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Power Industries


New York State Rolling Out Plan To Make It More Affordable For School Districts To Install Solar

New York State has begun the roll out of a new program that will open opportunity for school districts across the state to participate in free consultations to see if implementing solar power is a beneficial option for them.

Mayor de Blasio announced, this week, a major solar investment for city schools, which is a key component of a new green buildings plan. The mayor says the new installations, funded by the city and the NY-Sun Initiative, are the first steps toward installing 100 megawatts of new solar power on city-owned buildings. This is part of the city’s long-term goal to create an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Photo courtesy of the City of New York.

The program, called K-Solar, is a joint partnership between the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in cooperation with the NYS Education Department.

NYPA says that it’s offering every school district in the state free access to its energy advisory consultation services, which will include:

  • collaborating with districts to see if their schools are suitable for solar energy.
  • estimating the potential savings on a school district’s future energy bills.
  • working with school districts to find suitable solar companies to partner with.

NYPA said the schools that will be the best candidates for the program will have adequate open space either in the yard, parking lot, or roof. These areas will also preferably be south-facing with no shading or obstructions.

Also, another feature of the K-Solar program is that the school districts that decide to go forward with the systems will not be responsible for the installation and maintenance costs.

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Phillips 66 Co. Agrees To Retire Over 21 Billion Sulfur Credits As Part of Settlement With EPA

Phillips 66 Co. has agreed to retire over 21 billion in sulfur credits as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency relating to allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act.

Old fashioned Phillips 66 Station in Bassett, Neb. “This is a non-functional store front with replica and refurbished parts to make it look like a gas station. It has not been a gas station for 40 years. 20 years ago it was privately owned and used as a storage facility for junk of the owner. Approximately 1997 it was purchased by a Bassett tourist council and refurbished to look like it did in the 1950’s & 60’s.” Caption and photo courtesy Brian Kell, a contributor for Wikimedia Commons.

The EPA allegations included that the company failed to comply with recordkeeping, reporting, sampling, and testing requirements at several of its owned and operated refineries and terminals across the country, including:

  • the Sweeney Refinery in Old Ocean, Texas.
  • the Borger Refinery in Borger, Texas
  • the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La.
  • the Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, La.
  • the Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Ill.

The EPA discovered these violations during facility inspections and through a review of company records, which included the results of third-party company audits required by the Clean Air Act.

Among the allegations are that the company “incorrectly” reported sulfur results for eight batches of gasoline at the Alliance Refinery, and failed to “retain the original sulfur test results for 81 batches.”

The EPA also alleged that all of the sulfur credits that Phillips 66 generated between 2006 and 2012 were invalid “because oxygenate blenders are not permitted to generate sulfur credits.”

In response, during the settlement negotiations, the company submitted a letter to the EPA stating that it had voluntarily retired an estimated 3.4 billion sulfur credits that it had generated in 2007, “in order to mitigate any potential harm associated with its alleged generation of invalid sulfur credits.”

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Four New Large-Scale Solar Plants Added To Arizona’s APS Electricity Utility Provider Output

The photovoltaic panel array of the Foothills solar power plant owned and operated by Arizona Public Service (APS). Photo courtesy of APS.

Arizona Public Service, the state’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, ended 2013 with four new large-scale solar power plants starting production in December. The facilities, located in western Arizona, have a combined generating capacity of 62 megawatts, enough to power about 15,500 APS customers.

Two of the plants – Foothills and Hyder – are owned by APS and are operating as part of the utility’s AZ Sun Program for large-scale solar facilities.

Alternatively, APS is acquiring electricity through long-term power purchase agreements from the two other plants – Badger and Gillespie – that are owned by two independent companies, PSEG Solar Source LLC, Newark N.J. and RE Gillespie 1 LLC, San Francisco, respectively.

Taking A Look At The Four Solar Plants


The Foothills solar plant is in its second phase and is the largest project in the AZ Sun Program, with 35 megawatts total capacity. The initial phase of the 398-acre facility came online in the first quarter of 2013 near Yuma County.

Foothills uses more than150,000 photovoltaic panels to optimize energy production by following the suns path as they move on a single-axis tracking system, creating enough energy to power about 9,000 customers. Foothills is also the first solar plant on Arizona State Trust land.

APS has a 35-year lease on the land, at a cost of $10.9 million. The proceeds from the land sales and leases on the land are going to the beneficiaries of the State Land Trust, which are primarily public schools K-12.

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V3Solar Verifies Spin Cell Generates 20X More Electricity Than Panels Through 3rd Party Testing

V3Solar – a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of solar technology – has just reached two major milestones in developing its new solar spin cell technology.

V3Solar solar spin cell. Image courtesy of V3Solar.

The company has just signed a contract with Nectar Design (an award winning product development company) to complete the engineering and commercial design of its spin cell technology. Last year, Nectar won four Bronze IDEA awards from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

V3Solar also just verified through third party testing that its spin cell technology can produce “over 20X more electricity” than conventional solar panels “while using the same type and amount of photovoltaic material as (those) flat static panels.”

V3Solar attributes the increased generating results to combining several force multipliers, involving: concentrated lenses, dynamic spin, the conical shape, and new advances in technologies.

The company compares the difference between the spin cells and conventional panels, saying spin cells can concentrate the same amount and more sunlight than panels but with far less heat.

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Swiss ABB Group Wins Bid To Supply Technology For Two South African Solar Power Plants

The ABB Group, a global power and automation technology provider, based in Switzerland, has won a $225 million bid to supply development services including: design, technologies, hardware, engineering, installation, and commissioning to build two solar power plants in South Africa. The bids were awarded by Core Energy and Erika Energy.

The two solar power plants will be built in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo, near the province’s capital city of Polokwane. They will be built at the Witkop and Soutpan Solar Parks, and respectively have a generating capacity of 33 MW and 31 MW.

The power generated from these plants will be fed into a high-voltage transmission grid through a new equally high-voltage substation.

ABB says that together, “the plants will generate 130 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough clean energy to power around 36,000 South African homes and displace around 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year.”

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