Utility company’s bee hives and solar garden produces sweet results

Connexus Energy’s solar garden produces both renewable energy and honey!

As the prices drop for solar panels, solar has gained incredible popularity over the past few years. From home use to huge commercial arrays, solar has become a fixture in the American landscape for green energy.

Utility companies have jumped on the solar bandwagon. Solar is increasingly becoming a part of utility companies portfolio and strategic plan. Minnesota’s largest member-owned electric cooperative, Connexus Energy, has gone one further. It’s created a first-of-its-kind solar garden that not only produces energy but honey as well.

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Floating solar panels to power California water treatment plant

Infratech's floating solar array at a water treatment plant in Jamestown, South Australia

Infratech’s floating solar array at a water treatment plant in Jamestown, South Australia

Solar power is continuing its explosive growth. In the first half of this year, the solar industry has supplied 40% of all new 2015 electric generating capacity. The U.S. solar industry is expected to reach nearly 8,000 MW for the year, and 28,000 MW in total.

The ways solar is being utilized is also expanding. Earlier this year, we wrote about solar successfully being used as floating arrays generating power across one of India’s state’s 85,000 km long canal system. Now a city in Southern California’s Imperial Valley plans to float a solar array across the top of a new water treatment plant that will be used for the town’s drinking water supply and irrigation.

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Bolivia’s new solar powered car could benefit from solar innovation

Bolivia's solar car

Bolivian university students have created and are road testing a solar-powered car. Outfitted with eight large solar panels, this boxy-looking vehicle runs silently through the streets. Check out the video here.

Bolivia's solar car 2

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A Bright Future? Yes, With These Solar Power Technologies

Solar-panels-in-sun-with-blue-skyOver the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has grown 139,000 percent. The International Energy Agency projects that solar will be the world’s biggest single source of electricity by 2050. Solar power is currently a fraction of one percent of our total energy production.

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We need to solve the rate of wildlife kill at solar panel farms

Large solar arrays are killing wildlife at an alarming rate, with no solution in sight

Large solar arrays are killing wildlife at an alarming rate, with no solution in sight

There’s an aphorism that’s played out over and over again these days.” Every solution brings new problems.”

For every new innovation, a whole array of issues pop up needing to be solved. Such is proving to be the case with the large solar arrays that exist and/or are on the drawing board.

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The future of commercial buildings – see-through solar powered windows

Mew Energy Technologies' new Solar Window™

Mew Energy Technologies’ new SolarWindow™

The growth of solar is exploding. As the technology continues to improve, the focus for commercial buildings is solar, but with a twist.

Not all commercial buildings can handle large solar arrays on their rooftops. Between the weight of the solar panels and the fixed angle of the buildings, standard solar panels aren’t a one-size-fits-all. Because of this, the new technology of smaller solar cells embedded in glass has become a race to see who will perfect and make this available first.

One of the leading contenders in the U.S. is New Energy Technologies, a building integrator photovoltaic (BIPV) developer in Maryland. Their chief focus – a product called SolarWindow™ – is a spray-on solution of solar cells that allows windows to generate electricity.First announced in 2010,/the idea of this solar film caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2011. NET now has an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with the University of South Florida, and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NREL to advance SolarWindow technology.

To learn more about this exciting new innovation, see the full article here.

Solar Roadways – the future is here

I’ve written several times about the fascinating invention called Solar Roadways, developed by Scott and Julie Brusaw in 2006.

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