It seems like nothing exciting happens in January. The holidays are over, your waistline is recovering, and the lousy weather across much of the US means lots of time spent indoors. Likewise, many solar installations are also put on hold until the ground thaws, or at least until the snow melts. Although January is kind of boring, we’ve managed to scrape together some of the best solar updates and news of early 2018. Read below to learn more.
About Half of New US Power Came From Renewables
According to the US Energy Information Administration, half of all new power in the US came from renewables, including wind, solar, and geothermal power systems. Between March and May of 2017, renewable power generation topped that of nuclear power generation, a first in 33 years. In 2017, coal production increased by 6%, likely due to export demands, but it expected to fall by up to 2% in 2018. The domestic (US) use of coal actually decreased by 2% last year, at least in part due the use of more renewable energy, as well as the retiring of coal-fired plants. We think 2018 is going to be a great year for renewables.
New Mexico Co-Op Signs a Record Low Contract for Solar Distribution
In New Mexico, a new solar plant (Carrizozo) is under construction that will sell its output power at 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. This appears to be the lowest reported contract for distributed power in the US. This project will be part of the Otero County Electric Cooperative, and is expected to go into operation in 2018. This new project isn’t the only one that OCEC has in operation; it has an already existing 76 kilowatt array that was built in 2014 that was later expanded to 150 kilowatts. This project is expected to bring in $550k in property tax revenue over its lifetime and will employ many locals. This new project is only one of many that are likely to be built throughout rural New Mexico in the coming years.
Minnesota Expects to See Strong Solar Growth Next Year
Minnesota isn’t exactly the kind of place you think of in terms of sunshine and warmth. However, the solar industry is just starting to heat up there. Last year, the state added enough solar panels to power about 53,000 homes, which is really the equivalent to a large city. The Minnesota Department of Commerce boasts that the state has an overall capacity of 700 megawatts. The solar plants are being installed with the hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the state hopes that enough solar will be installed by 2025 to reduce emissions by 30% from 2005 levels. We think that’s a pretty nice goal.
The US Federal Government Faces Two Major Deadlines this January
January 2018 may be a pretty gloomy month for the solar industry, but we’re not sure just yet. An independent appointed agency must determine whether to accept the Trump Administration’s proposal which is designed to boost coal and nuclear power plants. This proposal would reward power facilities that are capable of storing 90 days worth fuel supplies on-hand. As a practical matter, these are mostly coal and nuclear plants.
The second deadline involves Trump deciding whether to impose tariffs on rival nations, which the solar industry largely objects to. The Solar Energy Industry Administration is concerned about both deadlines, the decisions, and the impact it will ultimately have on the US solar industry. The International Trade Commission has already voted to support tariffs designed to protect US solar manufacturers. The Trade Commission’s support will ultimately give Trump the opportunity to impose tariffs on China and other solar exporters. We’ll stay tuned to see what happens.
The Energy Department has also released the results of a contested study which examined whether the traditional power grid could withstand the closure of coal and nuclear plants, and instead rely on renewable plants such as solar. The main concern is that solar plants may not be able to supply power during peak times, especially after the sun has gone down. To date, the switching of coal and nuclear plants to solar has not created any significant negative impact on power generation.
Las Vegas happens to be a great winter retreat, especially if you’re living in a sub-zero temperature region. For the past 50 years, electronics enthusiasts across the world have been gathering at the annual Consumer Electronics Show to take a peek at all the newest and best technology in the industry. Last year, over 147,000 attendees made their way [...]Read More »
2017 is another year in the history books. At the close of every year, most of us sit back and reminisce about all of the new beginnings, losses, and successes of the preceding year. This year is no different. Since we’ve been bringing you tidbits of solar news throughout the year, we’d like to take a moment to recap [...]Read More »
Last minute shoppers: we have some great news for you! Instead of parking miles away, braving subzero temperatures, and pushing your way through crowded stores, you can shop 24/7 at Renogy.com from the comfort of your couch! This year, Renogy is offering amazing deals on a variety of products that also double as perfect gifts. Below is a snapshot [...]Read More »
Over the years Renogy has produced some really amazing solar panels. Every year, our engineers are working harder and harder to develop the most efficient, safe, and cost effective solar power options on the market. At the same time, we’ve also been receptive to our customer’s needs and concerns. That’s why we’re always testing new products and vow to [...]Read More »
More likely than not, you’ll be back in the office tomorrow to start a new week. If you’re especially lucky, you’ll even get to eat some Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch. We’re with you on this: going back to work after a long holiday weekend is really tough. Cleaning up after your folks leave can be even tougher. However, there [...]Read More »
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time where we gather with friends and family and give thanks for all of the great things and people in our lives. This is a day traditionally filled with cooking, chatting and watching a good movie (It’s a Wonderful Life). Here at Renogy, we’d like for our employees to experience the holidays at home, with [...]Read More »
Let’s face it: the day after Thanksgiving we haul out the Christmas decorations and start listening to holiday tunes. If you’re anything like us, you started listening to the holiday music last week (we can’t get enough). Predictably, we start shopping for all of our loved ones, usually procrastinating until the last minute, unless of course, you snagged a [...]Read More »
Batteries are essential to off-grid solar power systems. The batteries store the electricity generated by the solar panels for future or present use (with an inverter), depending on customer needs. Renogy carries three kinds of deep-cycle batteries: Absorbent Gel Matt (AGM), Gel, and Lithium Iron Phosphate. Each type of battery has its own unique characteristics and price points, making them [...]Read More »
I think its pretty safe to say that all of us have a favorite blog; that one that can capture your attention and keep you reading for hours on end. Some of us like tech blogs, while others like travel or cooking. The list is essentially endless. If you’ve been browsing around for a new read, chances are you’ve [...]Read More »