Author Archives: SolarFeeds

Musk and Rive

Elon Musk’s Cousins Battle Utilities to Make Solar Rooftops Cheap

In September 2013, Hawaiian Electric Co. told thousands of customers they couldn’t connect their new solar panels to its distribution grid. In some neighborhoods, HECO said, its system couldn’t absorb any more unused energy from home solar arrays. The moratorium, which lasted 13 months, made Hawaii a central battleground in the effort by utilities to


The bright side of California’s drought: More solar power

As the four-year-long California drought goes from terrible to catastrophic, it’s hard to find any good news. Love almonds? I’m so sorry for your loss. Water-hungry almond growers have begun to abandon hope, as evidenced by stacks of almond firewood on sale at Whole Foods. Farmers have started to sell water to cities rather than


NREL updates proposal to standardize PV Manufacturer quality assurance

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released an updated proposal that will establish an international quality standard for photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. The document is intended for immediate use by PV manufacturers when producing modules on an industrial scale so they can increase investor, utility, and consumer confidence in PV system performance.

solar and utilities

NRG Energy Exec Questions Why Solar Is the ‘Bad Boy’

Is there a way to integrate increasing amounts of rooftop solar, enabling customer choice and a cleaner grid, while ensuring that utilities are compensated for lost revenue? It’s a question on the minds of many experts in the power sector. For Steve Corneli, senior vice president of sustainability, policy and strategy at NRG Energy, the

Is "range anxiety" only perception?

Report: EV “range anxiety” is only perception

Electric vehicles (EV) may be the future, but until the “range anxiety” is taken care of, they may not be able to achieve widespread adoption. Tesla CEO Elon Musk drilled this point home last month with the announcement of “range assurance” and trip planner tools. But is range anxiety all in the heads of perspective

HECO solar

How HECO is Using Enphase’s Data to Open its Grid to More Solar

On the island of Oahu, Hawaiian Electric Co. is opening a backlog of about 4,000 customer solar systems it once feared could destabilize its distribution circuits. That move is being helped along by Enphase microinverter data that can provide a much clearer view of what’s really happening on the edges of HECO’s grid. On Tuesday,

Solar Q2 2014 Funding: $6.3 Billion

Corporate solar funding comes in at USD 6.4 billion in Q1

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report today on second quarter funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the solar sector in 2014. Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital (VC), private equity (PE), debt financing, and public market financing raised by

clean energy investment

Accelerating the clean energy revolution

Citigroup Inc. recently pledged $100 billion for lending, investing, and facilitating deals related to sustainability, renewable energy,  and climate change mitigation. This is yet another sign that global capital markets are enormously interested in delivering capital into clean, renewable sources of energy. But you don’t have to be Citigroup to invest in the clean energy future. The

solar plus batteries

Home Solar Plus Batteries May Be the Final Nail in Utilities’ Coffins

The utilities are at an existential crossroads. Let’s hope they pick the road leading to grid-connected systems of solar plus batteries, before they lose thousands of customers and billions of dollars. Unlike their larger off-grid counterparts, leaner and meaner grid-connected battery systems could check electricity costs and increase savings no matter what peak retail prices

California Public Utilities Commission

California’s Investor-Owned Utilities Surpass Efficiency Goals

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the state’s four large investor-owned utilities, which serve 75 percent of the state, have proved yet again that energy efficiency is a great investment to save customers money and clean the air. The electricity and natural gas savings from efficiency surpassed the utilities’ 2010-2012 energy-savings goals and put


All signs point to solar power juggernaut rolling on

It’s not a contest. Renewable energy is no zero-sum game (or doesn’t have to be, at least), and according to the experts, all of it and then some will be needed to keep global temperatures from rising beyond safe levels. Still, it’s hard not to view the growth of the two leading non-hydro renewable energy technologies – wind

520-iStock_14578547_solar workers_we own_JPG-thumb-500xauto-19199-thumb-500x332-19200

Going solar should be no more difficult than getting cable TV

Americans love solar and recognize that beyond producing energy it powers us toward greater energy independence, combats global warming and lowers our utility bills. Getting a grid-connected home solar electric system up and running shouldn’t be particularly hard or time-consuming. Construction, on average, takes about two days. Yet, a report published recently by the National

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