Posts Tagged ‘First Solar’

12 July

Obama Administration Is In Favor of Solar Access For All Americans


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Below is the press release from the White House:


Administration Announces New Initiative to Increase Solar Access for All Americans

Including Actions to Scale Up Solar Access and Cut Energy Bills in Communities Across America

The Obama Administration is committed to addressing climate change, promoting clean energy, and creating good paying jobs.  That is why the Administration is announcing a new initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low- and moderate- income communities, while expanding opportunities to join the solar workforce.

Last year, the United States brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.  And since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent.  The executive actions and private sector commitments that we are announcing today will help continue to scale up solar for all Americans, including those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy.  The key components of the initiative that the Administration is announcing today are:

  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems, including issuing a guide to Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs;
  • Setting a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and providing technical assistance to make it easier to install solar, including clarifying how to use Federal funding;
  • Housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 20 states across the country are committing to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects, including projects to help low- and moderate- income communities save on their energy bills and further community solar; and
  • More than $520 million in independent commitments from philanthropic and impact investors, states, and cities to advance community solar and scale up solar and energy efficiency for low- and moderate- income households.

To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans in the solar industry, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments, including:

  • AmeriCorps funding to deploy solar and create jobs in underserved communities;
  • Expanding solar energy education and opportunities for job training; and
  • The solar industry is also setting its own, independent goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, and a number of companies are announcing that they are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.

These new actions build on President Obama’s goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and the Solar Ready Vets program that will train transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar industry at 10 military bases.


To continue supporting all American communities in deploying clean energy while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions:

  • Setting A Goal To Install 300 Megawatts Of Renewable Energy in Federally Subsidized Housing: In the Climate Action Plan, the President set a goal of installing 100 megawatts (MW) of solar and other types of renewable energy in Federally subsidized housing.   The Administration has already surpassed that goal, through commitments to install more than 185 MW of renewable energy.    Today, we are announcing that the Administration is tripling its current goal and setting a new goal to install 300 MW of renewable energy on affordable by 2020, as well as expanding the goal to include community and shared solar installations.
  • Providing Technical Assistance to Make It Easier to Install Solar on Affordable Housing: One of the largest barriers to deploying onsite solar on affordable housing is the lack of knowledge on how to initiate the process.  To overcome this barrier, the U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is announcing that it will offer direct technical assistance to affordable housing organizations making a commitment toward the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  As part of this assistance, HUD is launching a website to provide policy guidance, tools, and other online resources to help advance solar deployment and the installation of other renewable energy in affordable housing.
  • Developing a Toolkit to Increase the Ability of States to Use Federal Funding to Deploy Solar on Affordable Housing: To make it easier to use Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funds for solar energy systems, next month, HUD is releasing a renewable energy toolkit for use by Community Planning and Development (CPD) grantees.  The toolkit will provide program compliance information, tools, and case study examples to help communities integrate renewable energy components such as solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, and cogeneration into the program in an efficient, cost-effective, and impactful way by using CPD funds.  This action builds on an announcement last year during which, HUD’s CPD office affirmed that under current guidelines, Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funding can be used for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • Enhancing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)’s PowerSaver Policy to Make It Easier to Borrow Up To $25,000 For Solar and Energy-Efficient Improvements:  FHA is planning updates to its second-mortgage program that will make it easier for homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for solar and energy-efficient improvements by cutting red tape and making improvements more affordable.  Key features of the second mortgage program will include: 1) providing flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced cost of utilities for energy efficient homes; 2) allowing homeowners to control the disbursement of loan funds to the contractor; and 3) permitting contributions to lower out-of-pocket expenses and/or reduce borrower interest rates.
  • Clarifying Policy to Pave the Way for Increased FHA Solar and Energy Efficient Financing on Federally Assisted and Insured Housing.   FHA recently clarified its policy on first mortgages to allow flexible financing options and the ability to obtain larger loan amounts for solar systems.   FHA is conducting forums on the updated Single Family Handbook to help increase lender awareness of these financing options, which will be effective September 14, 2015.
  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership: The U.S.  Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with HUD, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), representatives from solar companies, NGOs, and state and community leaders are launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems.  The partnership will leverage the interest in the public and private sector to expand access to community solar, in particular, for low- and moderate- income communities, while utilizing the technical expertise of DOE and the National Laboratories.
    • BARC Electric Cooperative
    • Black Rock Solar
    • State of California
    • Clean Energy Collective
    • Citi
    • Colorado State Energy Office
    • District of Columbia Department of the Environment
    • First Solar, Inc.
    • Grand Valley Power
    • Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
    • GRID Alternatives
    • Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
    • National League of Cities
    • State of New York
    • RE-volv
    • Solar Energy Industries Association
    • Solar Electric Power Association
    • Spear Point Energy
    • SunShare
    • The Solar Foundation
    • Vermont Public Service Department
    • Vote Solar
  • Issuing A Guide To Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs: The DOE SunShot Initiative and the National Renewable Energy Lab are releasing a new guide, which answers key program design questions collected from states that have implemented shared solar policies and programs around the country.  The guide will also explain how shared solar polices work in conjunction with other polices and provides links to relevant shared solar publications.
  • Launching a Solar Working Group To Save Households on Their Energy Bills: The DOE SunShot Initiative, with assistance from Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is forming a new working group to disseminate information to new homebuilders that want to offer customer-owned solar PV.


