$1M For Large Battery Storage Project in Texas

$1M For Large Battery Storage Project in Texas

Luminant, based out of Irving TX is the state’s largest electricity provider and has just recently been awarded a $1 million grant for the construction of one of the largest electricity storage facilities created to date.

According to Luminant it will be the 7th largest electricity storage facility in the United States at 10-megawatts. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has awarded this grant for the construction of this electric storage facility to Luminant in an ongoing effort to help curb emissions.

Currently, Texas only gets less than 1 percent of its electrical power from solar energy, and more battery installations like this could help solar energy be more profitable in the state. According to a Vistra spokesman (the parent company of Luminant) the battery will be able to boost their facilities output during peak hours, which means that it will be able to recharge at night when power is least expensive.

Luminant’s 1,900 acre Upton 2 solar facility, which was purchased in 2017 while still under construction,  just started generating electricity in June of this year, and the battery is expected to be installed before the end of this year. Upton 2 is one of the largest solar facilities in Texas, and it is expected to generate enough power at full capacity to handle 56,700 homes or half of that during high heat.

This is good news considering the Texas power grid set several power demand records this summer. The record usage in a single hour was 73,259 megawatts between 4 and 5pm on July 19th 2018, beating the August 2016 record of 71,110 megawatts.

Although Texas has been one of the slower state to adopt battery storage due to the availability of lower cost wind, and natural gas options. The State’s battery capacity has increased 250 percent since 2016.

With the cost of lithium-ion batteries dropping by 70% between 2012 and 2017 investing in battery storage could now be a more viable option in Texas.

Net metering (electricity arbitrage) is the practice of selling excess stored power back to the grid is not a common practice in Texas, but with solar becoming more cost effective these types of practices are on the table.

Luminant plans to send electricity back to the grid from the Upton 2 battery, rather than use it for other purposes. When fully charged the Upton 2 battery will be capable of generating 42-megawatt hours of electricity.

The more companies like Luminant invest in solar and battery power solutions the better it gets for consumers both commercial and residential. Couple that with tax incentives and Texas will see their already low energy costs drop even more. Currently energy costs in Texas rank in the bottom third.

This is all great news for Texas, and the world, as we all work toward a more sustainable energy source. With the cost of solar getting more and more affordable the investment makes sense, and compared to other renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy production tends to match that of consumer demand.

 

The Benefits of Powering your Home with Solar Energy

The Benefits of Powering your Home with Solar Energy

As the world progresses towards green renewable energy sources, solar power is at the core of alternative sources of energy for power generation. Homeowners are looking for ways to increase their capacity to produce solar energy. With the fossil fuel supply dwindling at a rapid speed, it’s the right time to look for alternative ways of producing cheaper and cleaner energy.

Solar power is one of the best alternatives to energy produced by fossil fuels. Wind, water, and solar power are the most effective energy generation solutions for future. Among the three renewable energy sources, the most effective source is to rely on solar energy.  We believe that solar power has more energy efficiency and it is easier to produce energy from the rays of the sun as compared to wind or water.

Read on if you want to find out how a solar-powered home works! We will explain the workings of a solar-powered home and the various benefits of using this unlimited source of renewable energy.

Benefits of Solar Energy for Homes

Savings with Solar Power

Solar power saves billions or trillions of dollars for the economy. With the threat of global warming, solar energy is the most reliable source of renewable electricity that saves us millions every year.

Cost-effective Energy Source

The biggest advantage of installing solar energy at home is that you get a cost-effective energy solution. Sun is the best source of energy, and with the proper equipment that supports solar power its possible to increase the energy efficiency of your home, it could be the best alternative to traditional fossil fuel energy.

Increase the Value of Your Property

If you have invested in a solar panel, it is bound to increase the value of the property twofold. Most people will prefer to pay a higher price for your property if it has a solar energy generation and storage system. Such homes are bound to tax deductions that’s an added bonus of investing in a solar energy system for your home.

