Dominion Virginia Power Dedicates ODU Solar Project

Norfolk, Virginia-based Old Dominion University (ODU) is the recipient of the first solar roof installation in the Hampton Roads area. Dominion Virginia Power dedicated the solar project located on ODU’s Student Recreation Center. Last May, Dominion selected the university to be one of the first participants in the company’s Solar Partnership Program under which Dominion builds and operates solar facilities on leased rooftops.

“ODU is a good fit for this program as it continues to pave the way for alternative energy research at the university level in the Commonwealth,” said Ken Barker, vice president of Customer Solutions at Dominion. “This project will undoubtedly provide both community and educational benefits. Our new program allows us to integrate solar power into our diverse mix of resources to ensure reliable electricity. Solar energy will be a source of generation moving forward, and we hope to add 20 to 30 new solar installations over the next several years.”

odu-rooftop-aerial-photo1More than 600 solar panels were installed as part of the solar energy system. These panels will generate about 125 kilowatts of electricity during daylight hours, which is enough to supply the energy needs for an equivalent of 31 homes.

John R. Broderick, president of Old Dominion University said of the solar project, “With Dominion’s generous support over the years, our university’s development of solar technology and groundbreaking photovoltaic energy research has been recognized nationally. Thanks to more than $3 million in research grants from a variety of sources, including Dominion Virginia Power, Dr. Sylvain Marsillac and his team have been able to further this research by testing solar energy concepts on the rooftops of Kaufman Hall, the Student Recreation Center and more.”

The Solar Partnership Program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in November 2012. PowerSecure, a North Carolina-based company with offices in Virginia, was chosen as the engineering, procurement and construction company to complete the project. Under the program, Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company’s Virginia service area. When fully implemented, the program will generate enough electricity for up to 7,500 homes.

Intersolar North America Awards Champion of Change

The first ever Champion of Change award was bestowed upon Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission during Intersolar North America taking place this week. The award was given in conjunction with the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) for Peevey’s outstanding commitment to supporting renewable energy at the national and international levels.

“For three yeTuesday, July 8ars, the Intersolar AWARD program has singled out landmark projects in North America that represent major technological, economical and environmental achievements,” said Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Promotion International, an organizer of Intersolar North America. “This year’s winners demonstrated how well designed systems that utilize the latest technologies to deliver cost-effective solar energy could benefit a variety of customer requirements. These projects, from off-grid applications to mid-sized systems to utility-scale installations, highlight solar energy’s versatility and show that the industry is well on its way toward maturation.”

The Intersolar AWARD winners for solar projects in North America were judged on pioneering character, uniqueness, economic benefits, benefits for the environment and society, degree of technical innovation and proof of innovation. An independent committee of industry experts chose three award winners:

  • First Solar won the award for its Agua Caliente Solar Project, a 290 MW project that is currently the largest fully operational PV power plant and covers 2,400 acres in Yuma County, Ariz. First Solar developed, engineered, constructed and operates the system, which was designed to minimize land disturbances and to maximize stability, reliability and cost-effectiveness. This project revolutionizes how solar integrates with the power grid.
  • Solaire Generation Inc. won the award with the Whole Foods Market Solar Carport. The 325-kilowatt installation is New York’s largest solar carport, and, in addition to generating enough energy to meet 20 percent of the store’s demand, the eye-catching project showcases how solar power can be integrated with other green initiatives such as rainwater harvesting and brownfield re-development. The carport has a capacity to recover 30,000 gallons of rainwater and is educating shoppers with its unique design of both the practical and aesthetic potential of solar.
  • Princeton Power System won the award with its distinctive Alcatraz Island Microgrid System. Created as a response to failures of conventional energy sources, Alcatraz is a pioneer in energy independence. Princeton Power Systems cooperated with the U.S. National Park Service and created a system that provides more than 80 percent of the island’s electricity needs for the one million visitors that come every year. The 400kW system creatively utilizes prison spaces, such as old generator rooms and rooftops, and integrates cutting-edge technologies without compromising the historic quality of the site and making the system invisible to the outside viewer.

