Make your day (and your mind) a little brighter with EnergySage’s roundup of solar energy news for the week of November 2nd, 2015.
New Research Could Lower the Cost of Solar Thermal Energy Storage
Engineers at Oregon State announced a new approach this week that will lower the cost of concentrated solar thermal energy storage. Their findings, focusing on new methods for storing heat using chemical bonds, bring concentrated solar a step closer to widespread implementation by enabling excess generation to be stored for later use. Our friends at the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative supported this innovative research in collaboration with researchers at the University of Florida.
U.S. Department of Defense Contractor Completes Major Solar Installation
This week, Ra Power & Light completed a solar installation for Aethercomm, a contractor to the U.S. Department of Defense. The installer heralded the seven-figure deal as the “unicorn of solar,” a revenue-neutral cash purchase with strong support from senior-level officials at the company. To complete the 270-kW installation, the company had to construct an independent scaffolding unit that allowed workers to access the roof without having to be screened by defense personnel each time they entered the secure facility.
Investors Are Eyeing Opportunities in Solar-Diesel Hybrid Technology
As markets for hybrid forms of energy grow in popularity, energy investors are focusing their attention on solar photovoltaic-diesel technologies. Industries that require significant energy but are located in remote areas are reducing their emissions by using systems that generate solar power during the day and run on diesel generators at night. These hybrid systems provide significant financial benefits over costly grid-connected systems and generate fewer emissions than standard diesel generators.
The Latest in Community Solar: Largest Solar Garden in Michigan Now Underway
Officials from Consumer Energy and Grand Valley State University revealed plans this week for a 17-acre community solar garden, the largest in the state of Michigan. The university’s on-campus community solar facility will help to educate students about renewables, and contribute to an atmosphere of sustainability in the area. The garden is expected to be completed and producing 3 megawatts of energy by next spring.
Your Weekend Solar Reading
- GTM Research released a new report this week predicting that alternating current (AC) and smart modules will gain major market share in the next 5 years. AC and smart modules use electronics to maximize the output of solar PV systems, which in turn simplifies labor and eliminates redundancies in the solar marketplace. Though currently a niche market, GTM predicts that revenue for AC and smart modules will grow from $70 million in 2014 to $603 million in 2020.