Friday Field Notes 041219

The time has come, my friends: time to give 2007 OR10 (the largest minor planet in our solar system without a name) a name. And the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is asking for your help. They’ve narrowed it down to three options: Gonggong, Holle, or Vili. The deadline to cast your vote is 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on May 10, 2019.  (

Now, for the week in solar news . . .

The state of Illinois announced their Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) lottery winners. If you’re curious, PV Magazine gives you the low-down on the community solar projects that will receive SRECs as part of the state’s renewable energy procurement plans.

According to the “Shining Cities 2019” report, published by the research group Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, “Solar power shines as an American success story.” Out of 57 American cities surveyed, 79 percent more than doubled their solar capacity from 2013 to 2018. The report continues: “Research shows that solar energy policies–more than the availability of sunshine–dictate which states are succeeding in adopting solar energy and which are not. The most effective policies facilitate the wide-scale adoption of small-scale solar energy systems on homes, businesses, and other institutions, while also speeding up the deployment of utility-scale solar energy projects. Policy-makers at every level of government–federal, state, and local–have an important role to play in making sure solar energy continues to thrive.” (Inverse) Truer words have not been spoken.

In remote Alaskan villages, Alaska Native Renewable Industries (ANRI) is replacing diesel one solar project at a time. ANRI founder and CEO Edwin Bifelt explains, “As a life-long resident of Alaska (born and raised in Huslia, a small Athabascan community of 350, in addition to attending college and work in Fairbanks, Alaska) I very much believe that increasing sustainability and self-sufficiency for rural villages is critical.” Check out his interview with Clean Technica to see how he’s getting it done.

The idea of solar cells made up of Perovskites is nothing new. There are, however, new developments.  Robert F. Service (Science Magazine) gives you a remarkably easy-to-understand low-down on the latest.

Schools in New York can receive free energy bench-marking services for up to three years thanks to a new program from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). They also have access to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Clean Energy Services program, to get solar installed on site. “School districts are eager to save money and reduce their carbon footprints, and clean, renewable solar power has proven to be an affordable, viable option,” says Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of NYPA. “Participating schools are able to make a long-term commitment to fighting climate change while students learn the value of sustainability and clean energy technology. They see their school ‘going solar’ and learn by firsthand example about renewable energy.” (Solar Industry Magazine)

California’s Fremont fire station is the first fire station in the United States to complete a solar micro grid system with battery backup.  “All fire stations are required to have a diesel backup to guarantee that they can operate 24/7, but the supply of diesel on hand in Fremont would only last 72 hours without replenishment. So the combination of solar plus storage provides a substantial cost savings benefit to the station, and to the city,” says Vipul Gore, CEO of Gridscape (Clean Technica).


Now, for our disclaimer: Friday Field Notes is a weekly post about the goings on in (and possibly around) the field of solar. We simply link to news articles from the week to help you stay in the loop. While we try to stick with reputable sources, we cannot attest to the accuracy of each and every piece. Furthermore, the links and subsequent commentary are purely the opinions of the writers. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, nor should they be considered professional opinion, backing, and/or advice.