“By expanding our AWARD program to honor individuals alongside technologies and key projects, we are highlighting the people and the ideas that drive the industry,” added Klaus Seilnacht, CEO of FMMI International GmbH, an organizer of Intersolar North America. “The solar industry needs advocates like Michael Peevey. We are excited to continue to recognize the people who have helped make North America one of the largest solar markets in the world.”

Solar Power Helping to Power the U.S. Economy

Made in the USAWith the U.S. 4th of July holiday celebration just a few days away, IBISWorld has announced the top five industries that have helped to “re-power” the U.S. economy since the recession. The industries are characterized by strong employment growth and increasing revenue, with both trends expected to continue through 2019.

The top five industries include:

  1. Car and Automobile Manufacturing
  2. Solar Power
  3. Apartment and Condominium construction
  4. Craft Beer
  5. 3D Printing and Rapid Prototype Services

In more detail, IBISWorld has estimated solar growth from 2010-2014 at 70.0 percent per year on average with estimated average revenue growth from 2015-2019 at 7.6 percent per year. IBIS reports that while solar energy has been around for some time, the industry has struggled to gain traction until recently. Industry growth has been due in part to favorable Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation, Implemented in more than 30 states. RPS legislation requires local utilities to generate a percentage of their total energy portfolio from renewable sources, thereby increasing demand for industry services. State mandates, coupled with consumers’ growing propensity to patronize environmentally friendly industries, have led to explosive revenue growth for operators over the past five years.

IBIS forecasts that over the next five years to 2019, the solar power industry is expected to continue growing. Continued government assistance via tax incentives and other regulations will help the industry remain competitive with other energy sources. Moreover, increased electricity consumption is expected to spur industry operators to meet growing demand by providing cleaner energy. Finally, the price of solar-generated energy is expected to continue falling to be either at or below parity with the traditional retail rate of grid power. As a result of these trends, IBISWorld expects revenue for the Solar Power industry to increase at an annualized rate of 7.6% over the five years to 2019.

Windiga Energy to Become Indepedent Solar Producer

Burkina Faso, located in Africa, is going solar. Windiga Energy will become the first independent solar energy producer in the country with the signing of an investment support agreement. The company has selected Siemens Energy Smart Generation Solutions to build and operate the 20MW photovoltaic power plant to be located in Zina, in the Mouhoun province. The solar power system is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2015 and will be the largest PV power facility in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Burkina FasoThe Honourable Edward Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade who was in Burkina Faso as part of a trade mission to Africa congratulated Windiga for the signing of the historic agreement saying, “This US $50 million project will help to meet the country’s electricity needs.”

The electricity will sold to the National Electric Company of Burkina (SONABEL) through a 25 year power purchase agreement. Funding for the project includes monies from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Frontier Markets Fund Managers and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

“We are very pleased with the support that we received from both the Governments of Burkina Faso and Canada allowing us to conclude this strategic agreement that will bring about the construction of a major renewable energy project and the launch of the solar energy industry in Burkina Faso,” said Benoit La Salle, president and CEO, Windiga Energy. “This power plant will also contribute to the economic development of the region, employing about 150 Burkinabé workers during the construction phase.”

La Salle added, “The strong support and commitment of our employees, our African colleagues and our legal advisors, McCarthy Tétrault LLP, were key to the success of this historic agreement.”

CGI America Launches Feed-Out Program

The world is about to see the first market-based, fixed-price funding program for solar and renewable technologies through a Feed-Out Program. The program, the brain-child of the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) and Demeter Power Group, has a goal of helping modernize the nation’s power grid with distributed energy.

Clinton Global Initiative logo“The Feed-Out Program will bring together independent power producers and financiers to enable the lowest-cost, fixed-price offering for renewable energy,” said Michael Wallander, Demeter Power Group founder and president. “But unlike other similar ‘feed-in-tariff’ programs, the energy will be used on the customer-side of the meter.”

