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Renewable Energy Update
April 20, 2018
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SunPower buys U.S. rival SolarWorld to head off Trump tariffs

REUTERS - Apr 18 SunPower Corp. on Wednesday said it would buy U.S. solar panel maker SolarWorld Americas, expanding its domestic manufacturing as it seeks to stem the impact of Trump administration tariffs on panel imports. The White House cheered the deal, saying it was proof that Trump’s trade policies were stimulating U.S. investment. The news sent SunPower’s shares up 12 percent on the Nasdaq to their highest level since before President Donald Trump imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels in January. “The time is right for SunPower to invest in U.S. manufacturing,” Chief Executive Tom Werner said in a statement. SunPower is based in San Jose, California but most of its manufacturing is in the Philippines and Mexico. SunPower will manufacture its cheaper “P-series” panels, which more directly compete with Chinese products, at the SolarWorld factory in Hillsboro, Oregon, it said. It will also make SolarWorld’s legacy products.


Low-income housing represents huge solar opportunity, new study from NREL finds

SOLAR POWER WORLD - Apr 18 A new report released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that nearly half of all the United States’ residential rooftop solar technical potential is on the dwellings of low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, representing 320 gigawatts of potential solar capacity. Although residential solar adoption has increased over the past decade, adoption among LMI households (defined as 80 percent or less of the area median income) and affordable housing providers continues to lag, prompting concerns of a green divide.

DOE announces $105 million solar funding opportunity

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - Apr 17 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Solar Energy Technologies Office is offering $105.5 million in funding for approximately 70 solar projects. According to the DOE, the projects will advance both solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar thermal power technologies, as well as facilitate the secure integration of those technologies into the nation’s electricity grid. Funding will also support efforts that prepare the workforce for the solar industry’s future needs.

East Bay Community Energy to replace PG&E as Berkeley’s main electricity provider

THE DAILY CALIFORNIAN - Apr 17

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín announced Monday that East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) will replace PG&E in June as the main power provider for Berkeley in an attempt to move toward greener energy. The replacement will occur in 11 cities in Alameda County and in its unincorporated regions. PG&E will still maintain the power grid, respond to power outages, and handle customer service and billing. EBCE, however, will be responsible for purchasing electricity from greener sources.


New 10.5-megawatt solar farm opens on site of former Chevron landfill in Richmond

EAST BAY TIMES - Apr 18 The city of Richmond and Marin Clean Energy (MCE) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday for a new, 10.5-megawatt solar farm built on a brownfield that was the site of a former landfill. The Solar One project has been dubbed the Bay Area’s largest public-private solar partnership. The solar farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 3,900 MCE customers and will replace 3,234 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The project was identified as an opportunity to be included in the Chevron Modernization Project, a $1 billion upgrade that includes new piping systems and a more efficient hydrogen plant that can process oil that has more sulfur. Chevron, which is Richmond’s largest employer, leased the landfill site to MCE for $1 per year.

Mount San Antonio College drops plans for solar farm

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY-TRIBUNE - Apr 13 A settlement between Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) and the city of Walnut in the San Gabriel Valley has ended nearly four years of court battles over campus building projects. As part of a tentative agreement signed late Thursday, Mt. SAC will drop plans for a 2.2-megawatt solar farm proposed for a steep Walnut hillside that neighbors and City Hall said would be an eyesore. As a result, the city will drop its lawsuit. The college also agreed to remove from its master plan a five-level parking garage planned for the western edge of campus abutting the Timberline neighborhood. Mt. SAC will be allowed to proceed with an $87 million renovation of Hilmer Lodge Stadium, which had been held up for the past two weeks by the city of Walnut through citations and a lawsuit.

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Renée Louise Robin Renée Louise Robin
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