Solar is surprising itself with a rebound: After staring into the abyss during the coronavirus lockdowns earlier this year, the solar industry is a bit startled to find itself thriving again. Many rooftop installers have hired back most of the people they furloughed. Stock prices are through the roof. The phones are ringing again with customers who want solar, this time with a side of batteries. There’s still plenty to worry about, with a recession and pandemic raging, and there’s a very real threat that customers and investors could flee at any time. The industry has advocates still asking Congress to give it some breaks. But many are seeing the outlines of a healthy, but altered, normal. “I’m trying not to let myself believe that’s where we are right now,” said T.R. Ludwig, the co-founder of Brooklyn SolarWorks, a New York City installer that furloughed its entire 44-person staff and has since brought 40 of them back. Source: E&E News
Black Hills Energy has reached agreements with county and state officials on a 200-megawatt solar project in Pueblo that the utility said would boost the share of its electricity coming from renewable sources to 51%. The project is the centerpiece of the utility’s plan to lower customers’ costs across its service area, Black Hills Energy said in a statement Tuesday. If the installation is approved by state regulators, the utility estimates it could lower costs by $66 million over 15 years. Construction would begin in 2021 and the arrays would start operating in 2023. One megawatt of solar energy can supply electricity to 200 to 250 homes. Black Hills Energy said the project has support from the community, consumer and environmental advocates, staffers at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and Office of Consumer Counsel and Pueblo city and county officials. The PUC will consider whether to approve the project. Source: The Denver Post
AGL has laid out plans for the deployment of around 1.2 GW of utility-scale batteries across multiple locations, including a massive 500 MW battery system at its Liddell coal-fired power plant, the oldest plant in the Australian electricity market scheduled to be closed by April 2023. The energy giant said on Friday it lodged a scoping report with the planning department of New South Wales to install the storage system at the Hunter Valley site by June 2024.
The U.S. DOE announced $20 million in funding to advance perovskite solar photovoltaic technologies. When used to create solar cells, they have shown potential for high performance and low production costs. To be competitive in the marketplace, perovskite’s long-term durability must be tested and verified, the aim of this funding opportunity announcement through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Register for the informational webinar on August 21 to learn more about this funding opportunity.