Solar Builder

JAN-FEB 2019

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

Issue link: http://digital.solarbuildermag.com/i/1072350

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32 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 9 Advocates for change While the technology is tweaked, the opportunity grows. One institution that is advocating greater use of solar energy in Alaska is the AECP in Anchorage. "The November to February months are cold and clear, so solar panels perform well. We have been talking about solar albedo up here for a long time," Pike says. "Our solar resource is not as good as it is in the lower 48 states, but it is about the same as in Germany." ACEP is particularly interested in helping small towns and vil- lages in more remote locations ween off diesel fuel transported by truck, which can push electricity rates up to the $1 per kW level, Pike says. The ACEP has just begun a new solar field study using vertically mounted bifacial panels oriented east, west and south. There is also more federal government support for solar and other renewables to offset diesel use in Canada, through the $400 million Arctic Energy Fund, and in Alaska, through the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund, worth about $50 million every year until 2023. Since 2008, the REF has appropriated $259 million for 287 qualifying renewable energy projects. Consider a new solar installation in Buckland, located in Northwest Alaska, being sponsored by the Northwest Alaska's Native Corp. (NANA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The remote town of 400 uses over 500 kW of electricity a month at a rate of up to 47 cents per kWh. This compares to 19 cents in Anchorage and a U.S. national average of 13 cents. The alternative is heating oil, which costs $8.25 per gallon locally. So, yeah, an investment in solar energy here will help considerably. "We expect to offset 7 percent of the town's diesel fuel use through this solar project, and once it is operating fully, we hope to add energy storage and wind to offset a cumulative 30 percent of the town's diesel use," says Sonny Adams, the energy director

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