West vs. south: Why change the orientation of your solar PV system

Originally published in the March/April issue of Solar Today.  Within the solar industry, it’s common knowledge that the optimal orientation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the Northern Hemisphere is typically south, to maximize electricity production over the life of the system. Recently, however, there has been much discussion, and even incentives being offered, for … Continued

Valuation of solar plus storage in Hawaii

Clean Power Research recently took on the challenge of developing a new methodology for performing a hybrid solar plus storage (solar + storage) valuation study for systems in Hawaii. The methodology was commissioned by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) to help lay the groundwork for mitigating current challenges associated with high penetrations of … Continued

Five to thrive: Key characteristics of great utility customer engagement

“The utilities that succeed in educating their residential customers may be [the best positioned not only] to survive, but [also to] thrive in the new customer-centric electricity landscape that is now taking shape.” – 2015 Utility Residential Customer Education Survey, Utility Dive This statement was a key finding of a survey of 144 power-sector executives conducted … Continued

Lessons from SEPA’s Utility Solar Conference Part 2: Stop worrying about rooftop solar (start focusing on opportunities)

For all the talk of utility death spirals, a single graph from GTM Research’s Shayle Kann, presented at the recent Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) annual Utility Solar Conference (USC), should give U.S. utilities significant comfort that residential solar isn’t going to bring about their downfall. The graph in Figure 1, which summarizes the total … Continued

Lessons from SEPA’s Utility Solar Conference Part 1: Get electric rates right to fill the belly of the duck

The Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) annual Utility Solar Conference (USC) is the premier utility solar conference in the United States, and the in-depth discussions between utility and industry leaders can be counted on to portend where solar is heading. At this year’s event, held in San Diego, two topics stood out: Utilities should “get … Continued