A Low Payback Period

When you purchase a solar panel, batteries, and storage units with cash, the payback period is generally very low. You don’t have to spend a significant fortune today on such equipment as opposed to the past. The cost of solar energy equipment has reduced significantly thanks to big players entering the business like Tesla. More and more companies are offering various alternative energy solutions like solar power to protect the environment.

Reduce Global Warming and Slow down Climate Change

Solar energy will help slow down the pace of global warming, as it is essential for us to stop global warming as it threatens the survival of animals, plants, and human life. Solar energy is currently one of the most effective solutions to curb the global warming crisis.

Green NRG Solar is a leading company that provides adequate solutions to green energy like solar power. We would love to hear from you; if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Solar Energy: The Beginners Guide

Energy generation through solar panels is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. However, understanding the processes, costs associated and all the possibilities that energy generation through solar power entails are important in order to practice energy efficiency, starting from our homes.

If you feel daunted by where to start when it comes to installing solar panels in your home, here is a simple guide that can help you get started on the process:

Types of Solar Panels

The interesting process of converting solar energy into electricity is possible through monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon. These are the two main types of panels with slight differences in features, however, both do the same job. Monocrystalline solar panels were preferred more in the past for its ability to perform in low light condition, and in general being more energy efficient than polycrystalline solar panels. However, the improvements made in polycrystalline technology have made it as good as monocrystalline technology. The most important thing to take into account is the manufacturer’s quality of the panels and warranties offered. The only way you might have to choose between either is depending on your location, as the availability of solar energy can be a hindrance to the process of using solar power to generate electricity. You can talk to a local solar installer as they can assess your home’s location and advise you accordingly.

Inverters

Inverters are important because if you want to apply home improvement in the sense of making it more energy efficient, the inverters are the source of the conversion of solar energy. Inverters convert the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) produced by solar panels through a grid-tie inverting system. The AC power that is not used is stored. There are two main types of inverters: string inverters and microinverters.
String inverters are commonly used as they have been around for decades and is the most cost-effective and trustable inverter type due to its proven output in residential buildings. Additionally, microinverters are installed on the backside of the solar panel to eliminate the need for potentially harmful DC wiring, due to its ability to work at a lower voltage. It also helps to work with elements of shade that may be obstructing the solar rays seeping into the panels and can be remotely monitored through a software.
The main reason you would have to opt for one or the other is due to its size, as string inverters need a larger roof space and micro inverters can perform well even in smaller spaces. Overall, solar panels can greatly help to improve energy efficiency in homes, as solar energy is one of the most abundant sources of power that exists and can be easily utilized, helping you save energy costs in the long run as well as save the environment!

How upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value

We are living in the era of technology, which has greatly improved our lives. However, this also does not only make us solely responsible for how we portray ourselves, but also how we can help to save the environment from getting more damaged. Many home improvement tactics can help you to improve your home’s energy efficiency and also increase the resale value of your home.

Here is how upgrading your home’s energy efficiency can increase property value:

Install the latest and most energy efficient heating and cooling systems

You should never overlook how upgrading your heating and cooling systems can benefit you in numerous ways. Not only does it help you save money on energy bills, but also increases your property’s resale value. It may be a heavy investment initially, but in the long run, these systems can last for decades if properly maintained and can be hugely beneficial if you ever decide on selling off your home.

Installing solar panels

Solar panels are widely known in the world of energy efficiency to be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable assets of generating energy for your home. It may cost a large amount to install, however, there are many payment plans available according to your requirements. A professional can capably guide you on the procedure and amounts of solar panels that your home will need in order to efficiently absorb the suns energy and convert it to electricity. Also, it can impress prospective buyers, and increase your home’s value.

