding NYS clean energy investment, jobs, benefits The following press release was issued by Vote Solar: The New York Assembly Energy Committee today (June 4) passed a “Shared Clean Energy Bill” (A.9931), which would establish a new way for renters and other families, schools and businesses to go solar. Advocates applauded the bill for its visionary goal of enabling more New Yorkers to participate in and benefit from the state’s growing solar economy. “Today solar…

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IKEA Completes Largest Solar Installation Atop Future Miami-Dade Store

IKEA today announced it completing installation of South Florida’s largest solar array, which will be plugged-in officially atop the future Miami-Dade IKEA store opening this summer in Sweetwater, FL. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep IKEA as the state’s largest non-utility solar owner.   The 178,000-square-foot solar array consists of a 1,178-kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce approximately 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store, the equivalent…

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Just Found! The Oldest Solar Device in the World

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this contribution about what is believed to be the world’s oldest solar device – a solar ignitor, or yang-sui . The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. During the sixth century BCE, Confucius wrote about the common use of curved mirrors shaped from shiny metal to concentrate the rays of the sun for making fire. These became known as yang­­-suis ­­– translating to solar…

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New York City

New York to Provide Incentives for Zero-Net-Energy Buildings

The state of New York will provide $34 million of incentives to individuals and zero-net-energy homes (buildings which generate more energy than they consume). This works out to be $2,000 to $8,000 per household. The Real Deal says that “A zero-net-energy building relies on, among other things, solar panels, insulation and geothermal heating and cooling systems to balance out energy consumption”. This is often the case. However, geothermal heating and cooling systems are not required for this (but they do offer great…

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Study: European Solar Panel Manufacturing Greener than China’s

A solar panel output may be green, but the manufacturing footprint it has left behind may be anything but green or sustainable. Take the csse of this recent study pitting European solar panel manufacturing and that of China’s. → Related product: Steel manufacturing buildings According to a Northwestern University study, China’s manufacturing footprint is far less green than that of Europe. Solar panels made in China have a higher overall carbon footprint and are likely to use substantially more energy during manufacturing than…

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Trina Solar Is The First To Guide Over 1 GW Of Solar Module Shipments

Trina Solar released its Q1 2014 financial results on May 21st. It revealed that Trina Solar’s profitability and module shipment guidance have improved for Q2’14. The company has guided 950 MW to 1,010 MW of module shipments this quarter (Q2’14), marking the first time that a photovoltaic solar module company has provided guidance to more than 1 GW of module shipments within one quarter. According to the DisplaySearch blog: “Looking back, Yingli Green Energy was close to this benchmark during Q4’13, with record industry…

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First Solar to Deliver Diesel-PV Hybrid Solution to Rio Tinto in Australia

Diesel-PV hybrid project will offset grid requirements and reduce diesel usage Integrating the use of solar power with diesel in an Australian mining operation, if successful, will reduce the requirement for all-diesel machinery. To accomplish this First Solar, Rio Tinto, and Ingenero have agreed on the development of the Weipa Solar Photovoltaic Project in Queensland, Australia. The project has received funding from the Commonwealth Government, with an initial commitment of $3.5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to…

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The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. This is the first of five articles. David Wright was just another young architect trained conventionally in what he described as the school of just build it and then with heating and cooling equipment and…

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Solar-Powered Drones: Ascent Solar Takes Flight Aboard Silent Falcon Unmanned Aircraft

Solar-powered drones are becoming more commonplace in the aviation industry. How they will all be used remains to be seen. Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies and Silent Falcon UAS Technologies have announced the successful first flights of the production Silent Falcon Unmanned Aircraft Systems. These systems will be powered by Ascent Solar’s ultra-lightweight, flexible photovoltaic modules. Silent Falcon UAS, with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, jointly developed by SFUAS, Bye AEROSPACE and Ascent Solar, is a tactical drone that can be…

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New Energy See-Through SolarWindow Sets New Record for Generating Electricity

Appealing see-through SolarWindow may impact new LEED-targeted designs See-through windows that generate electricity are starting to attract expanded interest. New Energy Technologies, a developer of see-through SolarWindowT coatings, has announced that its technology has set a new record for generating electricity while remaining see-through with over 50% greater power than prior attempts publicized by others. For those wanting a blend of visual acuity and clean energy, this statistic should provide a significant boost to market appeal. Speaking about this technology,…

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