According to CGI, $1 trillion a year – a total of $36 trillion – is needed for investment in sustainable energy infrastructure to successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2050. The Program will help tackle this challenge focusing primarily on funding for solar energy while also enabling cost-effective investment in energy storage, fuel cells and electrical vehicle car charging stations.

Yann Brandt, Demeter Co-Founder and EVP of Development noted, “What retail tenant or business owner would not want to save money on their energy bills while offering customers and employees the ability to shade their cars and power up with solar energy? We enable funding for solar-powered carports with electric vehicle charging stations at a net-negative cost to the customer.”

Demeter Power Group logoDemeter is contributing its finance mechanism – PACE3P – to help overcome credit-related challenges that have prevented scalable finance programs in the past. Demeter explained that PACE3P ties services fees to the buildings where the energy is used through a voluntary assessment on property tax bills.

Initially the Program will make financing available to commercial properties located in Northern California communities participating in the California FIRST property assessed clean energy (PACE) Program offered through the California Statewide Community Development Authority. Interested participants must register with Demeter to participate in the platform, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

IESI Selects Solectria SMARTGRID Inverters

1.7MW Array at Grafton Water DistrictInnovative Engineering Solutions has selected Solectria Renewables‘ SMARTGRID Inverters for seven projects in Massachusetts totaling 22 MW. The projects include the Concord Landfill, the Grafton Water District and five commercial sites.

Massachusetts has set ambitious solar energy targets since 2001 and met each of the goals early. In April 2007, Governor Deval Patrick announced a goal of 250 MW of installed solar power by 2017. This goal was achieved in Q1 of 2013, when Governor Patrick set a new goal to reach 1.6GW by 2020.

“Solectria Renewables is a nationally recognized producer of quality inverters,” said Richard McCarthy, director of energy services at IESI. “Not only are its products highly reliable, but the company also continues to evolve its inverters’ efficiency and capacity to meet their customers’ needs.”

The clean energy produced over the systems’ cumulative expected lifespan is equivalent to removing 4,065 cars from the roads, 2.2 million gallons of gas, and 20.7 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.

“We are honored to be a part of IESI’s solar portfolio,” said Phil Vyhanek, president of Solectria Renewables. “The SMARTGRID inverters selected for these solar projects will help IESI and its customers achieve maximum power production and system reliability.”

DC Schools Partner on Solar Power Project

Universities in the Washington, D.C. have partnered to bring solar power into the region. The George Washington University, American University (AU) and the George Washington University Hospital (GWUH) created a renewable energy project that will bring the power of the sun from North Carolina.

DukeEnergyRenew1Duke Energy Renewables will supply 52 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) power, which is solar energy that is converted to electricity. This is the equivalent of the amount of electricity used in 8,200 homes every year.

“Thanks to this innovative partnership, the George Washington University will now derive more than half of all its electricity from solar energy,” said GW President Steven Knapp. “This will greatly accelerate our progress toward the carbon neutrality target we had earlier set for 2025.”

The partnership, dubbed the Capital Partners Solar Project, marks the largest non-utility solar PV power purchase in the U.S. and the largest PV project east of the Mississippi River.

The project, facilitated by CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR), will help GW and AU meet their climate action plan commitments without incurring additional costs. The partners will break ground on the first site this summer.

The project hopes to generate 123 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of emissions-free electricity per year by the end of next year, the equivalent of taking 12,500 cars off the road. Duke Energy officials call the 20-year agreement “a real game changer” as it shows renewables can be used for large customers and shows growth in the clean energy sector.

Renewables Make Up Nearly 90% of New Power in May

FERCA new report shows that renewable energy sources made up nearly 90 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in the U.S. in May and more than half the new capacity this year so far. A news release from the SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organization that promotes sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels, says that a new “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects shows that wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower provided 88.2 percent of new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity for the month of May, and for the first five months of 2014, renewable energy sources accounted for 54.1 percent of the 3,136 MW of new domestic electrical generating installed.

