Tesla unveils residential solar roof and new Powerwall battery

Dive Brief:

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an integrated solar roof and battery storage product at an event Oct. 28 in Los Angeles. The new roof is designed to mimic several traditional roof designs and will cost less “than a normal roof plus cost of electricity,” according to Musk.
  • The new 7 kW, 14 kWh battery system is being priced at $5,500 and the system will integrate with Tesla’s electric vehicle chargers. The offering will come from Tesla Energy, the planned brand name for the combined Tesla and SolarCity, should shareholders approve their proposed merger.
  • The announcement follows Tesla’s official release of the second generation of its grid-scale battery on Thursday night. The Powerpack 2.0uses upgraded power electronics and a new inverter to deliver twice the energy density of its predecessor at a cost competitive with tradition generation, the company announced in a blog post.


Read More HERE


Thankfully, the entry into force of the Paris Agreement (which, by the way, set a record for most countries signing an international agreement in a single day on April 22) signals an enormous victory in our continued fight for a bright, sustainable future for our planet. But before we bust out the champagne we should take stock of the climate change records that were broken this year – so far. Here are seven. Let’s hope we don’t have many more to report come year’s-end.

Read more  here……CHECK OUT NUMBER #7. 

Falling Battery Prices Will Open Up a World of Innovation

Oct 26, 2016 at 6:02PM

The auto industry is just the first, and most visible, domino in a number of industries that will be upended by falling battery prices. A report by Blooimagesmberg New Energy Finance and McKinsey & Co., cited by Bloomberg, found that the average battery-pack price fell 65% from $1,000 per kWh in 2010 to $350 per kWh last year. It even came out last year that General Motors(NYSE:GM) is paying LG Chem (NASDAQOTH:LGCLF) just $145 per kWh for battery cells to make packs for the upcoming Chevy Bolt.

The massive decline in battery costs is already gaining battery-electric vehicles a share of the overall new-vehicle market. But don’t underestimate the adjacent industries that will open up as innovators learn how energy storage creates new opportunities.

The electric vehicle will drive battery prices lower

Scale is the first cost-reduction driver for batteries, and it has driven most of the 65% decline in costs in just five years. And as demand for electric vehicles grows, costs will continue to fall. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, just 52,000 EVs were sold in 2010; that number was up to 448,000 last year. By 2018, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) alone plans to sell 500,000 EVs, so the scale is becoming much bigger.


Are Energy Vampires haunting you this Halloween?

Energy Vampires come from things like televisions and cell phone chargers. When plugged in, they use electricity 24 hours a day, just sitting and waiting for you to turn on a switch or recharge something. In standby mode, even when not being used, electricity drawn can be as much as 15 or 20 watts for each. This might not seem like much, but it adds up fast. In fact, its more than $100 dollars per year for an average home!

Here’s a list of the biggest Energy Vampires  in your home:

  • Televisions—especially plasma and LCD TVs
  • Cable box units and DVRs
  • Window air conditioners
  • Computers
  • Video game systems
  • Microwave ovens
  • Power tools like drills, screwdrivers, and saws.

nosferatushadowHere are a few simple tips to escape Energy Vampires and save money within the home:

  • Use a power strip with an on/off switch to plug in a group of items — for example, cell phone and MP3 chargers. When you unplug a device from the charger, just flip the power switch off
  • Install a programmable thermostat and save $180 dollars per year through proper use with the 4 pre-programmed settings
  • Insulate pipes and ducts
  • Change your light bulbs in your 5 most used light fixtures to LEDs or CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and save $70 dollars each year in energy costs
  • Change your home air filter a minimum of every 3 months
  • Make sure that all vents are clear of furniture or rugs to improve air flow and comfort
  • Turn off all lights, fans, and electronics when leaving a room
  • Sell or remove any old, secondary refrigerators or freezers (older models can cost $100 dollar or more per year to operate)
  • Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible
  • Use the right sized pot on stovetop burners (a 6” pot on an 8” burner wastes over 40% of the burner’s heat. Also, cover pots and pans to keep heat in)
  • Use the shower instead of the bathtub when bathing and install a new low-flow showerhead (save up to $145 dollars per year)
  • Caulk any visible openings on building structure
  • Install a thermal attic door cover
  • Insulate wall sockets
  • Use ENERGY STAR products and also visit www.energystar.gov for more ideas and tips

USDA Seeks Applications for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loans and Grants


USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers today encouraged rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for loans and grants to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

“These projects create long-term, economic benefits for businesses and rural communities,” Rikkers said. “USDA’s funding helps promote U.S. energy independence and supports the production of home-grown energy sources. I encourage all eligible applicants to take advantage of this opportunity.  These investments can help a small business cut costs, expand operations, hire more workers and provide a better service to the communities in which they operate.”

