Panasonic and Pika up the pace

battery, Energy Storage, Harbor Plus Smart Battery, Modules & Upstream Manufacturing, Panasonic, Pika Energy, Products, Residential PV, Solar Power
Pika Energy has increased its home battery capacity to 17.1 kWh – about half an average home’s daily usage. The units are powered by Panasonic lithium-ion cells. May 24, 2018John WeaverIf we take the results of surveys as truth, then 74% of solar customers are interested in energy storage. That 74% is interested for different reasons: a few because the technology is cool and Elon sells it, some as a backup in case of power outage, others to arbitrage use (TOU) rates in California, a few to protect against natural disasters, and some just to stick it to the man.While prices are still settling downward, manufacturers have a little bit of time to get their features right, and also make sure they figure out the right storage sizes and solar power…
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Hurricane Maria moves Solartech Universal’s expansion to South Florida

heterojunction, Meyer Burger, Modules & Upstream Manufacturing, Products, Solar Power, SolarTech Universal, Technology and R&D
Solartech Universal plans to expand its current 80 MW/year capacity by 180 MW/year. The company is seeking a facility in South Florida. May 21, 2018John WeaverMidway through 2017, high-efficiency solar manufacturer Solartech Universal, of Riviera Beach, Florida, announced a planned expansion into Puerto Rico. The company hoped to add up to 180 MW/year of production capacity. Those plans have now shifted to the continental United States as a result of Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico, and the company is now seeking space in South Florida to fulfill its needs.SolarTech Universal’s existing Riviera Beach facility has a single shift running on its 80MW/year line. The company says that it is currently hiring a 2nd shift which will start work next month, and that hiring for a 3rd shift will begin soon.…
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Tesla Powerwall adds time-based control

battery, Energy Management Systems, Energy Storage, Powerwall 2, Products, Solar Power, Tesla, time-of-use
A software update for the Powerwall 2 home energy storage system adds controls to allow owners to take advantage of time of use electricity rates in California and other states May 15, 2018John Weaver Tesla has enabled ‘Time-Based Controls‘ on its Powerwall 2 in a recent update. The controls are built to allow load shifting so customers can maximize electricity savings.According to the battery maker, the Powerwall has an array of electrical current sensors that monitor energy usage and solar energy production, as well as “intelligent forecasting software” to predict future usage and production.The manufacturer suggested that through the use of this software, Powerwall “learns” and will optimize when it charges and discharges to maximize production. An email was sent to the company requesting further comments on the functionality of these “learning”…
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California residential solar power headed toward $1/W and 2.5¢/kWh

Balance of Systems, BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaic, Markets, Modules & Upstream Manufacturing, Products, Residential PV, Solar Power, Technology and R&D
Due to the state’s revolutionary 2019 Building Energy Code requiring solar power to be installed at time of construction for all newly built homes, over time California home buyers could see per unit prices drop to rates approaching that of some of the world’s largest utility scale solar installations ($1/W in the United States). And if this seems hyperbolic, first let’s lay out the case for why this move by California is about to revolutionize residential solar in our country.Outside of energy-nerd circles (used here endearingly of course), the dramatic and continuous fall in the price of solar panels is beginning to be acknowledged by the general public. Known as “Swanson’s Law” (a cousin of sorts to the more famous “Moore’s Law”), since the mid 1970s solar panels have gone…
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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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