Conservation | Across The Board

It is a false premise or presumption that the basic principle of conservation is exclusive to any one of the different types of environments in which we function on a daily basis.

The effectiveness or lack thereof of how this universal principle is applied in one environment impacts all others.

Financial Conservation/Solar Energy is just one example.

Imagine, Financial Conservation/U.S. Government or Financial Conservation/Wall Street?

The Perfect Marriage

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

GM Goes Solar Outside USA

"The solar power installation is expected to produce renewable energy equivalent to the energy required to power 1,200 homes in South Korea for a year.  It is the equivalent of providing electricity to 221 homes in the U.S. for a year. Rob Threlkeld, GM's manager of renewable energy, said: 'This array will be the fourth-largest in our solar energy portfolio, joining our plants in Germany and Spain that house large solar capacities on their rooftops.'"

Third Generation Sunkist Grower Goes Solar

“As a third generation Sunkist grower, Nick Bozick has always understood the value of sustainability and as President of Richard Bagdasarian Inc., he is expanding that commitment with the launch of a leading-edge solar technology system at the company’s packinghouse in Mecca, California. The 300kW photovoltaic solar energy system will generate electricity for the Bagdasarian plant with no air emissions, no waste production and no water use.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Solar Energy | Higher Education Turns to The Perfect Marriage

Financial Conservation
"Colleges and universities across the United States are increasingly using solar energy to power buildings and facilities in an effort to "go green" and save green. Some public institutions are facing budget cuts, and solar installations have proven to be a smart investment that leads to lower electric bills.

Specifically in California, schools are looking to solar energy as a way to deal with smaller budgets while still being able to afford teacher salaries and attract top talent. A recent Forbes article reported that many schools throughout the state are turning to low-interest loans for renewable energy systems, as well as state rebates available for PV installations, to make the projects a smarter choice. Money saved from lower energy bills as a result of the solar installations are easily used to pay back those loans, one expert said in the article.

“In California especially, schools are having budgets cut for the third, fourth, fifth year in a row and are looking for ways to make up shortfalls in their general fund budgets by using capital dollars," the article stated.

For example, at Laney College in Oakland, California, school officials expect a recently installed solar project to save the college about $20,000 every month on electricity costs, according to Forbes."

SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink to the Imperial Valley | Supplying Clean Energy & Jobs

The deals are with Tallbear Seville LLC to purchase 20 megawatts from a facility under construction northwest of Brawley, and with 8minutenergy Renewables to buy the same amount of power from the Calipatria Solar Farm.

Both projects are expected to come online in 2015 and deliver power to SDG&E over the Sunrise Powerlink, a major energy transmission line connecting San Diego with the Imperial Valley.

’The Calipatria Solar Farm will deliver clean energy to over 9,000 households in SDG&E's service area and create more than 50 direct and 100 indirect jobs in the Imperial Valley,’" said Martin Hermann, CEO of 8minutenergy Renewables.

‘We would like to thank SDG&E for their continued commitment to the Imperial Valley, where the unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation,’ he said.
SDG&E reported that 20.8 percent of its sales last year were for renewable energy. In the last two years, the utility has signed contracts to add 1,879 megawatts of power from renewable sources.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

Solar Power | Entrenched Energy Monopolies Bring On Standard Divide & Conquer PR/Media Blitz

“California Utilities Say Solar Raises Costs for Non-Users

Raising Caps

The growth is also driving efforts to raise net-metering caps. California revised the way it calculates its limit in May, effectively doubling to about 5 gigawatts the amount of solar energy that state utilities will eventually be required purchase.

California utilities oppose efforts to expand net-metering programs. Solar customers, who typically sell power to the grid when the sun is shining and use the income to offset charges for using electricity at night or on cloudy days, “are just using our system as a storage device,” said Jazayeri.  'They should pay something for that service.'

So far, regulators haven’t been sympathetic to utilities’ complaints about rooftop solar power. The California Public Utilities Commission rejected in January San Diego Gas’s request to impose a “network use charge” that would have added a fee to customers with rooftop solar panels.

