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Has the DOE loan guarantee program really been successful?

If you’re like me, you’ve read many of the recent posts from Jonathan Silver, the former director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s loan program, proclaiming the program’s success. If you can get past the claims where skeptics were simply “proven wrong,” he paints a picture wherein the loan program is performing exactly as planned […]

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Solar trouble Down Under

In recent weeks there have been various examples of just how much impact politics continues to have on the solar industry. In the U.K., the fallout from the government’s enforced incentive switch from the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme to Contracts for Difference (CFD) and resultant legal battle rumbles on. In India, what would be the […]

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Intersolar North America 2014: A better tracker mousetrap

With more than a quarter-century in the solar biz, Dan Shugar doesn’t have to count his years of photovoltaic experience in dog years. But the ol’ dog does have a few new tricks up his sleeve. After a run as CEO of low-concentrator PV firm Solaria, the one-time president of pioneering solar integrator Powerlight now […]

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IEEE PVSC turns 40

Having hit the big 4-0, the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) may have reached middle age, but this year showed no signs of slowing down. The IEEE PVSC 2014 edition, which was held June 8-13 in Denver, had over 1500 attendees and celebrated many key technological advancements, including a pair of particularly significant achievements: for […]

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Concentrator photovoltaics tipping point?

Some 250 academics and technologists from 23 countries gathered in Albuquerque, NM, at the recent 10th International Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems (CPV-10) to discuss the state of CPV technology and deployment. Since its inception in 2002, the “CPV-x” conference series has operated as a nonprofit, with the aim of maintaining an intimate, collegial feel […]

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Rapid utility-scale solar deployment

Compared to the likes of most other First Solar utility-scale solar farms—many of which reach hundreds of megawatts in size–the 22MW (AC) Barilla Solar Project in colorfully named Pecos County is relatively small potatoes in scale. But the West Texas site stands out for one significant reason. As coverage in Solar Server and elsewhere has […]

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Solar sizzles in the New Year

The transition from 2013 to 2014 has been marked by a batch of invigorating major solar news stories. Over the course of the past few days, several announcements can be seen as indicative of ongoing or emerging trends in the industry. Whether it’s the “solar trade war” motif suggested by SolarWorld’s latest moves to close […]

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Solar Power International 2013 postscript, Part 2

CHICAGO–Two unmistakable industry/exhibitor trends continued to manifest at this year’s Solar Power International show: the growing number of companies offering energy storage solutions and the ultracompetitiveness of the inverter space, with several new or at least underpublicized players exhibiting their wares. One fresh face in the storage space is a company well-known in other arenas, […]

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Solar manufacturing models in dispute

While fabricating a crystalline-silicon solar cell is indeed another form of semiconductor manufacturing–and the respective supply chains, materials and equipment sets, and process flows of the PV and IC worlds have some similarities–the types of end-devices produced and the business models of the companies that make them are quite distinct. Still, the tendency to draw […]

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Going bonkers for trackers

Apple’s plan to build a significant solar power system at its Reno, NV, data center is the latest example of big brands embracing clean energy. The 18-20MW installation will join 40MW of PV power already in place providing electricity for the House That Steve Built’s server farms in North Carolina. Katie Fehrenbacher of GigaOm helped […]

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