Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 17-23, 2016

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 17-23, 2016
Hywind/CC BY-SA 2.0

The world’s first wind-hydro farm is set to be installed in Germany, Target earns the top spot on SEIA’s list of U.S. corporations with the most solar power, and the U.S. Department of Energy announces a $21 Million investment to fund solar adoption. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

U.S. Department of Energy Invests $21 Million to Fund Speedier Solar Adoption

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced they will provide $21.4 million in funding to boost solar adoption. One of the barriers found in the adoption of solar energy is what are commonly known as “soft costs” — costs such as installation, permitting and grid connection. Solar hardware continues to see declines, but the soft costs continue to remain a barrier to entry.

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Germany Develops World’s First Wind-Hydro Farm

Germany will soon be home to a groundbreaking wind farm. General Electric’s (GE) renewable energy arm has signed a turbine-supply agreement with German construction company Max Bögl to develop the world’s first wind farm with an integrated hydropower plant capable of generating power even when there’s no wind. The wind farm alone will generate 13.6 megawatts of energy while the hydropower plant can generate 16 megawatts. The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

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SEIA Report Lists Top U.S. Corporations Utilizing Solar Power

Target is now the U.S. company that produces the most solar power at its facilities, beating out Walmart for the first time, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Target installed almost 70 megawatts of solar panels in 2016 at its facilities, and now has 147 megawatts of solar panels operating at 300 separate installations. Other companies with large installations of onsite solar panels include Prologis, Apple, Costco, Kohl’s, and IKEA.

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Austin, Texas to Require All New Homes to Have Smart Thermostats

Austin, Texas, is now requiring all new home construction to include smart thermostats, putting more customers in closer connection with the city’s utility and demand management programs. The ordinance went into effect last month, and specifies that “the thermostat controlling the primary heating or cooling system of the dwelling unit shall be capable of connecting to the internet via either a cable or WiFi connection and allow cooling and heating set points to be altered remotely.”

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