States, cities, businesses, and organizations from more than 20 states across the country are making their own, independent commitments to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar.   These announcements include:

  • 22 additional Public Housing Authorities and affordable housing providers from around the country are committing to install solar and other type of renewable energy on their facilities, to help meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  This include:
    • Allegheny County Housing Authority, PA
    • Asheville Housing Authority, NC
    • Boulder Housing Authority, CO
    • BRIDGE Housing, CA
    • Cambridge Housing Authority, MA
    • Community Housing Partners, VA
    • Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, OH
    • Fresno Housing Authority, CA
    • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, CA
    • Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, CA
    • King County Housing Authority, WA
    • Knox County Housing Authority, IL
    • Mercy Housing, Washington, D.C.
    • Metro West Housing Authority, CO
    • New York City Housing Authority, NY
    • New Bedford Housing Authority, MA
    • Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation, NY
    • San Antonio Housing Authority, TX
    • Tampa Housing Authority, FL
    • The Core Companies, CA
    • Vistula Management Company, OH
    • York Housing Authority, PA
  • RE-volv, a nonprofit organization, is announcing a goal of financing 200 community-based solar energy projects over the next three years.  As these communities pay RE-volv back through a solar lease, the money is “paid forward,” setting in motion a self-sustaining revolving fund that will finance a new solar project every month.  Already, RE-volv has already crowdfunded $120,000 from people in 38 states and 22 countries to finance 65 kilowatts (kW) of solar on three nonprofits and cooperatives that collectively serve over 1500 families.
  • Private sector companies announcing new projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar:
    • More than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.  This builds on the nearly 20 co-ops nationally that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year.
    • Spear Point Energy, is committing to develop nearly 10-15 solar projects for rural water companies in the next year.  The program will include green bank financing and create jobs in low-income rural communities.
    • Clean Energy Collective is announcing three new community solar projects:
      • The first community solar to be built in Texas, CEC will develop a 900kW project in partnership with Nueces Electric cooperative, which will be located near Corpus Christi, Texas, and serve Nueces’ full customer base across the state of Texas.
      • A 120 kW community solar project located in Pueblo, Colorado with Black Hills Energy.  A significant portion of the array will serve low-income households through a partnership with Posada Pueblo.
      • A new partnership with CPS Energy to develop a 1.2 MW community solar project in the San Antonio area.   The project will be the first for CPS Energy and make CPS the largest municipally-owned utility in the nation with a community solar project.
      • Freetown, MA will soon complete a shared solar installation.  The project – the first to be fully funded and managed by NRG Energy, Inc.  in Massachusetts – will provide one megawatt of clean electricity, enough to power nearly 200 homes.  This project will provide solar power to residents who would typically not have access solar energy, while reducing the overall cost of their utility bill.
  • The Colorado Energy Office is launching a shared solar project for low-income households as part of its strategy to comprehensively reduce their energy burden.  The project complements Colorado’s Weatherization Assistance Program by giving low-income households the ability to reduce electricity costs.   The Office has released a Request for Application for a Community Shared Solar System Demonstration Project consisting of varying size and scale that will cumulatively provide more than 1 MW of solar generation solely for low-income shareholders.
  • Vote Solar is announcing Shared Renewables HQ, a web resource providing state-by-state policy analysis and resources to help communities design programs that work for all income levels.
  • SunEdison and NASCAR are announcing a partnership to promote distributed residential and commercial solar power through “NASCAR Green,” a platform created in 2008 to educate and promote sustainable solutions to fans and stakeholders on initiatives such as biofuel use, recycling programs, and solar energy adoption.   Over the next three years as part of this collaboration, SunEdison and NASCAR will educate the NASCAR fanbase about the benefits of home solar.  Additionally, SunEdison will work with NASCAR partners, race track properties, and race teams to design and propose commercial scale solar solutions.


