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Changes in solar farm construction methods


    • Review the growth of solar in the US and global market
    • By end of 2019 solar accounted for 1.7% of all energy produced in the US. Click here to learn more.
    • Capacity is expected to more than double over the next 5 years. Click here to learn more.

A brief history of harnessed solar power

    • Ancient Greek warfare (myth)
    • First solar steam engine 1866
    • First solar plant, Italy 1968
    • First solar farm built in California 1982
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Speed of change – $1 billion failed solar farm

Current technology used for solar farms

    • Photovoltaic vs Concentrated Solar
    • Solar Thermal

Evolving solar farm technology

    • Floating farms
    • Multi-land use farms


    • Wrap up
    • EER Institute call-to-action

Community solar policy and the impact on low and median-income communities


    • 75% of US citizens lack access to solar energy solutions
    • Reasons include: Lack of roof space, don’t own their own home, and financial barriers.
    • Community solar programs are being increasingly adopted by states and forward-looking utilities that want to connect more consumers with clean energy.

What is Community Solar?

    • Describe the mission of CS and what is seeks to achieve
    • Community solar vs home solar
    • What are Community Solar Policies?
    • Discuss examples from 3 different states
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Several models used to integrate solar energy into low and median income communities

    • Carevouts – set-asides for low and medium income families
    • Incentives – tax breaks and rebates
    • Programs – comprehensive, designed specifically to integrate solar into low-income communities

What impact has Community Solar and Community Solar Policies had on communities?

    • Increased adoption of alternative energy
    • Decrease in utility bills
    • Economic impact – increased job opportunities

What legal and political obstacles do Community Solar Policies face?

    • Lack of access to tax-supported incentives
    • State and federal regulations
    • Energy lobbyists
    • Onerous securities regulations of community solar entities.
    • Lease models (subscription vs ownership shares)


    • Wrap up
    • EER Institute call-to-action

Improvements in solar battery storage technology


    • As consumers and businesses grow more interested in renewable source of energy, solar battery storage is becoming more popular
    • The solar energy storage market is projected to grow by 35% by 2025
    • Greater demand and a competitive market are driving innovation
    • Solar power / battery storage systems are cheaper than coal-powered systems
      Driving factors for the consumer and commercial market (increasing energy costs, blackouts, brownouts, environmental awareness)

Solar power battery back-up systems vs legacy energy systems

    • Cheaper than coal. Will overtake coal in some markets by 2021.
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How batteries are used in a solar energy system

    • Grid-tied system with battery backup
    • Grid-interactive system with battery backup

Pros and cons of common types of solar storage technology

    • Lead-acid: PROS –less costly, rechargeable, greater storage capacity / CON – shorter lifespan, diminishing recharge capacity.
    • Lithium-ion: PROS – longer lifespan, less degradation / CON – far more expensive than lead-acid

Recent breakthroughs in solar battery technology


    • Wrap up
    • EER Institute call-to-action

Role of AI & MI software and system testing in renewable energy applications


    • The global market for renewable energy is projected to reach almost $220 billion by 2025.
    • The transition toward a higher dependence on renewable energy calls for robust management systems.
    • AI / MI Management systems allow renewable energy to be more controlled and predictable.

Biggest challenges facing renewable energy

    • Unpredictable nature of whether
    • Biggest forms of renewable energy are solar and wind, both highly dependent on the weather.
    • Storage systems for renewable energy.
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The rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in renewable energy

    • World-wide, AI and ML are being incorporated into more business operations.
    • In the power and energy sector, AI & MI are utilized to predict usage patterns, track carbon emissions, and to implement more precise billing.
    • Big data processed vi AI and MI allow for accurate whether predictions, power balancing, and efficiency calibration

5 Examples of AI & MI software being used in renewable energy

    1. Xcel – analyzes big data weather reports to make accurate predictions about energy generation.
    2. Predix – developed by General Electric uses AI to analyze and monitor system health and predict potential system failure.
    3. PowerScout – uses industry data and AI to demonstrate potential savings on power costs to consumers.
    4. Nextracker – Produce solar energy tracking and monitoring systems to maximize the amount of solar energy harvested.
    5. Krypton – makes it easier for renewable energy O&M companies to analyze big data to make better decisions about system optimization. (Acquired by Splunk in 2018).

Benefits of improved renewable energy monitoring and testing systems

    • Improved safety and reliability
    • Expanded market for renewable
    • Smarter grids and energy distribution


    • Wrap up
    • EER Institute call-to-action

The impact of the growing solar industry on the economy, employment and enfranchisement


    • Alternative energy is a high-growth market
    • Globally, the solar power market is set to double by the end of 2021

Solar market projections

    • Global market
    • US market
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Solar energy’s impact on employment

    • Carbon emissions continue to have a negative impact on climate change
    • The race to control carbon emissions has created an international boom in renewable energy
    • As of 2018, the solar industry employs twice as many workers as the coal industry
    • Break-down of highest rates of hire within the industry by job title / sector

Social impacts of solar energy’s growth

    • Improve health
    • Greater economic freedom
    • Increased job opportunities
    • Exposure to advancing technologies

The economic / environmental impact of solar energy

    • Emphasis on using local land, labor, and resources
    • Local economy is enhanced by direct reinvestment


    • Wrap up
    • EER Institute call-to-action