ROBERT HALL's Comments

December 02, 2013

Siva Power: Why Our CIGS Tech Will Rule Solar PV

Very promising as presented. Much to be done. Great expectations. Curious as to what the difference is that leads to a projected 300-MW Siva Power factory vacuum-line cost of roughly $100 million to build, or $0.32/Watt in capital costs, compared to a 250-MW four-vacuum-line First Solar plant that costs three times as much?

November 21, 2013

An Open Letter to the Arizona Public Service Company

The present $0.7/kW monthly APS charge is essentially a "tax" (works out to be about 5%) on the value of the energy residential PV array owners generate. As Holmes suggests, this is probably just the opening gambit providing the mechanism for future tax increases.

Is it too reasonable to go the following route?

If a residential solar PV owner generates a kWh of electricity and consumes it themselves, then there is no “tax“ owed to the power utility.

If the residential solar PV owner generates a kWh of electricity which they do not consume and place on the distribution line where it is consumed “down the street”, then the solar PV generator should, at least, receive as a credit the same amount that the utility pays for the generation and transmission of the carbon (or nuclear) fueled turbine-based electricity to distribute it to that neighbor down the street.

This simplified scheme neglects other less transparent “credits” that solar PV might be due. These will obviously be the subject of much future discussion/debate.

November 21, 2013

Solar Fee Defeated in Georgia Power Rate Case

This is somewhat absurd; it amounts to a surcharge of $1.67/watt (27.8/5000*12*25) on the purchase of a residential system which costs $3.50 to $4.50/watt. Clearly, this changes the economics for any potential system buyer, making it very unattractive, and frankly, probably not worth it.

November 19, 2013

Who's Winning the Net Metering Debate Now?

It may be useful to view the present $0.7/kW monthly APS charge as a "tax" (works out to be about 5%) on the value of the energy residential PV array owners generate.

Or, perhaps as a "surcharge" (as opposed to the recent utility "rebates" that went from $4.00/watt in the 2005 era to effectively zero by 2013,). The surcharge is $0.21/watt (as 0.7 [$/kw-month] * 12 [months/year] * 25 [years - the PV system lifetime]).

An alternative, albeit simplified, view regarding “charges” to residential solar PV owners by their partner utility follows:
1. If the residential solar PV owner generates a kWh of electricity and consumes it themselves, then there is no “tax/surcharge/fee“ owed to the power utility.
2. If the residential solar PV owner generates a kWh of electricity which they do not consume and is placed on the distribution line and consumed “down the street”, then the question is: what “credit” should the solar PV generator receive. It would seem logical that the solar PV generator should, at least, receive as credit the same amount that the partner utility would have pay to the generator and transmissioner of the carbon (or nuclear) fueled turbine-based electricity to distribute it to the neighbor down the street.

This simplified scheme neglects other less transparent “credits” that solar PV might be due and will continue to be the subject of much discussion and debate.

November 16, 2013

Mixed Result: Arizona Keeps Net Metering, But Levies Smaller Solar Fee

It is interesting to view the $0.7/kW monthly APS charge as a "tax" (works out to be about 5%) on the value of the energy residential PV array owners generate.

Or, perhaps as a "surcharge" (as opposed to the recent utility "rebates"). The surcharge is $0.21/watt (as 0.7 [$/kw-month] * 12 [months/year] * 25 [years - the PV system lifetime]). ]

February 01, 2013

Optimizing PV Plant O&M Requires Focus on the Project Lifecycle

The 2.75 MW designation describes the power output of the array under ideal conditions (i.e. a specific sunlight intensity and incidence angle, and panel temperature)... Think of the PV array like an automobile engine which has a horsepower rating (also defined under ideal conditions based on an rpm level and fuel type and temperature, etc.). For both the solar array and auto engine the actual output (MW or horsepower) depends on the amount of fuel provided (sunlight and gasoline, and "ambient" conditions). The key figure of merit for a PV system is how many kWh (kilowatt-hours) of energy it produces per kW per year. This quantity does depend on the location of the array (for example, 1800 kWh/kW-yr for Arizona, 1200 kWh/kW-yr for Massachusetts); it does not depend on the efficiency of conversion of sunlight to electricity. Less efficient panels that comprise an array just means you must cover more area with them to achieve the desired design power level for the array. RECs are granted for the kWhs that an array produces, and can be extracted from the instrumentation (typically the inverter) that accompanies all residential, commercial and industrial arrays.

December 13, 2012

Transparency and Better Forecasting Tools Needed for the Solar Industry

brian-wark your metric for PV array power per acre is off by a factor of ten. To accomodate for shading, etc. a better experienced-based metric is 120 -150 kW per acre.

November 22, 2012

Military Biofuels Debate Continues: NDAA Could Kill Job, Economic Growth, Report Says

@claven: " ....that has global proved reserves of over 1.6T barrels and growing." Assuming limited growth in supply beyond 1.6 T barrels, then if daily world-wide oil usage rate of 80 billion barrels does not increase, the 1.6T barrels will last 55 years. If the annual usage rate increases at a rate of 1.5%/year, the 1.6T barrels will last 40 years. In either case, then what??

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