Today, leaders from across the country are also committing to invest more than $520 million to advance community solar or scale up solar and energy efficiency in low- and moderate- income communities.

  • Community Capital Management is committing to investing $100 million in government-assisted rental housing that support environmental and energy efficiency initiatives, including deploying solar energy systems to meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal, indoor environmental quality, and site remediation in the next year.
  • Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is announcing that it has secured over $400 million in cumulative financial backing to help scale up community solar nationwide.
  • Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial institution, is committing $12 million to expand its on-bill repayment loan program to help homeowners convert from high-carbon oil heat to natural gas and electric heat pumps, including financing oil tank decommissioning, the installation of high-efficiency gas furnaces, heat pumps and weatherization measures.   The program will focus on low to moderate income households that do not qualify for low-income weatherization support where borrowers will repay their loans through their utility bill.  Today’s announcement builds on Craft3’s March commitment to work with MPower, a non-profit company dedicated to provide $4 million in financing for building-wide energy efficiency services to qualified affordable housing facilities.   Since 2009, Craft3 has provided over $40 million in energy efficiency financing to 3,000 Oregon and Washington households.
  • The District of Columbia Department of the Environment is announcing that it will launch a plan to invest up to $6 million in community solar for low-income residents this fall.  Today’s announcement builds on their existing initiative to install 130 solar panels on low-income homes in 250 days by September 30, 2015.
  • California is announcing a new $3 million pilot program for multi-family homes that provides credit support to facilitate energy improvements.  The program will offer multi-family affordable housing credit support for energy efficiency improvements, including solar water heating.  The program is expected to facilitate improvements in 1000 housing units.  This builds on the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership, a program that encourages solar on new construction, currently has $3.5 million in reservations for future solar on affordable housing, representing 2.26MW.  To date, the program has provided $23 million in incentives for 883 affordable housing systems, representing 7.69 MW.
  • The State of Hawaii, is committing to open up financing for solar energy systems for renters, through the financing of community-based renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency projects to non-profits and small businesses in the coming months.  Through the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, the State has already committed to financing $150 million of clean energy technologies for underserved Hawaii homeowners, renters, non-profits and small businesses by the end of 2016.   In March 2015, the Authority launched financing for solar PV to underserved non-profits and small businesses, with financing for solar PV to underserved homeowners available by July 2015.
  • The State of Massachusetts is committing to exploring new models to support community solar projects through the Massachusetts Solar Loan Program.  Through the program Massachusetts will work with the solar industry and lenders to provide affordable financing for solar electricity, with specific support for low- and moderate- income residents as well as community solar projects.  MassCEC and DOER will also continue to work collaboratively with the private sector to create pathways towards innovative community solar models and projects that increase access to solar electricity for Massachusetts residents.
  • The Vermont Public Service Department is announcing that it will launch a new statewide program to support customers that want to participate in community solar through an interest rate buy-down fund, with support from the DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II.  The buy-down program will boost access to group net metering systems, in particular for those that cannot afford their own solar systems, and will enhance the state’s efforts to reduce barriers to going solar.  These include the financial incentives such as the state’s solar adder and regulatory initiatives such as the statewide 10-day registration form for projects under 15 kW.  Today’s announcement builds on the lessons learned through a pilot program in Windham County.  Vermont is also enhancing access to solar for public entities by working with them to create tools such as the recently released Solar Group Net Metering Agreement Template for Vermont’s Municipalities and Schools.
  • Washington State Housing Finance Commission is announcing theEnergySpark Home Loan, a new home-loan program from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  EnergySpark  gives homebuyers an incentive to buy a home that is constructed to high efficiency standards that are at least 15 percent above code, or to make efficiency improvements to an existing home that cut its energy use by at least 10 percent.  The program offers a quarter-percent off the interest rate, and also allows buyers of older homes to finance the cost of modest improvements, for example, installing renewable energy, adding insulation, replacing windows or upgrading to an efficient furnace, right into the cost of the mortgage at the time of purchase.  When added to the Commission’s downpayment assistance, EnergySpark gives low- and moderate-income homebuyers not only savings on their home purchase, but savings on utilities over the long term.


