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Solar Energy Storage System For Homes and Businesses Unveiled

Submitted on 10/01/14, 05:19 AM | Click Here for the full article: CleanTechnica

Solar Energy Storage System For Homes and Businesses UnveiledSolar Energy Storage System For Homes and Businesses Unveiled

An 8.6 kWh lithium-ion solar energy storage system for residential and commercial use has been launched by JuiceBox Energy. It is designed to work with grid-tied or off-grid solar systems. It features a system controller so the battery can be used as back-up power to a grid, thus enabling peak shifting and demand charge reduction. Notice these capabilities go beyond mere storage.

In other words, battery technology can be smart and interactive in addition to storing electricity. The system has a battery based inverter, and management system for charging and discharging. Diagnostics are part of the design, too, to monitor the system for potential faults. JuiceBox will be available in the fourth quarter of 2014, with greater volume production beginning in 2015.
 
“Energy storage is the critical technology that allows unrestrained solar growth enabling a clean energy future and a more resilient grid,” explained Neil Maguire, CEO of JuiceBox. JuiceBox is taking advance orders, but it isn’t clear yet what the price is.

 

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Perovskite Offers Shot at Cheaper Solar Energy

Submitted on 09/29/14, 05:21 AM | Click Here for the full article: Wall Street Journal

Perovskite Offers Shot at Cheaper Solar EnergyPerovskite Offers Shot at Cheaper Solar Energy

A class of compounds first uncovered in the Ural Mountains more than a century ago is now a rock star in the world of solar-energy research.
 
Meet perovskite, the building block for materials that, as a group, have posted unprecedented gains in their solar-energy efficiency—the percentage of sunlight converted into electricity. In the lab, scientists experimenting with perovskite-based materials of different compositions have recently achieved a jump in efficiency to 20%, from around 10% just two years ago.
 
That is still lower than the most efficient silicon-based cells on the market— SunPower Corp. makes cells that are 24% efficient.
 
But because of perovskite's rapid increases in efficiency, researchers think it could be used to make cells that are at least as efficient as those fashioned from silicon, but at a much lower cost.

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SCE Unveils Largest Battery Energy Storage Project in North America

Submitted on 09/26/14, 05:37 AM | Click Here for the full article: AltEnergyMag Newspage

SCE Unveils Largest Battery Energy Storage Project in North AmericaSCE Unveils Largest Battery Energy Storage Project in North America

For Southern California Edison (SCE), building a smarter grid started many years ago with smart meters and upgrades in distribution equipment. Today, the company takes another leap forward with the opening of the largest battery energy storage project in North America — the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project — to modernize the grid to integrate more clean energy. 

The demonstration project is funded by SCE and federal stimulus money awarded by the Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

The 32 megawatt-hours battery energy storage system features lithium-ion batteries housed inside a 6,300 square-foot facility at SCE's Monolith substation in Tehachapi, Calif. The project is strategically located in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area that is projected to generate up to 4,500 MW of wind energy by 2016. 

"This installation will allow us to take a serious look at the technological capabilities of energy storage on the electric grid," said Dr. Imre Gyuk, energy storage program manager in the energy department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. "It will also help us to gain a better understanding of the value and benefit of battery energy storage." 

The project costs about $50 million with matching funds from SCE and the energy department. Over a two-year period, the project will demonstrate the performance of the lithium-ion batteries in actual system conditions and the capability to automate the operations of the battery energy storage system and integrate its use into the utility grid. 

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US, California Release Roadmap for Solar Projects

Submitted on 09/24/14, 05:22 AM | Click Here for the full article: ABC News

US, California Release Roadmap for Solar ProjectsUS, California Release Roadmap for Solar Projects

State and federal officials sought Tuesday to bring order to California's boom for renewable-energy plants in the Mojave and other southern California deserts, releasing a roadmap covering 22.5 million acres that designates some areas for large-scale solar, wind and geothermal plants and others for conservation of desert habitat and animals.
 
"We have amazingly special places here," U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a news conference at a desert wind farm near Palm Springs with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and other officials releasing the multi-agency draft plan.
 
By taking a look at the desert as a whole, Jewell said, the plan's designers are ensuring "the areas that should be protected are set aside. The areas that should be developed are streamlined" for building utility-scale renewable energy plants.
 
The release of the plan follows a renewable-energy building boom in southeastern California's deserts during the first term of the Obama administration, when the federal government gave billions of dollars in loans to developers placing sprawling, utility-scale solar projects in virgin desert.
 