Since January 1, 2012, renewable energy sources have accounted for nearly half (47.83%) of all new installed U.S. electrical generating capacity followed by natural gas (38.34%) and coal (13.40%) with oil, waste heat, and “other” accounting for the balance.

Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, now account for 16.28% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water – 8.57%, wind – 5.26%, biomass – 1.37%, solar – 0.75%, and geothermal steam – 0.33%. This is more than nuclear (9.24%) and oil (4.03%) combined. *

“Some are questioning whether it’s possible to satisfy the U.S. EPA’s new CO2 reduction goals with renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency,” noted Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign.”The latest FERC data and the explosion of new renewable energy generating capacity during the past several years unequivocally confirm that it can be done.”

You can read the full report here.

ACORE Study: Evolving Business Models for Renewable Energy

A new study has been released, “Evolving Business Models for Renewable Energy,” from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). With aid from several members, the report explores key issues and provides recommendations related to evolving utility and other business models for renewable energy. The report was produced in conjunction with ACORE’s Power Generation and Infrastructure Initiative.

“From potential storage benefits of electric vehicles, to recommendations on ideal scenarios for integration of distributed renewable assets, ACORE and its members are tackling the cutting edge issues facing our electricity sector today,” said co-author and CEO of American Clean Energy, Steve Morgan.

ACORE Evolving Biz Models for Renewable Energy.jogThe report details how distributed generation, smart grids, and microgrids are changing traditional utility business models, suggests outcomes for the successful integration of renewable energy at scale, and spotlights ways in which emerging energy sources such as concentrated solar power (CSP) and electric vehicles (EVs) are changing the way utilities look at generation, integration and storage.

“Our Power Generation and Infrastructure Initiative has always focused on solutions over politics,” said ACORE CEO Michael Brower, “and by convening our members who are developers, legal experts, sector analysts and financiers to review the business landscape, we guarantee a highly credible, critical and realistic view to help craft solutions for a cleaner, more reliable power sector future.”

Sections of the report include “Renewable Energy Drivers of Change,” “Overview of Actions from the Utility Perspective,” as well as “Distributed Energy: Understanding and Mitigating Commercial and Regulatory Risks”. These chapters are designed to build on the organization’s efforts to create bridges between the utility industry and renewable energy industry.

ACORE’s Power Generation & Infrastructure lead James Hewett called this focus “essential” noting, “The utility sector is well aware of the disruptive nature of distributed renewable energy. ACORE is focused on making this disruption an opportunity for utilities, not a threat. Frankly, it’s essential to the success of all.”

Using the Sun to Save Sea Turtles

Researchers in Panama are using the sun to save sea turtles. A new state-of-the-art clean solar energy system, installed and designed by FTL Global Solutions, is helping Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) protect Leatherback hatchlingsendangered turtles at its new research station on Soropta Beach, Panama. The rugged solar system provides electricity for lighting, security, water and cooking needs as STC biologists work throughout the night protecting endangered leatherback turtles and their hatchlings at one of the most important nesting beaches for this species in the Atlantic.

Soropta Beach, a remote black-sand beach on Panama’s Caribbean coast, is home to a large nesting colony of leatherback sea turtles. Unfortunately, for years Soropta’s leatherbacks and their nests have been illegally harvested by poachers who kill the turtles for their meat and raid nests to steal the eggs. STC’s conservation program is helping prevent poaching by protecting nests, monitoring nesting activity, and building support for turtle conservation with the local community. The work takes place out of a rustic station, where the lack of electricity made the work extremely challenging – until now.

“The new solar energy system installed by FTL New FTL Solar Energy Panels Global Solutions is making our conservation efforts more effective and safe,” said STC executive director David Godfrey.

