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Massachusetts’ SMART program is a go – the details matter though
Solar Power

Massachusetts’ SMART program is a go – the details matter though

The solar power market in Massachusetts is the perfect example of the infamous solar-coaster. The state's highly successful SREC & SREC II programs both ended faster than politicians expected, leaving large gaps of market continuity after each of the programs ended. Valiantly, the Department of Energy and Resources extended the SREC II program multiple times since late January of 2016 when the program abruptly hit its goals - however - since that time, thousands of solar power jobs have been lost. But now, as the coaster goes back up the track, all is forgiven and forgotten. On Wednesday, September 26,…
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Agrovoltaics: a solar-powered safety net for Massachusetts farmers
Solar Power

Agrovoltaics: a solar-powered safety net for Massachusetts farmers

The long-term, steady income of solar power complements the higher revenue, but harder work of traditional farming. The Massachusetts SMART program looks to increase this trend with "agrovoltaic" incentives for solar co-located with crops. They're called solar farms for a reason - we deploy our seeds of steel, we water the ground with copper, and we pray to the sun gods for plentiful photons! Our previous coverage has noted the trend toward pollinator friendly solar farms, but this is just the beginning. A recent story by SouthCoast Today on cranberry bogs in Massachusetts shows the stresses of the farming life…
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Massachusetts calls for ‘Clean Peak Standard’ to green dirtiest, most expensive power
Solar Power

Massachusetts calls for ‘Clean Peak Standard’ to green dirtiest, most expensive power

The State specified that retail electricity suppliers must provide customers with clean electricity during defined 'clean peak periods', at less than $0.005/kWh averaged across annual usage. The State of Massachusetts has put forth plans that will require retail electricity utilities to provide buyers with cleaner and cheaper electricity options during the most expensive and dirtiest periods of the year. Peak period electricity is getting much attention during the ongoing 2017-2018 New England winter where highly polluting oil was burnt, and day ahead electricity rates reached $247/MWh. The 76 page document, titled Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth,…
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SMART problems in Massachusetts
Solar Power

SMART problems in Massachusetts

The state's upcoming solar program looks as if it will very quickly move through allocated volume, stranding developers and installers and tens of millions of dollars worth of projects. The State of Massachusetts has a solar powered problem on its hands. The problem might be that the state has created a program that is too successful. Last year, pv magazine noted that $78 million of solar projects were stranded due to net metering caps being hit, and it looks like the state's new solar power program - SMART - might have similar issues arise. The above image is of the…
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NREL aiming to bring HVPE to Earth – hoping for 20-80¢/W
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NREL aiming to bring HVPE to Earth – hoping for 20-80¢/W

The researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are trying to bring back, and refine, a solar cell technique from the 50-60s to help make the same solar cells as are on NASA's Mars rovers. The technique makes solar cells from gallium arsenide that are already hitting 25.3% efficiency. David Young, a senior scientist with expertise in silicon solar cells who joined NREL in 2000, says: You can only buy gallium arsenide cells if you’re willing to pay $100-300 a watt NREL wants to bring that number down to 20-80¢/W. When compared to solar cells today,…
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sPower secures 100 MW solar power PPA with California aggregator
CleanPowerSF, Community Choice Aggregator, Finance, Markets, Policy, power purchase agreement, Solar Power, sPower, Utility-scale PV , , , , , , , ,

sPower secures 100 MW solar power PPA with California aggregator

Community choice aggregator CleanPowerSF has signed a 22-year PPA with sPower for a 100 MW project in Lancaster, California. The project is expected to be online in 2019. June 11, 2018John Weaver Expressway Solar, an sPower projectsPower has been making headlines for all the right reasons: $421 million raised off of a solar portfolio, and gigawatt-plus equipment deals with single axis tracking and solar module manufacturers.And the company, which claims the mantle of the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States, just got another 100 MW, 22-year PPA too sell more electricity from solar.sPower is building the…
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Lowest public solar power contract in the United States: 2.49¢/kWh
Central Arizona Project, Consumer Protection, Markets, Navajo Generating Station, Solar for Coal, Solar Power, Utility-scale PV , , , , , ,

Lowest public solar power contract in the United States: 2.49¢/kWh

Arizona’s largest power user has approved a 20-year power contract with a 30 MW solar project at 2.49¢/kWh, the lowest confirmed price for a public solar power contract to date. The deal also involves shutting down a coal plant. June 11, 2018John WeaverArizona is hot for the sun – this is without any doubts. They’ve built beauty in the desert, residential customers are powering up, the solar advocates are taking the seats of power, regulators are fighting back and the grid is evolving – even while the governor fights the inevitable, utilities settle Supreme Court bound lawsuits, the politicians quibble…
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