Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Updated twist to solar: batteries, Wall Street, most government subsidies gone

San Jose Mercury News/Business/Associated Press/Johathan Fahey, 12/5/13.  "Solar City turns to Tesla for batteries to soak up solar power."

Solar installation USA, careful
 ....  "The solution: big battery packs that will provide backup power while lowering electric bills. The supplier: electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA), whose CEO Elon Musk is also the chairman of SolarCity. "Our goal is to be an energy provider, to provide all energy services," SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said.

SolarCity's solar panels can lower those demand peaks when the sun is shining. SolarCity's battery packs will make sure those peaks stay low when the sun is not shining or the customer needs a little extra juice. The company says the battery systems will lower demand charges by 20 percent.  A secondary benefit: If power goes out, the battery will be able to run critical systems for several hours -- or for several days if it is sunny enough for the battery to recharge with solar electricity during the day."  Read article.

Related and reference videos - Alliance for Solar Choice  (members:  REC Solar, SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sungevity, Sunrun, Verengo Solar).

SolarCity.   New York Times/Diane Cardwell, 11/15/13, "Bonds backed by Solar Power payments get nod." Standard & Poor’s has given its preliminary blessing to the first offering of this kind, rating a set of notes intended to raise $54.4 million for the fast-growing installation company SolarCity. On Monday, it gave a rating of BBB+, a low investment-grade designation, to the notes. SolarCity plans to sell the bonds, which are secured by a bundle of residential and commercial power contracts, privately this month".   Mother Nature Network/Matt Hickman, 6/14/2011, "Google's bright $280 M investment", "Continuing its renewable energy project-backing streak, Google invests $280M in solar provider SolarCity so that the company can continue to offer innovative leasing options to solar-curious homeowners. Note:  Man with solar panel from this article, courtesy of Zuma Press.

No grid, no problem
SolarCity has produced many sales and informational videos: Why do utilities want to kill solar, 1:31 minutes   SolarCity website, scroll down to residential and commercial solar information.  SolarCity, youtube, 2:43 minutes, links to customer reviews, energy audit, lease vs purchase agreement, installation, 16:19 minutes (really long, but takes the mystery out of installation);  business and future, 4:56, minutes  (relationship with google and other corporate investment partners), etc.  CNN/Fortune, 2/28/13 interview, SolarCity vs. utilities companies, 3:20 minutes, (the sales pitch theory), SolarCity process video, 2:27 minutes, etc.  Its endless.  If you now have solar, please tell us about your experience. 

Not related solar non-grid innovation.  Physics World, 3/13/12, "Reeling in cheap plastic solar film."   "A UK-based start-up is developing printable, thin-film plastic solar cells aimed at providing affordable electricity to individual dwellings that have no grid connection, such as those in rural Africa. The flexible device's photoactive layer will be a blend of two organic semiconductor materials positioned between metallic electrodes, all sandwiched by plastic substrates."  Note:  Photograph of African village from this Physics World website. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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