City of Chicago buying 1.8 billion clean kWh per year, mostly from wind

Solar Power
Despite President Trump’s 'cold feet' about clean, renewable energy, the city of Chicago is poised to do jump in the deep end: the city has concluded plans to join other green American cities by announcing that by 2025, all city buildings will be powered by renewable energy – the equivalent of 300 wind turbines. In January, Mayor Emanuel made it public that Chicago had reduced its carbon emissions by 7% from the year 2010 to 2015. In the city's 2017 budget, they 'allocate $98.6 million for utility expenses, including electricity and natural gas, and $26 million for vehicle fuel costs, including diesel.' In this plan they're going to eventually buy 1.8 billion clean kWh - probably from relatively local wind sources. Noted in the PR document - Collectively the City, CPS, the…
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Which solar panels should you choose?

Which solar panels should you choose?

Uncategorized
John wrote an excellent article over at Electrek today, discussing the virtues different types of solar panels could have for their owners. What's missing from it is "how does it apply to me?" For instance, homeowners (and business owners) who are building PV systems strictly to offset their power use through the generation, the overriding concern should be what system provides the best "bang for the buck", i.e. best potential generation per dollar spent. Overbuilding a PV system does no benefit to the owner of such an installation, as the net metering agreement they execute with their utility generally only allows for the application of net metering credits against their power bill, with no clause to receive separate payment for any excess generation. In that case, the benefit of using the…
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Monday morning quarterback says – “Who controls TeslaSolar’s data? That’s what really matters!” 

Monday morning quarterback says – “Who controls TeslaSolar’s data? That’s what really matters!” 

Residential, Solar Power, Tesla
I wrote this yesterday. And as I wrote yesterday, and reflected on today, I started to realize the greatest reason Musk needs to own an inverter is because of the data network - not the few hundred million a year. This is the nature of a distributed power company. I'd guess Tesla/SolarCity have had very specific conversations on this topic with any vendors they use - lawyers write mean paragraphs regarding data rights. As TeslaSolar keeps growing, they're going to find more ways to sell their energy and related services. Having immediate access to distributed batfery storage via auto, home, commercial and Utility installations, plus solar generation to sell into active energy markets is worth a lot of money.
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The reality is that your solar system will work for 50 years

Solar Power
Something I wrote elsewhere - the gist of the story is that SolarCity sees that their solar panels last 35 years before they hit the 80% of original output mark that most consider the "useful lifetime." This is significant because the current standard for this useful lifetime is 25 years - adding 10 mores years is a 40% increase in expected output. One of the constant challenges when considering whether to install solar is what the cost of the electricity is - we all know gas, oil and coal are cheap. But what about solar power? Well - we can now low the price per kWh by about 35%.
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