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Longmont’s Savings from Solar-Energy Panels don’t Meet Expectations

Solar panels at Centennial Pool and the Longmont Recreation Center are pulling in half the savings they should be, according to Longmont city staff. Solar panels, including these at Centennial Poolin Longmont, haven t yet generated as much savings When the panels were first hooked up in 2009, they were part of an energy conservation plan that was supposed to save the city $160,855 in the first year, including $32,000 from the solar panels themselves. As it turned out, the city saved $170,067 from 2009 to 2010 — but only $16,000 of that was due to the panels. “These are supposed to have a 12-year payback,” said … Read entire article »

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China Solar Giant Suntech Power Gets Rescue Package

Struggling amidst a severe downturn of orders for photovoltaic solar panels, China’s behemoth solar panel maker, Suntech Power Holdings (STP) was given a $32 million lifeline on Friday. The loan comes from the government of Wuxi city in East China’s Jiangsu province. Zhu Kejiang, the mayor of the city, went to Suntech with a finance offer from a consortium of several banks, including Bank of China, on Thursday, aimed at helping it weather its financial difficulties, local media reported on Saturday. According to reports from China Business News on Friday, Suntech has about 1 billion-yuan in short-term debts due by the end of the year. In the first quarter of this year, its debts totaled $1.79 billion. The company was unavailable for immediate comment late Saturday, however, … Read entire article »

US Solar Industry Leaders Testify before ITC on Chinese Silicon PV Dumping, Subsidies

Leaders of companies with a stake in the US market for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy earlier this week testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) panel investigating whether or not China’s crystalline silicon PV exports to the US violate WTO rules on international trade by materially harming US manufacturers. The Oct. 3 ITC hearing was the last in one of the largest anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases ever brought against China, and there have been many. US solar manufacturers, led by SolarWorld USA CEO Gordon Brinser, testified that “Chinese imports have accelerated losses of high-paying jobs and plant closures at a time when the United States is struggling to jump-start a struggling economy,” according to a Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) press release. Does the US … Read entire article »

‘Solar Missionary’ Works On Systems Worldwide

For League City’s “solar missionary,” the initial decision was easy. A team raises a pole with a solar panel at a school in Honduras in the state of La Paz Terri MacGregor could apply her graduate degree in electrical engineering toward a good living, optimizing the performance of ink-jet printers in Kentucky — or she could travel the Third World, designing, constructing and erecting solar systems for schools, orphanages, clinics and chapels in places that were far, far off the grid. Those are places where MacGregor would be the only blonde, female engineer most of her clients would ever see. She could stay and tune printer parameters in air-conditioned comfort or work from dusk to dawn under primitive conditions, setting up water wells that could use the sun’s energy … Read entire article »

CalSTRS will Invest In Solar Power Plant

CalSTRS said Thursday it’s investing $42.8 million in a solar-power plant near Sacramento and three other California infrastructure projects. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System said the investments are part of its 2-year-old commitment to infrastructure. The pension fund has $750 million invested in the field. Infrastructure – airports, bridges, etc. – has become a popular investment for pension funds. CalPERS has poured billions into the sector, and CalSTRS announced in February that it was committing $500 million to an infrastructure-investment firm based in Australia. CalSTRS’ latest investments include a solar-power plant near McClellan Park, operated by SunEdison of Belmont; the Crockett power plant near Oakland; construction of a portion of the Presidio Parkway in San Francisco; and reconstruction of the Long Beach courthouse. “These investments reflect CalSTRS’ … Read entire article »