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Solar media flub

Aside from a handful of notable exceptions, there is little solar cell and module manufacturing going on in the United States. One would think that the renewable trade press and clean-energy beat reporters in the general media would jump on any story about a major new production facility in the works. Yet after the announcement […]

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Solar project pipeline pleasures

Sometimes the term “pipeline” is bandied about in solar project circles in such a way that one would think all those proposed PV power plants slogging their way through the early and middle stages of development were on the verge of being built. But the numbers still tell a nice story. As reported at PV-Tech, […]

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Top 10 solar season is upon us

The Curator believes the Thanksgiving holiday should, as with Christmas shopping, unofficially mark the beginning of another season, that of the release of annual top 10 lists from across the subject-matter spectrum. Leave it to the effusive Paula Mints to get out of the gate before the crowd—and to not be able to limit herself to […]

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Solar-powered irrigation

Few stories I heard at the recent Solar Power International show intrigued and inspired me as much as SunEdison’s Solar Water Pump initiative in India. When the company’s Dawn Brister told me about the new agriculture-focused rural electrification campaign, I immediately saw the synergies between several of the most pressing challenges in the developing world: […]

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Big tech loves solar

Do you know which über-brand owns the largest privately held solar farms in the United States? Hint: think crunchy fruit, mobile devices, and best-selling biographies of deceased geniuses. Yes, the answer is of course Apple, by virtue of its pair of 20MW ground-mounted PV systems located adjacent to the company’s data centers in North Carolina. […]

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Repeat solar customers

Since the sometimes vertiginous growth in the number of commercial solar installations is a relatively recent phenomenon, “repeat customers” are not something commonly seen outside the likes of Walmart, Kohls, and Ikea rocking photovoltaic arrays on their big-box rooftops. Solar Builder magazine has just announced its inaugural readers choice awards for solar projects of the […]

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Arizona solar compromise

Few recent solar policy issues have fostered as much controversy as the net metering battle in Arizona. On the one side, utility giant Arizona Public Service insisted it needed to charge its solar customers with additional fees in order to cover grid maintenance costs allegedly unfairly shouldered by nonsolar customers. On the other side, solar […]

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The solar manufacturing capacity dance

As the supply-demand equilibrium achieves a healthier balance across the PV industry, a nagging question centers on the topic of production capacity. It’s not just whether to add or not to add, but more about what kind of manufacturing assets to add when the time comes. Internal (both new lines and optimized/re-equipped existing lines), outsourcing, […]

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Recharging one’s solar batteries

There’s nothing like some time off to recharge the workaday batteries and refresh one’s perspective. In reviewing the solar content stream that coursed through the mediasphere during my absence over the past week-plus, there’s a heady mix of the usual newsworthy suspects, prognosticational pronouncements, mainstream press posts, and unexpected laboratorial findings. Here’s an initial sampler, […]

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Making the case for residential solar

Before Sean Ong took his new job as a senior consultant at Navigant, he spent five years as an energy analysis engineer at the National Renewable Energy Labs, where he was involved in the “technical, policy, and economic analysis and modeling of renewable energy systems,” according to his LinkedIn profile. His knowledge of the solar […]

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