Thursday, May 12, 2016

Additional PV Comes To Finland Via Community Solar Model | CleanTechnica

In Finland, shared PV projects currently account for 13% of the nation's solar power production. It might well become one of the main driving forces for Finland's tiny solar sector, reports pv magazine. Now the percentage figure will increase.

Earlier this month, Helsinki-based energy company Helen commissioned the Kivikko solar plant, to be located on the rooftop of an indoor cross-country skiing hall in Finland's capital, Helsinki.

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

America Has 1 Million Solar Installations. Will the Next Million Reach Low-Income Communities? | Greentech Media

In early March, America's millionth solar installation went on-line, reaching 27 gigawatts of generation capacity across all 50 states and 1 percent of U.S. electricity. This milestone marks solar energy's mainstream moment. It is also a powerful inflection point to consider how we ensure the next million installations spread solar's economic benefits to disadvantaged communities.

Solar can provide economic relief for struggling families via lower utility bills and well-paid career opportunities requiring no advanced training. The opportunity to deploy solar and create jobs in underserved communities is huge. Over 6 million affordable housing units currently exist in the U.S., and census data suggests around 22 million owner-occupied households have incomes at or below 80 percent of their area median income.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Xcel to proceed with Eau Claire solar project | Chippewa Herald

(Note- this article makes the error of comparing the kilowatt price of the solar garden with incentives factored in with the cost of rooftop solar not including incentives or tax benefits. - Joy)

LA CROSSE — Despite lower than anticipated initial interest, Xcel Energy is poised to go forward with two community solar gardens in western Wisconsin.

Filings with state utility regulators show Xcel has sold only 12 percent of the available panels but anticipates selling 95 percent by the end of the year.

The company’s first annual report to the Public Service Commission shows 42 residential customers have subscribed to just over 99 kilowatts of the 2,000 available. Four commercial subscribers have agreed to purchase more than 140 kilowatts.

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Net Metering Cap Leaves Community Solar Projects Across The State In Limbo | Vermont Public Radio

Solar arrays have sprouted across the Vermont landscape over the past decade, but policy makers weren't ready for one consequence of the solar boom: reaching the cap on new solar projects.

Last fall, Vermont’s largest utility, Green Mountain Power, hit the cap for how many mid-sized and larger solar projects it can hook up to the grid. That means many that were planned just won't get built this year.

At one farm in South Royalton, the limit has stymied the community’s plan for a shared solar array.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Total Installed Capacity for U.S. Community Solar Programs Is Expected to be 1.5 GW in 2020 | Navigant Research

A new slide-based report from Navigant Research explores the community solar market in the United States, with a focus on technology and policy trends, customer adoption, utility rollouts, and the vendor landscape, through 2025.

Utilities across the U.S. have been deploying community solar programs since 2010, offering solar energy to residential and commercial users in multi-story buildings and those without an adequate roof to support solar electricity generation. Community solar is enabled by virtual net metering, which allows consumers to offset part or all of their electricity bills with the electricity produced by the solar project. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, the total installed capacity for community solar programs across the country is expected to be 1.5 GW in 2020, representing a $2.5 billion market.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

“Community Storage” Is a New Way to Think About Reducing Grid Costs | RMI Outlet

Energy storage is one of the hottest topics in the electricity industry today. As battery costs decline, many actors are recognizing the huge potential of storage to lower the cost of the grid and become a booming, multibillion dollar market. But although Tesla and its competitors capture all the headlines, it's always worth noting that energy storage can come from multiple sources—not just batteries—and there are many ways to bring the technology to market.

Now, a promising new initiative launched by a coalition of industry stakeholders aims to promote the concept of "community storage" in utilities across the U.S. Community storage programs let utilities aggregate customer-owned, behind-the-meter resources like water heaters, electric vehicles, and batteries to provide services to the grid. In doing so, these programs help reduce the cost of maintaining and upgrading the grid, and help lower customers' bills.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Report faults Xcel's handling of solar garden project | EnergyBiz

April 09--With solar garden developers chafing at the slow pace of Xcel Energy's approval process, a state-appointed engineer this week released a blistering report on the big utility's handling of one particular Minnesota solar project.

The findings on that one project could apply to many other Minnesota solar garden proposals, according to both solar developers and Xcel.

The independent engineer, working under the aegis of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), among other things criticized Xcel's cost estimates and engineering standards for a proposed community solar garden near Becker, which is being developed by SunShare, one of the largest solar garden builders in Minnesota.

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