November 25, 2001 |
As the country intensifies efforts to reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy, discussions of alternative power are creating as much heat as the summer sun. The one thing that most advocates of renewable energy agree on is that there aren't enough people trained to install the equipment needed to turn the sun's rays into usable power. That situation is changing somewhat, however. Early this month, 11 people successfully completed a training course in the installation of photovoltaic cells managed by the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, a nonprofit group that seeks ways to help low- and moderate-income area residents reduce energy consumption through conservation and use of alternative sources.
April 12, 2012
Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. will open its second large solar farm on Friday when Gov. Corbett and other officials dedicate a $6.5 million, 1.5-megawatt photovoltaic facility at the company's Pickering water treatment plant near Phoenixville. The solar farm will reduce Aqua's electricity purchases by 2.3 million kWh a year, generating $207,000 in energy savings and other revenue from relieving congestion on the regional power grid. The utility's first solar farm was a 1.0 megawatt array at its Ingram's Mill treatment plant in East Bradford Township near West Chester.
October 20, 2011
Public Service Electric and Gas Co. and Rider University on Thursday cut the ribbon on a new 740-kilowatt solar farm at the Lawrenceville, N.J. school. The project, owned by the utility, is part of PSE&G's two-year-old Solar 4 All program to develop 80 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity, including thousands of solar panels mounted on utility poles. - Andrew Maykuth
October 25, 1993 |
On a sunbaked plain near Sacramento, where row upon row of black solar cells rise up out of the farmland like some shimmering high-tech crop, researchers have discovered a basic truth about solar energy: The sky giveth. And the sky taketh away. For the last six years, researchers studying whether solar cells are the holy grail of electrical utilities have been unable to overcome the technological and economic obstacles that keep solar energy consigned to the margins of the nation's energy mix. "I don't think people understand how difficult it is to take things out of the laboratory and make them commercial," said Brian K. Farmer, project manager of the venture, Photovoltaics for Utility Scale Applications.
October 7, 1989 |
Chronar Corp., once one of the brightest stars among solar-energy companies, seemed to slide a bit deeper into darkness yesterday as it announced that its founder, Zoltan J. Kiss, would no longer be employed there. Kiss, 57, who has been executive vice president for technology at the Lawrenceville, N.J., firm, will leave at the end of October to develop a new generation of photovoltaic devices using compound semiconductors. As recently as August 1988, when Kiss was saying it looked as though Chronar had turned the corner financially, the company's common stock was selling for $11 a share.
July 25, 2011
DuPont Co. said today it bought Innovalight Inc., a Sunnyvale, Calif., company founded in 2005 that makes silicon inks and other materials designed to improve the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With revenue of more than $1 billion from photovoltaic market last year, DuPont, of Wilmington, said its goal was to reach $2 billion in such sales by 2014. Privately held Innovalight said in May it would receive $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the development and production of the company's products.
September 9, 1988 |
Chronar Corp. of Princeton yesterday said that it had found a partner with which to build the world's largest plant for converting sunlight to electricity. Chronar said the plant would cost about $125 million and produce 50 megawatts of electricity, seven times more than any than any other plant that uses photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Previously, the price of photovoltaic cells has been so high that a solar electric plant was not considered economical.
November 30, 1986 |
For advocates of solar energy, times have never been darker. The water-heating solar panels atop the White House were removed this summer. The Department of Energy's renewable energy budget has fallen from a half-billion dollars in 1980 to $124 million this year. Low oil prices and the end of tax credits have sent the solar heating business into a tailspin. But there remains one hopeful segment in the solar energy field: producers of solar cells that produce electricity when their silicon material is struck by sunlight.
August 17, 1986 |
Someday, solar cells that can turn light into electricity will help irrigate the deserts and bring power to the remotest villages of the Third World. But not until they succeed in powering musical paperweights, self-propelled kinetic sculptures and air-conditioned pith helmets. These and a host of other sun-driven items, useful and otherwise, are beginning to show up this year in novelty stores and upscale catalogues as the struggling photovoltaic industry takes its first halting steps toward mass production.
January 29, 2013 |
Pennsylvania is reactivating its Sunshine Solar Program, which spurred a flurry of solar installations across the state until funds were exhausted in August 2011. The Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday that the Commonwealth Financing Authority is providing $7.25 million for the program, which gives rebates of up to $7,500 for residential photovoltaic installations and $52,500 for small businesses. The rebates are arranged by qualified installers. The funds should provide rebates for about 400 projects on a waiting list that were completed in 2011 when funds ran out, and for about 400 new installations this year.