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06/07/2011

DOE’s Solar Energy Solution

 
Solar-Energy-Solution

The DOE has announced the availability of $27 million in funding towards new solar energy solutions designed to make solar energy cost-competitive within the decade.  As part of the SunShot Initiative, the funding will streamline permitting and installation, reducing the non-hardware costs of solar energy projects.

"These investments under the SunShot program can help to transform the solar energy industry by addressing significant challenges to solar energy deployment, including permitting and installation," says U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Chu. "Innovations in IT and local business processes, such as online permit applications, can deliver significant savings for solar energy systems and will help America to compete globally in this growing market."

The DOE has outlined the steps it will be taking to streamline processes and reduce administration costs:

Rooftop Solar Challenge - up to $12.5 million

Under the Rooftop Solar Challenge local and regional government teams can compete for funds to help eliminate administrative barriers to residential and small commercial photovoltaic (PV) solar installations and improve the availability of financing for solar projects. This Challenge incentivizes local governments to develop innovative solutions in four key areas:

  • Standardizing permitting processes;
  • Updating planning and zoning codes;
  • Improving interconnection and net metering standards; and
  • Increasing access to financing.

Every jurisdiction in each winning team must adopt the same processes, which will help address the challenge of different communities having different sets of rules and regulations. The winners will also remove siting restrictions from local codes and land use policies and will increase access to financing options for homeowners by promoting innovative financing mechanisms like solar leasing and group purchasing.

Balance of System Costs - up to $15 million over three years

This funding opportunity will create tools that local governments can use to streamline and expedite the process of installing solar energy. DOE will fund one or more recipients under each of the following topic areas:

Codes, Standards and Processes - Projects in this topic area will work to improve existing codes, standards, and permitting processes; train code officials on new codes; and develop best practices and model codes that can be used in communities nationwide.

Software Design Tools and Databases - Projects in this topic area will develop a range of IT systems and databases, including a utility-scale planning tool that identifies sites available for solar project development, IT tools to help installers and local governments prepare and process permit applications, and a database of local permitting processes nationwide.

Regulatory and Utility Solutions - Projects in this topic area will provide technical support for utilities to better integrate solar energy into utility operations. Projects will also provide support for states as they develop or improve the regulatory frameworks necessary to sustain a growing solar market.

DOE Working to Cut Solar Costs by 75%

Obama Administration Plans Solar Panels for White House

Plastic Films for Solar Cells

 

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04/16/2014

The U.S. Army plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25% of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

04/15/2014

The EPA's annual greenhouse gas emissions report is now available.

04/14/2014

Are you what some would call a “climate-change denier”? If so, you'll want to read this.

04/10/2014
Los Angeles has remained the top city for ENERGY STAR certified building since 2008, while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new list released by the EPA.
04/09/2014
Green construction has grown massively over a short period of time.
04/07/2014
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy-efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the U.S. Navy, helping it meet energy goals.
04/03/2014
Building owners in Chicago now have more options when it comes to getting their building energy data verified.
04/01/2014
According to a new report from Eaton, such outages are up 15% in 2013 over 2012 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.
03/31/2014
The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aims to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing, and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
03/27/2014
Facility managers face an every expanding array of sustainability choices and challenges, but for the next generation of FMs, green practices could be second nature as sustainability literacy enters the K-12 school system.
03/25/2014
While the economic recession explains the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to fall.
03/24/2014
University of Washington (UW) scientists have built the thinnest known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
03/21/2014
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2378 into law, effectively enacting the state’s first building code.
03/19/2014
In an attempt to improve building energy performance, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a web-based tool called the Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx.
03/18/2014
Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?
03/13/2014
Worried about workplace violence in your facility? Researchers have discovered that “mindfully observing” high-risk employees can avert danger and workplace violence.
03/11/2014
Through the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program, every dollar the DOE has spent on building energy codes over the past two decades has resulted in $400 in energy cost savings.
03/07/2014
It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space, according to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
03/05/2014
Is your building prepared to handle an emergency?
03/04/2014
NASCAR revealed five newly installed charging stations for employee use.
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