The solar industry is adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.   They are good paying jobs that are helping Americans enter into the middle class.  In fact, earlier this year, President Obama announced a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and a Solar Ready Vets program to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at 10 bases.  To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans, including low-income and minority communities, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments:

  • Announcing Funding through AmeriCorps that will Deploy Solar and Create Jobs in Low-Income Communities: The Corporation for National and Community Service is supporting GRID Alternatives’ SolarCorps program.  Through the program, 40 AmeriCorps members will gain hands-on training and skills to access jobs in the booming solar industry, while providing clean energy to low-income families who need the savings to pay for basic expenses, through service at GRID Alternatives affiliates and offices throughout the country.  At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping retrofit 1500 low-income homes with solar power and will help 200 economically disadvantaged individuals gain jobs in the solar industry, while securing jobs for themselves at the end of their years of service.  In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 4000 volunteers who will be engaged in installing solar for low-income families.
  • Expanding Renewable Energy Education and Job Training: HUD, DOE, and the Department of Education launched “STEM, Energy, and Economic Development” or “SEED.”  SEED is a place-based initiative, currently operating in five cities; DC, Cleveland, Tampa, San Antonio, and Denver.  This project will leverage Federal investments and partnerships to support workforce development and educational opportunities in the energy sector for public housing residents.   Today, we are announcing a key part of this initiative will be focused on the solar industry.
  • Launching a Webinar Series to Provide Information about Job Opportunities: DOE is launching an eight-part webinar series through its Minorities in Energy Initiative to discuss the regional impacts of climate change on minority and Tribal communities and job opportunities in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency sectors to support a growing, next-generation workforce.   In addition, experts will discuss findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and outline Federal energy policy objectives as they relate to climate resilience, including underserved communities.   Authors of the National Climate Assessment will discuss their findings and the regional applicability to communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change.
  • Announcing a New Goal by the Solar Industry to Become the Most Diverse Sector of the U.S.  Energy Industry: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is announcing a new goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, promoting greater workforce diversity – from gender, nationality, and race to veteran status, sexual orientation and beyond.  According to the to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2014, “the solar workforce is increasingly diverse, with select demographic groups (i.e., Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American solar workers, along with women and veterans of the U.S.  Armed Forces) representing a larger percentage of the solar workforce” than was observed in 2013.  The Solar Foundation report indicates the solar industry has already surpassed a number of other energy sectors when it comes to both ethnic and gender diversity.  To ensure that the solar industry can achieve its new goal, the solar industry plans to ramp up its training and recruitment opportunities nationwide.
  • Individual Private Sector Commitments: A number of individual companies are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.   Their independent commitments include the following:
    • As part of a $5 million philanthropic partnership called the Realizing an Inclusive Solar Economy (RISE) that SunEdison entered into with GRID Alternatives earlier this year, today, GRID Alternatives, in collaboration with Civic Works, is training residents in East Baltimore to enter the solar industry.  RISE aims to train 4,000 applicants from underserved communities to begin solar careers.  GRID Alternatives and SunEdison will work with over 70 job training organizations and community colleges over the next two years and offer recruitment venues, hands-on solar installation training, one-year paid fellowships, webinars, and other opportunities for applicants from underserved communities to begin a solar career.  Training opportunities will be available across the country, including through extensive outreach that drives job applicants to job fairs at major solar industry events like Intersolar in San Francisco in July 2015 and Solar Power International in Anaheim in September 2015.
    • PosiGen, commits to increase the diversity of its workforce and unlock employment opportunities for low-income households, including by hiring 40 percent of their employees from low- and moderate- income communities by the end of 2016.  To realize this goal, PosiGen is also committing to increasing its infrastructure investment in low- and moderate-income communities by more than $100 million by the end of 2016.
    • Nautilus Solar Energy proudly commits to expand solar installations in low-income communities and to continue working towards creating a brighter future for communities everywhere.  Both woman-owned and veteran-owned, with females comprising approximately half of its employees, Nautilus Solar Energy provides businesses, schools and not-for-profit organizations across the United States and Canada with solar power


Please keep in mind that there is another valuable source at: DSIRE, providing various federal and state incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.  Take advantage of them and join the New Renewable Energy Age!