Easing Stress

And solar developers say rooftop systems actually benefit the power grid by providing power during the hottest parts of the day. That eases stress on wires and transformers and helps utilities defer maintenance and upgrades, said Todd Pedersen, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group LP’s Vivint Inc., which installs residential solar.

‘We need an honest cost-benefit analysis of adding distributed solar to the grid,' Pedersen said in an interview in New York.  'It’s in everyone’s interest to resolve this now because I see no signs of slowing as solar becomes cheaper than the utilities in most states.'”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Solar Manufacturing | Generating Jobs in San Antonio

San Antonio Alamo at Sunrise

"Nexolon America LLC says it plans to build a manufacturing facility at Brooks City-Base that will produce solar panels and create more than 400 manufacturing jobs at an average annual salary of more than $44,000.

The company plans to invest more than $115 million in a 10-year ground lease of some 86 acres of land on the Brooks City-Base campus. In addition, it will contribute $500,000 over five years to Alamo Colleges for solar energy workforce training programs.

The Nexolon America project is the result of a 400 megawatt Power Purchase agreement signed on July 23, 2012, between CPS Energy and OCI Solar Power. To secure the bid, CPS Energy required OCI to establishment an anchor facility to manufacture solar energy products, invest at least $100 million and create at least 805 solar energy-related jobs."

San Antonio Business Journal

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Solar Energy | Who's thinking about the oceans of undeveloped rooftop space?

"Softbank Corporation is Japan’s Tokyo-based and third-largest cellphone carrier, but it has been getting into the energy game since the Fukushima disaster really shook up its CEO. In September, it was announced that Softbank and Mitsui would team up to build the largest solar power plant in Japan. Now, Softbank has announced that it intends to install solar panels on the rooftops of 1,000 homes in order to take advantage of the country’s incentive program for clean energy.

Softbank is using Sharp and Suntech solar panels for this project, and it will sell the electricity generated by them to utility companies."

Solar Energy Farms Generate Electricity & Cash

Water utility expected to rake in close to $100,000 to benefit ratepayers

"Two solar energy farms owned by Marlboro’s Water Utility Division are expected to once again generate cash, in addition to electricity, for the municipally controlled entity.

While the two solar panel fields have reduced the cost of the water utility’s operations by about $150,000, the farms also yield SRECs, which can be sold to energy companies to satisfy state quotas related to the production of solar energy, township Business Administrator Jonathan Capp wrote in a memo.

'The impact of solar generation relative to water rates charged to customers has been substantial,' Capp said of the combination of monetary savings and SREC sales."

Spend Less. Create More.

News Transcript

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

High-Voltage DC Breakthrough Could Boost Renewable Energy

The largest power plant in the world: Three Gorges Dam, China
"Thomas Edison championed direct current, or DC, as a better mode for delivering electricity than alternating current, or AC. But the inventor of the light bulb lost the War of the Currents. Despite Edison's sometimes flamboyant efforts—at one point he electrocuted a Coney Island zoo elephant in an attempt to show the technology's hazards—AC is the primary way that electricity flows from power plants to homes and businesses everywhere.(Related Quiz: "What You Don't Know About Electricity")

But now, more than a century after Edison's misguided stunt, DC may be getting a measure of vindication.

An updated, high-voltage version of DC, called HVDC, is being touted as the transmission method of the future because of its ability to transmit current over very long distances with fewer losses than AC. And that trend may be accelerated by a new device called a hybrid HVDC breaker, which may make it possible to use DC on large power grids without the fear of catastrophic breakdown that stymied the technology in the past.  (See related photos: "World's Worst Power Outages.")

Swiss-based power technology and automation giant ABB, which developed the breaker, says it may also prove critical to the 21st century's transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, by tapping the full potential of massive wind farms and solar generating stations to provide electricity to distant cities."

