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Chevron Tests Emerging Solar Technologies in Central California

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., March 22, 2010 – Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today announced the start of Project Brightfield, a demonstration of next-generation solar energy technologies in Bakersfield, California. The project, created on the site of a former Chevron refinery, will evaluate seven emerging photovoltaic technologies to help determine the potential application of renewable power at other company-owned facilities.

The former refinery site has been repurposed to test the performance of six emerging thin-film technologies and one emerging crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology, which were provided by independent solar companies.

By bringing together seven emerging solar technologies, Project Brightfield represents one of the most comprehensive solar energy tests of its kind and is an innovative approach to evaluating new technologies,” said Des King, president of Chevron Technology Ventures, the division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. that identifies, evaluates and demonstrates emerging technologies. “Testing competing technologies side by side means that we can better understand their potential application at other Chevron facilities.”

The 7,700 solar panels on the 8-acre site will generate approximately 740 kW of electricity. The produced power will be directed to the local utility grid as well as to Chevron’s oil production operations at the Kern River Field.

“Chevron has operated in the San Joaquin Valley for more than a century. Throughout this time, our engineers have developed breakthrough technologies that have helped make us the leading oil and gas producer in the state,” said Bruce Johnson, vice president of Chevron’s San Joaquin Valley Business Unit. “The Brightfield solar demonstration facility is a clear example of Chevron’s efforts to find ways to integrate innovative technologies into our business.”

The companies demonstrating thin-film technologies are Abound Solar, MiaSolé, Schüco, Solar Frontier, Sharp, and Solibro, while the crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology is provided by Innovalight. Each solar company can access data about its technology, find out how well it performs in various conditions and compare it against a benchmark solar technology — a brand of commercially available solar photovoltaic technology — that has also been installed on the site.

Project Brightfield is Chevron’s second completed project that repurposes an existing asset to integrate renewable power. The first was a wind farm on a former Texaco refinery site near Casper, Wyoming, where 11 wind turbines generate 16.5 megawatts of power. A third project — a concentrating solar photovoltaic installation at a Chevron Mining Inc. facility near Questa, New Mexico — is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010.

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company’s success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of its employees and their application of the most innovative technologies in the world. Chevron is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. The company explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

SunRun First to Offer Solar For No Upfront Cost in New Jersey

New Jersey – March 4, 2010 – SunRun, the nation’s leading residential solar company, announced today that New Jersey can for the first time go solar without any upfront costs. This financing option allows homeowners to put no money down for a residential solar system and save money on their electricity costs from day one. The monthly solar payments for a typical three-or four-bedroom home in New Jersey start at $50 per month. All SunRun customers receive an annual money-back performance guarantee in addition to professional-grade monitoring, maintenance, repairs, and insurance, making it simpler than ever to get clean electricity.

“SunRun democratizes solar for New Jersey homeowners,” says Lynn Jurich, SunRun president and cofounder. “This means every homeowner in New Jersey who wants solar can now afford it. Cost is no longer a reason to wait to go solar.”

Since launching in late January in New Jersey, SunRun has already signed dozens of New Jersey homeowners who will be installed by Mercury Solar Systems and Trinity Solar, two of the largest and most trusted solar installers on the East Coast.

About SunRun Inc.

SunRun provides revolutionary solar financing for homeowners. SunRun buys and installs high quality home solar systems for its customers, who pay a low monthly bill for the solar electricity produced on their roof. All SunRun customers receive money-back annual performance guarantees in addition to professional-grade monitoring, maintenance, repairs, and insurance, which removes the complexity and risk from going solar. SunRun’s goal is to provide every home direct access to clean, affordable electricity. SunRun currently serves communities in California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, and New Jersey. Additional information about SunRun is available at http://www.sunrunhome.com.


GreenRay Solar CEO Miles Russell an “Obi-Wan Kenobi” of the industry

(1888PressRelease) February 16, 2010 – With all the excitement that surrounds solar power and the green movement, it’s refreshing to be given the kind of perspective that Miles Russell, CEO and founder of GreenRay Solar is able to give. Miles was involved in the business when there was no industry, just a reality that America desperately needed a better way to use energy. Having worked at the MIT Labs and on projects with the Environmental Protection Agency, he was involved in the nations’ first grid tied solar power projects.