The plan released Tuesday recommends designating a total of 2 million acres as appropriate sites for future solar, wind and geothermal projects. Another 4.9 million acres under the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would be among the areas set aside as conservation areas, if the draft plan is adopted.

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Obama pushes energy efficiency, rural solar power

Submitted on 09/22/14, 06:16 AM | Click Here for the full article: The Hill

Obama pushes energy efficiency, rural solar powerObama pushes energy efficiency, rural solar power

The Obama administration unveiled a slew of actions Thursday aimed at improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of solar power in homes and businesses, including $68 million in spending.

The White House said the actions would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 300 million metric tons by 2030, the equivalent of 60 million cars’ emissions in a year. They will also save $10 billion in energy costs.
The actions, together with commitments from states, communities, companies and others, are part of President Obama’s second-term push to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to mitigate climate change.
 
They follow other recent efforts to help the solar power industry, including a series of announcements in April to spur solar deployment, a White House-hosted summit on solar power and a May decision to install solar power panels on the White House.
 
The Department of Agriculture will spend $68 million on 540 renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects in rural areas, 240 of which are for solar power. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will announce the program, the White House said.

 

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Wind energy may help with grid stabilization

Submitted on 09/19/14, 05:12 AM | Click Here for the full article: Hydrogen Fuel News

Wind energy may help with grid stabilizationWind energy may help with grid stabilization

A new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that wind energy could stabilize the energy grid of the eastern U.S. Grid stabilization is often an issue where renewable energy is concerned. At times, clean energy systems can generate more electrical power than an energy grid can handle. Frequency regulation plays a major role in grid stabilization in the U.S., and wind turbines may be a new solution to the stabilization problem.

Frequency regulation is the process through which the operators of an energy grid police the frequency of the infrastructure’s alternating current. Energy grids are strictly controlled throughout the U.S. and  are mean to put out electric currents with frequencies of 60 Hertz. In order to maintain this frequency, grid operators regularly change how much electricity is being funneled into the grid. Destabilization occurs when frequency is not properly regulated.
 
Wind turbines could be a new solution to this problem. According to the study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wind turbines could be controlled to affect grid stabilization. The study shows that wind turbines can be tweaked using simple, commercially available mechanical parts. By changing the way these turbines generate electrical power, grid operators may be able to effectively control how much energy is coming into the grid.

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North American Windpower reports U.S. offshore wind is "embryonic no more"

Submitted on 09/17/14, 05:15 AM | Click Here for the full article: Composites World

North American Windpower reports U.S. offshore wind is North American Windpower reports U.S. offshore wind is "embryonic no more"

North American Windpower reports that the U.S. offshore wind industry is embryonic no more. Recent offshore wind news highlights also show that installations worldwide are picking up speed.
 
As of the end of July, the developer behind the 468 MW Cape Wind project had secured close to two-thirds of the roughly $2.5 billion needed for the wind farm, to be located off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. In addition, the developer sold more than 77 percent of the projected output (363 MW) through stable, 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) at $0.187/kWh plus inflation. Construction is planned to commence in 2015.
 
Deepwater Wind (Providence, R.I.) has secured the entire output for the more modest 30 MW Block Island wind farm, located off the Rhode Island coast, with a 15-year PPA at $0.244/kWh. It also has preliminary contracts for turbines from Alstom and an installation vessel from Fred Olsen Windcarrier, and has received the go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the last federal agency to grant its approval. Deepwater says the Block Island wind farm has now been completely reviewed and approved by nine state and federal agencies, and expects “steel in the water” by 2015 with service to begin in 2016.  Cont'd...

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Strange bedfellows: Solar power meets oil drilling

Submitted on 09/15/14, 06:36 AM | Click Here for the full article: CNBC

Strange bedfellows: Solar power meets oil drillingStrange bedfellows: Solar power meets oil drilling

A company that uses solar energy to recover crude has scored big financing from some major oil players—and highlights a growing niche of global oil exploration.
 
GlassPoint Solar last week landed a $53 million investment from Royal Dutch Shell and the sovereign investment fund of Oman for its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology. In a twist of irony, GlassPont's technology runs on solar power, which produces steam to help pump more fossil fuel from conventional crude plays.
 
GlassPoint has been using this technique in Oman since 2012, and it helped the firm score more than double its initial funding. Given the age of its oil fields, Oman relies on EOR—a complex process that extracts more oil than traditional drilling—to boost production.
 
Although EOR is common to the oil industry, using the power of the sun "is expanding very rapidly, and is a very new technology" said Rod MacGregor, GlassPoint's CEO, in an interview. "This application looks like the next step for solar."

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