Installation of energy-efficient lighting systems

A very popular and easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is through installing LED lights. Many features are now available for people to utilize, such as motion sensors and mobile apps that can dim lights or even change colors according to what you want. You may think that this would increase energy bills, but due to its energy efficiency, you actually save money in the long run. Many potential buyers would spend more on the property as energy-efficient lighting is always a great asset to possess.

Installing the latest appliances

Kitchen & bathroom remodeling can allow for many energy-efficient upgrades to take place. From new refrigerators to the latest energy-efficient shower heads and taps, there are many ways to improve energy efficiency that will, in turn, increase the value of your home. Sockets, heating vents, ovens and dishwashers can all be replaced and can help your home be more energy-efficient as well as allow you to save costs in the long run and aid you in potentially making a profit at the time of reselling.
Not only will you benefit from having to pay less on energy bills, but also have a major leeway for an increased property value if you plan on selling your current home in the future. You can save the environment and your money all at once! What can be better than that?

Benefits of Going Solar

Benefits of solar energy

One of the many reasons why homeowners go solar is to better the environment and decrease energy costs. As homeowners know, many other people recognize that solar is a great way to upgrade their home and also reduce carbon footprint while increasing property value.
If your motivations for going solar are economic, environmental, or personal, this vast list of solar power benefits will cater to everyone. Below are the top ten reasons why solar energy is valuable in your home and becoming more more popular than ever throughout the country.

1. Immensely reduce or even eliminate your electric bill

A solar panel system will generate free power for your system’s entire 25+ year lifecycle. Solar will continue to cut your utility bills even if you don’t utilize 100 percent of what you consume. That’s still a substantial amount of savings.

2. Prevent rising energy costs

Solar panels are an investment – not an expense. Crediting substantial electricity bill savings, the average American Homeowner pays off their solar panel system in between seven to eight years and sees a return on investment of 20 percent or more.

3. Protect against growing energy costs

One of the most evident benefits of solar panels is the capability to control utility prices. In the last ten years, residential electricity prices have substantially increased on an average of three percent annually. By investing in a solar energy system now, you can secure yourself from unpredictable increases and helps you project and better manage your finances.

4. Increase property value

Multiple studies have demonstrated that homes equipped with solar energy systems are more desirable selling quicker than non-solar homes and have a higher property value.

5. Take advantage of the incentives

You will retain 30% of the total cost of the systems back including installation and equipment. As of 2009, the $2,000 cap on the Federal Solar Tax Credit is lifted. You would save $7,500 on a solar energy system costing $25,000. Merge this with state and local rebates, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and the total costs may be cut in half.

6. Raise U.S. Energy Independence

By increasing quantity to generate electricity from the sun, we can also cushion our country from the chance of price changes in global energy markets.

7. Preserve the environment

One great way to reduce our carbon footprint is to go solar. Buildings are at fault for 38 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S., thus going solar can notably reduce that number. A normal residential solar panel system will diminish three to four tons of carbon emissions per year—that commensurates to planting over 100 trees annually.

8. Solar is easy

Shopping for solar used to be a long and complicated process. There are hundreds of solar companies in the U.S. alone. It would take you weeks to find the best solar deal. Luckily things have changed.
To go solar has never before been easier. Bay Builders will help you sort through your options. To see how much you can save, and for all other solar questions, request a free consultation. There’s no obligation.
Let Green NRG help you generate your own energy!

solar panels

Solar Panels: Which type is for your home?

 

solar panels

What is Solar Efficiency?

Solar panel technology is one of the most rapidly advancing areas of the renewable energy sector. New manufacturing techniques, new materials, and designs drive the boundaries of panel efficiency every year. Designs and material can vary, nevertheless all panels serve the same function.

With special materials, solar panels develop electrons when exposed to light, and these electrons are then converted to electricity for your home. The efficiency of solar panel refers to the measure of electricity the panel generates from light. Most panels fall between 9% and 20% efficiency with the rest of energy lost is heat. In the end, the standard solar panel is efficient enough to be reasonably cost effective.

