US solar power generation up 33% year-over-year in Q1

capacity factor, eia, Electric Power Monthly, Markets, Markets & Policy, Solar Power, Technology and R&D, Trackers, Utility-scale PV
The 33% increase in Q1 2018 generation is more than the 25% year-over-year increase in capacity, suggesting that solar projects are generating more electricity per watt of installed capacity. May 25, 2018John WeaverThe US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its latest Electric Power Monthly Update, which shows solar power generation up 33% in Q1 of 2018 over Q1 2017.Solar grew to 1.8% of total electricity generation, up from 1.4% of the total in Q1 2017. But in part because Q1 covers winter months with lower levels of sunlight, all of 2017 saw solar electricity at just below 2% of all electricity. Solar thermal generation also increased by 10%, as a fraction of the total.Wind generation was up almost 13% in the quarter, while hydroelectricity was flat.Total fossil…
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The path to 1.5¢/kWh solar power, and lower

bifacial, LCOE, Markets & Policy, Modules & Upstream Manufacturing, single axis trackers, Solar Power, Technology and R&D, Trackers, Utility-scale PV
GTM Research projects 24¢/w solar panels and utility scale fixed-tilt systems at $0.70/W by 2022, which opens up new possibilities for ultra-cheap power from solar. May 23, 2018John WeaverWhile we’ve seen prices for solar power installations globally fall well below one U.S. dollar per watt, it was only relatively recently (in 2016) that those prices were seen in the United States. And with the effects of tariffs on imported solar panels under Section 201, there are some projects that might have been under that number that won’t come to be – yet.GTM Research did the math in a new report, Trends in Solar Technology and System Prices, which projects that utility scale fixed-tilt systems could reach 70 U.S. cents per watt by 2022.It should be noted that the Section 201 tariff is…
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Solar power: the Northeast vs. utility scale

distributed solar, ISLR, Markets, Markets & Policy, Policy, Solar Power, utility scale solar
The latest report by the Institute for Local Self Reliance looks at the scale of solar across the United States. May 22, 2018John WeaverThe debate over scale in solar power is raging these days. Advocates of large-scale solar argue that its lower cost per unit of electricity delivered make it a natural choice, while champions of distributed generation emphasize avoided costs, citizen ownership and engagement, local economic benefits, and many other advantages. In California, the recent Energy Commission ruling that all new homes must be constructed with solar power, tackled exactly this argument.Last week, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) published its second annual State of Distributed Solar and found a considerable difference between the scale of solar power in the Northeastern United States, versus most of the rest of…
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Solar and wind power will drive the value of energy storage, remaking the power grid

Energy Storage, Markets, Markets & Policy, Policy, Solar Power, Wholesale Rates, wind power
A much heralded report shows solar and wind will lower wholesale prices, but it also shows a coming evolution in the pricing profile of the grid. These shifts in timing, shape, regularity and length will drive energy storage demand. May 18, 2018John WeaverDespite a heavy build-out of gas plants over the last two decades, the United States is moving solidly in the direction of an electricity grid dominated by renewable energy. And as we reach higher penetrations, the needs change. Some of the more forward-looking models suggest we’ll need on the order of 12 hours to three weeks worth of energy storage to move to an 80% and then 100% solar- and wind-powered grid.A recently published report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL),  Impacts…
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Sunrun deployments down 7%, but revenue up 36%

Finance, Markets, Markets & Policy, Residential PV, Solar Lease, Solar Power, Sunrun
The company reiterated full-year guidance of 15% growth in deployments – and cash generation at even higher rates. May 10, 2018John WeaverSunrun is having a financial moment in the sun, and with potentially large markets in Florida and Illinois now opening to them, growth should be expected. There were a host of slower numbers, but in light of the seemingly healthy growth of money available to the company, the market has reacted fondly to the quarterly report.In Sunrun’s quarterly financial results, total revenue increased from $105 million to $144 million over Q1 2017 – and increase of $39 million. In kind, total operating expenses increased from $153 million to $201 million – outpacing revenue growth by $9 million.During this quarter of significant revenue growth, deployment volume fell year-over-year by 7%, from 72.8 MW…
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How much of Tesla’s Solar Gigafactory did California just vote to buy?

BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaic, California, Energy Storage, Markets, Markets & Policy, Policy, Residential PV, Solar Power
The California Energy Commission unanimously approved a requirement for solar pv on all new homes – either in the house or in community solar. May 9, 2018John WeaverToday, the California Energy Commission unanimously approved nation’s first requirement that all new homes include solar generation by 2020.The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards goes much farther than just solar power. The document represents California trying to make 1/9th of its emissions disappear through the intelligent implementation of currently available technologies, including solar films on glass, smartly sized and efficiently designed hot water tanks and air conditioners, lighting, solar power and energy storage. The document also provides the rough equation on how much solar must be installed, and how to install it.Questions of scope and broader effect remain, one question that cannot be answered just yet…
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Dividend’s solar power securitization receives industry’s first “AA” rating

Business, Dividend Finance, Finance, Markets & Policy, Products, Residential PV, Residential Solar Power, Solar Power
Dividend Finance has closed a $104 million residential solar loan securitization, following on its first $129 million securitization in October 2017. April 25, 2018John WeaverSolar is becoming a powerful force as an asset class.Solar provides revenue generation capability via decades of electricity production. Private equity loves the idea of building solar from the ground up. Developers love the idea of owning the rights to projects. And increasingly, we’re seeing residential solar loan companies come into their own to replace to retreating solar lease.As part of these trends, Dividend Finance has now closed on its second residential solar loan securitization, as the first solar asset-backed security to receive an “AA” rating from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA).The portfolio valued at $105 million portfolio has also received “green bond” designation from…
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