Sun Powers The Rock - Alcatraz photo by D Ramey Logan

Sun Powers “The Rock”

Though the prison closed in 1963, 1.4 million visitors now tour Alcatraz each year. “The Rock” has been powered for 75 years by diesel fuel ferried across the bay. In 2012, a 280 kW solar photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of the island’s main cell house and provides roughly 66% of the island’s electricity needs. The solar array operates in combination with an extensive battery-based energy storage system to maximize solar electricity generation and use.

alcatraz Sun Powers The Rock









Alcatraz solar project competing for 2014 Intersolar Award

California Governor Jerry Brown Last Years' Intersolar Keynote

Intersolar Returning to San Francisco: Strengthens Partnership with CALSEIA

Intersolar Flags 0904 rdax 100 rdax 100 300x225 Intersolar Returning to San Francisco: Strengthens Partnership with CALSEIASAN FRANCISCO, June 09, 2014 – Intersolar North America, the most well attended industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities, announced today it has formed a new, long-term agreement with valued partner California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). Together, the partners will work to strengthen supportive solar policies in California, and further the state’s solar market through joint campaigns and programs.

Intersolar North America is celebrating its seventh year as the premier venue for the solar business in California and the entire United States. The success of the exhibition and conference can be attributed, in part, to the high quality programs developed by Intersolar and its industry partners. CALSEIA’s expertise, as one of the nation’s oldest solar energy associations located in the heart of the largest solar U.S. market, has played a critical role. With more than 4.1 GW, California ranks first in the country in installed solar capacity, and is home to more than 1,670 solar companies, employing 43,700 solar professionals. “Intersolar North America is California’s premier solar conference and trade show,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA, “it is an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of market developments and trends while making important business connections and networking. From the workshops to the networking events, Intersolar North America is the place to be for the U.S. solar industry.”

“Intersolar supports the North American solar industry yesterday, today and tomorrow,” said Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Promotion International GmbH, an organizer of Intersolar North America. “We began our event in California with the primary goal of providing the U.S. solar industry with an exhibition platform that would further the market by bringing together key national and international players, and showcase the latest products and technology innovations. We developed educational workshops, conference sessions and networking events to connect industry advocates. Our commitment to hosting Intersolar North America in the U.S.’s largest solar market, and our continued collaboration with CALSEIA and co-organizer SEMI speaks to that mission.”

Intersolar and CALSEIA have historically collaborated on portions of the Intersolar North America conference agenda, special exhibition programs and networking events, including the popular Solar Summerfest. Solar Summerfest, hosted by CALSEIA and Intersolar, is the premiere networking event for approximately 2,000 attendees that include Intersolar North America exhibitors, visitors and conference attendees. Intersolar proudly supports the Solar Summerfest, a 100 percent fundraiser benefiting CALSEIA’s activities to strengthen the Californian solar industry. Tickets for the Solar Summerfest are available for purchase online. Intersolar runs July 8-10 in San Francisco.

Yingli Solar Leaving Sunny Legacy for World Cup in Brazil

world cup 2014 stadiums 1024x576 300x168 Yingli Solar Leaving  Sunny Legacy for World Cup in Brazil Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE: YGE) (“Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) module manufacturer in the world, known as “Yingli Solar,” today hosted a press conference inRio de Janeiro to announce the Company’s plans to leave a sustainable legacy in Brazil. These plans include becoming the first ever carbon neutral sponsor of the FIFA World Cup, and supplying 400 to 600 kW for a solar legacy project in Brazil that is expected to be among the largest solar energy systems in the country.

Judy Lee, Yingli’s Vice President of Global Marketing; Markus Vlasits, Country Manager of Yingli Green Energy Brazil; Thierry Weil, FIFA Director of Marketing; and Federico Addiechi, Head of FIFA Corporate Social Responsibility addressed the media and explained these initiatives at today’s conference.

Yingli has been working with FIFA in order to leave solar legacies in the host countries of the FIFA World Cup competition since 2010, when the Company became the first renewable energy sponsor and the first Chinese sponsor. The Company provided customized solar solutions to 20 “Football for Hope” centers all over Africa through the “Football for Hope, Energy for Hope” program, focused on improving the social environment for disadvantaged children in Africa even post FIFA World Cup.

This year, Yingli plans to continue its tradition of leaving a sunny legacy by becoming the first carbon neutral sponsor in FIFA World Cup history, and by developing one of the largest solar energy installations in Brazil, a project chosen jointly by FIFA and Yingli as an official CSR project of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

To become carbon neutral, Yingli is offsetting all carbon emissions generated through its onsite sponsorship activations in Brazil for the tournament’s duration.  The Company has invested in carbon emissions reductions certificates generated by two factories operating via biomass in the Caatinga region of Alagoas in Brazil, thereby helping prevent deforestation and protect Brazil’s valuable biodiversity.

“Sustainability is one of the key tenants in our vision for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Environmental initiatives such as the one presented by our sponsor Yingli today are contributing to increasing the positive impact of the FIFA World Cup on society and the environment. We are grateful to Yingli and their local partners for helping us leave a lasting legacy in Brazil,” commented Mr. Addiechi from FIFA.

“Our solar legacy project will not only be an important legacy of the FIFA World Cup, but it will also be a boon to the country’s emerging solar energy industry,” commented Mr. Vlasits from Yingli. “We are pleased to deliver a high-quality reference project that we hope will drive demand for similar projects across the country.”