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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10 September

Are You Ready For The First Wave of Solar Tsunami-First Solar PV Plant in TX w/o PPA


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Generous SunShine Is Ready To Rock (credit:sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

(Please click on red links and note magenta)

Recently (Sep. 4, 2014), First Solar has completed the initial 18MW phase construction of the 22MW Barilla Solar PV plant in Pecos County of TX.  18 MW is not a big deal, you might think…why is it being covered in various Solar news agencies? Well, it is a big deal because this represents a major Game Changer for Texas solar due to its unique position of being the first plant in the state to be constructed and financed without a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) as a backstop.  The power generated from this plant will be offered into the wholesale market, competing with other power generation sources effectively without a contract. This type of ‘merchant’ PV power plant of Pecos County will sell electricity on Texas’ ERCOT (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) grid spot market.  Even though  merchant power projects have become more common in countries (such as Chile) where solar offers a viable alternative to costly fossil fuel generated power, but it is essentially untested here in U.S. With years of experience as world’s largest contracted solar project  development (approximately 3 GW up to this point) and proven track record of execution in converting more PPA’s to energy than any one else in the industry,

First Solar PPA Development Timeline (credit: First Solar)

First Solar would have its pulse on the moment if/when Solar Energy is ready for mainstream.

Below is an interview of First Solar CEO, Jim Hughes, at Future of Energy Summit 2014. Mr. Hughes believes that the cost of solar will continue to plummet:

Below, are some statements made by various people, regarding this project’s announcement:


Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster, commenting on the announcement said: “First Solar is a pioneer in bringing West Texas solar into the diverse energy portfolio of Texas. In West Texas we’ve got plenty of land, some with a lot of oil under it, and all of it with sunshine which makes it perfect for solar plants like this. I’m excited to see Barilla as the first project in what I hope will soon be the ‘Texas solar patch.'”

“It is exciting to enter the Texas market with a clean, renewable energy source that is competitively priced against traditional high-cost peak resources,” said Tim Rebhorn, Senior Vice President of Business Development for First Solar. “This project demonstrates First Solar’s capability to rapidly develop, construct and commission a solar asset offering clean, renewable energy at competitive rates to the grid when and where it is needed.”

Rebhorn said that the Barilla power plant will contribute to lower electricity prices for Texas consumers, while providing a reliable resource to power providers.

According to the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Texas has the greatest technical potential for solar development in the U.S. The Barilla Solar Project takes advantage of one of the best solar resource geographies in the state, with the added benefit of tying into nearby existing power transmission infrastructure in the West Texas region. The solar power plant utilizes no water for electricity generation, an important additional benefit in an area where scarce water resources must be preserved.

Regarding the Barilla project, state Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D – Eagle Pass) said, “We are blessed with sunshine in Pecos County and West Texas. Harnessing it would give us an opportunity for clean and efficient power for Texas’ future. What a great investment!”


This Game Changing position of First Solar indicates to us, that we are observing the first wave of Solar Tsunami. Solar Energy is ready for mainstream. I’d like to ask rest of the sunny states of USA, are you also ready for the Solar Tsunami? Are you ready to take advantage of the generous sunshine bestowed upon you?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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26 March

The Magnificent Solar Project of Royal Adelaide Showground of Australia


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

I’ve got quite a treat for you today!

Panoramic view of Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Rooftop (generating 1,400 megawatt-hour of solar electricity every year) (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Besides the Australian Federal Solar Incentives and Australian State Feed-In-Tariffs, Australian government also provided other forms of encouragement for solar/renewable energy projects. In 2008, Premier Mike Rann announced the $8 million investment in the largest rooftop solar installation to take place at The Royal Adelaide Showground (locally known as the Wayville Showground). The Showground is located in the inner-southern Adelaide suburb of Wayville, just south of Greenhill Road. It is bordered by Goodwood Road (east), Leader Street (south), the railway line (west) and Rose Terrace (north). The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RAHS) has controlled the site since the 1920s, the land having been purchased by the South Australian government prior to the First World War. The Royal Adelaide Showground  moved to the present site in 1925. The Adelaide Showground has one of the largest under-cover exhibition spaces in the Southern Hemisphere, hosting over 140 exhibitions and conferences,  attracting over 1.3 million visitors each year. From its 3.5 million liter underground water tanks to its solar installation generating 1,400 megawatt hour of solar electricity each year (equivalent to the capacity of powering 250 South Australian homes, powering 40% of the total average annual Showground’s power needs, saving 1,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission annually), Adelaide Showground is arguably the most environmentally friendly multi-purpose venue in Australia. It also provides a valuable educational resource for the wider community (check out its Solar Power Meter below, rarely seen at any other solar rooftop installations).

