Highlights from the eleventh EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel Report

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Last week, EnergySage released our eleventh Solar Marketplace Intel Report. The free, publicly available report provides insight into the state of the solar market nationwide and at the state level through July of 2020. In this report, we take a look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the solar industry, check in on how solar pricing compares on EnergySage to data from the rest of the market, and introduce a few brand new analyses of energy storage data, from cost to brand preference. A few key takeaways from the report are outlined below, and we look forward to your analysis and feedback on the report. 

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trees shading solar panels

Should you cut down trees to go solar?

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When we talk about the environmental benefits of solar power, we often compare the overall carbon offset of a solar panel system to the environmental impact of planting trees. Ironically, maximizing the benefits of solar power may mean cutting down a tree or two prior to installation.  It’s a difficult truth, but unfortunately, solar power and trees don’t really get along. Branches and leaves can block sunlight from hitting your roof, which means your solar panels aren’t generating as much clean electricity as they could otherwise be in a sunny area.

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cleaning solar panels

Solar panel cleaning: what you should know

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Your solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight in order to produce power. However, unless you live somewhere with high amounts of smog, dust, dirt or sand blowing around, solar panel cleaning is generally not necessary. In most cases, occasional rain will be enough to naturally and safely keep your solar panels clean and free of debris that could lower production.

It may be a good idea to freshen up your panels occasionally if you live in an area with heavy particulates in the air. Here are answers to some of the top questions solar panel system owners have about cleaning solar panels and how to do it safely.

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utility energy storage

Why utilities want you to have a battery

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Although utilities and the solar industry haven’t always had the most positive relationship across the country, there’s one distributed technology that utilities have been very quick to embrace: energy storage. When installed at a home or business, energy storage systems provide myriad benefits to both the owner of the system, as well as to the electricity grid as a whole. As a result, many utilities throughout the country are now actively encouraging the adoption of energy storage systems. Here are just a few of the reasons that utilities want you to have a battery. 

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solar o&m plan

Should you get a solar operations and maintenance (O&M) package?

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For many, solar panel systems are mostly a “set it and forget it” investment, requiring very little maintenance over the 25+ years. However, if you’re looking for extra peace of mind, one upgrade to consider is a solar operations and maintenance (O&M) package. Simply put, O&M packages are essentially protection plans for your solar investment. You can think of them as a sort of “homeowner’s insurance” for your solar panels; if a tree falls on a portion of your house, a home insurance plan will likely cover a large portion of the repair costs –  the same is true of solar energy system repairs under O&M plans.

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tesla battery day

Tesla Battery Day: what you need to know

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It’s rare that very technical demonstrations of technology and supply chain advancements manage to jump beyond industry and into the public consciousness. But as with all things Tesla, the announcement of the company’s Battery Day was met with significant hype beyond just the storage and electric vehicle industries, and with good reason: teasers in anticipation of the event seemed to indicate that Tesla had discovered a breakthrough in energy storage manufacturing that would reduce the price of batteries to the point that they could begin to produce and commercialize a truly affordable electric vehicle. 

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solar panel testing and certifications

Solar panel testing and certifications

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Like other types of electronics, solar panel modules go through rigorous testing before installation. These tests are critical to determining the quality and performance of panels under particular environmental stresses, as well as confirming they meet mandated safety requirements. In this article, we’ll review the most common testing and certifications for solar panels on the market today.

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