U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
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.

Jan 31, 2014

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

LOS ANGELES, Jan 31 (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.

Jan 16, 2014

‘American Hustle,’ ‘Gravity’ lead Oscar nominations

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – Con-men caper “American Hustle” and space thriller “Gravity” led Oscar nominees on Thursday with 10 nominations each, including best picture, in the race for the world’s top film prize.

Slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” received nine nominations, including in the best picture category, in a year crowded with high-quality films.

Jan 15, 2014

SolarCity to allow retail investors to invest in its projects

LOS ANGELES, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Top U.S. solar installer
SolarCity Corp on Wednesday unveiled a plan that will
allow investors of all types – including individuals – to invest
in its rooftop solar systems.

The company, backed by Tesla Motors Inc founder
Elon Musk, said it will launch a web-based platform later this
year to offer debt investments backed by pools of its assets –
mainly residential solar projects.

Jan 13, 2014

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ clinch top TV Golden Globes

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – The Golden Globes honored the old and the new with its top television awards on Sunday, with long-running series “Breaking Bad” taking home best drama while newcomer police show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” earned best comedy honors.

“Breaking Bad,” which told the gritty tale of a chemistry teacher turned meth cook, won the Golden Globe for best television drama series for the first time after having been nominated in three previous years.

Dec 16, 2013

Analysis: Clouds over Hawaii’s rooftop solar growth hint at U.S. battle

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – When Gloria Adams signed a contract to install a rooftop solar power system on her Oahu home in late August, she looked forward to lower electric bills and a return on her investment in the years ahead.

She never dreamed that she would have to stop the project, get the Hawaiian Electric Company’s permission before she could proceed, and possibly help pay for any upgrades to her neighborhood’s electricity circuits to handle the extra load.

Dec 16, 2013

Clouds over Hawaii’s rooftop solar growth hint at U.S. battle

Dec 16 (Reuters) – When Gloria Adams signed a contract to
install a rooftop solar power system on her Oahu home in late
August, she looked forward to lower electric bills and a return
on her investment in the years ahead.

She never dreamed that she would have to stop the project,
get the Hawaiian Electric Company’s permission before she could
proceed, and possibly help pay for any upgrades to her
neighborhood’s electricity circuits to handle the extra load.

Dec 5, 2013

SolarCity to offer Tesla-made batteries to business customers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday said it will begin offering Tesla Motors Inc-made batteries with its commercial solar systems, allowing businesses to cut what they pay to their local utility by using stored electricity.

The batteries made by Tesla (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which can also provide backup power during blackouts, are available to business owners who put up new solar installations with SolarCity and finance them through a lease contract or power purchase agreement.