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Solar Energy News

What's happening around the world in the solar industry and how it might affect you

On April 17, 2017, Suniva – a maker of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and modules – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy status.

No one in the solar energy industry was very surprised. Two weeks earlier, Suniva had laid off 131 workers from its Norcross, Georgia headquarters and plant, and shuttered its Saginaw, Michigan facility.

Solar On Townhouse

On May 31, Oregon lawmakers passed HB 2111 by a wide margin: 56 to 3 in the House, and 19 to 9 in the Senate. The bill prevents homeowner’s associations, or HOAs, from banning rooftop solar installations – a battle that has been ongoing since 2013, according to Democratic Chair Senator Mitch Greenlick, the bill’s sponsor.

Such battles between HOAs and homeowners are nothing new. Most have resulted in favorable passage of bills and amendments allowing solar photovoltaic rooftop panels. This was the case in California, where AB 2188 (December 17, 2014), aka the Solar Rights Act, prevented HOAs from banning solar energy on their properties purely for aesthetic reasons.

Solar Neighborhood

Early in May, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, or PG&E, announced that it would devote $240 million to helping customers buy into renewable energy technologies, renewable energy storage, and peripheral technologies.

The program was developed by the state legislature and the state’s utility watchdog, and will be administered by California’s energy companies – a move that would be similar to setting a fox to watch a henhouse were it not for the watchdog California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

California Solar Farm

On August 21st, the United States will experience a solar eclipse.

The eclipse will be visible across the continent, depending on cloud cover and other factors – like the lunar limb profile – and will last two minutes, give or take 1 to 3 seconds.

In California, where the sun shines almost all the time, utility-scale solar energy provides 8 gigawatts, or GW. Another 4 GW is private, and comprised of solar rooftops and arrays.