Armed with an MS in engineering from Stanford University and a student of the 70″s; Miles Russell was witness to the energy crisis and acted on programs put forward by former President Jimmy Carter to move our nation away from oil and fossil fuels. Those projects included the development of solar panels.

Now as CEO of GreenRay Solar, a venture capital backed company he and his team are pioneering new product innovation that is being billed as “the worlds first solar appliance”.

For an education into the world of solar, listen to the QuestPoint n The Mix interview of Miles Russell at:

QuestPoint n The Mix


BioSolar Begins Limited Supply Production of bio-based materials from renewable plant sources

World`s First Bio-based Solar Panel Backsheet Now Qualifies for Commercial

Production after Completion of Research and Development Phase

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.–(Business Wire)–

BioSolar (OTCBB: BSRC), developer of a breakthrough technology to produce

bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of

photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, announced today that the research and development

phase for the company`s proprietary BioBacksheet-C has been completed. Now

qualified for production, the BioBacksheet-C, designed for traditional silicon

(c-Si) photovoltaic solar panels, will be the company`s first product to become

available commercially.

“Designed specifically for cost-sensitive, economical PV solar cell modules, we

expect the BioBacksheetTM-C to be instrumental in driving down the cost per watt

of solar power,” said Dr. David Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of

BioSolar. “An initial full production run was recently completed at one of our

manufacturing partners and samples will be available for all interested PV

module manufacturers shortly.”

BioSolar is working to make solar power “greener” and more affordable by

developing natural, non-toxic alternatives to the petroleum-based film in use by

most silicon-based solar module manufacturers today. Its proprietary line of

BioBacksheets, made from renewable plant sources rather than petroleum, meets or

exceeds the characteristics of various testing and performance standards for the

PV industry and are expected to cost significantly less than current

petroleum-based films.

“BioBacksheet-C meets or exceeds all industry standard qualifications,” said Dr.

Stanley B. Levy, Chief Technology Officer of BioSolar. “They have been tested

and passed some of the most rigorous tests of UL 1703, the Underwriters

Laboratories PV certification standard, including the damp heat test, where the

module is exposed to 85 degrees C and 85% RH for 100 hours and the wet Hipot

test, which is a measure of short circuit resistance after the module has been

submerged in water.”

“BioBacksheet-C is a two component system that is highly water resistant and

contains high dielectric strength material combined with cellulosic film,” added

Dr. Lee. “The substrate is a cellulosic material coated with a proprietary

material to reduce the water vapor transmission rate and to increase abrasion


About BioSolar, Inc.

BioSolar, Inc. has developed a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based

materials from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of

solar cells. Most of the solar industry is focused on photovoltaic efficiency to

reduce cost. BioSolar is the first company to introduce a new dimension of cost

reduction by replacing petroleum-based plastic solar cell components with

durable bio-based materials. To learn more about BioSolar, please visit our

website at http://www.biosolar.com.


Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH)

The Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, a California Solar Initiative program, is funded by California ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) . GRID Alternatives manages the SASH Program on behalf of the CPUC. The goal of the program is to provide qualifying low-income homeowners with access to photovoltaic (PV) systems to decrease electricity usage and bills without increasing monthly household expenses. In addition to providing low-income homeowners with reduced electricity bills, the SASH Program will also benefit the communities it serves by leveraging local green-job training and workforce development programs to assist with installing the solar systems.

To decrease the expense burden for low-income homeowners, the SASH Program provides eligible homeowners with a higher incentive than the California Solar Initiative (CSI) general market program (see “Incentives” section for details).

Homeowners – To see if you qualify for the SASH program please email us at sash@gridalternatives.org or call (866) 921-4696.

Contractors – If your company is interested in becoming a SASH Subcontractor Partner please complete the Subcontractor Partnership Program (SPP) Application.