The efficiency differs between designs, and extremely efficient panels often come at a higher cost. Nonetheless, you’ll need to find the best value while considering the immediate and long-term priorities.

Different types of solar panels

As mentioned before, solar panels range widely in design and quality. However, most panels, fall into one of three categories: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film.  Each category don’t share the same efficiency rates or designs, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

mono panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are easily recognizable, the solar cells are made out of single-crystalline. To optimize performance and cut costs of a single monocrystalline solar cell, the four sides are cut out of cylindrical ingots to make silicon wafers, which  gives this solar panel types its characteristic look.

They have the highest efficiency rates since they are made out of the highest-grade silicon, and  is remarkable for generating electricity. Monocrystalline solar panels are space-friendly, require very little and tend to perform better than polycrystalline panels at low-light conditions. The largest flaw about monocrystalline panels is the high cost; these premium panels can be significantly more expensive.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

poly panels

The production of polycrystalline panels are quite efficient, the process is simple and cheaper to produce than monocrystalline. These solar panels may have slightly lesser heat tolerance than monocrystalline panels. While these can be sensibly efficient—they don’t perform as well in high-heat or in low-heat conditions. Heat can affect the lifespan and polycrystalline panels tend to be larger in size,and less aesthetically appealing than thin-film and monocrystalline panels.  

Thin-Film Solar Panels

thin film panels

Thin-film solar panels adopt an alternative photovoltaic mediums that are deposited in a thin layer over a substrate. One great advantage is the ability to easily mass produce thin film solar panels, result in a cheaper cost to manufacture than crystalline-based solar cells. Thin-film, solar panels are very efficient in low-light and high temperature conditions, having less of an impact on performance. Their homogeneous appearance can be visibly appealing in functions where traditional panels would stand out.

Generally speaking, thin-film solar panels are not very useful due to their low efficiency ratings. Larger space is required making them less practical for the standard roof layout. Cost of equipment increases due to low-space efficiency. Unlike mono- and polycrystalline, thin-film tends to degrade faster which typically comes with a shorter life warranty.

Which solar panel works best for you home? Here is a breakdown:

Monocrystalline: high cost, efficiency, and environmental footprint
Polycrystalline: moderate cost, efficiency, and environmental footprint
Thin-film: low cost, efficiency, and environmental footprint

Selecting the solar panel that’s right for your home depends on the characteristics that you value the most. Each option excels for a certain niche and other features can help you tailor your system to meet your energy needs. Let Green NRG help you decide which solar panel system works best for your home.

Celebrate Earth Day with The Growth of Solar Energy

Every year, April 22, is Earth Day, this day in particular signifies the birth of modern environmental awareness.

The first Earth Day ever in 1970, was recognized to demonstrate global support for for environmental protection worldwide. We’ve faced unpredictable climate changes such as; wildfires, storms, droughts and natural disasters. Changes in the climate has become a threat to not only our economy, but the rest of the world. It puts our future progress, health, safety, and way of life. Each day our Earth experiences neglect from littering, pollution, wasting food, paper, water, electricity, toxic chemicals, improper disposal, car travel, air travel, and simply plain ignorance.

Here are 10 ways you can help celebrate Earth Day, while saving our environment and planet earth.

earth day

1. Conserve

Recycling isn’t limited to only water bottles and cans, here are the many more items you can recycle: glass, cell phone, unwanted wire hangers, cars, batteries, cars, clothing, etc.

2. Eliminate Pollution

If you have the option to walk, ride your bike, or carpool, consider making one of these changes a habitual habit. Less cars on the road the better chances of avoiding traffic delays, excess pollution emitted from cars, and better air quality for the environment.

3. Go Solar

Making the switch betters not only benefits homeowners but can better the environment while decreasing energy costs. It’s a fantastic way to reduce carbon footprint. Allow GREEN NRG to help you generate your own energy!