“As the world’s largest solar panel provider and renewable energy partner to FIFA, we are proud to utilize our expertise to leave a positive legacy in the host countries of Africa and Brazil,” noted Ms. Lee from Yingli. “We are excited that our joint project with FIFA will continue to serve the community and the environment here in Brazilwell after the competition finishes.”


Sun Still Shining On Solar Investments

IMG 0180 225x300 Sun Still Shining On Solar InvestmentsMercom Capital Group, llc, a clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the solar sector during the second quarter of 2013. Solar venture capital : (VC) investments increased to $189 million (M) in 19 deals in Q2 2013 compared to $126M in 26 deals in Q1 2013. Solar downstream : companies received most of the funding with $128M. Total corporate funding in the solar sector including, VC funding :, debt financing and other types of funding raised by public companies through sale of shares totaled $915M.

“With solar technology companies struggling, investments have been going to downstream companies,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “That said, investments into solar technology companies haven’t completely dried up. Small venture rounds are still going to several niche technology companies instead of the larger deals that were typical for thin film:, CSP: and CPV:companies.” The largest VC deals in Q2 2013 included the ~$69M raised by Chinese developer Hefei Golden Sun Energy Technology. Clean Power Finance raised $42M from Edison International, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels, Hennessey Capital, Duke Energy, and others. Solexel raised $14.8M, followed by Tigo Energy which raised $13M from Alon Ventures. Scifiniti raised $10M from Alloy Ventures, Firelake Capital Management, I2BF Global Ventures and Peninsula Ventures.

Solar lease companies raised $1.33 billion (B) in disclosed residential and commercial solar project funds this quarter Solar M&A : activity in Q2 2013 amounted to $1.27B in 18 transactions. Themes emerging out of this quarter’s M&A activity included: consolidation in the inverter market, strategic acquisitions, and acquisitions of distressed assets/companies. The largest disclosed M&A transaction by dollar amount in Q2 2013 was ABB’s acquisition of inverter company, Power-One, for approximately $1B. Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2013 came in at $2.94B. Solar Star Funding, the wholly owned subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy, completed a $1B bond offering this quarter, the largest solar bond financing deal to date. There were more than 670 MW of disclosed projects that changed hands in Q2 2013. Loans, credit facilities and other types of debt agreements from Chinese banks now stand at about $53B.

The Next Generation In Solar Cars

EN4A0310 300x213 The Next Generation In Solar Cars

The internationally recognized Sunswift solar car racing program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia recently debuted their revolutionary new solar racer “eVe”. The eVe not only inspires with its stunning design but also demonstrates long-term ecological sustainability. The students who volunteer their efforts to Sunswift created eVe in the hopes of capturing another team championship at the 2013 World Solar Challenge (WSC) – the pinnacle event for solar racing.

At this year’s WSC taking place in October  teams from top universities and private institutions around the world will compete in a 3,000 km race across Australia’s Outback from Darwin to Adelaide relying solely on the sun’s energy to power their cars. This year, eVe races in the ‘cruiser’ class, a class that rewards entrants for incorporating practical motoring features into their advanced solar technology vehicles.

Sunswift has teamed with ToyLabs to impart these invaluable science lessons to school kids. The Sunswift team uses the Volta Racer to share their passion and to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers through a series of hands-on workshops located at the University of New South Wales Engineering School and at various location en-route to WSC. During the workshops kids get to build the Volta Racer and learn about Sunswift’s innovative work on eVe. UNSW engineering student and Sunswift Project Director ‘Alex To’ went so far as to liken the Volta Racer to a “miniature version of the car we build. Both vehicles, in fact, use the same direct solar to power conversion methods to provide electricity to their motors. The Volta Racers allow these kids to have a practical hands-on experience building their very own electric car while learning about basic mechanical engineering, electronics and using solar as a sustainable energy application.”ToyLabs founder ‘Tim Curley’ is honored to lend his support to Sunswift’s efforts. “ToyLabs wants to help inspire kids to become the world’s next generation of scientists and engineers – just like the extremely bright students at UNSW working on eVe.

Solarthon Brings Solar Power to the People

Solar champs header.2a531c2da6c2c53e01d2f251e101aaf07781 Solarthon Brings Solar Power to the People

MCE (Marin Clean Energy), a program offering cleaner energy choices for electric customers in Marin County and the City of Richmond,  sponsored  GRID Alternatives’ largest installation event earlier this  of the year at the May 8th annual Bay Area Solarthon.On September 7, 2013 solar panels were installed on the roofs of more than 8 low income homes in Richmond’s Iron Triangle.  The Solarthon community installation event is, a fundraiser and solar block party that brings together hundreds of people including individual fundraisers, corporate sponsors, job trainees, community leaders and the homeowners themselves to install multiple solar systems in one neighborhood in a single day.

The funds raised at the Solarthon event are used to further support GRID Alternatives’ work to bring clean, affordable energy and hands-on solar installation experience to families and workers that need it most. Participants get hands-on experience installing solar with and for local families.

MCE offers its customers 50 percent renewable energy, more than twice that offered by PG&E, at affordable rates and also has one of the best Net Energy Metering programs in California. “The Solarthon event aligns with our mission and goals to provide local clean energy alternatives and demonstrates our commitment to environmental and community sustainability,” said Dawn Weisz, Executive Officer of the Marin Energy Authority, which administers MCE. “We’re pleased to support this event and GRID Alternatives as another way to foster community control, workforce development and renewable energy in Richmond.”