As the final flickers of million-dollar commercial spots died down after Sunday’s first ever solar-powered Super Bowl, the solar industry was ramping up another momentous and eventful week. Solar reaches grid parity in 20 states, the world’s largest solar array powers up, and a 621-mile solar panel road is announced in the top headlines from this week’s Solar Energy News.
France’s Integrated Solar Road Proposal Does Not Bode Well for Fossil Fuel Industry
France has put forward a proposal to install 621 miles of solar panel-covered roads that would supply power to 5 million people. Testing will start this spring for the project, which is expected to take five years to complete. According to finance expert Gaurav Iyer, the real brilliance of this project is the integration of photovoltaics into common construction practice. This solar innovation will be a red flag for big oil companies – solar roads are just the latest technology making it easier to integrate solar into infrastructure.
Solar Hits Major Milestone in Twenty States, With More to Come
This week, GTM Research published a new report finding that solar has reached grid parity in 20 U.S. states, a metric indicating that photovoltaics in those states are generating power for a price that is less than or equal to the cost of drawing power from the grid. The finding is a signal that solar is coming closer to being cost-competitive with natural gas and other fossil fuels nationwide. The report also revealed California, Massachusetts and Hawaii to be the most attractive states to go solar when considering how much solar can reduce electric bills.
World’s Largest Solar Plant to Supply 1.1 Million People
Morocco’s initiative to build the largest solar plant in the world came a step closer to reality this week as the first phase of the Noor Concentrated Solar Power plant went live. Once completed, the massive solar array will supply energy to 1.1 million people and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons per year. The solar plant is funded by the World Bank and is expected to eventually export energy to Europe.
Michigan’s Largest Solar Array Will Power 329 Homes
It has been an exciting month in Avoca, Michigan: the biggest solar power plant in the state opened at the end of January and reached full capacity in recent weeks, powering 329 homes on a sunny day. Installation started in late 2015 amidst a large solar growth project by DTE Energy, which has also launched large solar plants in Brownstown and Romulus. With these newest additions, DTE Energy is now managing 26 solar arrays and six wind parks in the Great Lakes State.