4. Become Proactive In The Community

Volunteer your time to non or for profit organizations (local or national). Small efforts into making a difference for the world and helping the environment can create long term changes. A few local activities in your area should take place on earth Day, that’s a fantastic way to start.

5. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

An effortless way to reduce the amount of power you use and helping the planet is switching to energy efficient lightbulbs.

6. Save Water Consumption

Wash a large load in the dishwasher instead of hand washings, this could save hundreds of gallons of water a month.

7. Paperless Billing

Switching your bills to receive them electronically as e-bills and or online invoices can conserve millions of trees each. No need for an abundance amount of useless paper every month, it’s going to end up in the shredder anyways!

8. Faucet Leaks

Make sure to turn off the water when not in use, and tightly secure when doing so to eliminate excess water waste. Do your faucets leak? Leaks can waste a lot of water on a yearly basis, look making the improvement if you haven’t done so.

9. Opt for Water Bottles, and Eliminate Plastic

Start using refillable water bottles. Did you know in the U.S alone, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used every year to make disposable plastic bottles? Reach for non-plastic carrier bags too. Plastic carrier bags can’t be recycled and are not biodegradable.

10. Share The Knowledge

Becoming aware and educated is the key to doing all you can for the environment. The more you know about what you can do to better protect the environment, the more you can share your knowledge with others in protecting the environment.

stay warm

Stay WARM with These Energy Saving Tips

Winter is here. This means, present shopping, sipping on hot cocoa, and time spent at holiday gatherings with family and friends. For those of us who love conserving energy, the winter season also means saving money by being more efficient.

 

Here are 10 tips below:


  1. Maximize insulation

About 25% of heat is lost through the roof. It can be substituted by installing 25 cm of insulation throughout your loft. Although it’s a costly upgrade, it can save you more long term.

  1. Time central heating

Programming your boiler to turn on 30 minutes prior to waking up in the morning – but at a lower temperature to be cost effective. Boiler heats up at a consistent speed no matter what you set the thermostat to. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your heat on low all day – then you are paying for heat you don’t need.

  1. Install Solar Panels

There are endless perks as to why you should go solar: reduce your bills, great return on investment, increase your house value, and never fear utility companies again.

  1.  Use LED Holiday lights

LED lights are at minimum 75% more energy efficient and durable up to 25 times more than traditional incandescent lights. Using LED lights will you joy knowing that you won’t be spending a bundle while staying festive.

  1. Keep The Lights Off

If you plan on going away for the holidays, save money while you are away by making sure all lights are turned off. This includes lights in: garage, backyard, patio, or front porch lights.

  1. Unplug Electronics

While you’re away on vacation, unplug items in the kitchen and around the household to save money and energy. Although they are in use, they still use energy while plugged in. Electronics such as: kitchen appliances, DVDs, TVs and computers can all take a break from the wall socket.

  1. Use your curtains and take advantage of daylight savings

Heat from the sunlight is given freely, so why not make use of it. Allowing the sun to shine through the curtains during the day warms up the glass windows; projecting heat to the walls of your home. As the sun goes down, close your curtains to trap the warmth. Make sure you don’t have any hidden leaks or gaps that prevent the warm air from staying in.

  1. Keep the Kitchen Warm and Cozy

While you are cooking, boiling, and baking, all that heat accumulated will keep your kitchen warm without having the need to turn the thermostat. Try making a cup of hot cocoa, something cooking in the crock pot, and bake cookies to get your kitchen stirring up heat!

  1. Turn the dial down

This may appear counterintuitive, but stick with us. The World Health Organization has suggested to keep room temperature at a minimum of 70 degrees. A studies shows that turning down your thermostat 5 degrees. That could reduce your electricity bill by almost 10%! Keeping your dial at 65 degrees will save you money and avoid living in a cold home.  

