Wednesday, May 25, 2011

GE introduces power plant to complement renewables | Product Design and Development

Florida and The Question of Monopolies

Massachusetts Putting Its Net Metering Queue in Order (READ THIS FOR MA PROJECTS)

FW: 150 MW solar energy project to use Advanced Energy technology - POWER-GEN WorldWide

150 MW solar energy project to use Advanced Energy technology

Published: May 3, 2011
Zachry Industrial Inc. picked Advanced Energy Industries Inc. to provide its
Solaron PV inverters and SafeGuard service program to power a 150 MW project
in Arizona.

The project is slated to begin construction in mid-2011 and be completed in
2013. It will use the Solaron 500 kW inverters configured as 2 MW
PowerStation solutions and will be supported by Advanced Energy's SafeGuard
Plus inverter uptime program.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Suntech Boosts Manufacturing in Arizona | Solarbuzz

Highly automated plant. 100 employees (running 7X24) crank out 15,000 280Watt panels per month.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FW: Automated assembly lines from KUKA Systems outfit Canada's largest solar panel plant

Automated assembly lines from KUKA Systems outfit Canada's largest solar
panel plant

Canada NewsWire
May 18, 2011
STERLING HEIGHTS, MI and AUGSBURG, Germany, May 18 /CNW/ - KUKA Systems
North America has made a successful entry into the burgeoning Canadian solar
panel manufacturing sector, demonstrating in the process how it can adapt
its extensive suite of automated production solutions to a panel maker's
unique requirements. KUKA Systems provides photovoltaic panel manufacturers
around the world with fully automated production lines or any level of
automation short of that, from cell layout through all stages of module
assembly and quality control, regardless of type or dimensions.

For its first Canadian customer, KUKA Systems is installing three partially
automated, post-lamination framing lines for trimming, framing, testing and
packout of photovoltaic panels, a $12 million contract. Each line consists
of five robots, as well as applicators, conveyors and other handling and
testing equipment. Installation began in the first quarter of 2011.

120MW of annual production - per line This customer is building Canada's
largest solar panel manufacturing plant, in southern Ontario. Each line will
be capable of handling 120MW of annual production, making it North America's
largest manufacturing site for crystalline silicon-type panels and one of
the largest on the continent making any type panel. "This is a landmark
contract, one of our largest in North America to date and our first
solar-related installation in the small but rapidly growing Canadian solar
manufacturing sector," says Robert Giaier, Vice President, Alternative
Energy, KUKA Systems Corp North America. "We welcome the opportunity to
contribute our solar technology and extensive experience as assembly line
integrators to our customer's success."

A definite plus for solar customers The post-lamination lines were built
first at KUKA Systems North America, tested in-house, then disassembled and
trucked to the customer's facility where they are being reassembled. "It's
fair to say installing a piece of automation in Ontario is more involved
than in many other North American jurisdictions," says Giaier. The technical
requirements for electrical systems definitely are more stringent in a
number of ways, covering transformers, special wiring and other safety
considerations. "The fact KUKA Systems has installed complete automated
assembly lines in Ontario for some of the world's leading automakers is a
huge help," says Giaier. "We have a great deal of retained knowledge of the
Ontario technical requirements and how to anticipate them in our planning
and site preparation, a definite plus for our solar customers."

Solar power industry With the growth of the modern solar power industry,
KUKA Systems, a world leading systems integrator specializing in
manufacturing flexible automatic production processes, has developed and
installed proprietary solar automation solutions for both the crystalline
silicon and thin film sectors of the industry. Those technologies cover
wafer, cell and module production, helping the PV panel manufacturing sector
improve their competitiveness. KUKA Systems' expertise in designing and
building integrated assembly lines for the solar industry leverages decades
of experience automating the assembly lines of some of the world's largest
automakers. The Ontario facility targets the Ontario market because of
strong interest in solar power development being stimulated by attractive
feed-in tariffs offered by the government of Canada's most populous

About KUKA Systems: KUKA Systems Corp North America, a Michigan-based
company, is part of the KUKA Systems Group of Augsburg, Germany, a leading
global supplier of flexible automation systems for the Automotive,
Aerospace, Energy and Industrial Solutions sectors. Some 3,500 employees
worldwide work on ideas, concepts and solutions for automated production and
the provision of products and services for virtually all tasks in the
industrial processing of metallic and non-metallic materials. The Energy
Division offers engineering services, automated production modules and
complete turnkey production lines for the photovoltaic, solar thermal and
wind energy sectors.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Senate votes to retain $2B in subsidies to the top 5 oil companies who are on track to $138B in profits this year

Oil and gas companies spent $39.5 million lobbying congress in just the first quarter of this year

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators that blocked a vote on legislation to end taxpayer subsidies to oil companies have received five times more in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than those who voted to begin debate, according to Oil Change International and Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The 48 Senators that voted against cloture today on S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, have received $370,664, on average, in campaign contributions from the employees and political action committees (PACs) of oil and gas companies during their time in Congress, while those who voted to consider the legislation received just $72,145, on average.

