In this week’s Solar News Roundup, there’s a new efficiency record for transparent solar panels, and the largest battery storage system in the country comes online.
New record efficiency achieved for transparent solar panels
Researchers at the University of Michigan have set a new record for efficiency in transparent solar panels at 8.1 percent. While the solar cells have a slight tint, they are still similar to the gray of car windows or sunglasses. The breakthrough is an important step in the development of more widespread building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products that may eventually allow us to generate usable solar electricity from more than just rooftops.
“The new material we developed, and the structure of the device we built, had to balance multiple trade-offs to provide good sunlight absorption, high voltage, high current, low resistance and color-neutral transparency all at the same time,” said Yongxi Li, an assistant research scientist in electrical engineering and computer science.
Largest single-site energy storage facility in the U.S. up and running in California
This week, the largest single-site energy storage project in the U.S. was turned on in California. The project developer, LS Power, also claims that the project is the largest battery system in the world. Named the Gateway Energy Storage project, the installation is a 250-megawatt (MW) battery system in San Diego County. The project is designed to enhance the reliability of the local grid, as well as reduce customer energy costs.
In addition to the Gateway Energy Storage project, LS Power has several more large-scale battery projects underway in both California and New York, including a 200 MW system in Pittsburg, CA, and a 316 MW system in Queens, NY.