Solar Energy

  1. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar's expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

  2. Wind energy professionals are gathering in California this week to showcase new products and services, network and discuss the issues relevant to the growth of wind energy at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA’s) annual WINDPOWER 2017 event.

    Renewable Energy World asked exhibitors and companies attending the event to tell us what they will be showing on the tradeshow floor. Here are just some of the announcements we received.

  3. SolarCity Corp. and rival SunRun Inc. persuaded an Arizona appeals court that certain tax exemptions for solar panels don’t violate the state constitution, according to an opinion released May 18.

    The Arizona Court of Appeals rejected the state Department of Revenue’s contention that solar panels leased to residents and businesses generate electricity just as traditional electricity providers do, subjecting them to the same taxes (Solarcity Corp. v. Ariz. Dep’t of Revenue , 2017 BL 165607, Ariz. Ct. App., Div. 1, No. 1 CA-TX 15-0008, 5/17/17 ).

     

  4. Portland, Ore., is one of the most recent municipalities to join dozens of cities and states across the U.S. in pledges to run on 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades. Portland is taking a two-step approach toward its goal.

  5. Since the sun does not shine at night we need a way to store daytime-generated solar energy. Net metering is an elegant and 100% efficient way to shift excess solar power, but that system will not work at high solar penetration levels. Never mind the fact that utilities are loath to allow their customers to generate electricity for less than it costs them to deliver this power. 

    As a result, battery storage is on the minds of almost all new solar customers. Storage technology, incentives, favorable electric rates and control software are all evolving rapidly. There are currently about a dozen companies with battery storage systems designed for use with rooftop solar. Like peanut butter and chocolate, many solar companies are starting to offer battery storage systems along with their solar systems.

    My advice is to proceed with caution. Even though off-grid battery storage systems have been available for years, we are at the very early stages of grid-tied solar combined with battery storage. From a hardware standpoint, battery storage costs are plummeting, and new inverters/charge controllers are being developed. Perhaps more importantly, software that will efficiently interact with solar, batteries, the grid and your home energy consumption still has limited functionality. For more about the practicalities of home battery storage, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.