STC’s conservation efforts began in 2013 when it acquired an old farm house and began upgrading it to FTL Solar Energy Panels at STCaccommodate a year-round turtle protection program. Part of the upgrades included LED lighting designed not to disorient the turtles. STC then hired and trained local community members to assist with the research and conservation work. However, without a year-round conservation presence at Soropta, poachers would move back in and threaten the survival of the turtles.

“Acquiring solar energy at a remote place like STC Staff at the Soropta Station Soropta Beach could not have been done without the expert advice and assistance of FTL,” added Godfrey. “Their team guided us through the process; helped deliver the system to our remote station and even sent an expert to install the system and train our staff in its use and maintenance.”

The FTL solar energy system now provides critical power needs to the station’s various buildings where staff members live, work and eat. Running water is now supplied to a restroom and shower facility, and the station compound and dock now have security lighting in place.

Green Power Purchases 20MW Georgia Solar Project

Silicon Ranch Circle Solar FarmGreen Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs), has reached an agreement to purchase the full output of a new 20 megawatt (MW) solar project planned for construction in Hazlehurst, Georgia. The solar farm will cover nearly 135 acres, and feature 87,000 ground-mounted solar modules.

Under an agreement with owner-operator Silicon Ranch Corporation, Green Power EMC will receive all the energy produced by the solar project over a 25-year period. Construction is scheduled to begin this year, and the facility will be ready to produce electricity in late 2015.

Jeff Pratt, president of Green Power EMC, said the Hazlehurst project is the result of a request for proposals issued in late 2013 to add more solar energy to Green Power EMC’s portfolio. The company already purchases the output of two solar projects, a 115 kilowatt (kW) rooftop array near Athens, Ga. and a 150 kW ground-mounted array near Warner Robins, Ga. He said the project will nearly double the total renewable capacity of Green Power EMC – from the current 32 MW to about 52 MW.

“This is a major solar power addition, not only to our portfolio but also to the state of Georgia,” said Pratt. “The project moves us further down the road to becoming a much more sustainable state.” According to Pratt, the 20 MW project will produce enough electricity to serve about 3,000 EMC households.

Matt Kisber, president of Silicon Ranch Corporation, who also owns and operates Georgia’s largest solar farm in Social Circle, Georgia, said, “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Green Power EMC and their members in deploying their first, large-scale solar array. I commend the leadership and membership of Green Power EMC for creating this initiative to provide competitively priced, renewable power solar generation to their Georgia membership.”

SEIA Releases Cutting Carbon Report

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) recently released a report, “Cutting Carbon Emissions Under §111(d): The case for expanding solar energy in America”. The report, which was released to coincide with the Clean Power Plan, offers a detailed case as to why states should take advantage of clean solar energy as part of their efforts to comply with §111(d) of the Clean Air Act. This year alone, solar is expected to generate enough electricity to effectively offset 13.8 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Once the new EPA emission standards are in place, each state will be required to create a compliance plan that must be approved by federal regulators. Failure to do so could result in a more restrictive EPA-mandated plan.

“For many states struggling to reduce their carbon emissions, solar can be a real game changer,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “We have a very simple message to SEIA Cutting Carbon Emissionsstate regulators: Do the math. When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the 13 GW of solar currently installed in the United States generates enough pollution-free electricity to displace 14.2 billion pounds of coal or 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline. Put another way, it’s the equivalent of taking 2.7 million passenger cars off U.S. highways each year.”

According to the report, which was prepared by SEIA staff in consultation with member companies, solar has already proven to be a key part of many states’ energy mix – as demonstrated on March 8 when solar provided a record 18 percent of California’s 22,700 megawatt (MW) demand.

“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the United States, employing 143,00 Americans and accounting for nearly 30 percent of all new electric generation capacity installed in 2013 – second only to natural gas,” Resch continued. “All totaled, solar is now generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to effectively power nearly 2.5 million homes. We’re doing our part to help fight climate change, but we can do a lot more in the future – and that’s something we will be stressing to state regulators once the new carbon rules for power plants are announced.”