  1. Adjust Thresholds

Another step to keeping your home warmer is to prevent heat from breaking away through gaps and cracks in walls. A few apparent ones are easy to find: pipes, cables, behind the washing machine, under kitchen cupboards, key holes, and around sinks and toilets.

cool solar panels

Water cooling solar panels can potentially save you 20% on air conditioning

New water cooling solar panel is a technology that can significantly reduce the cost of industrial air conditioning and refrigeration.

This discovery has been made over the last few years by the researchers at The University Standford. This experiment was conducted over three days, placing three water panels each 0.37 square meters and a rate of 0.2 per minute on top of the roof of the building on Stanford campus. The outcome of this experiment resulted in their step up cooled down the water close to 5 degree Celsius below the temperature over the three days of testing. Following, they used the data collected from the experiment to simulate how these panels would work cooling a two-story office building in the non other extremely hot and humid climate of Las vegas. The result of this second experiment was a 20 percent decrease in the building’s air conditioning electrical demand. Day to day, the savings ranged between 18 percent to almost 50 percent.

How it works:

A plastic layer with a silver coating reflecting almost all sunlight is placed over the water coolers on the roofs. The incoming sunlight is mirrored off so the panel stays cool in the summer sun while the second layer is a snaking tube. A snaking tube is where the water is piped through and sheds heat to the plastic. The heat is then emitted by the plastic at a wavelength in the middle of the region of the infrared spectrum. It is not absorbed by the atmosphere but instead travels in the direction of outer space. Lastly, the entire panel is wrapped in a thermal shield plastic housing that protects virtually all the heat radiated away comes from rotating water and not the surrounding air.

“This research builds on our previous work with radiative sky cooling but takes it to the next level,” says Aaswath Raman, co-lead author of the study. “It provides for the first time a high-fidelity technology demonstration of how you can use radiative sky cooling to passively cool a fluid and, in doing so, connect it with cooling systems to save electricity.”

Moving forward with developing this new device, the Stanford researchers have founded a company called SKYcool Systems, and presently working on incorporating the water cooling solar panels into air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Source: stanford.edu

Solar Helps

Solar Energy Keeps Homes and City’s Traffic lights running in Florida after Hurricane

Using energy stored with solar panels, a few homeowners were able to go “off-grid”, proving how shared power can speed future storm recovery.

After Hurricane Irma hit, more than 40 percent of Florida’s residents lack electricity, and for some, may not see light for days or even weeks. Roughly 6.7 million residents in Florida including Georgia, North and South Carolina, are in risk of a power outage.

One resident named Pereira, installed rooftop solar panels and an inverter that allows him to use solar power without being connected to the grid. Fortunately he did made this wise decision a mere two weeks before Hurricane Irma hit. Pereira was able to wake up amidst the storm, use his appliances, with wifi allowing him to survive and sustain his at home IT consultant while his nearby neighbors waited for grid power to return.

Although this is an expected occurrence of a hurricane, homeowners like Pereira, some businesses, and even cities were able to leverage the sunshine state’s solar panel while the grid was down. A greater amount of rooftop solar arrays are connected to the grid, meaning that when the public power is out, the rooftop solar power is unavailable – with the exception of having a stand-alone inverter like Pereira does or a battery system like the Tesla Powerwall.

Pete Wilking, president of A1A Solar Contracting in Jacksonville, said “Events like Irma have made people aware of how dependent we are on electricity,”. During this time, local solar contractors and companies have been taking advantage of this adversity to experiment with solar technology to run their home and businesses. Wilking was benefiting from using his home rooftop solar and battery storage system throughout the duration of the storm.

Cities have also taking advantage of this by installing off-grid solar power systems to power traffic lights while the grid was down.

In the course of the worst part of the hurricane – 300,000 people lost power in Broward County. Coral Springs installed 13 lights in prime spots throughout the city.

Solar energy supporters say that now as the city of Florida rebuilds damaged power infrastructure – now couldn’t be a better time for Florida to consider grid resilience and bring on renewable energy.