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Arizona Utility Tries Storing Solar Energy For Use In The Dark

October 18 -- When it snowed in Flagstaff, Ariz., recently, thousands of people woke up and turned up their electric heating, and Arizona Public Service saw electricity demand reach a morning peak. To meet the demand, the company used the previous afternoon’s sunshine. In a closely watched new solar project called Solana, the energy is gathered in a three-square-mile patch of desert bulldozed flat near Gila Bend, about 50 miles southwest of Phoenix. A sprawling network of parabolic mirrors focuses the sun’s energy on black-painted pipes, which carry the heat to huge tanks of molten salt. When the sun has set, the plant can draw heat back out of the molten salt to continue making steam and electricity.  >>View Article

California Poised To Adopt First-In-Nation Energy Storage Mandate

October 17 -- A California law that requires utilities to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind is widely credited with accelerating the state's cleantech economy. Now state regulators are poised to compel utilities to invest in "energy storage," which could jump-start technology long considered the holy grail of the electricity industry. >>View Article

U.S. Solar Energy Development On Record Pace As NC Continues To Shine

October 17 -- North Carolina ranks third in the nation for utility-scale solar capacity under construction or in advanced development in the third quarter, according to figures published by SNL Energy. SNL's figures show U.S. solar development continuing at a record pace this year, on track to top the 1,675 megawatts built in 2012. >>View Article

Sun Powers Sunnyslope School’s Energy Needs

October 17 -- As students cavort on Sunnyslope Elementary School’s playground, a shade structure high above the slides and monkey bars harnesses the sun’s power. Since December 2012, when 1,416 solar panels went into use over the playground and parking lot as well as the roof, the system has provided enough power in three months to meet all of the school’s energy needs, says Sue Pierce, the Washington Elementary School District’s director of facility planning and energy. >>View Article

This Huge Solar Thermal Plant Makes Electricity Even In The Dark

October 17 -- The primary complaint against solar power—that it, you know, requires the sun—is perfectly valid. But Arizona's new Solana Generating Station, the largest capacity solar thermal plant on the face of the Earth, has just provided a $1.4 billion counterpoint. Thanks to its massive molten salt reserves, this plant keeps producing power even after lights out. >>View Article

Forget Solyndra. Clean Energy Is Hot Again.

October 17 -- Nearly two years after Solyndra's widely politicized collapse, doubts surround solar and the entire clean-energy industry. Will subsidies survive? Will natural gas put solar out of business? To many investors, the industry seems volatile and risky. >>View Article

Big Box Solar And The Clean Energy Revolution

October 16 -- IKEA may have just fired the latest salvo in the clean energy revolution. Within the next 10 months, IKEA will begin selling flat-pack solar panel kits to retail customers in all of its 17 U.K. stores. And if that experiment is successful, IKEA could roll out the  experiment to stores in the United States and the rest of the world. That means that, while shopping at IKEA for cheap, affordable furniture, you can now stock up on solar panel kits to transform your home into an energy-saving showcase. The innovative Swedish company already uses solar panels to power 40 of its U.S. locations, and is making available the same  technology to the mainstream public. The same way you might navigate through the aisles of an IKEA  picking up well-designed items at low prices – while simultaneously having a bit of fun with the delightfully absurd Swedish names for the products — you will also be able to load a few flat pallets of IKEA solar energy panels into your cart. Almost everyone can imagine checking out of IKEA with a DIY solar panel package (even if it costs almost $10,000) – something that’s not necessarily the case with other forms of renewable energy. (Presumably, it’s much more difficult to create flat-pack mini-nuclear reactors for the home.)  >>View Article

How Clean Energy Boosts Idaho Dairies’ Profits

October 16 -- Idaho’s new clean-energy businesses have found ready customers on the state’s dairy farms. “There are a lot of resources around us for both efficiency and energy generation to help farmers better leverage their assets, and, even more important, there are real ways to make these projects pay for themselves,” says Paul Conrad, president and CEO of Hailey-based Site Based Energy.  >>View Article

US Leads World In Advanced Biofuels Ranking

October 16 -- The United States leads the world in creating companies that turn food waste and non-food materials to energy, according to a Navigant Research report released Tuesday morning. More than two-thirds of all global ventures in advanced biofuels are based in the United States, a testimony to the nation’s entrepreneurial environment and investment funding for new ventures. >>View Article

Energy Efficiency Measures Saved $420 Billion Of Oil, IEA Says

October 16 -- Energy efficiency measures saved the equivalent of 570 million metric tons of oil equivalent, worth $420 billion, in 11 nations from 2005 though 2010, according to the International Energy Agency. Without efficiency measures, consumers in the IEA member countries would now be consuming about two-thirds more energy than currently, the Paris-based group said today in a report. >>View Article


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