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!

Energy storage, wind power and solar energy

The Advanced Energy Storage and Utilization and System (AESUS) will allow solar power and wind energy producers to store energy during peak production and release it during peak consumption. W2 Energy, Inc. announces that the Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (azrise.org) at the University of Arizona has prepared its laboratory to test the AESUS.

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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