Solar energy is being shouted from American rooftops—literally. United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the government is offering a conditional commitment to partially guarantee a $1.4 billion loan to support Project Amp which will install solar panels on the roofs of industrial buildings across the country. The electricity generated from those panels will contribute directly to the electrical grid and won’t be used to power the buildings where they are installed.
Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Transport, has unveiled British Gas’ new fully electric and solar powered cars—two Nissan LEAFs that will be used by staff at offices in Staines and Windsor. Both sites have solar-powered charging canopies, which will supply enough renewable electricity to cover the cars’ fuel needs.The announcement comes as British Gas stated its goal to have 1,000 electric vans being used by British Gas heating engineers by 2015, beginning with 25 next year.
Those who see the energy glass half empty have often noted that while Electric Vehicles are well and good in saving gasolin, it still took energy produced by utilities to charge them. Not necessarily, anymore. Envision Solar International, which designs and develops sustainable infrastructure, has broken ground on electric-vehicle (EV) charging enabled Solar Tree structures with integrated EnvisionTrak and CleanCharge systems at Axion Power International’s facility in Western Pennsylvania. The project is expected to be completed by mid July.
Sharp is acquiring Recurrent Energy, a solar project developer and generating company with a 2 GW pipeline. As per terms of the agreement, Recurrent Energy will retain its name and operate as a subsidiary of Sharp. The purchase, valued at a reported $305 million, is expected to close by the end of 2010.
A new study by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) on renewables portfolio standard (RPS) encourage maintaining a diverse fleet of power plants and taking advantage of the complementary nature of wind and solar. The ISO study, Integration of Renewable Resources—Operational Requirements and Generation Fleet Capability at 20% RPS forecasts California will add 2,246 megawatts of solar and 6,686 megawatts of wind resources by 2012.
The United States-India Business Council (USIBC) has launched the Solar Power Task Force, a new initiative to promote solar power trade and investment between India and America. Comprised of private-sector companies, the Task Force supports the United States’ efforts to export state-of-the-art technologies, while advancing India’s mandate to reduce its dependence on imported coal and fossil fuels. The Task Force is a subcommittee of USIBC’s Energy, Environment, Enterprise (EEE) Executive Committee.
SunPods SP-300 has developed the world’s first factory built-to-order solar-powered EV charging station. The Solar Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Platforms, called the EV Plug-N-Go, are modular, integrated solar power platforms designed specifically for private and government entities seeking a plug and play solar powered infrastructure solution that works for electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electrical industrial utility vehicles.
Independent power producer Recurrent Energy has announced the commercial operation of 4.8 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar power systems in Spain. The systems are part of a partnership announced in September 2009 between ProLogis Renewable Energy and ProLogis European Properties (PEPR), one of the continent’s largest owners of modern distribution facilities.
AT&T has signed a new agreement to combine Petra Solar’s smart grid and renewable energy technology with the telecom’s wireless network in order to offer utilities improved power quality and grid reliability. Petra Solar’s solution enables utility companies to simultaneously address Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements and invest in a smart grid technology.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has offered Abound Solar a conditional commitment for a $400 million, seven-year loan guarantee to expand its solar module manufacturing capabilities. Abound Solar, will use the DOE funds to increase production of its low-cost, cadmium telluride, thin-film photovoltaic solar modules at an existing manufacturing plant, and to establish a second manufacturing plant that will create more than 1,200 high-tech jobs in Colorado and Indiana. The deal is expected to reduce the cost of solar power for the company’s United States and international customers.