Tag: Solar Panels
Recently, together with Pennsylvania energy solutions provider UGI Performance Solutions, we announced plans for a 473.7 kW solar array at the Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS). Usually when we talk about our installations, we focus on what the system will power. At SSFS however, what is exceptionally notable is not what the system will power, but what it won’t. Just a few feet from where the 2000+ panels will ultimately be installed lies SSFS’ Adventure Park. This aerial forest adventure park is the largest of its kind in North America and is essentially an obstacle course in the trees, consisting of platforms installed in trees and connected by various configurations of cable, wood, rope and zip lines to form bridges and ladders one to four stories up in the sky!
We went to check out the site recently where the footprint of the panels is already staked out. We were overwhelmed by the cheers, laughter, screams of thrill and the roaring sound of the cables as people took advantage of all the park had to offer, and the multitude of families picnicking and enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Energized by all of the excited “climbers,” we just had to join in. We geared up in our harnesses, participated in a safety briefing, learned how to click our carabiner into the tweezle (if you don’t know what a tweezle is you will after your safety briefing) and were off! We only made it through a few of the (beginner) thirteen courses, but we had a blast, and were amazed at the daring few who braved the double black course – 50 feet up in the treetops!
We also discovered what the two have in common – energy! The Adventure Park creates so much kinetic energy and adrenaline, while the more passive solar array will soak up the energy of the sun and convert it to electricity. With the innovative spirit at SFSS, we wouldn’t be surprised if they one day figured out how to harness both!
So if you are seeking an exciting outdoor adventure this summer in the truest sense of being green, we urge you to unplug! Visit the SSFS Adventure Park, check out the future site of the SSFS’s solar array and take in an interesting juxtaposition between the promise and potential of renewable energy against some good old-fashioned, active, unplugged fun.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced their decision to impose tariffs on Chinese solar panel manufacturers in the 30 percent range, finding that the manufacturers had sold their products on the U.S. market for less than what it cost to make and ship them.
This move will greatly impact the solar industry in the U.S. Below, our CEO Tony Clifford gives his response to the decision:
As a leading solar developer and EPC contractor from residential through small utility-scale, Standard Solar will be directly impacted by the higher prices for solar modules likely resulting from this decision. These higher prices are going to result in slower growth for the American solar industry. This is truly ironic as it is occurring at a time when the American solar industry is within striking distance of retail cost-competitiveness with grid-supplied electricity. In the past two years the American solar industry has grown to more than 100,000 jobs — more than 70 percent of which are downstream from manufacturing. This is the industry segment that will be most harmed by today’s decision.
Whether American cell and module manufacturers will be really helped by this decision is still an open question. PV manufacturing is a truly global industry. Chinese companies are not the only foreign manufacturers shipping cells and modules to the United States. I’m sure that solar manufacturers in other Asian and European countries will be able to profitably offer solar modules in the U. S. market at prices well within the “cost + 31% tax” that will be applied to Chinese modules. This decision may prove to be more of an incentive for Japanese, Korean and other foreign manufacturers than American manufacturers.
Also, there is the possibility that this decision distracts the industry from its efforts to reach cost-competitiveness with grid-supplied power within the 4.5 years we have left of the 30 percent federal ITC. If the solar industry hits retail cost-competitiveness with the grid-supplied power in a number of states by the end of 2016, we will reach a “tipping point” where there will be no stopping the industry. If we don’t, it will not matter who wins or loses a trade war in 2012.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day this week while visiting the Perdue headquarters in Salisbury, Maryland. The PV system we designed for this facility, combined with the one at Perdue’s Bridgeville site, results in one of the largest commercially-owned solar installations in the country, and we’re really proud of our involvement with this important project. The partnerships that were forged during the process have become invaluable to us and really serve as a benchmark for the future of these kinds of power installations.
During our visit, we walked around the property, admiring all the work we all put into the site. While watching solar panels “do their thing” isn’t action packed, this installation is pretty fascinating – there are more than 5,000 panels, stretching over an impressive 89,000 square feet – silently generating clean, renewable energy all day long.
Although solar panels do most of their work during the daytime, we wanted to capture the installation at sunset. The reflection of the sun setting off of a panel is something spectacular! Our photographer Matthew Borkoski thinks he got some great shots. We’ll share our favorites soon on our Facebook page.