Wednesday, July 6, 2011

General Resources - Jobs and More Information about Renewable Energy

Dear Solar professionals and enthusiasts,

CMR Solar is pleased to share its list of very interesting public online resources, containing plenty of valuable information and job opportunities in the renewable energy field.

Please take a look to our newest page and feel free to add it to your favorite links. CLICK THE "GENERAL RESOURCES" LINK LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM LEFT COLUMN OF OUR MAIN PAGE AT


Monday, June 13, 2011

Large Solar Energy Projects

By the California Energy Commission.

California's electric utility companies are required to using renewable energy to produce 20 percent of their power by 2010 and 33 percent by 2020. A main source of renewable power will be solar energy.

Many large solar energy projects are being proposed in California's desert area on federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. BLM has received right-of-way requests encompassing more than 300,000 acres for the development of approximately 34 large solar thermal power plants totaling approximately 24,000 megawatts. This number of projects have not yet reached the stage of an Application for Certification (AFC) with the California Energy Commission.

Solar thermal projects (above 50 MW) will require approvals from both the BLM and the Energy Commission prior to construction. Therefore, to provide joint National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and a more efficient process, the BLM and Energy Commission have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU also has attachments listing the solar projects the BLM is aware of (as of July 2007) and the time line for the joint review process.

This Web section will provide information about projects that have filed applications under the Energy Commission's jurisdiction (thermal power plant projects 50 MW or larger).

Download "at a glance" map of Large Solar Projects.
Download map of BLM Solar Energy Project Applications.
Solar Projects in the News

California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) was established by Senate Bill 1078 (Sher, Chapter 516, Statutes of 2002). It required the state's retail sellers of electricity - investor-owned utilities (IOUs), electric service providers (ESPs), and community choice aggregators (CCAs) - to procure 20 percent of their retail electricity sales with eligible sources of renewable energy by 2017. California's energy agencies subsequently committed to achieving the 20 percent target by 2010; seven years earlier than the target.

This 20 percent target was codified by the enactment of Senate Bill 107 (Simitian and Perata, Chapter 464, Statutes of 2006), which took effect on January 1, 2007. A higher, more ambitious goal was initially set, by the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Commission in the Energy Action Plan, at 33 percent renewables by 2017, but Governor Schwarzenegger's Executive Order of November 2008 set the goal at 33 percent by 2020. For information on regulations for meeting the 33 percent renewable energy target, see the ARB's Renewable Electricity Standard page.

In creating the RPS, the Legislature underscored the importance of increasing the diversity, reliability, public health, and environmental benefits of the energy mix.

For more about the Renewables Portfolio Standard, please go to the Energy Commission's website page at:

Earlier Large, Solar Projects Producing Power
Prior to the Renewable Portfolio Standards in 2002, 13 solar thermal power projects were planned in California, with 11 of those filing applications with the Energy Commission. Nine projects (Solar Energy Generating Station - SEGS I to IX), totaling 354 MW, were built. SEGS III to IX are owned by NextEra™ Energy Resources (formerly FPL Energy), and SEGS I and II are owned by Cogentrix Solar Services - a wholly owned subsidiary of Cogentrix Energy LLC (Charlotte, NC), which purchased former owner Sunray Energy Inc. in early 2009.

One large photovoltaic (PV) array was built by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District near its Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant. It went on line in August 1984 and has an installed capacity of 3.19 MW.

Visit us at

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Go Solar – A Win-Win Business Approach

Back in 2007, the city of San Francisco begun a carefully designed incentive program called GoSolarSF, which is a great example that could be followed by other cities and maybe YOU, my dear reader, can do something about this.

Thanks to Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors, this program has created full-time jobs for local youth, put solar on low-income housing, built clean distributed energy, and lowered the city's greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative motivated 20 solar companies to open offices in San Francisco.

The GoSolarSF program has a $5 million annual budget to pay an incentive that covers a percentage of the cost for residents, nonprofits, and commercial buildings who want to go solar. A third of the program funds solar installations on low-income housing. GoSolarSF is paid for by revenue from the SFPUC's Hetch Hetchy sale of electricity. (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.)

The incentive is only available to GoSolarSF certified solar installers, nonprofits such as Grid Alternatives, and small San Francisco solar contractors with three or fewer employees. Certified solar installers must hire local youth through TrainGreenSF or other participating organizations, who work at least 50 percent on GoSolarSF funded solar installations, nearly full time, with good pay. Luminalt has hired more than half of its installation team through the program, Asian Neighborhood Design, Young Community Developers and the San Francisco Conservation Corps.

Since its launch, the program has increased the number of solar-powered buildings from 500 to 2,385 and created hundreds of jobs. The city's solar market has increased while costs to install solar have dropped. Moreover, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that California homes sell faster with solar, and the solar cost is recouped on the sale. Even with San Francisco fog, solar installations significantly reduce electricity bills for both homes and businesses.

This is a summary of an article written by co-founder and CEO of Luminalt Jeanine Cotter, and director of external relations for Suntech America Polly Shaw.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Are you planning a Solar PV system for home or small business?

First and foremost – you need to figure out if your site can accommodate a solar pv array so that it operates at or near its rated efficiency. If your site conditions (roof of your home or business, backyard, etc) will limit the electricity production even by 20-25% – everything else is irrelevant and solar is probably not for you.

Step 1 – Determining if your site can accommodate a solar photovoltaic system
  • Southern Exposure
  • Shading
  • Size of your roof
Step 2 – Figuring out the size (in Watts) of your future Solar PV System
  • How many Kilowatts do I need?
Step 3 – How to choose equipment for your solar system
  • Choose the longest-lasting and best performing solar panels, inverter(s), control units, production monitors, etc.
Average residential solar installation is 2-4 kW system which usually eliminates 50-70% of electric power that you purchase. However those installations are still dependent on additional electricity. Commercial solar installations can range from 10 kW to over 1 MW (1 megawatt = 1000 kW).

For more information, please find this in our Articles section at

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh my goodness… I’ve been caught in the middle of these solar ambiguous trends.

By Ronald Robles, VP and CFO of CMR Solar Energy Integrators

I have a very positive attitude and love this solar industry. I just want to capture your attention on how the government, utilities and organizations who follow market trends agree that the industry is growing and consequently they are setting up high expectations that are hard to believe.

Published official and non-official trends should give us a sense of direction and confidence, but for people who are trying to get into these green careers the trends just doesn’t make sense.

Just in California, over 7,000 enthusiast installers were registered