Duke Energy in Florida makes the transition to solar

Duke Energy in Florida has made an announcement that they are ceasing plans to build a nuclear power plant, and instead will be investing $6B into a utility-scale solar project to meet the energy needs of Florida Residents.

The plan is to install 700MW of solar in Western Florida over the next 4 years, in addition to 50MW of solar storage options and 500 electric vehicle chargers. This will also keep rates low for Florida residents.

Read more at Greentech Media:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/duke-energy-plans-6b-for-solar-batteries-and-evs

Solar Energy: Powering Homes, Space Stations, and Soon: Cars

AUDI recently announced their intent to fit solar energy technology into the glass roofs of their vehicles. Cleantechnica.com has written an article covering some specifics of this announcement.

AUDI intends on having the first prototype built and functional by the end of this year, with help from the solar-cell specialists at Hanergy. The solar roof is intended to power most of the accessory features of the vehicle, including outlets, radio, and AC systems. They are hoping to have the vehicles available on the market by 2020.

Read the full article here:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/08/30/audi-team-chinas-hanergy-develop-solar-embedded-panoramic-roof/

Good news comes from Nevada in regards to Rooftop Solar

A few weeks ago, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, signed a bill reversing the controversial rate changes that happened statewide in 2016 . The rate changes brought rooftop solar to a grinding halt throughout the state.

With the new bill in effect, it looks like solar is taking off once again. It has set a precedence for utilities throughout the country that they cannot change rates in such a way that can cause huge effects to the residential solar industry.

Read more here:

http://mynews4.com/news/local/solar-energy-bounces-back-after-struggles-in-nevada

Are utility companies fighting against solar, or struggling to shift to clean energy?

Early this morning, yale.edu published an interesting analysis on their e360 site of the ongoing battle between utility companies and the renewable energy industry.

In this article, Jacques Leslie explains that not all utility companies oppose solar, they have simply found it cheaper to combat solar than adapt to the changing business model of utilities. As solar growth spikes throughout the nation, utility companies are struggling to keep up, they do not want to use the capital to change their entire business model to focus on distributed generation (rooftop solar) versus the existing model of large-scale factories.

The article explains that rooftop solar creates a huge technological challenge for utilities, but they have no incentive to meet it because they aren’t allowed to keep profits from homeowners with solar.

“Both utilities and their regulators have been slow to recognize the tidal wave coming at them.” Jaques says, touching on the fact that utilities have had the opportunity to react, but have failed to, and now find themselves scrambling.

Read the full article here:

http://e360.yale.edu/features/utilities-grapple-with-rooftop-solar-and-the-new-energy-landscape

Solar Storage Solutions may be the Future

In an article posted last week, Greentech Media showed a cost-benefit analysis of solar storage systems. In short, the more solar energy that is on the power grid, the more valuable it is to store that energy where it is produced.

The article explains that as the amount of available solar energy increases, the value of that energy decreases, because there’s a much higher supply. There’s also an added cost of transporting energy from one location to another, which is why there’s a value in storing energy on-site. As the value of transported energy falls, but costs stay the same, it causes on-site stored energy to increase in value.

The article projects that storage solutions may be more valuable than systems without storage when solar reaches 15% of it’s potential cap. Even further, when we reach 24%, solar storage solutions become a no-brainer for utility-scale projects.

Currently, the US is at about 6%, which is far from the point where storage solutions are worth considering, especially for homeowners. We’re keeping our eyes on the horizon to be ready to act as storage solutions become more cost effective.

Read the full article here:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/solar-plus-storage-can-beat-standalone-pv-economics-by-2020