“Giving profitable, price-hiking Big Oil companies billions in taxpayer subsidies is plain wrong,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “The Senators who voted to prevent consideration of this bill today have made it clear—they stand with their big oil donors over their constituents struggling to fill their tank.”

“Americans know these subsidies are just another special interest handout that is repaid with lavish campaign contributions,” said Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International. “Congress will need to have the backbone to bite the hands that feed them if we’re ever going to end subsidies to Big Oil.”

Overall, those opposed to the legislation have received $17,791,875 in campaign cash from oil and gas interests over the years, while those who voted in favor received $3,751,551. In addition, oil and gas companies spent $39.5 million on 633 lobbyists in the first quarter of 2011.

Data on each Senator is available at



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Nano-antenna photovoltaics research underway at University of Missouri - Photovoltaics World

Friday, May 13, 2011

Disaster Plan Problems Found at U.S. Nuclear Plants -

PJM Region Grows, But Ready For Hot Weather Power Demand | Electric Power News | Energy Central

Is Energy Storage Ready for Prime Time? | EnergyBiz

Saudi Arabia switching to solar

The gulf states have announced that they are going to displace all of their “expensive” oil-fired generation plants and are going to install solar because it has crossed over to being more cost effective – even for them.

Intergovernmental Report: Close to 80 percent of the world's energy supply could be met by renewables

Carmanah Awarded $1.8 Million (CAD) Contract to Outfit Ontario Elementary Schools with Solar PV Systems

Sunday, May 8, 2011

25 Solar America Cities (Map) Commit to permit process improvement


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


Renewables Supply 11.2% of US Electricity in January, Solar Skyrockets 343%

Although it will remain choppy and regionally focused, solar is now on a rapid and sustained growth path. And even though these numbers look  impressive, we are still very early in the cycle.  Heads up, long boom ahead.

Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees On Budget Chopping Block, Among Others

Canadian Provinces Join California to Create Largest Cap-and-Trade Program

See where the Ontario SRECs may ultimately end up

SunRun Gets Bancorp Tax Equity Commitment for $200M in Solar

25 Cities Gather to Accelerate Solar Energy

The U.S. dollar's vanishing act | Economy | Financial Post

Thursday, May 5, 2011

good basic primer on Concentrating Solar Thermal Power

Solar power is used synonymously with solar energy or more specifically to refer to the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This can be done either through the photovoltaic effect or by heating a transfer fluid to produce steam to run a generator.

Solar energy technologies harness the sun's energy for practical ends. These technologies date from the time of the early Greeks, Native Americans and Chinese, who warmed their buildings by orienting them toward the sun. Modern solar technologies provide heating, lighting, electricity and even flight.

Concentrated sunlight has been used to perform useful tasks from the time of ancient China. A legend claims Archimedes used polished shields to concentrate sunlight on the invading Roman fleet and repel them from Syracuse in 212 BC. Leonardo Da Vinci conceived using large-scale solar concentrators to weld copper in the 15th century. In 1866, Auguste Mouchout successfully powered a steam engine with sunlight, the first known example of a concentrating solar-powered mechanical device. Over the following 50 years, inventors such as John Ericsson, and Frank Shuman developed solar-powered devices for irrigation, refrigeration and locomotion. The progeny of these early developments are the concentrating solar thermal power plants of today.

Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. This is then used to generate electricity. Moreover, the high temperatures produced by CST systems can be used to provide process heat and steam for a variety of secondary commercial applications (cogeneration). However, CST technologies require direct insolation to function and are of limited use in locations with significant cloud cover. The main methods for producing a concentrated beam are the solar trough, solar power tower and parabolic dish; the solar bowl is more rarely used. Each concentration method is capable of producing high temperatures and high efficiencies, but they vary in the way they track the sun and focus light.


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy


New York City's Solar Landfill Plan Finds Eager Energy Developers | Reuters

Coalition forms behind legislation to create SREC system in New York