We were quite fortunate to have Mr. Ross Hocking of The Adelaide Showground, showing us the Showground, talking about its history, power generation, and showing us the simple but wonderfully educational Solar Power Meter

Adelaide Showground's Solar Power Meter, indicating the solar panels are functioning at about 40% of the maximum capacity...pretty good efficiency level for a cloudy day! Standing next to the Solar Power Meter, our technical advisor at Sun Is The Future, Mr. Michael Nunamaker (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Ross Hocking of Adelaide Showground (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)


that I have never seen at any other solar installation sites. It is easy to see the pride of the local people in their Royal Adelaide Showground solar rooftop through the eyes of Mr. Ross Hocking.

The project is the first MW-scale industrial rooftop  solar plant in Australia and the first commercial installation of First Solar Cd-Te thin film technology. The total area of the panels is 9,239 square-meters, installed on six buildings: Goyder, Jubilee, Wayville, Dairy/Goat Pavilions, Duncan Gallery, and Ridley Center. 12,612 First Solar 77.5 watt thin film CdTe modules, manufactured in Malaysia, and 108 Suntech 210 watt polycrystalline Si modules, manufactured in China, were installed on northern facades, Jubilee and Goyder Pavilions and screens. It took just three months to complete. The system is divided into 184 sub-systems, each is monitored for power production. The thin film technology chosen for this project has better temperature tolerance than typical mono- or poly- crystalline panels. These panels are warrantied for 25 years, but are expected to last at least 30-40 years. Its estimated average 1,400 annual power production will generate a gross saving of approximately $126,000 pa. Furthermore, as an Accredited Power Station, Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) are received for MW’s generated, estimated at about $46,000 (traded at market value).

Adelaide Showground layout, where multiple pavilions have solar installations either on the rooftop or on the side of the building (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Adelaide Showground Solar Panels at Duncan Gallery (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)







Adelaide Showground rooftop solar panels seen on multiple pavilions' rooftops (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)











Adelaide Showground solar rooftop (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)







Installation of the solar panels and associated systems was managed by building and engineering company Built Environs in partnership with grid-connect solar systems provider Solar Shop Australia. Usually the panels are washed once a year. Maintenance was contracted for the first ten years by the systems integrators, Solar Shop Australia Pty Ltd, to ensure the correct functioning of all structural and electrical components.

Once again, we see the importance of effective government policy and/or actions that would benefit both the consumers and growth of solar energy industry, insuring local economic prosperity while solving a nation’s concern for energy security and environmental quality. Australian government and politicians have accomplished a great deal. Bravo!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

Homepage: HTML adl

28 August

May Mike Cyr & Jeff Randall Rest In Peace


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)


Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!


I am sorry to have to interrupt our usual report of solar progress and bring you the sad news that’s just been released from SEIA & First Solar, below:


“The First Solar community was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of two associates in an accident near the Desert Sunlight Solar Project this afternoon.

Mike Cyr and Jeff Randall, both civil supervisors at the project, were in a single engine aircraft flying over the project when the airplane crashed near the site. The accident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. First Solar is cooperating fully with authorities.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Mike and Jeff’s families and loved ones. We are in contact with the families, and are providing our support in this difficult time.”

The above statement was received from:

Steve Krum, APR

Director, Global Communications

First Solar, Inc., 350 W Washington St, Ste 600, Tempe, AZ 85281 USA | T: 602 427 3359 | M: 602 315 3904


Apparently, on Monday afternoon of  Aug. 26, 2013, during the routine check (there was a storm on Sunday but no known storm on Monday), a Colorado River Station sheriff’s deputy and a Bureau of Land Management ranger were patrolling the Desert Center area east of Kaiser Road between Lake Tamarisk and the First Solar energy site, where they witnessed the small plane flying out of control and crashed. Later, they found the bodies of 41-year old pilot Mike Cyr and 35-year old passanger Jeff Randall (according to First Solar CEO Jim Hughes).  The plane was a 1971 Model AA-1A fixed wing with a single engine.

