Posts Tagged "solar power"

SunPower to compete with Marfa lights
by WRETHAOFFGRID on FEBRUARY 9, 2014 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, ENERGY, SOLAR, WRETHA

Marfa_TX_-_street_scenery

Marfa Texas is more known for eccentric-quirky artists and the Marfa Lights, an unexplained phenomena that happens on some nights, I have seen these lights and found them to be interesting and hard to explain, I thought I was seeing car lights, until I watched one go across the desert floor then shoot straight up into the air…. Now the company SunPower wants to build a power plant in Marfa, and the residents of Marfa have questions for SunPower.

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MARFA – SunPower will host an open house Thursday, January 30, from 5pm to 7pm at the Marfa School Cafeteria. SunPower, based in San Francisco, California, is one of four companies interested in potentially setting up solar power plants in Presidio County.

The open house will allow residents to learn about the proposed 50-megawatt project called Texas Solar Star that would produce enough energy for around 40,000 homes. It was previously reported that SunPower is looking to locate their project in the Antelope Hills area east of Marfa. (more…)

Solar powered pyramid
by WRETHAOFFGRID on OCTOBER 27, 2013 - 2 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, SOLAR, WRETHA

Pyramid power

Ever see an off grid pyramid? Well you are about to. This is the video story of Greg Grant, who began his off grid existence slow and small.

He didn’t put a lot of money into his project. What he had was land, lots of natural materials, a great bunch of talented and helpful friends, and a unique vision. He chose to make his off grid home out of short straw-bale walls, but with a steeply pitched, pyramid shaped roof. (more…)

Utilities enter the Death Spiral
by TECHSTAR on OCTOBER 27, 2013 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

offthegridnews,eric valli, utilitiesElectricity and water rates are set to rise sharply because so many households and business are now generating their own power and managing their own water supply. The Utility company fixed costs are not going to change however many people close their accounts and go it alone. So those costs have to be paid by a shrinking pool of consumers.
Utility executives even have a name for the nightmare scenario which more and more solar panels, or boreholes or wind turbines could create – they call it the “death spiral.”They fear solar’s rapid spread across homes and businesses, combined with the increasing efficiency of modern buildings and appliances, could slowly erode the utilities’ ability to generate profits. (more…)

UK solar homes pass 500,000
by TECHSTAR on OCTOBER 21, 2013 - 0 Comments in SOLAR

Recent data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows that nearly 460,000 homes across the UK have solar panels installed, and that does not include off-grid homes, since these do not show up in official stats.

The data was released recently by DECC and published on the website of the Solar Trade Association (STA). It represents a combined peak capacity of 1.3GW, making domestic solar the largest sub-sector of the solar market.

The popularity of solar in the UK has largely resulted from huge subsidies that have now been scaled back. The result of intensive lobbying by the green movement, it has made a few companies super-profits and further enriched some wealthy householders, but done little to decarbonise Britain. (more…)

Energy from neighbors, not utilities
by AMY SUAREZ on AUGUST 15, 2013 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

wind energy from neighbors not utilities

Alice Orrell: Wind prophet

A new study reported by Northwest Public Radio has found a growing trend for small wind turbines in the USA. These are mostly single turbines in people’s backyards, on farms, or supplementing power for businesses.

Meanwhile in China, Xinhua reported yesterday that the government is forcing power companies to provide consultancy and acceptance for individuals setting up small wind turbines and help connect them to the grid.
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Solar Charge Controllers
by NICK ROSEN on AUGUST 8, 2012 - 6 Comments in OFF-GRID 101

If you have a simple off-grid setup with just one panel or even a few solar panels and several batteries, the other vital ingredient is a charge controller that regulates the power going from the panel to the battery and shuts off power input when the batteries are fully charged.

This makes the process of running your own power station almost maintenance free.

When you are starting up its best to buy a medium-priced controller so that you can add a few panels and batteries to the mix before having to upgrade. The HQRP 20A Solar Panel Battery Charge Controller / Regulator 12V / 24V 20 Amp 300W with PWM Type of Charging retails at under $50 on Amazon.
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Looking to build OTG Retreat
by SKIMAN1115 on FEBRUARY 20, 2012 - 29 Comments in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID, I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE OFF-GRID

I want to meet others that wish to live an off an the Grid lifestyle. I already own 6 acres of land in Rising Fawn Ga 30738 that I am starting to build a small OTG retreat on. I’m interested in building multiple small partially underground earthbag ( sandbag ) structures to live in, collecting rainwater and hopefully drilling a well, growing organic vegetables/fruit trees, raising chickens, and using solar power. I would like to meet others that would be interested in helping me build the retreat in exchange for living on the land for a period of time. I would also be interested in meeting other land owners around the US/World that would be interested in working out some kind of land sharing deal in exchange for each others labor/services/land.

China to extend renewables domination
by NICK ROSEN on DECEMBER 27, 2011 - Comments Off in ENERGY

While US stalls, they're eating our lunch

Beijing  – After a rash of wind turbine malfunctions, China is to “revise” (ie raise) its standards for wind turbine production.

China’s wind power capacity surpassed that of the U.S. in 2009 and the country is planning to further raise the proportion of renewables in the nation’s fast-growing energy consumption, according to Shi Lishan, deputy director of the New and Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Chinese wind power has long been half the price of Western competitors, but also less reliable.  However, even the best Western small turbines are relatively unreliable, so if China raises its standards, it will become competitive.

China currently has more than 2 billion kilowatts of inland wind power resources and more than 500 million kilowatts offshore.

However “a rising trend of wind turbine breakdowns has been witnessed since 2010,” says a State report.  There were 193  accidents in wind farms in the first 8 months of 2011, according to the report released last week by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). It also announced decision to double the solar subsidy forthwith. (more…)

Grid can’t handle mass solar
by AMY SUAREZ on DECEMBER 3, 2011 - 1 Comment in SOLAR

Utilities can't handle universal solar

Further evidence in favor of Micro-grids and against the so-called Smart Grid.

The runaway take-up of rooftop solar panels in Australia has undermined the electricity supply system, feeding so much power back into the network that it is causing voltage rises that could damage household devices such as computers and televisions. This means we should either rewire every home and every street, to suit the convenience of the big Utility companies, or rethink the way the nation’s energy delivery is organised. What applies to Australia is true elsewhere in the world. (more…)


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