Solar Electric Links

Updated: Dec. 10, 2011

NOTE: The list is organized with the most recent postings at the top in each section.
If you know of additional links that should be listed, email me at:

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Solar Electric News

Electric car charging station makes debut in Springs
December 09, 2011 2:27 PM
Rich Laden
The Gazette

Cars running on gasoline and diesel fuel no doubt will outnumber electric vehicles for years to come on Pikes Peak region roads.

For some, however, electric vehicles represent a vision for the future.

Governor kicks off solar garden project at Venetucci Farm
November 29, 2011 4:30 PM
Andrew Wineke

David Amster-Olszewski was standing in the dust at Venetucci Farm dressed in a tie and jeans, shaking hands and shaking his head.

"It's so fast," he said of the rushed months that led up to the Tuesday's groundbreaking for Colorado Springs' first community solar garden, built by Amster-Olszewski's company SunShare.

Solar energy: Is it time for it to shine?
November 12, 2011 12:02 PM
Jonathan Fahey

NEW YORK • Solar energy may finally get its day in the sun.

The high costs that for years made it impractical as a mainstream source of energy are plummeting. Real estate companies are racing to install solar panels on office buildings. Utilities are erecting large solar panel “farms” near big cities and in desolate deserts. And creative financing plans are making solar more realistic than ever for homes.

Solar power competition heats up in Springs
November 11, 2011 10:48 AM
It may be November, but solar power is heating up in the Springs.

This week, a second community solar garden company, Clean Energy Collective, was approved by Colorado Springs Utilities and plans to break ground on a 500-kilowatt solar installation by the end of the year.

Research sparks record-breaking solar cell performances
November 7, 2011 by Lynn Yarris
Thin film solar cells fabricated from gallium arsenide have achieved a record sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 28.4 percent.

Bank at Broadmoor offering community solar garden loans
November 02, 2011 11:31 AM

The Bank at Broadmoor is setting up a new "Sunshine loan" program aimed at helping people finance leasing panels in community solar gardens. Community solar gardens are a recent innovation in which, rather than install solar panels on their home, people lease panels in a central solar installation, but still get credit on their electric bills for the power the panels generate.

Community solar garden will bring power to the people
Life After 50
October 27, 2011
Written by Jeanne Davant
What do you do when you want to utilize solar energy but you can’t afford the high cost of installation?

That’s a question Colorado College graduate David Amster-Olszewski pondered while working at his first post-college job.

I worked for a solar company, and I saw what obstacles there were for people, Amster-Olszewski says. Eighty-five percent of people can’t afford it the average installation costs $25,000, or they don’t own their house, or they have trees in front of their roof, or their house is facing in the wrong direction.
Thinking about that problem led Amster-Olszewski to come up with the idea of a shared solar garden where people could buy a few panels and harvest the benefits of solar energy without having to install solar panels themselves.

The idea is just like community-supported agriculture, he says. Instead of growing lettuce in your backyard, you buy shares in the farm.

Solar Jobs Report Shows 6.8% Growth over 2010
By Jennifer Runyon, Managing Editor
October 26, 2011
The Solar Foundation released its National Jobs Census last week at Solar Power International (SPI) in Dallas, Texas. The good news is that the solar power industry added almost ten times more jobs over the past year than the overall U.S. economy, which added jobs at a rate of a mere 0.7%. The bad news is that the percentage of job growth since last year is a much-smaller-than-predicted 6.8%.

Venetucci Farm to house solar garden (News Video)
By Rachel Welte, FOX 21 (10/25/2011)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- A month after it was approved by city council, Colorado Springs' new solar garden has found a home.

Venetucci adding solar panels to its pumpkins
October 25, 2011 4:26 PM

Venetucci Farm will soon use solar power for more than just growing pumpkins.

The nonprofit farm, owned by the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, will be the site of Colorado Springs’ first community solar garden, with 2,500 solar panels going up on 2½ acres just behind home of Venetucci mascot Harley the hog.

A community solar garden works sort of like community supported agriculture: Instead of putting solar panels on top of their own roof, people buy or lease panels in a large, central solar project, then receive credit on their utility bills for the power generated by the panels. City Council approved the plan last month and four groups have applied to set up solar gardens.

