Solar PV

power forward blog

2015: The Year of The Consumer

In 2014, the residential solar industry saw unprecedented growth, installing nearly 60 percent more solar than last year, but the years ahead are poised for even greater adoption of solar by consumers across the country. Here’s why. Consumers Will Hold the Power In 2006, Time magazine chose “You” as their Person of the Year – a nod

Leigh Seddon Howard Dean

In This State: Leigh Seddon’s 35 years in the solar power biz

Leigh Seddon, you could say, made hay while the sun shone. For 35 years he has been a solar enthusiast, visionary, entrepreneur and consultant – in short, one of Vermont’s chief proponents of harnessing sunshine to create electricity. He has seen solar grow in Vermont from the simple photovoltaic systems installed by off-grid back-to-the-land types

$16 Million For “Off Grid Electric” From SolarCity

“Off Grid Electric” explains that it delivers 50 times more light for less money than the norm in the markets it serves. The people it supplies are often using kerosene lamps to light their homes. Furthermore, it is more than light that these people need. Pre-pay solar energy from Off Grid Electric gives them electricity to charge

power forward blog

2015: The Year of The Consumer

In 2014, the residential solar industry saw unprecedented growth, installing nearly 60 percent more solar than last year, but the years ahead are poised for even greater adoption of solar by consumers across the country. Here’s why. Consumers Will Hold the Power In 2006, Time magazine chose “You” as their Person of the Year – a nod

Arizona to tax utilitiesArizona utility to tax solar leases

Arizona’s Largest Utility Plans Tax On Solar Leases

This headline on solar leases from an investment site caught my eye: “Solar Leases Set To Become Toxic in Arizona.” Drawing free renewable energy from the sun sounds like a grand idea to many – but not if you happen to be a utility company operating with a business model based on the selling energy. Solar, which once had giant



How Crowdfunding and Distributed Generation are Changing Everything

Last year, the Edison Electric Institute released a report titled, “Disruptive Challenges,” which identified current and future serious threats to the  electric utility system. The report identified a number of factors causing the major changes in the electricity industry: Recent technological and economic changes are expected to challenge and transform the electric utility industry. These


SunEdison Closes 2nd Fund for DPV Projects in U.S.

SunEdison, a leading global solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, today announced that is has closed its second fund for distributed generation projects in the United States with Barclays and Citi. The lease pass-through fund is valued at $117 million, and follows on the Barclays and Citi fund closed earlier this year. This brings the aggregate value of funds


Looking for a Solar Job? Ecotech’s E-Book Surveys the Landscape

Despite projections that solar will continue to grow, even the most inspired students don’t want to jump in the field without knowing more about what the industry has to offer — and what it takes to make a successful installer, field technician, power utility technician or engineer. That information is the focus of a solar careers

xcel energy

Xcel hopes new ‘gardens’ will grow MN solar power

The new community solar program Xcel Energy will launch on Friday could mean a big boost in solar electricity for the utility. Xcel has about 14 megawatts in its system right now. The Solar Rewards Community could add 100 megawatts in 2015, or about enough to serve 25,000 homes, said Xcel Senior Vice President Laura


The Relationship Between SREC Prices and Solar Leasing

Several forums, including this one, covering residential solar developments have commented on the volatility of SREC markets in some states. But few have yet to note the potentially tremendous impact on solar leasing, and residential solar adoption in general, in those SREC states experiencing severe fluctuations in pricing. You may have read how the New


What Commercial Solar Developers Need to Know about Yieldcos

There have been some basic descriptions of yieldcos in the trade press, but nothing has described what commercial solar installers need to know about this new legal structure or how it could impact their day-to-day business. This article will try to translate some of the buzz and address the questions that commercial solar installers will


Chip-Making Tools Could Cut Solar Power Costs

Soitec, a French manufacturing company, says it has used techniques designed for making microprocessors to produce solar cells with a record-setting efficiency of 46 percent, converting more than twice as much sunlight into electricity as conventional cells. Although the cells are more complicated to produce, using established manufacturing techniques promises to keep production costs down.


Solar Permitting

Guidebook Provides Strategies for CA Residential Solar Installs

A new guidebook outlining ways for California cities and counties to make permit processing and inspections for home rooftop solar electric systems quicker and more uniform is now available from the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). Increasing solar energy adoption is a key component for many local jurisdictions in achieving goals for energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reductions

Climate Watch


Apple, Google among Green Power Leadership Award recipients

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recipients of its annual Green Power Leadership Awards for achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable energy market and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The 19 Green Power Partners receiving the award were chosen from more than 1,300 partner organizations that comprise EPA’s Green Power Partnership, including utilities, renewable


solar storage

Energy Storage Is Going Primetime in 2015

The electricity grid is set for a major transformation – arguably one of its biggest since the inception of the grid – and energy storage is going to play a center stage role. The radical pace of innovation is driven by governments, utilities and energy companies whose understanding and acceptance that the way energy is



New 3-phase microinverter for large scale applications

Microinverter expert APS is now shipping its new 3-phase YC1000 inverter, which can handle 277/480 grid voltages and up to four PV modules per unit. Up to eleven units can then be linked in a single 15 A circuit. The maximum output of one YC1000 lies at 900 W and additionally it has integrated ground

Student Solar


Sweetwater Schools Make Major Commitment to Solar Power

The Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista announced installation of solar power systems at 21 schools that will offset 60 percent of normal electricity demand. San Jose-based SunPower Corp. installed solar shade structures in school parking lots, taking advantage of underutilized space and providing needed shade. One ground-mounted system was installed at Mar Vista Middle School in San Diego, and a rooftop system

Heating & Cooling


In Focus: Solar Heating and Cooling

The greatest country on Earth, as it likes to bill itself, America is currently shut down, thanks to political intransigence and public ignorance. You’d think saving over $60 billion and creating thousands of jobs might wake it out of its gridlocked stupor. That’s what the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) says the United States could

Hot Water


Promise Energy: Solar Hot Water Rockstar

Promise Energy is a newcomer to southern California’s solar hot water market, but the company has wasted no time building a strong business. Promise, which is just a year old, has focused on solar hot water installations for multi-family affordable housing complexes in Los Angeles and San Diego, said spokesman Andy Mannle. “Solar hot water



Passive Solar in the Home

While solar power has become prevalent in the mainstream construction business in the past decade, passive solar design has been used around the world for thousands of years. Ceramic tiles and stones walls in the Mediterranean made it possible to keep homes cool even under the scorching heat of the summer sun. Likewise, small window