SolarCity to build 1.6-MW solar power system for Chico Unified School District
SolarCity said it will install a 1.6-MW solar power system for the Chico Unified School District. Also, SolarCity has launched a new program, SolarChico, to offer residents and businesses discounts on solar power.
The installations will include more than 6,600 solar panels at Pleasant Valley High, Chico High, Marsh Junior High, Chapman Elementary and the District’s corporate yard. The five sites comprise one of the largest commercial solar projects in Chico and are expected to produce more than 2 million kWh of electricity annually. SolarCity will finance, install, own and maintain the District’s five solar power systems, while the District will pay for the power they produce through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Under SolarChico,Chico residents and businesses who go solar with SolarCity through December 31, 2011, will receive a $1,000 discount, whether they lease or purchase a solar system. As part of the program, SolarCity will also offer Chico homeowners a comprehensive evaluation of their home energy use and recommendations for efficiency improvements for $99, a 67% discount off the standard price of a SolarCity Home Energy Evaluation.
DOE awards $1.75 million grant to SolarBridge Technologies
SolarBridge Technologies has received a $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. SolarBridge will use the funds to perform advanced research and development for a new electronic technique that improves the output of solar panels. The technique is specifically aimed at large solar power plants, where many solar panels are connected together. The technology, called Differential Power Processing, involves correcting the power differences that inherently occur when two solar modules, encountering different amounts of sun, are connected together. The power conversion device incorporating DPP will be much smaller and less expensive than current electronic solutions.
Eastern Illinois University, Honeywell developing biomass-fueled steam plant
Eastern Illinois Universityand Honeywell have unveiled the school’s RenewableEnergyCenter, which is one of the largest university biomass installations in the country. The REC is a 19,000-square-foot steam plant that will provide heat for buildings and classrooms across the university grounds. It is driven by two large biomass gasifiers. The REC also features a back-pressure turbine that is powered by superheated steam from one of the boilers to generate electricity, as well as two ground-mounted solar arrays. The turbine and arrays will provide other sources of renewable energy for the university and generate almost 3 million kWh of electricity per year.
Broadway Renewable Strategies completes 386-kW Medway Middle School Solar PV Project
Broadway Renewable Strategies LLC has completed the 386-kW Medway Middle School Solar PV Project for Medway Public Schools. The project is expected to provide an annual consumption offset/reduction of over 50% and will result in significant annual electricity cost savings to Medway Public Schools.MedwayPublic Schools, Broadway Renewable Strategies, LLC, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the United States Government collaborated on the project through the utilization of Governor Patrick’s Green Communities Act and the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Medway received a $150,000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to install solar panels, and the project required no upfront capital investment from the school district.
PanelClaw begins high volume manufacturing
PanelClaw has begun high volume manufacturing for its ballasted solar mounting systems at facilities acrossNorth America. The movement to high volume manufacturing enables PanelClaw to support increasing partner demand for its products. Expanded production and increased automation have pushed the company’s capacity to over 550 MW inNorth Americaalone. The company will exhibit its ballasted mounting systems at Solar Power International inDallas,Texas.