Are the Renewable Energy Goals in the US EPA’s Clean Power Plan Realistic?

An overview of recent trends and projections The Obama Administration's recently proposed Clean Power Plan envisions renewable energy technologies such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind providing 28% of U.S. power generation in 2030. Is that realistic? Pie-in-the-sky? Unduly conservative?   The answer might be found in both an analysis of recent trends, and in the dozens of technology-by-technology forecasts issued in recent years.   While...

Solar Plant Security - not an easy smash and grab

Designing and operating a security system for a solar plant sounds like a simple task. On closer inspection, solar developers and EPC’s find the task more challenging than first expected.  Anybody who has considered the security...

Doing Solar Project Homework Equates to More KW's and $$

In school, a “C” student is considered average, the normal standard to earn a diploma, but in the solar industry, doing a little extra homework to figure out the best mounting and racking system for a PV project will earn much more...

Ready for the Global Green Rush?

The growing renewable energy sector spurs a need for reliable, low-cost, manufactured parts to compete with fossil fuels without subsidies or regulation Globally, renewable energy is near a tipping point. It is poised to move from subsidized,...

Solar Carports

Flexibility in design In the United States, over 20% of the urban land area is dedicated to parking lots. Land in urban areas is becoming an increasingly expensive and a scarce resource. Private and municipal owners of parking lots are...

Use of Aluminum in Solar Mounting Systems Spreading Throughout the Country

Solar installations are surging throughout much of the United States as projects move eastward from the strong California market. Light-weight aluminum is proving increasingly popular for use in solar mounting systems for these installations. The...

Solving the Challenge of Building a Leak-Proof Array

Building a PV array to face the diverse environmental challenges of each site such as wind, moisture, and hurricanes can be very challenging but is possible with the use of simple design and quality materials. Securing each PV module with...

Smart Renewable Energy Systems for Grid Stabilization

The rapid growth of solar energy deployment causes major challenges to grid stability known in the industry as “The Duck Curve”. Figure 1 is the “Net Load” graph by the  California Independent System Operator (ISO)....

Giving Diligence its Due, Part II

The basic functions involved in a renewables project from initial development through final completion were explored in part I of this feature, published in the July/August issue. The process of evaluating these fundamentals is explored in this...

Perovskite Solar Cells – The long and short of it

  Perovskite photovoltaics are a breath of fresh air in the photovoltaic market.  They have experienced a remarkable improvement from 2.2% efficiency – how much of the light energy is used by the system per unit area - in...

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Maximizing the Bankability of Solar PV Projects

Though driving down the upfront costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems through the purchase of lowest cost components...

Recovering From the Recovery Act: Life after stimulus in the renewable power sector

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  • Flagship Catalina Solar Project - Part of a greater hybrid renewable story
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  • The Impact of Dynamic Wind Loading
  • 2015 is the Perfect Storm for Going Solar
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