First Solar scraps plans for China plant


First Solar Inc. has abandoned its long-held plans to build the world's largest solar plant in China after more than four years of fruitless pricing negotiations, Bloomberg reports.

Inventor pushes solar panels for roads, highways

SPOKANE, Washington (AP) — The solar panels that Idaho inventor Scott Brusaw has built aren't meant for rooftops. They are meant for roads, driveways, parking lots, bike trails and, eventually, highways.

Brusaw, an electrical engineer, says the hexagon-shaped panels can withstand the wear and tear that comes from inclement weather and vehicles, big and small, to generate electricity.

SolarWorld seeks Commerce probe of Chinese hacking


In a filing with the Commerce Department, a unit of SolarWorld has asked for an investigation into whether Chinese hackers stole communications during a solar energy trade dispute, Bloomberg reports.

Oil-producing Iran looks to solar to light future

SICHANLOO, Iran (AP) — In this village nestled in the arid hills of rural Iran, government-subsidized solar panels on the rooftops of homes provide both needed electricity and a shining symbol of efforts by the Islamic Republic to wean itself off fossil fuels and nuclear power.

President Hassan Rouhani's government has quintupled its spending on solar power projects in the last year, taking advantage of Iran's 300-odd days of sunshine a year that make its vast sun-kissed lands one of the best spots on earth to host solar panels. While being good for the environment, the panels also offer rural Iran steady power amid uncertainty over the country's contested nuclear program as it negotiates with world powers.

And as the Islamic Republic cuts back on subsidies that once made gasoline cheaper than bottled mineral water, a push toward self-sustaining solar power could help the government save money and bolster its sanctions-battered economy.

Obama says US supporting Chilean solar power plant

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States wants to help Chile build Latin America's largest solar power plant.

Obama touted the project during an Oval Office meeting with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who has returned to office after winning election in March. Obama said Chile has been a model democracy in Latin America and he wants to deepen cooperation between the two nations.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation on Friday approved a loan guarantee of up to $230 million to support Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar's construction of a 141 megawatt solar power plant in Chile's Atacama Desert, which receives some of the planet's steadiest concentrations of direct sunlight.

2 universities in DC make deal to buy solar power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two universities in the nation's capital have agreed to a major energy deal to buy more than half their power from three new solar power farms that will be built in North Carolina, the schools announced Monday night.

George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital announced the 20-year agreement with Duke Energy Renewables to reduce their carbon footprints by directly tapping solar energy.

The Capital Partners Solar Project will break ground this summer near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Once fully operational in 2015 with 243,000 solar panels, the three solar farms are expected to generate 123 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Planners said that translates to eliminating about 60,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year or taking 12,500 cars off the road.

Cool Energy reporting success in efforts to harness waste heat

Daily Camera

CEO Sam Weaver of Cool Energy, based in Boulder, Colo., has high hopes for the company’s deal with Calif. solar firm Edisun Heliostats Inc. to provide a 25-kilowatt engine that harnesses waste heat from rock bed storage, the Daily Camera reports.

Chemists at Rice improve technique for solar components


Rice University researchers, publishing in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Material Chemistry A, say they’ve found a simpler and more efficient way to create black silicon, a key component in solar panels, FuelFix reports.

Community solar gardens a growing trend

The New York Times

A concept pioneered in Colorado – groups of people banding together to invest in solar projects in their communities and getting credit for them on their electricity bills – is growing across the country, The New York Times reports.

New online tool to nominate buildings for solar projects

USA Today

Mosaic, which uses crowdsourcing to fund solar projects, has launched a new online tool that lets people nominate buildings to receive rooftop solar panels, with the company donating $100 toward an installation each time one gets 50 clicks, USA Today reports.


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