U.S. Solar Surges 44% in Q3 Driven by Rooftops

“Developers installed 684 megawatts of solar panels in the U.S. in the third quarter, 44 percent more than a year earlier, as residential projects rose to a record, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

About 3.2 gigawatts of solar energy will be installed in the U.S. this year, the Washington-based trade group forecast today in a statement.

Installations in the current quarter may almost double from the third quarter to 1,200 megawatts, which would be the most ever in a three-month period. Fourth-quarter installations have accounted for more than 40 percent of the annual totals in the past two years, driven in part by developers racing to qualify for expiring incentives, according to SEIA.

‘While Q3 2012 was remarkable for the U.S. PV market, it is just the opening act for what we expect to see in Q4,’” 

Dual Harvest Plantation | Largest Rooftop Solar Installation in France

"Korea’s Hanwha Solar has delivered 7.7MW of PV modules for a Ginseng plantation which has become the largest rooftop solar installation in France.

French construction contractor SolvĂ©o Energie has built the plant in the municipality of Rion-des-Landes, which is designed to create ideal cultivation conditions for Ginseng – a medicinal plant whose roots need four years before they can be harvested and which only thrives in shady areas.

Equipping the plantation rooftop with solar modules also helped secure financing for the project.

'The Rion-des-Landes plant demonstrates how synergies with solar energy can successfully bring innovative projects forward,” says Charles Kim, president of Hanwha Solar.'"


Monday, December 10, 2012

Iconic Brands Go Solar

Solar Means Business: Top Commercial Solar Customers in the U.S.

"What do Walmart, Costco, IKEA, McGraw Hill, Johnson & Johnson and FedEx have in common? They know a smart investment when they see one, and are all adopting solar energy in a big way.  From the largest corporations to small businesses, U.S. companies are installing solar energy to take control of their energy costs and improve their bottom line.

Solar Beer | Powering Jobs for Milwaukee's Unemployed

“The brewery expects to install the system in early 2013. It will save the company about 27 percent in energy costs during the brewing process.

Milwaukee Shines, the city’s solar program, helped Milwaukee Brewing Co. find partners for the project. The state’s Focus on Energy program, Me2 and Milwaukee Shines all provided grants for the system.

The Me2 grant stipulates that 40 percent of labor hours on the project will be awarded to historically underemployed or unemployed Milwaukee residents.

Milwaukee is demonstrating that investing in clean energy and energy efficiency is not only good for the bottom line, but puts our citizens back to work,’ said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.”

Spend Less. Create More.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Educators | Solar Entrepreneurs

Irvine Unified School District in California
"Say you're an educator and you had an opportunity to save money, do something beneficial for the environment and provide an excellent teaching opportunity for students.

It would be a no-brainer, right?

So why isn't every school district in California racing to imitate Irvine Unified's successful solar panel project?

The answer is that too few school districts are run like IUSD. That is, they lack the vision, flexibility and willingness to experiment, and the entrepreneurial framework.  And yes, I'm using the word ‘entrepreneurial’ in reference to public schools, for it is a quality considered rare in any public-sector setting, but which all districts would do well to encourage.

The results of the project so far have been impressive, with both savings and energy production surpassing initial projections. IUSD figures it has cut $240,000 a year from its energy bill, and that's at a time when the district has continued to grow.”

Spend Less. Create More.

Read more @ the Daily Pilot

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Solar Education | Environmental Plus Financial Conservation

Aerospace Museum of California
"Pacific Power Renewables has completed a 177.7 KW solar PV project that will provide all the energy needs for the Aerospace Museum of California in McClellan, California, just north of Sacramento. As part of the project, the museum is using the solar system to help educate children and adults about solar energy.

'Going solar was a strategic move for the Aerospace Museum of California. We save on energy costs and we can use this as an educational tool for our students,' said Roxanne Yonn Executive Director of the Museum.

'I am happy to have been a part of helping the Aerospace museum achieve a green initiative and at the same time reduce their electricity expense,' said David Dwelle, president of Pacific Power Renewables."