Solar greenhouse, solar + rabbits, $140B wind, more! #37

Farmer stands in front of healthy plants, in what could one day be a solar greenhouse

Today from the Clean Power Hour, we discuss a solar cell greenhouse, retrofitting plants and livestock into existing solar fields, and more! This excessive commentary is brought to you by Tim Montague and yours truly – the CommercialSolarGuyJohn Fitzgerald Weaver.

First of course, here’s the podcast – Episode 37!

Plants Would Grow Well in Solar Cell Greenhouses – Generating Electricity Without Reducing Plant Growth

Really interested in this idea personally. Agrivoltaics (solar+pv) seem like a perfect combination to scale. They also interest me in a science fiction’y way – making a little world that can defend itself against challenges. Electricity+food+a 3d printer is a strange, but wonderful, existence that will arise for some.

A control group of lettuces was exposed to the full spectrum of white light. The rest of the lettuces were dived into three experimental groups. Each of those groups was exposed to light through different types of filters that absorbed wavelengths of light equivalent to what different types of semi-transparent solar cells would absorb. Not only did we find no meaningful difference between the control group and the experimental groups, we also didn’t find any significant difference between the different filters.

In the podcast, I suggest that the solar powered robot will fly on Mars right away. However, it turns out the flying won’t happen for a week or two, so… patience!

BMW and PG&E team up to prepare the electric grid for millions of EVs

Around 3,000 drivers can sign up to voluntarily allow their vehicle to be “smart charged” when electricity demand is low and renewable energy availability is high. Drivers will earn incentives for participating in the program, including $150 at sign-up and an additional $250 per year.

New electric car launched – $53k, convertible, 25 mph, 100 mile range – lead acid battery – you down?


More than 300,000 battery storage systems installed in German households

300,000 battery storage systems installed in German households, with the average installation representing around 8kWh of capacity in 2019, and about 8.5kWh in 2020…70% of solar coupled with storage. €1.1 billion spent in ’21.

And don’t forget – last week Germany’s renewable energy generation exceeded the country’s total electric demand.

More than 40 GW offshore wind capacity to be installed off U.S. East Coast by 2035. Full supply chain investment greater than $140 billion projected. Lots of opportunity:

Retrofitting solar parks for agrivoltaics

First answers for our approach should come within 24 months and the collected data should come from test-cultivating an overall surface of nearly 30 hectares scattered across the nine PV facilities, 2 or 3 hectares each. Enel Green Power also might test certain forms of livestock farming at the solar parks, “We are thinking, for example, of breeding rabbits of a certain type in central Italy in the province of Viterbo”.

And now, the podcast:


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About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.