The Venetucci installation will be run by SunShare, the company founded by Colorado College graduate David Amster-Olszewski, who introduced the idea for a solar garden program to council and Colorado Springs Utilities this summer. Instead of a lease payment, though, SunShare will provide Venetucci with 60 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, equal to about two-thirds of the farm’s power requirements.

BofA Sees Many Polysilicon Module Manufacturers Exiting Market by 2013
October 7, 2011 1:59 PM EDT
An analyst at Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Joe Osha, believes that solar module manufacturing capacity for 2012 will be roughly two times the firm's current demand forecast.

A Harvest of Solar Gardens for Colorado
October 18, 2011
Joy Hughes - Solar Gardens Institute
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO - On Thursday October 13, the Board of the San Luis Valley town of Antonito, Colorado voted 7-0 to host a community owned solar garden at their water treatment site, reported Alamosa’s Valley Courier. The half-acre, 50-kilowatt site is sufficient to power 20 homes, and may be expanded up to 2000 kilowatts covering 16 acres if demand warrants.

GE Jumps Into Thin Film Solar Production In A Big Way
Video: Lighter, Larger, More Efficient: Solar Expands in the U.S.
GE’s recent breakthrough in solar energy technology earlier this year achieving the highest-ever reported efficiency for CdTe thin film solar panels will be brought to market at a new manufacturing plant to be built in Aurora, Colorado, the company announced last night at an event with Governor John Hickenlooper. When completed, the expansion will create the country’s largest U.S. solar panel manufacturing plant, 355 advanced manufacturing jobs at the new plant in Colorado and approximately 100 additional jobs in New York, at GE’s renewable energy headquarters in Schenectady and the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna.

GE chose Colorado primarily because the location will allow for accelerated speed to market: GE expects the first panels to come off the assembly line in 2012, with commercial availability in the second half of 2013. The factory will be constructed in an existing building in Aurora, where equipment installation will begin in January 2012. Once it reaches full capacity, the new plant will make enough solar panels per year to power 80,000 homes. Colorado is also home to GE Energy’s thin film solar pilot line, where joint technology from GE Global Research and PrimeStar Solar, which GE acquired earlier this year, have been validated and tested.

DOW Brings the Revolutionary DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingle to U.S. Markets
October 04, 2011 01:00 PM EDT
With a commitment to reinvent the roof for the 21st century, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) today announced it will bring the DOW POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingle to U.S. markets this month, starting in Colorado and rolling into targeted states through 2012.

Garden city
Coloraro Springs Independent
by Pam Zubeck
September 29, 2011
If you live in a condo, a home shaded by big cottonwoods or an apartment complex, you've long been out of luck in the solar energy arena.

But under a pilot program approved Tuesday by Colorado Springs City Council, residents can now invest in solar and get a utility bill credit roughly $81 annually at the minimum investment even if they can't put up panels where they live.

City council approves SunShare initiative
by Amanda Miller
Colorado Springs Business Journal
Published: September 28,2011
Time posted: 9:18 am
The Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved regulations Tuesday that will allow a local start-up to build a community solar garden.

Several community members showed up to voice their support for the initiative that will allow Colorado Springs Utilities customers to lease solar panels in a remote community solar garden and collect the credits for the energy they produce on their utility bills.

Fox21 TV News - Video report including interview with Joe
Posted: 09.27.2011 at 8:20 PM
Updated: 09.28.2011 at 3:35 AM
Local Fox21 TV news story by Kelly Werthmann with quote from Joe
Tuesday was a historical day as the Colorado Springs City Council made an important decision in the city's renewable energy future.

Fox21 News Video from August 30, 2011

Council approves community solar gardens
September 27, 2011 4:48 PM
Council unanimously approved a new rate structure for Colorado Springs Utilities that will allow community solar gardens in which residents buy a share of a large solar project rather than installing panels on their own roof.

Letter of Concerns from Mr. Paul Spencer, President of Clean Energy Collective

Colorado Springs Council Paves Way for Community Solar Gardens
September 28th, 2011
Colorado Energy News
The program will have subscribers buy or lease a minimum of two panels in a solar garden set up by an independent company, and receive a credit on their utility bill of 9 cents a kilowatt hour for the power those panels produce.

Colorado Springs Startup Aims to Launch Solar Garden
September 12th, 2011
Colorado Energy News
Renewable energy initiatives have been a rarity in Colorado Springs. For example, last year only 35 households there installed solar panels and local utilities have not aggressively pursued and promoted solar rebates.

