Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Civic Solar Advisor Free Weekly Newsletter

Our own Beau Gillis recommends this free weekly newsletter available from Civic Solar.

He says "Here is stuff on Solar panel load etc., looked like good stuff to pass on."

Another free newsletter about the international Solar Industry in general is from SolarBuzz.

Check these out and let others know what you find by adding comments below, or start a new post. A list of interesting Solar PV websites, blogs and News sources would be very helpful to everyone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb. 2012 HRSG Meeting, Kaufman Hall, ODU

The February meeting of the Hampton Roads Solar Group will be Tuesday, February 21 at 7:30 PM at ODU (note location change).  We’ll be meeting at Kaufman Hall (the hydraulics lab), Rm 138 on the ODU campus.   John Whitelaw will meet us there to let everyone in.  You can locate it on a campus map by going to: http://www.odu.edu/oduhome/campusmap.shtml and selecting “Kaufman Hall” under the list of buildings below the large map.  I’ll get more details as well as parking recommendations from John.

We’ll have two speakers for this meeting:
Hannah Weigard of Chesapeake Climate Action Network (http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/about/about-us/staff/hannah-wiegard-hampton-roads-organizer).  CCAN has been active in Virginia offshore wind power, an important renewable energy source;
Our own Jim Jacobs

Please pass on the word to others who may be interested; there’s no admission fee and lots of good discussion to be had.

March’s meeting will be March 20 (the Vernal equinox this year) in Hampton at the Ruppert-Sargent Building (our usual Peninsula location).

-          Ken

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Skelion: A solar energy design plugin for Google SketchUp

Skelion was designed to make working in SketchUp quite a bit easier for solar professionals. It features the ability to automatically insert solar panels on SketchUp surfaces. Because the developers are solar professionals themselves, I have a feeling others in the industry will find this plugin quite useful. I had a chance to ask one of Skelion’s developers some questions:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I am Sam Jankis, industrial engineer and co-developer of Skelion, although my partner is the real code developer of the plugin: Juan Pons is a Spanish engineer and programmer. Skelion was born in July 2011 after two years of development. It is a plugin for Google SketchUp that allows you to, among other things, insert solar panels on surfaces automatically.
Why did you build Skelion?
Skelion was developed to automate the design of solar systems using Google SketchUp. The goal was to do all the design work we were doing, but automatically. Now we can do with four clicks what we were doing in four hours. Skelion reduced considerably our average time expended on doing layouts and energy production reports of solar systems, and allowed us to multiply by four the preliminary studies we could do.

Dominion looks to build 2GW Wind Power off Virginia Coast

By James QuilterWindpower Monthly, 03 February 2012, 9:25am 

UNITED STATES: Virginia's largest utility Dominion Virginia Power has revealed it is interested in building 2GW of offshore wind off the state's coast.

Dominion, which moved into onshore wind in 2009, said it had the transmission infrastructure to handle the electricity generated by an offshore wind farm. It said it was looking to develop 500-2,000MW in phases starting at 100 turbines and eventually moving up to 400.
Click here to find out more!
Speaking to the Associated Press, Dominion senior vice president Mary Doswell said: "If everything aligns and it makes good sense and we have our regulators on board, yes, we would be moving forward on a wind farm."
However, Doswell also said costs would have to move closer to Dominion's $0.12/kWh rates. "Wind is a great resource but we've got to work on this cost equation."
Although the majority of its portfolio consists of nuclear and coal, the utility moved into onshore wind in 2008. It built the 264MW NedPower Mount Storm Wind Project in partnership with Shell and has a 50% interest in 650MW of BP Alternative Energy's two-phase, 750MW Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Indiana.
Dominion has been looking at offshore wind since last year. In March 2011, it launched a study examining a transmission line that would connect any offshore projects.
Scot C Hathaway, vice president of transmission said: "An undersea transmission line project will be a key to getting wind generation from the Atlantic Ocean to our customers.
"Virginia has excellent resources for offshore wind energy. It makes sense for us to begin a preliminary scoping study of a transmission line and how it could make the offshore wind industry in Virginia viable, without regard to issues of rates, timing and integration into the PJM Interconnection regional transmission grid."
The first US offshore wind turbine is likely to be built in Virginia. Gamesa and shipbuilder Northrop Grumman have decided to base their G11X 5MW turbine development program. 
Read original article here.