Proposed Hoosier Energy solar power farm facing zoning hurdles

The county is considering a new zoning classification for renewable energy sites. But not all renewable energy processes are as passive as solar panels — wind turbines, for instance, loom over the landscape, threaten birds and bats and create wind noise, so officials are worried that classification might not work.

Commissioners are considering amending landscaping stipulations, setback distances and other issues that didn’t apply to solar farms.

via Proposed Hoosier Energy solar power farm facing zoning hurdles.


Quick and Dirty Solar Energy Estimating Tool >

When someone considers purchasing a photovoltaic (PV) system to offset their electric bill, one of the first steps they take is to contact a vendor and pay for a site assessment. The assessor performs many steps, including an electric load evaluation, a visual property inspection, a shading analysis, and a financial assessment. This process helps to determine the size of the array, the optimal location for solar panels and “balance of system” equipment, the payback period, and the return on investment. While detailed assessments are crucial to a well-designed and cost-effective system, a ballpark estimate can determine whether it’s worth doing the complete site assessment. Engineers frequently do “back of the envelope” calculations to determine overall feasibility; if the ballpark figures look reasonable, then the detailed analysis will follow. If not, the idea is scrubbed and no time is wasted doing a thorough assessment.

The Bad, the Good and Solar

Worry for Solar Projects After End of Tax Credits –

This is probably the worst time for tax credits for renewable projects to end, as major energy producers scale back construction plans due to lower oil prices. Though peak production has not made renewables any more popular, looking at the whole picture – America’s energy needs, slow steady growth in the background is how solar would have eventually beat the hare. How convenient is it for oil that renewables’ growth would be hampered at such a time as this.

There is also a possibility that further deterioration in energy construction could derail a recovering economy. There have been serious adverse affect to not only to construction companies, real estate in neighboring municipalities but construction equipment manufacturers have suffered as well.

Do only bright spot:

Transmission Line That Could Bring Wind And Solar Power To Millions In West Gets Go-Ahead | ThinkProgress

As I mentioned in October 2014, HVDC are the probably the only projects that we’ll be seeing in the future. Why? Because they’re independently owned, and the present a cost advantage to utilities: no construction, maintenance or liability. And none of the regulatory hurdles that utilities would like to avoid while they apply for rate increases to combat Solar.

IEA – Free Publications: Solar

Barriers to Technology Diffusion: The Case of Solar Thermal Technologies 2006 Free Solar
Renewable Energy Essentials: Solar Heating and Cooling 2009 Free Solar
Renewable Energy Essentials: Concentrating Solar Thermal Power 2009 Free Solar
Solar Energy Perspectives 2011 Study (book) Solar
Technology Roadmap: Concentrating Solar Power 2010 Free Solar
Technology Roadmap: Concentrating Solar Power – Foldout 2010 Free Solar
Technology Roadmap: Concentrating Solar Power – Foldout – Chinese version 2012 Translation: Solar
Technology Roadmap: Solar Heating and Cooling 2012 Free Solar
Technology Roadmap: Solar Photovoltaic Energy – 2014 edition 2014 Free Solar
Technology Roadmap: Solar Photovoltaic Energy – Foldout 2010 Free Solar
Technology Roadmap: Solar Thermal Electricity – 2014 edition 2014 Free Solar
Transforming Global Markets for Clean Energy Products
Energy Efficient Equipment, Vehicles and Solar Photovoltaics
2010 Free Solar, Energy efficiency



“For solar industry bellwethers such as SolarCity, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower and SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), there have been significant declines in stock in recent months.

SolarCity is down 31% over the past three months, First Solar 39%, SunPower 35% and SunEdison 16%. Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) stock has fallen 33%.

Shawn Qu, CEO of Canadian Solar, said that “demand for solar energy is and will not be affected by oil price change,” noting that 39% of U.S. electricity is coal-generated, 27% comes from natural gas, 19% from nuclear, 7% hydro, 6% renewables and 1% oil.

Chinese solar stocks have sold off too. ReneSola (NYSE:SOL) has plunged 52.5% the past three months. Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) has lost 28% and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE) 38%.”

Expert Online Training | HeatSpring

Commercial Solar Leverage Model (Greentech Media)

Learn How to Calculate Leverage on a Deal. Leverage can be critical to some solar deals. If you’re doing to be taking out debt on a commercial project, you’ll need to know how leverage works. Understand Leverage Basics. The model will show you the basics of how leverage works if you’re already familiar with the concept. You’ll be able to plug in some characteristics of your projects to see how leverage would impact returns. Perform Sensitivity Analysis on Your Solar Projects. With the model, you can plug in details from your projects and see how leverage could help, and potentially hurt, returns.”

More Americans are installing rooftop solar and buying less electricity from their utilities | PV Buzz : PV Buzz

But utilities see things differently. As solar technology gets dramatically cheaper, tens of thousands of Americans are putting photovoltaic panels up on their roofs, generating their own power. At the same time, 43 states and Washington DC have “net metering” laws that allow solar-powered households to sell their excess electricity back to the grid at retail prices.

That’s a genuine problem for utilities. All these solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that, without policy changes, this trend could soon put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent.

Solar thermal magazine

PetersenDean announced today that the Solar4America campaign will begin offering electricity to consumers nationwide at under six cents per kilowatt hour. The program has already been launched in Arizona and California and will roll out to Texas in October, with four other states to follow in the first quarter of 2015.