USDA is accepting Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) applications for: 1) energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants, and 2) renewable energy system and energy efficiency guaranteed loans and grants.

The application deadline for energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants is Jan. 31, 2017. Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency grants of $20,000 or less are due by Oct. 31, 2016, for the firs11204868_10156122621575223_5264684579691067763_nt funding cycle and March 31, 2017, for the second funding cycle.  Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency grants of greater than $20,000 and all combination grants and guaranteed loans are due by March 31, 2017. USDA will set aside 20 percent of the funds for grants of $20,000 or less.

Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency grants or for loan/grant combinations that are received after March 31, 2017, will be considered in Fiscal Year 2018, which starts Oct. 1, 2017. Guaranteed loan applications will be reviewed and processed when received, with periodic competitions. For additional information, contact the USDA energy coordinator for your state, or see page 71689 of the October 18 Federal Register.

Eligible applicants for renewable energy system and energy efficiency loans and grants include agricultural producers and rural small businesses, which may include tribal business entities, rural electric cooperatives and public power entities. Renewable energy sources include wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. Eligible applicants for energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants include State, tribal or local governments; institutions of higher education; and rural electric cooperatives and public power entities.

Congress created the REAP program in the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized it in the 2014 Farm Bill with guaranteed funding of no less than $50 million annually for the duration of the five-year bill.

In 2015, USDA provided a $500,000 REAP grant to support SR Camden LLC’s solar farm in Camden, Ark. The $32 million, 12 megawatt solar array on 100 acres at the Highland Industrial Park has more than 150,000 solar panels. The energy produced from the panels is fed to the adjacent electric utility substation and is enough to power about 2,400 homes for a year.

Nationwide, USDA has helped finance more than 12,000 REAP projects since 2009. When fully operational, these projects will generate or save enough energy to power more than 750,000 homes annually, and replace more than 36 million barrels of oil annually.    READ MORE HERE

Contact a Solar Provider to find out more. www.tennesseesolarsolutions.com

Tennessee Solar Solutions

Tennessee Solar Solutions LLC is an experienced turnkey solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm. Design, engineering, sales, installation, maintenance, back up and/or whole site emergency power generation and 24 hour emergency service. We are a fully licensed and insured general and electrical contracting firm specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We offer 100% financing on all installations. We are renewable energy specialists. Your one stop shop for renewable energy!


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2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors


TOP 500 RANK #319

Total Megawatts Installed 20140.786 Company Founded2007
Employees17 LocationChattanooga, TN
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Primary ServiceEPC


Trump and Clinton butt heads on solar in first presidential debate

In the first Presidential debate last night, candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not have made their differing opinions on solar and climate change clearer.

Clinton pointed to a correlation between a healthy energy policy and job creation, stating that the nation could have “10 million more new jobs”, citing a sustainable energy policy as an “investment where we can grow the economy.”

“Take clean energy,” she said. “Some country is going to be the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.”

Trump retorted that he “did not say that”. However, the Twitter account of the Republican nominee tells a different story, with a tweet from 2012 insisting that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Clinton originally vowed to install half a billion solar panels in her first term back in July 2015, and repeated her intent again during the debate: “And I think it’s important that we grip [climate change] and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do: we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity.”



Is Tesla’s Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?

Tesla Expands Into Power Storage Market

Elon Musk has never been one to shy away from a bold and disruptive strategy, from his startup of PayPal through SpaceX to Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA). With his recent announcement of Powerwall, Tesla’s introduction into the commercial battery/power storage market, Musk is embarking on a strategy to make renewable energy a more mainstream technology.

Costs of solar panels have been coming down for some time to where they can begin to challenge coal and gas-fired plants on a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) basis and solar infrastructure costs are also trending down significantly. The “missing piece” of the renewable energy picture is a reliable way to store the energy and

Is Tesla's Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?
Is Tesla’s Powerwall Battery a Game-Changer?

balance out the demand issue — solar energy is only available during daylight hours and peak demand never matches up with peak generation. That makes most consumers of solar energy still reliant on the power grid.


Residential solar power is installed and wired into the grid, allowing the power company to regulate the flow based on need (and set up a suitable metering and billing method, as well). A large enough storage system could make homes fully independent of the grid. Powerwall is a first step in that direction….. READ MORE HERE