Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA announced on March 28 that a 1.21-MW solar array, built with 3,546 panels, has been completed atop its future Columbus store, which will open this coming summer. The retailer claims that the system will be among the largest solar rooftops in Ohio, just as is the Cincinnati-area one.
This week the University of Massachusetts – a public system that enrolls about 73,000 students – earned some new credentials in environmental sustainability. The university dedicated a net-zero facility at its flagship campus in Amherst on March 22 and; the next day, began receiving power at its Boston campus from a remote, 3.9-MW solar array that has been pegged as the largest operational rooftop installation statewide.
On March 9, the New York State Public Service Commission approved a new pricing structure (Cases 15-E-0751, 15-E-0082) for distributed energy resources, designed to promote community solar projects statewide and to gradually phase out net energy metering. The commission also directed the state’s investor-owned utilities to deploy at least two energy storage projects by the end of 2018.
As a result of the order, rooftop solar may decline after 2020 and community solar has been fostered.
In North Carolina, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has “seen the light” on sustainability – voting unanimously on March 7 to swap out 47,000 light fixtures in its school district with LED bulbs, to construct a 5-MW solar farm on 25 acres of local brownfield land, and to create a full-time staff position In to oversee local environmental efforts, according to a report by the nonprofit news service Carolina Public Press.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries will continue to dominate the stationary energy storage sector, according to Lux Research. The dominance is not total, however. Lux found that a new approach, current generation flow battery technology, “has an economic case for certain very large and long-duration applications.” The … Read more…