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Time-lapse solar installation dubstep

Every time I poke around YouTube in search of videos of solar construction projects, it’s clear that an increasing number of installers, EPCs, and marketers have caught the time-lapse bug. Few media can show how a project came together in such a short time span. Months of work compressed into a few minutes? Time-lapse will […]

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Building to solar code

There’s a new item on the required reading list for the U.S. solar PV system design, installation, project engineering, and code compliance communities. The just-published April/May 2014 issue of SolarPro includes an exhaustive review of much of the related general, PV-specific, and interconnection code changes in the new “NFPA 70: NEC 2014” edition, the U.S. […]

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The 411 about solar O&M

Although the feel-good focus of the solar industry on all those gigawatts being deployed and interconnected every month is understandable, the task of operating, maintaining, and managing that burgeoning group of renewable energy assets doesn’t quite have the same glamorous appeal. Yet without a proper O&M program, PV power plant owners may find themselves experiencing […]

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Mining solar gems

First Solar’s analyst day was marked by not one, not two, not three, but four substantive press announcements, all of which were newsworthy in their own right: the signing of the contract to build the biggest utility-scale solar plant in Jordan, the deepening of the relationship with GE that includes a significant new central inverter […]

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Record-shattering solar

Another day, another solar power generation record shattered on the California grid. As Herman Trabish notes at Greentech Media, during the early afternoon of March 16, the use of solar as measured by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) reached 4.14GW—breaking the previous record set the day before, which broke the record set the day […]

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Solar at scale

One of the most common terms in the lexicon of the solar power revolution is “scale.” Whether it’s used as verb or noun in describing corporate or industry size and scope, manufacturing capacity, or massive solar farm deployments, “scale” suggests necessity and infers a roadmap to success. As impressive as burgeoning bottom lines and gigawatt-size […]

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Solar in a big blue box

SolarCity’s latest high-profile customer-facing foray has a distinctly retail flavor for a leasing company. The big kahuna of residential solar third-party financing is setting up shop with satellite saavy sales reps in about 60 stores of a different kind of consumer behemoth, the “world’s largest multi-channel consumer electronics retailer,” Best Buy. The move follows a […]

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Solar polysilicon market perks up

What do Chinese companies Jinko Solar, GD Solar, Tongwei Solar, and Hareon Solar, as well as Taiwanese firms Neo Solar Power (NSP) and Topcell Solar  have in common? Each of these companies has recently signed polysilicon and/or wafer deals with GCL-Poly. The materials supplier has agreed to supply over 13GW of the processed crystalline-silicon stuff […]

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The solar hockey stick

The good news about the U.S. solar industry’s performance in 2013 has been making the rounds, and there’s much to celebrate. The top-line items from the SEIA/GTM Research “U.S. Solar Market Insight Year in Review” report reverberating around the green and mainstream mediaspheres are almost universally upbeat: 41% year-on-year growth, more than 5GW of PV […]

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LADWP solar program saga

When it comes to opinions about the solar competencies of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, there seems to be a disconnect. Some see a progressive utility pushing toward cleaner energy solutions with innovative programs. On the opposite flank, a grumbling quorum of developers and installers keep butting up against a red-tape strewn […]

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