Fri, Dec 15, 2017
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Arizona Solar Center Blog

Commentary from Arizona Solar Center Board Members and invited contributors.

While blog entries are initiated by the Solar Center, we welcome dialogue around the posted topics. Your expertise and perspective are highly valued -- so if you haven't logged in and contributed, please do so!

US solar power nears competing on price

US solar power will compete on price with conventional generation within three years without subsidy thanks to plummeting costs, industry leaders say. In a breakthrough for renewable generation that will lessen the dependence on fossil fuels, the cost of solar power in California is near that of gas-fired plants at times of peak demand.

Read more on Financial Times website (requires registration)...

 

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Biofuels/Photosynthesis research gets funding boost

Scientists in the US and the UK have been awarded funding totalling more than $10.3 m to improve understanding of the process of biological photosynthesis. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) collaborated in issuing these jointly funded awards.

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Multiple Solar Technologies Tested At College

An interesting new solar project is now under way at Arizona Western College (AWC) located in Yuma, AZ. The project involves five different types of solar power generation technology, each provided by a different manufacturer and each designed to provide 1 megawatt of solar generated electricity.

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ASU Scientists Develop Bacteria for Biofuel

A Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University research team has developed a process that removes a key obstacle to producing low-cost, renewable biofuels from bacteria. The team has reprogrammed photosynthetic microbes to make conversion to biofuels potentially more commercially viable.

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Arizona solar push heads to Italy

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council has been making its pitch for solar industries far and wide, and the latest battleground may be Italy. Rudy Vetter, GPEC's senior vice president for international business development, was in Verona in early May speaking at SolarExpo Italy, a gathering of that country's solar industry players.

Read more...

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No Single Solar Winner: Developers, Utilities Embracing Both PV And CSP

As the U.S. solar market continues to reach new heights, both photovoltaics and concentrating solar power (CSP) will be required in order for the industry to achieve future goals. Given the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each of these technologies, diversification within a single company is becoming an increasingly popular strategy.

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Solar power may be cheaper than fossil fuels in five years, GE says

Solar power may be cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels and nuclear reactors within three to five years because of innovations, said Mark M. Little, the global research director for General Electric Co.

Read more...

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Incentive cuts causing decrease in demand for solar installations

Valley utilities have cut the incentives they're offering customers to install solar systems this year, prompting a dropoff in demand for such installations. Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project officials say demand still is there, but not at the same frenetic pace seen during the height of the solar boom two years ago.

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SRP to Buy Output from State’s Latest Wind Energy Farm

Yavapai County project also includes potential for solar PV generation

SRP has signed an agreement to purchase 100% of the electricity generated from the newest wind energy farm planned for Arizona. The Yavapai Wind Project, being built by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, will be located about 25 miles south of Seligman and Interstate 40 in Yavapai County.

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Industry leaders still backing concentrated solar power

Solar leaders are backing concentrated solar power despite an onslaught of companies and utilities opting to ditch that technology for photovoltaic panels, which are cheaper.

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SRP approves 20 percent renewable standard

Salt River Project has approved a plan to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. The plan would have the utility getting more renewable power than any other in the state, though detractors say it may amount to less.

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Solar panels help power Tempe Beach Park

At Tempe Beach Park, new solar panels are helping power pumps that fuel a water wonderland for children as well as the lights for Little League teams that play at the park's baseball fields. The first of several federally-funded statewide projects spotlighting solar power was unveiled last week at Tempe Beach Park.

Read more...

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Intel, Ford to Test DC Microgrids

Direct current. It's so out it's in. Intel and Ford Motor Company plan to retrofit select facilities to see if DC power can really curb their electricity consumption.

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Lawmakers bash hurdles to renewable-energy projects

Despite improvements in the past two years, renewable-energy development on public land isn't moving fast enough, lawmakers on the House Natural Resources Committee said Friday.

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TÜV Rheinland extends testing programme for safety in the solar industry

TÜV Rheinland (with offices in Tempe, AZ) will present its new services for the testing of solar modules and components, as well as services for investors and power plant construction at the Intersolar Europe 2011 trade fair in Munich.

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Get Green for Going Green

As many architects, engineers, and design-build contractors today struggle with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, they may be overlooking a significant source of cash that can help them hire additional employees, more competitively price their jobs, and expand their business: the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction.

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The Results Are In: NREL Ranks Utilities' Green Power Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released its annual assessment of utility green power programs, which ranks utilities in several green power categories.

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News release from Natiaonal Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

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Renewable Energy Could Meet 80% Of Global Energy Supply Needs

Close to 80% of the world's energy supply could be met by solar power and other forms of renewable energy by mid-century if deployment is backed by the right enabling public policies, according to a new report from researchers working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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OpEd: Ariz. solar effort takes right 1st step

Robert Robb recently questioned the wisdom of Arizona's legal system upholding the Corporation Commission's right to impose a renewable-energy standard and to create a mechanism to fund the process. He suggests that the Court of Appeals can't see the forest for the trees ("Judges jump on the solar bandwagon," Opinions, April 29).

On the contrary, it is exactly the opposite.

Read more...

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Solar grant workshop to be held Thursday, May 12 in Bisbee

USDA Rural Development will be participating in a solar grant workshop being sponsored by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' office in conjunction with USDA Rural Development and featuring presentations from the Arizona Commerce Department's Energy Office and other experts on grant writing. The workshop will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday (May 12th)  in the Cochise County Board of Supervisors' Hearing Room, 1415 W. Melody Lane in Bisbee.

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