Now, a couple of entrepreneurs are seeking to go where others have dared to tread. Writing in Clean Energy Authority, Amanda Miller reports they’re proposing a progressive community solar garden project in Colorado Springs.

Renewables Bounced Back in 2010, Finds REN21 Global Report
September 29, 2011
Last year's economic turbulence failed to derail renewable generation's expansion to supply 16 percent of final consumption at the end of 2010.

PV Installations To Soar in Second Half of 2011
September 22, 2011
Key solar photovoltaic (PV) markets are poised to pick up substantially over the rest of the year, finds a new report from IMS Research.

Rifle, Colorado Gets Charged About Solar Garden
June 15th, 2011
Colorado Energy News
Those in attendance heard from executives of Clean Energy Collective (CEC) and Holy Cross Energy about the 858 kW array that sits on an otherwise unusable five acre hillside site, as well as Rifle Mayor, Keith Lambert, and former Governor Bill Ritter.

The occasion marked CEC’s largest community-owned PV project yet and the largest of its kind nationally in what some would describe as an unlikely locale.

Solar Energy Component Maker Coming To The Springs
March 08, 2011 3:56 PM
A small New Jersey company that makes equipment for huge solar power installations is setting up a manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs.

Top | Solar Electric News | Solar Electric Web Sites | Solar Electric Articles

Solar Electric Web Sites (1 Block Off the Grid)
Solar power meets consumer power:
Group discounts help you buy home solar power.
A model for group savings on solar installations based on the Groupon concept.

Clean Energy Innovation - an analysis by
What is the value of clean energy innovation?

How much could cheaper clean energy technologies contribute to our economy and energy security? How much could they reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change? Can we simultaneously meet society’s goals of economic growth, security, and de-carbonization?

To attempt to answer these questions, we modeled the impact of breakthroughs in key energy sectors: clean power, energy storage, electric vehicles, and natural gas, along with combinations of clean energy policies.

SRoeCo Solar
An informational site with some great solar data:
Solar Panel Comparison Article
Solar Panel Comparison Table (Compare over 6500 PV panels)
Choose the Best Value Solar System
Calculators - How to Calculate Solar Cost
Most Efficient Solar Panels

Solar Panels Plus
Solar Direct Insolation Chart
Shows Average Daily Sunlight Hours Available For Solar Electric (Solar PV) Panels across the U.S.

Dow Solar Powerhouse
Dow Solar is introducing limited quantities of the POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles in targeted US markets. The product is designed to complement US residential building design - integrating with asphalt roofing materials on sloped rooftops, and offsetting energy bills by connecting to the energy grid.

Solar electricity: Finally affordable!
How much does a solar system cost?
    A system big enough to supply energy for an average home (920 kWh/mo.) will cost $2,400 to $79,000. That compares to $63,000 the average household would have spent on average for dirty electricity over 21 years (assuming that electrical costs rise at an average of 4% per year).

My Solar & Wind Estimator
This Solar & Wind Estimator will estimate the size and cost to install an energy system for your home or building. Technology options include solar electric (PV), solar water heating, pool or spa heating, space heating & cooling, and wind turbines.

Solar Panel Calculator
Calculate Solar Panel Output and Solar Panel System Inverter Sizes

Solar Energy Manufacturers

My Green Home
The green San Diego home of Bruce Haupt with 7KW PV solar electric, rainwater collection system, geothermal heating, and charging stations for his total electric Nissan Leaf and modified plug-in Toyta Prius hybrid.

SunShare, LLC
SunShare is a Colorado Springs-based company founded by Colorado Springs resident and Colorado College graduate David Amster-Olszewski. They are developers of community solar gardens. A community solar garden is a local, commercial-size solar-electric facility that allows citizens to participate in solar, without the panels on your roof.

Solar Synergy
A local Colorado Springs based energy company dedicated to the development of community solar gardens in Colorado Springs.

CRES - Colorado Renewable Energy Society
The Colorado Renewable Energy Society is made up of people dedicated to renewable energy and energy efficiency. As a member of CRES, you join a group of people sharing knowledge, information and opportunities to advance renewable energy initiatives.