Plane model Grumman AA-1 series (AA-1A (1500 lbs) of 1971 became AA-1B (1560 lbs) Trainer in 1973)(wikimedia commons)

Personnel from Cal-Fire, Colorado River Station, BLM, the Coroner’s Office, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to investigate the crash.  The cause of the crash is still being investigated by the NTSB and FAA. Some basic investigation report information may be obtained from Deputy Julio Oseguera at 760-578-3195.

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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11 October

Australia’s Biggest Solar PV Project, Greenough River Solar Farm, Is Officially Connected!


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links, below)

I am tickled to find out about Australia’s biggest solar farm being officially connected during the week of our visit in Australia! This 10 megawatt Greenough River Solar Farm, 50 km southeast of Geraldton, in Western Australia is a joint project of First Solar, Inc., GE Energy Financial Services and Western Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy, and is expected to generate enough solar energy to power 3,000 homes and eliminating 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually.  The plant consists of 150,000 First Solar’s advanced thin film PV modules solar PV panels spread over 198 acres (or over 80 hectares).

Verve Energy Chief Executive Officer Jason Waters said in a release, “As the largest photovoltaic solar plant in operation in Australia, the Greenough River Solar Farm demonstrates that renewable technologies can contribute to meeting Australia’s future energy needs on a sustainable, cost-competitive basis…This is a positive first step in validating the bright future that large-scale solar represents in Australia.”  He also commented that Verve Energy and GE are evaluating the possibility of a plant expansion up to 40 megawatts to satisfy growing demand for renewable energy.

With the highest average solar radiation per square meter of any continent in the world (according to Australian government), Australia aims to generate at least 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.  About 858,000 homes in Australia currently have solar PV panels, accounting for a total installed capacity of almost 2 gagawatts (based on data from Australian Clean Energy Regulator), translating into approximately 10% of the rooftop with solar installations. Growth in the amount of installed PV capacity in Australia has been dramatic with a 10-fold increase between 2009 and 2011.  Feed-In-Tariffs and mandatory renewable energy targets designed to assist renewable energy commercialisation in Australia have largely been responsible for the rapid increase. Ray Willis, the chief adviser to the Sustainable Energy Association (an industry lobby group) expects the one millionth home to be with rooftop solar installation by end of June of 2013, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, your comments/suggestions are welcomed at

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17 March

Panasonic Building 300MW PV Manufacturing Plant in Kulim Hi-Tech Park of Kedah, Malaysia


Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much.

Dear Readers and Friends,

A solar manufacturing company established by the Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd, is investing RM 1.84 billion (according to Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia) for its fully integrated solar manufacturing base in Malaysia, located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, Malaysia.

Kulim Hi-Tech Park Business Center of Kedah, Malaysia

This manufacturing facility will undertake the integrated manufacturing of solar wafers, solar cells, and solar modules with an estimated annual production capacity of 300 megawatt (MW).  The company’s current global capacity is 600 MW from its factories in Japan, Hungary, and Mexico.

The decision in establishing its facilities at Kulim Hi-Tech Park is mainly due to lowering the total cost per watt of modules being produced.  Other attributing factors include the availability and readiness of human resources;well developed and reliable transportation system, close proximity to airports, seaports, and rail;stable political environment;effective and efficient government delivery systems; business friendly policies and favorable tax incentives.

Kulim Hi-Tech Park (KHTP) was established in 1996 as Malaysia’s first high-tech industrial park, envisioned to be the “Science City of the Future.”  It is the home of high-tech facilities of companies such as Infineon Technologies, Intel, Applied Materials, Fuji Electronics, First Solar, and dozens of others.

Maeda, the person in charge of of the solar business for Panasonic Energy Company Japan, said solar panel sales had dropped for the last three years, but not its HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer) solar modules.  “With increasing environment awareness globally and the introduction of subsidy systems as well as a Feed-In-Tariff scheme in various countries, the solar market is predicted to grow further,” he commented that the robust demand is expected particularly in the residential sector, the main target area for HIT modules.  The plant is expected to employ 1500 people and has a total built-area of 70,000 square meters. The products manufactured in Kulim will be sold all over the world.

Below, you will see a video clip from PanasonicNewsPortal about this facility:

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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