Resch also noted that solar energy’s rapidly falling prices and rapidly growing generating capacity, as well as the volatility of fossil fuel prices, give solar energy the potential to transform compliance with both new carbon emission requirements and other existing requirements under the Clean Air Act.

The report notes, “Historically, air pollution emission reduction from the electric sector has been achieved primarily through pollution control equipment at power plants. Today, the EPA and states recognize that the reduction of carbon emissions from the electric sector requires a new approach that treats the production and delivery of electric power as a broad system, in which power plant modifications, demand side reductions and renewable energy all contribute to emission reductions.

“Solar contributes to a balanced portfolio of energy resources, and can help achieve an optimal long-term strategy for each state’s economy and environment,” the report continues. “By including solar energy as part of their §111(d) compliance plan, states can cost-effectively meet their Clean Air Act requirements while reaping a wide range of additional benefits.”

Solar to Grab Spotlight in Iowa

Solar power in Iowa will step into the spotlight this weekend as the state hosts a series of workshops today and tomorrow. This story from the Des Moines Register says the events at 10 locations throughout the state start at 10 this morning when state Sen. Robert Hogg hosts an the kick off for “Solar Works For Iowa” at Des Moines Onstage, which recently added a 22.6 kilowatt solar generating facility installed by Green Light Renewable Service and EcoWise Power.

Hogg-RobHogg said recently expanded state solar tax credits will help Iowa homeowners, farmers, and businesses invest in solar power. As of mid-June, solar energy tax credits passed in 2012 had helped a total of 739 solar projects worth $28.8 million in investment, he said. The amount of state tax credits awarded was $3,430,502.

Here is the schedule for other events being held around the state:

> Friday, June 20, 12:30 p.m. – University of Iowa, Madison Street Services Building, 640 South Madison Street, Iowa City.

> Friday, June 20, 1:00 p.m. – Eagle Point Solar, 900 Jackson Street Suite 108, Dubuque.

> Friday, June 20, 2:30 p.m. – John T. Blong Tech Center, Eastern Iowa Community College, 8500 Hillandale Road, in Davenport.

> Saturday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. – Residence, 1902 West 12th Street, Cedar Falls.

> Saturday, June 21, 11:00 a.m. – IBEW Local 405, 1211 Wiley Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids.

> Saturday, June 21, 11:00 a.m. – Guided tour of solar installations and the wind turbine at Luther College departs from Decorah Farmers’ Market.

> Saturday, June 21, 11:00 a.m. – Home of Joe Olsen, 2003 206th Street, just northeast of Independence.

> Saturday, June 21, 11:00 a.m. – Sustainable Living Center, MUM, Fairfield.

> Saturday, June 21, 2:00 p.m. – Marshalltown Public Library, 105 W. Boone Street, Marshalltown.

DuPont Lights Up Solar Plant in Cernay, France

A new 4.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant is now online in Cernay, France. This DuPont project is the largest solar power installation to date and now one of 13 solar installations worldwide on DuPont land. When combined, the solar projects generate over 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The Cernay installation is expected to produce 5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar-generated electricity each year, which is roughly the equivalent to the amount of electricity 2,000 households consumed every year in France.

The solar farm is spread over 15 acres of land and features 18,400 crystalline silicon solar panels, manufactured by Jinko Solar. The solar panels feature advanced materials from DuPont that according to the company, are designed to improve the power output, durability and return on investment for solar energy systems. The panels are made with DuPontTedlar polyvinyl fluoride film-based backsheets, which they way are CernaySolarArraythe only material proven to protect solar panels for more than 30 years even in extreme outdoor conditions. They also contain DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes that help ensure maximum power output.

The project was developed by Hanau Energies, a French project developer and investor in solar installations, and was built in a record time of two months. It falls under a 20-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Eléctricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF).