Downloadable SASH Brochures:

Who Qualifies

To qualify for the SASH Program, the Applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

A. The project’s Site must be within the service territory of, and receive electric service from PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E.
B. The residence must be occupied by the homeowner/applicant.
C. The household’s total income must be 80% of the area median income (AMI) or less based on the most recent available income tax return.
*Area Median Income is subject to annual changes based upon Housing and Urban Development’s income guidelines.
D. The residence must meet the affordable housing requirements defined in California Public Utilities (P.U.) Code 2852.


Installations will be provided a one-time payment under the Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) structure to help reduce the cost of installation. The SASH Program only offers the EPBB incentive and does not offer the Performance Based Incentive (PBI). The SASH Program has seven incentive payment levels based on the applicant’s income compared to the area median income (AMI), tax liability, and eligibility in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program (check with your electric utility provider for more information on CARE).

Fully Subsidized (Free Systems) - The SASH Program provides a full-subsidy for 1 kW systems to owner-occupied households that qualify as “extremely low income” or “very low income” (i.e., up to 50% of area median income). This SASH incentive is capped at a maximum of $10,000 per qualifying household. A household that qualifies for a free system can either install the free 1 kW system or take a partial subsidy, as described in the table below, for a larger system.

Highly Subsidized Systems - A substantial subsidy is available to customers whose total household income is below 80% of the area median income. This subsidy is calculated on a sliding-scale that is based on the homeowner’s tax liability and the customer’s eligibility and participation in the CARE program. If the Applicant qualifies for the CARE program but is not currently enrolled, GRID Alternatives will work with the Applicant to enroll them into the CARE program.

SASH Program: Solar Incentives in $/Watt
Federal Income Tax Liability Qualifying Low-Income CARE-Eligible Homeowners Qualifying Low-Income Homeowners not eligible for CARE
$0 $7.00/W $5.75/W
$1 to $1000 $6.50/W $5.25/W
$1001 + $6.00/W $4.75/W

Application & Installation Processes

1. Potential applicants can contact GRID Alternatives toll-free at (866) 921-4696 or e-mail sash@gridalternatives.org to see if you qualify for the SASH Program. After an initial pre-screening phone conversation, GRID Alternatives will set up a meeting with the Applicant to discuss the details of the SASH Program, complete an application, and answer any questions.

2. GRID Alternatives will review all applications and ensure their completeness and confirm all required documentation has been provided. The following documents are required:

i. Completed SASH Application

ii.Copy of most recent available federal income tax return

iii. Copy of most recent electricity bill

iv. Proof that the residence is California Public Utilities Code 2852 compliant.

3. If the Applicant qualifies for the SASH program, a Construction site visit will be scheduled to determine if the Site is suitable for a PV-solar installation. A printout of CSI EPBB Calculator will be required to ensure the system design meets the 95% Design Factor requirement (to be completed by the installer).

4. Upon completion of the system design, the Applicant will receive notification from GRID Alternatives confirming the incentive reservation. *Incentive funds are not reserved until GRID Alternatives receives all information and documentation required for the Reservation and the project is approved.

5. The project will then be scheduled and installed. After the system installation is complete, the system must be inspected and utility interconnected before the incentive is paid.


Solar Rights Manifesto

Although equipment and direct labor costs have declined as solar systems become simpler and safer, the sad truth is that the paperwork and bureaucracy have become even more complicated. Our greatest savings as an industry will be to attack these bureaucratic costs at their source and simply eliminate them.

Please join with your fellow solar enthusiasts and stand up for these five Solar Rights.

Solar Right #1: Solar power shall be installed to provide the lowest cost for ratepayers on a whole, taking into account all applicable costs and externalities.

Solar Right #2: There shall be no restrictions on solar installations for any reason other than pre-existing health and safety concerns.

Solar Right #3: There shall not be any added paperwork for connecting a solar power source as long as it is comparably sized to the building’s existing electrical service. If there is no “interconnection” paperwork for a 3 ton air conditioner, there should be no paperwork for a 3 kw solar power system.

Solar Right #4: There shall not be any demand charges, standby fees or extra expenses for net metering. Net metering customers put power into the grid when the electricity is most needed.

Solar Right #5: There shall not be a separate inspection for building departments, fire departments, utilities and rebate administrators. One – and only one — jurisdictional inspection shall be required for a solar installation.

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