The Week in Solar: April 2-8, 2017

Each week, Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC takes a look at the world of solar and how it affects Floridians. Below is the week of April 2-8, 2017; click on the red links for the highlighted article exclusive.

Kentucky Coal Mining Museum switches to solar power

The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is seeing the present value of solar by installing it on its facility, reports Fox News.  Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College owns the museum, and the project will be funded by an outside organization.  The project consists of 20 solar panels and will cost between $17,000 and $20,000.  The return on investment is estimated between 5-7 years.

“We believe that this project will help save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs on this building alone.”

–Brandon Robinson, Communication Director of KCM Museum

The Florida Takeaway:  Although ironic, it is good news that solar and coal can work hand in hand.  Even better, with high estimated energy costs ($8,000-$10,000) and a quick return on investment (5-7 years), solar is paving the way for energy solutions NOW.  Although natural gas provides more energy for Florida residents than coal, Florida solar can work with both in providing energy solutions.  Energy savings and a great ROI–Florida solar, let’s do this!
Texas wind farm; Courtesy Shutterstock/Dalls Events Inc

Wind energy goes big in Texas

RP Siegel for Green Biz reports on how wind energy in Texas is booming.  Siegel states how a statewide drought brought about the emergence of wind energy as a viable solution.  Although gas and oil have made huge marks in Texas, many farmers have made the switch to wind energy in solving the drought crisis.  The state’s economy has blossomed as a result of wind turbine installations, and Texas holds 6 of the top 10 nationwide wind farms.
The Florida Takeaway:  Wind, water, and solar are partners in renewable energy solutions, but they are also competitors.  Texas has been a great state for wind and solar the last decade.  They’ve enjoyed massive installations as well as strong state incentives.  Florida solar has the opportunity to enjoy massive installations as well, and encouraging state representatives to see the value of solar can only help in establishing strong incentives as well as a renewable energy portfolio.  Gulf Power and FPL have made wind energy viable for residents (especially on the coasts); all the more reason for solar to take advantage of an even more sustainable resource than wind–THE SUN!


A beginner’s guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy

Vox’s David Roberts poses the idea of all mankind using completely renewable energy.  From solar and wind to water and plants, Roberts considers ways in which civilization can eventually become renewable energy dependent.  Using graphs, thought provoking questions, and ideas such as compensating for variability, asset allocation, and grid operation, Roberts concludes that YES!  100% renewable energy CAN happen.
Decarbonization graph, Source:  PriceWaterhouseCoopers
The Florida Takeaway:  David Roberts shows us how decarbonization CAN happen–which means Florida solar CAN happen.  And Florida solar is happening.  No more oil spills, no more ash cleanups on the ratepayer’s dime.  With the elimination of carbon emissions and pollution, Florida solar can shine ever brighter!

Arrival of Big Solar puts Renewable Energy Target Back on Track

“Australia is now on track to meet its renewable energy target of 33,000GWh by 2020, Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator has said, driven largely by the current burst of growth in the large-scale solar market,” begins Sophie Vorrath’s piece for REneweconomy.  Large-scale solar has seen an increase in demand as of late, as install commitments rise.  Commercial applications have improved in Australia as well, although the big caveat to both large-scale and commercial applications remains in the policies and revenue risks.  Vorrath cites optimism for growth as well as a concern for political and policy intervention for solar and all energy markets.

“(Here) you’ve got large, significant energy consumption during the day, and large roof space,” he said, noting the largely untapped potential of the commercial and industrial solar sector…In essence there’s been a doubling of the capacity of (commercial solar) projects, year on year, year on year…You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that … amounts to exponential growth. From big things little thing grow.”

–Jay Hender, GM  tech assessment and support, Australia Clean Energy Regulator

The Florida Takeaway:  Although Australia is a world away, Floridians can always learn how other places deal with solar.  Australia’s high mark for large-scale and commercial projects is encouraging.  However, uncertainty with policies and revenue risks are something we as Floridians know all to well.  Hopefully, knowing such will cause more Floridians to become more educated on solar and state and national policies.  As policies become more encouraging and revenue risks are minimized, more Floridians will have the amazing option of switching to large-scale, commercial, or residential solar.  Setting a renewable portfolio standard should be a state goal as well.
Battery storage units; Courtesy:  UtilityDive

New NREL report provides missing metric for valuing solar+storage

UtilityDive’s Peter Maloney writes on solar and battery storage, specifically a metric that provides a new methodology for the storage market.  Maloney cites a report by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to support his stance in solving energy storage problems.  Companies such as SunRun and Tesla have introduced solar+storage companion products as part of their business model.  Some of the metrics analyzed, according to Maloney, are payback periods, load shifting, and battery valuation.
The Florida Takeaway:  The energy storage market, like solar, is heating up.  And like solar, manufacturing costs are coming down as battery technology improves.  Currently, battery storage units for solar installations doubles the cost of solar alone.  Again, that is changing;  payback periods, load shifting, and battery valuation metrics are  being perfected for customer demands.   Better products and lower prices will result.  Together, solar and energy storage are winning in Florida!




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1934432_1530422373920628_7435680489633132710_nNeed more information on going green and ready to take the next step? We are here for you at Bay Area Solar Solutions LLC, where your solar needs come first!


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