Another California winery has gone solar, but this time the PV power system follows the sun from dawn ‘til dusk. J. Lohr’s Paso Robles operation has turned on what’s being called the largest solar tracking array in the North American vino biz—a 756-KW ground-mounted, single-axis system deployed over three acres, designed and installed by Conergy, which will offset about 75% of the power needs of the winemaker’s 2000-acre spread.
The age of the gigawatt-scale solar deal has arrived. Major U.S. utility company Southern California Edison and solar thermal upstart BrightSource Energy have inked contracts for seven major power plants, which, when/if built, will eventually generate 1.3 GW from their Mojave Desert locations in southeastern California. While I would love to see the elegant, futuristic power towers sending solar-sourced juice to the metropoles of California some day, color me a wee bit skeptical.
If you were to take the Feb. 4 New York Times’ “Dark Days for Green Energy” news story at face value, you might think the solar and other renewables businesses are completely tanking. There’s little disagreement that the global recession is having a big impact up and down the solar PV value chain. But is the sky really falling as fast and hard as the article suggests? Not according to some of the grassroots solar-biz folks I spoke with at the GoGreen Expo held in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.
By Vishal Shah, Barclays Capital Solar EnergyYesterday’s Senate version of the stimulus package included a new grant plan that would enable renewable energy producers to claim a 30% cash grant from the U.S Treasury Dept. in lieu of the 30% investment tax credit. This proposal, aimed at addressing the challenging conditions in the tax equity market, is a significant positive, in our view, as investor expectations were very low for any inclusion of refundable ITC in the Senate package. Since the House version of stimulus package also includes a 30% grant by the DOE, we believe the probability that some version of refundable ITC could likely get passed by the Congress is high. Report published with permission of Barclay’s Capital Solar Energy
“We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories,” proclaimed President Barack Obama during his eloquently sober-serious inauguration speech. His words comforted those who seek a future, both for the country and the planet, which depends on the wholesale adoption of renewable energies…
Thursday, January 15, saw the launch of the Australia Solar Institute. Australian scientists have often been at the forefront of renewable energy research, particularly solar. Unfortunately the domestic industry has been denied the opportunity to benefit from the world-class success of the research conducted in Australia, largely because of a lack of funding. Have things changed?
The latest collection of solar short takes feature LG Electronics getting serious about cell manufacturing, a second opinion about CIGS company Solyndra, a pushback in the Sovello IPO, layoffs at Advent Solar, a PV power surge in Los Angeles, and a farewell to departing Applied Materials chairman, Jim Morgan.
Commentary by Barclay’s Capital Solar Energy Equity Research Analyst Vishal Shah. Although the House version of stimulus package has no specific details on solar, potential for incremental solar demand generation from several clean energy programs highlighted in the package is significant, in our opinion, and somewhat better than our expectations of 2GW incremental solar demand over 2 years.
Hoku Materials issued not one, but two press releases Wednesday, and the news from the U.S.-based polysilicon start-up is mixed. On a positive note, the first half-dozen of the company’s GEC/MSA Siemens-process reactors have finally arrived at the company’s Pocatello, ID, factory construction site. On a more cautionary tip, the firm said it has had to amend downward its poly sales agreement with Chinese silicon/ingot wafer concern, Jiangxi Jinko Solar Co.
During the heyday of the investment community’s gleeful rush to fund many things green, an announcement of a multimilllion-dollar round in the solar energy space was often greeted with a ho-hum, business-as-usual response. The new reality reflects a global recessionary climate of scarce financing, shrinking cash reserves, and tight credit, with workforce layoffs and production cutbacks the plats du jour. Last week’s news of SolFocus’ successful $47.5 million “first close” Series C investment round proves that not all things photovoltaic are languishing in the darkening economic shade.