Historically, if a problem occurs with a traditional string power inverter that links several solar panels together in series, or even simple shade, that issue can bring down an entire solar photovoltaic (PV) array.
The outlook for solar-power project deployment continues to brighten, creating opportunities for electrical contractors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Washington, D.C., 2014 was a banner year for U.S. photovoltaic (PV) projects.
It stands to reason that, in a desert state such as Arizona, solar power would be something of a no-brainer. But in Arizona, the issue of harnessing one of the most plentiful and valuable resources has caused a controversy.
Progress in the renewable-energy industry is often measured in outsized terms—the best, the biggest, the fastest and the cheapest. When it comes to packing a wallop of solar potential, no place does it like Nevada.
The intermittent nature of some forms of renewables—solar and especially wind—make storage technology an essential ingredient of their success. Storing the power generated from renewables allows it to be used at times when demand is high and generation is low.
Evaluating the cost- effectiveness of renewable power has always been a fairly simple calculation. As manufacturers lowered their production costs and improved the generating efficiency of their technology, renewables became more cost competitive with conventional sources of power.
AllEarth Renewables and Claire Solar Partners have announced the completion of a 2.2-megawatt solar tracker farm in South Burlington, Vt. JA Solar provided multicrystalline 260-watt (W) potential induced degradation-resistant modules for the project.
While solar power is becoming more competitive all the time, the need for government incentives is still strong. Recently, New York state offered developers an incentive to build large projects. Response to that solicitation was overwhelming.
An unusual, groundbreaking solar plus energy-storage microgrid project in Rutland, Vt., was recently announced. The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is being developed by Green Mountain Power in collaboration with Dynapower and GroSolar.
You could call it utility-scale renewables 3.0. The previous two phases focused on getting large solar arrays and wind farms up and running (1.0) and then boosting their output (2.0). Today, developers are looking beyond just adding more rows of panels or bigger turbines to their plans.
Renewable power is all about innovation. One new breakthrough begets another, and the cycle persists as we continue to do more with less.
The growth of solar power is no exception, as the technology of photovoltaics (PV) benefits from innovations in cell materials and other component parts.
Less than one year after raising the ire of solar-power advocates by imposing feed-in tariffs on homeowners with rooftop installations, the Arizona Public Service Co. has come up with a completely different proposal that is likely to generate just as much opposition.