“We are extremely proud to partner with a global player like DuPont on this project in France. The solar park in Cernay is a perfect illustration for how advanced and reliable technology and best practices in installation, operations and maintenance can be put into practice,” said Jean-Luc Westphal, president, Hanau Energies.

The project is aligned with Cernay’s federation of municipalities aim to preserve resources and limit its environmental footprint. At the global and national levels, the development of solar and other renewable energy sources are expected to grow in the overall energy mix. According to industry analyst IHS, France’s annual installation of solar is expected to increase by 50 percent in 2014 to exceed 800MW and should keep growing steadily over the following years. Globally, solar is expected to grow 20 percent annually each of the next several years.

“The solar park in Cernay is a prime example of DuPont demonstrating its commitment to develop collaborative and innovative solutions and helping to ensure a more energy secure future,” said Martin Virot, country leader, DuPont France. “We are pleased to see this project realized in France, leveraging our advanced materials to ensure a well-performing, long-term source of electricity as we strive to meet the growing global energy demand more sustainably.”

“The Cernay solar park is a brilliant showcase of socially responsible investment and collaboration between the private and public sectors,” Member of Parliament and Mayor of Cernay, Michel Sordi concluded. “I congratulate DuPont, who continues to be at the forefront of science and technology and has developed multiple projects in the region for over 30 years.”

Mosaic Launches New National Solar Tech Platform

Mosiac is going national. The first solar company to ever use crowdsourcing investments to finance solar projects has just launched another first of its kind technology platform: Mosaic Places. The technology will enable the nation to go solar one location at a time.

So how does it work? The public can nominate community centers, schools, libraries and places of worship as well as local businesses to go solar. The site already contains nearly 300,000 places across the U.S.

I went to Mosaic Places and checked to see if my friend’s Join Mosaic Put Solar On Western Hills Magnet Centerschool was listed. It wasn’t yet so I nominated Western Hills Magnet Center, an Omaha, Nebraska elementary school for solar energy. The building was built in 1952 and has had no upgrades since. In fact, some rooms have no air conditioning (no, a 100 degree room is not a good learning environment for children). With solar, the school can save money on energy and invest the funds back into the kids. And, it gives these students the opportunity to learn about solar first-hand. This is a perfect example of engaging kids in science, technology, engineering in math (STEM) that our schools need so much more of.

Now that I have my school in the system, it asks for as little as a petition – people just click support (which I already have) to participate. However, serious money can be raised to put solar on a place as Mosaic matches supporters with dollars.

Mosaic Places was born out of a successful New Years pledge launched by Mosaic and actor Mark Ruffalo asking people to #PutSolarOnIt in 2014. While a solar installation was installed, on average, every four minutes in the U.S. in 2013, the nation has put solar on less than 1 percent of the homes and commercial buildings that would financially benefit from solar on their roofs. With thousands of incoming pledges for the #PutSolarOnIt campaign, Mosaic built a platform that would help people achieve their commitments. The product launch comes days before the first national #PutSolarOnIt Day of Action this June 21st, the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year.

Put Solar On It“We have been dreaming about this product for years,” said Mosaic President, Billy Parish. “It’s based on our belief that every building can go solar if the community is behind it. Mosaic has built a product that enables everyone to participate in transitioning the country to 100% clean energy.”

The funds raised are designed to bridge the gap for community buildings whose solar installations may need a few thousand dollars to be financeable by conventional means. For every 50 people that click “support” on a Place’s page, Mosaic will donate $100 to put solar on it. In addition, homeowners who go solar through a Mosaic Place’s page will be eligible to receive a $500 gift, which they can donate to put solar on that place.

Any individual can use Mosaic Places by going to www.putsolaronit.com, finding or adding a Place and sharing their chosen Place with their friends to get supporters and raise funds to put solar on it. Schools, places of worship and other community groups can fundraise to put solar on their buildings by asking their community members to support their Place’s page and put solar on their homes through their Place’s page.

So I want to #PutSolarOnIt on Western Hills Magnet Center. Where do you want to put solar on it?