Solar Panel Hosting
The Solar Panel Hosting Company offers a way for everyone to own solar panels in their community. People who have a shaded property, rent a home or apartment, or might move. As a pioneer Hosting Service Provider, SPH is bringing together solar subscribers, property owners, investors, and local solar professionals to build and manage distributed power plants everywhere. This independent company is dedicated to protecting key landscapes through ten principles of responsible solar development.
Solar panels are appearing on more and more roofs. But what about people who rent, live in a condominium, have shaded roofs, who might move or live in a historic district or home owners association? This is the majority of Americans! In several states, people can own solar panels in a common array called a solar garden, supplying their homes through the existing power grid.

Solar Gardens, Community Solar Farms, Solar Co-ops, Community Supported Energy, Solar Shares, Offsite Solar, Virtual Net Metering ------- Community Power

Resource for Do It Yourself Solar Power

Solar City (partnered with Google to offer residential solar with no up front cost)
SolarCity manages everything you need to power your home with solar energy, from custom design and financing to installation and ongoing system monitoring.

Solar Savings Calculator by Solar City

Top | Solar Electric News | Solar Electric Web Sites | Solar Electric Articles

Solar Electric Articles

Nanosolar Achieves 17.1% Aperture Efficiency Through Printed CIGS Process
By Nanosolar Communications - October 5, 2011
Thin film solar printing leader Nanosolar, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has certified an aperture efficiency of 17.1% for a solar cell fabricated using Nanosolar’s non-vacuum, low cost printing on flexible foil technology.

Will Google Own The Sun? No, Just Some Of The Solar Panels
updated 9/27/2011 7:06:42 PM ET
Company puts up $75 million to finance and own systems on 3,000 homes

Taking In More Sun With Clean Power Finance
9/27/11 | 9:00:00 AM
This morning, at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF-West) in San Francisco, I announced a new $75 million investment to create an initial fund with Clean Power Finance that will help up to 3,000 homeowners go solar. This is our second investment in residential solar, and we’ve now invested more than $850 million overall to develop and deploy clean energy.

Florida Home To First Giant Solar Farm In Southeast U.S.
Sep 27, 2011
But now the Southeast will see its first utility-scale solar project, a 400-megawatt project being developed by National Solar Group which will be located in Gadsden, County, Fla.

Cooperative Solar Farm by United Power in Brighton, Colorado
One of the major advantages of the program is that United Power will maintain the solar farm the customer only pays for the cost of the panel which is a $1,050 investment per 210 watt panel.

Salazar Says Solar Push To Continue
September 21, 2011 3:43 PM
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will continue its push for solar energy despite growing controversy over a $528 million loan to a now-bankrupt California solar panel maker, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday.

Solar Gardens Aim To Bring Renewable Power To The People
August 25, 2011 2:08 PM
David Amster-Olszewski looks up at the solar panels atop a dormitory roof at Colorado College and sees a garden.

Helping Homeowners Harness The Sun
6/14/2011 06:00:00 AM
Today, we’re announcing that we’ve investing $280 million to create a fund that will help SolarCity finance more solar installations across the country. This is our largest clean energy project investment to date...

U.S. Air Force Academy Solar Project
Academy hits switch on 6-MW solar array
6/13/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Officials with the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs Utilities and SunPower Corp. flipped a switch signifying the official dedication of the Academy's 6-megawatt solar array in a ceremony June 13. Colorado Springs Utilities won the contract, and SunPower oversaw the construction.

Top 12 Solar Companies: Which Are the Best Bet for Investors?
In this article, we will provide you with financial fundamental analysis of the twelve largest solar-related companies on American stock exchanges. For each company, we have provided price targets, buy/sell/hold ratings, buy/sell ranges and theses. Additionally, using a multitude of financial analytical ratios and comparisons, we have given each company a score on growth, profitability, financial health, value, and management indices to compare each company and see where companies excel and where they have weaknesses.

100% Solar Energy In 20 Yrs No Problem, Says Futurist Ray Kurzweil
by John Johnston on 02/25/2011
in Business,Politics,Technology
Futurist Ray Kurzweil has a prediction about the future of solar energy. He asserts that solar technology is improving at such a rate that it will soon be able to compete with fossil fuels. It will also be able to supply 100% of the world’s energy in about 20 years.

Top | Solar Electric News | Solar Electric Web Sites | Solar Electric Articles