U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Oct 22, 2014

Big utilities pushing into booming home solar market

Oct 22 (Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for
providing electricity to the nation have treated residential
solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action,
and they are having to fight for the chance.

If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and
access to customers could transform what has been a
fast-growing, but niche industry. Solar powers only half a
million U.S. homes and businesses, according to solar market
research firm GTM Research.

Oct 10, 2014

Tesla unveils all-wheel drive Model S, ‘autopilot’ features

By Nichola Groom

HAWTHORNE Calif. (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday took its first step toward automated driving, unveiling features that will allow its electric sedan to park itself and sense dangerous situations.

The company also said it will roll out an all-wheel drive option of the Model S sedan that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds yet doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s efficiency.

Oct 8, 2014

SolarCity unveils new loan that will give customers tax credit

Oct 8 (Reuters) – SolarCity Corp, the largest U.S.
installer of rooftop solar panels, on Tuesday unveiled a new
financing option that for the first time will allow its
customers to claim a lucrative federal tax credit for solar
power.

The company’s new solar loan will be more affordable in most
cases, Chief Executive Lyndon Rive said, than the panel leasing
program that has underpinned SolarCity’s rise over the last
eight years. He expects the uptake to be substantial.

Feb 19, 2014

Tesla gives strong 2014 outlook, shares jump 12 percent

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Wednesday and said deliveries of its Model S electric sedan would surge more than 55 percent this year.

Tesla shares jumped 11.8 percent to $216.41 in extended trade following the announcement. A day earlier, the stock shot to an all-time high after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Musk met with Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) head of mergers and acquisitions in 2013.

Feb 14, 2014

U.S. to pursue trade dispute over Chinese, Taiwanese solar imports

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The United States
took a step on Friday towards potentially extending import
duties on Chinese solar energy products to also cover panels
made with parts from Taiwan in a case that could have a major
impact on the fast-growing U.S. solar market.

The U.S. International Trade Commission found there was
reason to think the imports could harm the local solar industry,
putting Washington on a path toward widening the reach of the
steep duties it slapped on products from China in 2012 and
potentially escalating a tit-for-tat trade spat.

Feb 14, 2014

U.S. decision watched in row over solar imports from China, Taiwan

LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American trade officials on Friday will take a first step on potentially extending import duties on Chinese solar energy products to also cover panels made with parts from Taiwan, in a case that could have a major impact on the fast-growing U.S. solar market.

The U.S. International Trade Commission is scheduled to make a preliminary decision at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on whether there is good reason to think that the imports threaten or injure the domestic solar industry.

Feb 13, 2014

California solar plant greeted with fanfare, doubts about future

/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One of the world’s largest solar projects, which uses heat from the sun to generate power in California, opened on Thursday but may be the last of its kind in The Golden State.

Sprawling across 3,500 acres in the Mojave desert near the California-Nevada border, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal power plant has more than 300,000 mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers housed in the top of three towers, each of which is 150 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Feb 13, 2014

SunPower fourth quarter tops Street, 2014 view disappoints

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – SunPower Corp (SPWR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday reported a quarterly profit that soared past Wall Street estimates on strong solar demand in the U.S. utility and residential markets, but its 2014 outlook disappointed as investors had hoped for more from the fast-growing company.

SunPower shares fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trade.

After several years of enduring a global oversupply of solar panels, rapidly falling product prices and elusive profits, SunPower is once again making money. Investors have been pleased with the company’s progress and its stock has gained 250 percent since hitting a 52-week low in April 2013.

Feb 12, 2014

Exclusive: California mulls easing environmental rule for gas-fired power plants

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California, grappling with how to keep the lights on and meet environmental goals after closing a major nuclear power plant, is considering allowing owners to delay retiring some older gas-fired generators.

In an interview on February 4, California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller said that the State Water Resources Control Board “has said we can go in and make a case with them for extending the lives of some of these units” and “we’re going to start the discussion with them.”

Jan 31, 2014

Exclusive: Chinese-backed Blu LNG slows down U.S. growth plans

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Blu LNG, one of the biggest names in the move to wean U.S. trucks off diesel onto natural gas, has laid off 20 percent of its staff, ousted several senior executives and slowed down development of fueling stations as it waits for more truckers to embrace the switch to the cheap and cleaner-burning fuel.

The move, confirmed by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Merritt Norton, and other people familiar with the situation, marks an important pullback in a nascent sector that is expected to improve U.S. energy security, lower transportation costs and create jobs.