By - Michael Drost

Google launches solar mapping tool

Energize Weekly, August 19, 2015 Google, a large funder of utility-scale solar and wind projects, is taking a crack at the residential solar business in a very Google way: using aerial imagery to help prospective customers work out if installing solar is a worthwhile idea. Called Project Sunroof, the recently announced tool will allow customers to enter their home address

By - Michael Drost

Residential Solar: How One Company is Helping Utilities Navigate the Distributed Energy Revolution

Black said that the recent expansion of financing options has made solar PV customers much more diverse in terms of age, income, and education levels. “That used to be true [the idea solar ownership favors the wealthy]. It certainly was true,” he said. “Financing options have made that less true,” he said. No market demonstrates this shift better than California,

By - Michael Drost

Renewable energy policy pioneer Nova Scotia ends feed-in tariff program

Energize Weekly, August 12, 2015 Nova Scotia ended its pioneer community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) after four years this week, saying that the popular program had achieved its objectives. The tariff, which guaranteed small renewable energy producers a sustainable fee for their electricity, was created to provide an incentive for independent, community-based renewable energy production to feed the provincial grid. Provincial

By - Michael Drost

California utilities propose net-metering reforms

Energize Weekly, August 5, 2015 California’s two biggest utilities urged state regulators to make sweeping changes to the way residential solar customers get compensated for returning excess energy to the grid, citing the improving economics of solar power along with the cost shifting effect of increasing distributed generation. “Solar is an essential part of our clean energy future,” said Anthony

By - Michael Drost

SPP bows out of Tres Amigas interconnection project

Energize Weekly, August 5, 2015 Tres Amigas, a $1.6 billion “SuperStation” project connecting three regional U.S. grids lost a key partner last week, after the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) decided to terminate an interconnection agreement between Tres Amigas and utility Southwestern Public Service Co (SPS), citing Tres Amigas’ inability to make payments or meet milestone agreements. According to Greentech Media,

By - Michael Drost

Report: Ratemaking subsidies could imperil grid reliability

Energize Weekly, July 15, 2015 A new study released by the Electric Markets Research Foundation says that the concept of affordable and reliable electricity for all might be imperiled due to subsidized ratemaking policies like net-metering, and that failure to mitigate the unintended consequences of integrating distributed generation resources like microgrids and rooftop solar could create a two-tiered electricity system.

By - Michael Drost

Austin Energy bids reveal new frontier for solar growth

Energize Weekly, July 8, 2015 Austin Energy’s recent call for solar power contract solicitations, which saw offers for almost 1,300 megawatts of projects priced below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, shows that solar power is entering a new frontier: one in which the value of solar is consistently and persistently beating that of competing energy sources, which will no doubt lead

By - Michael Drost

Solar being undervalued by utilities: report

Energize Weekly, July 1, 2015 Rooftop solar owners may be getting under-compensated for the benefits their systems provide to the electricity grid, according to a new report by environmental advocacy group Environment America. According to the report, which reviewed 11 net metering studies analyzing the value of solar, the median value of solar power was about 17 cents per kilowatt-hour

By - Michael Drost

NRG Energy building 20MW solar facility for Cisco Systems

Energize Weekly, June 24, 2015 NRG Renew, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, will build a 20 megawatt (MW) solar facility to power the headquarters of tech giant Cisco Systems, according to officials at both companies. Tom Doyle, president and CEO of NRG Renew, said that the company will convert its NRG Solar Blythe II location, which has been under

By - Michael Drost

Residential solar market grew 76 percent in first quarter 2015: report

Energize Weekly, June 17, 2015 The U.S. residential solar market had its best quarter ever during the first three months 2015, installing a record 437 megawatts (MW) of solar and growing 11 percent over fourth quarter 2014, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research. According to figures in its latest US Solar

By - Michael Drost

Tech Companies Banking on Green Data Centers

(Google’s Douglas County Data Center in Georgia) “Because energy is a large operating expense at Google, it is beneficial to power the data centers with low-cost wind power,” says Gary Demasi, Google’s Director of Operations, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy. According to Demasi, the PPAs provide Google with an opportunity to lock in lower costs as a hedge against

By - Michael Drost

Microgrids Take Utilities by Storm

The business opportunity of microgrid technology has not gone unnoticed by those who currently control most of the nation’s energy grid. Though 51 percent of utility executives believe microgrids will adversely affect their revenue, according to a data compiled by Accenture, many in the utilities industry see opportunity. “Rather than view microgrids as new competitors to traditional electricity distribution utilities,

By - Michael Drost

Don’t fear the reaper: How hybrid solar and battery systems are transforming our electricity grid, and why that’s not a bad thing

By Michael Drost Solar industry advocates have been clamoring for years that improvements in photovoltaic (PV) generation and storage technology will someday make traditional power generation obsolete. Instead of plugging into the grid, they claim, customers will simply be able to drive to a local Home Depot or Leows, order and install a few solar panels and storage devices for

By - Michael Drost

Ontario Energy Storage: All of the Above Please

By Michael Drost Every now and then, industries go through a “eureka” moment when confronted with an emerging trend: the point in time when a concept previously regarded as “not quite there” suddenly becomes a key driver in that industry’s future. Once upon a time, the concept of streaming music over the internet wasn’t seen as critical to the music

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