WA Solar and Energy News 2/26

So Sad, Power Plays, Value of Solar, On a Sunday Drive

Whew! This new year is kicking off to a big start. We were the low bidder on 4(!) community solar projects for Clark PUD. Needless to say those projects, on top of all of our residential work, is keeping us busy. Busy enough I haven’t even had time to read the news let alone share what we’ve been reading around here.


We’ve seen more sun in the Northwest this winter than in the last 5 years. No Seasonal Affective Disorder, and lots more solar production.

Surpise! Politics is messy. The Seattle Times recently ran an article covering the current legislative issues in Olympia. The Washington State Wire has another perspective. 


Here we have net metering and a generous production incentive. In other places, utilities are eliminating net metering for “value of solar” pricing for solar production. You can watch of utility and a solar advocate debate value of solar in Minnesota.

If you haven’t seen it, Tesla is looking into offering battery backup for your house.


A Nigerian engineering student has converted his VW into a solar and wind powered vehicle.


WA Solar and Energy News 2/7

False Rifts, Pipe Power, Big G Wants Big E, Powering Propellers

I’ve be


Solar installer groups from inside and outside are split over potential changes to the solar incentives here in Washington. Let it be known that The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) does little to no business in Washington. 

There may be an untapped source of hydro-electricity in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, a company is now generating power by putting turbines in the pipes delivering drinking water.

Learn more about the Grow Community, the largest solar community in Washington, in an interview with the project manager, Greg Lotakis.


“Prudent risk management does not use uncertainty as an excuse for inaction, and fire and health insurance make sense. We need leaders who are scientifically well-informed and willing act in the long-term best interests of their countries.” – Steven Chu

The United States General Services Administration, the nations largest landlord, wants to make half of all of it’s building area net zero


You’ve probably heard about the solar powered plane that will circumnavigate the globe without refueling. Oh, you haven’t? Catch up.

WA Solar and Energy News 1/31


I’ve been having fun pulling together this little news roundup. We read a lot here at A&R Solar so it’s pretty easy for me to drop my favorite/eye catching/important articles here in this post. At first I really wanted this to be solely solar focused, but the solar industry is part of a much larger energy ecosystem. If you want to understand what’s happening in solar, you have to understand what’s happening in other energy and environmental industries too. I hope you enjoy the variety.


Students at Perry Technical Institute in Yakima will install 24.9kW of solar thanks to a grant from Pacific Power.

Perry Tech is training our future work force, and in Washington there are a lot of solar jobs! Solar Washington recently published the results of a survey of local companies showing for every $1 of state money spent on incentives injects $2.46 back into the Washington economy.


Islands are increasingly embracing renewables to create more robust and stable energy regimes. A small island in Denmark is now exporting their knowledge after becoming energy independent in 2005.

Utilities are having to shift their 100+ year old business models to meet modern Distributed Energy Resources on both sides of the meter. The problem is, at the heart of the issue, there is a philosophical divide. This is an excellent article, and I highly suggest checking it out if you’re interested in the future of utilities which is also the future of renewables.


The article above is about “grid-edge” technologies. What if you live on the other side of the grid where there is no power? This new device promises to get hot and stay hot for solar cooking and heating after the sun goes down.