Jun 25

GM adding 3 acres of solar in Michigan

 

By Phillippe Crowe

General Motors announced it is increasing its renewable energy use with 3 acres of new solar arrays at two Michigan facilities.

The company’s processing center in Swartz Creek and engine plant in Flint will each feature 150 kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays. These are expected by General Motors (GM) to generate a combined 400,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year to the facilities’ grids. That is equivalent to the annual energy use of 25 homes.

GM_TimberRock_Solar-668

The company stated after the projects are complete this fall, GM will house more than 38 megawatts of solar power at 13 facilities around the world and more than 60 megawatts of renewable energy globally when combined with its landfill gas and biomass energy use.

GM said the new installations bring the company closer to reaching its goal to increase renewable energy use globally to 125 megawatts by 2020.

“Ever since our first solar array in 2006, GM has realized the benefits of renewable energy,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global renewable energy manager. “Not only does it reduce our emissions and lessen our dependence on petroleum, it makes a statement about the role businesses can play in securing a cleaner energy future.”

GM announced its plans for the installations this week in Boston at the annual PV America East Expo, a conference bringing together professionals, manufacturers and service providers in the photovoltaic energy industry.

During the event, conference organizers Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Solar Electric Power Association recognized GM with a Project of Distinction Award – the highest achievement for a photovoltaic solar energy project – for the integrated solar microgrid system at the company’s plant in Baltimore.

GM explained OnStar and energy service company TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. partnered to use aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid, operated by PJM Interconnection. The site also is home to a 1.237 megawatt rooftop solar array – one of the largest in Maryland – that generates nearly 6 percent of the facility’s electric consumption.

“Through collaboration and innovation, GM, OnStar, PJM and TimberRock have teamed up to give Americans a peek into the future,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “The advanced, solar microgrid at GM’s Baltimore site is a state-of-the-art union of electric vehicle, solar power and battery storage technologies. This project’s unique vehicle-to-grid integration, utilizing a solar microgrid, makes it a worthy recipient of the 2014 Project of Distinction Award.”

According to SEIA, GM leads all automakers in the number of solar installations in the U.S. and ranks among the top U.S. corporate solar users in 2013 and 2012. It named GM a “Solar Champion” for the company’s significant impact on establishing a strong solar industry.

GM’s other U.S. solar installations include:

  • A 1.8 megawatt installation at Toledo Transmission, Ohio’s largest rooftop array.
  • A 1 megawatt array at its Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. distribution center, the nation’s first 1 megawatt public solar project.
  • A 516 kilowatt installation at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Michigan’s largest ground-mount solar array.
  • A 900 kilowatt rooftop array on its Fontana, Calif. parts distribution warehouse.
  • A 350 kilowatt ground-mount array at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich.
  • A 49 kilowatt ground-mount array at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 49


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (6:46 am)

    Kudos to GM. A total of 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. It only makes sense to try to come up with ways to economically use more of it.


  2. 2
    Loboc

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:24 am)

    Corporate management of power and water use will help keep US manufacturing strong and sustainable. Not to mention the great press plus site negotiation perks. These initiatives along with zero waste and lower pollution make for good corporate citizens.

    Good job GM!


  3. 3
    Nelson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:41 am)

    Way to go GM!
    At this moment Solar Canopy installation in parking lots is a no brainer for business owners. A capital improvement that pays for itself in more ways than one. (corporate image & clean solar power) I wonder when Disney will cover their Orlando parking lots and reap the benefits?

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671


  4. 4
    Raymondjram

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:50 am)

    Good news about using more solar energy sources for their buildings and facilities. Now we need more EVs to use that energy, too.

    Raymond


  5. 5
    Mark Z

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:07 am)

    Raymondjram: …Now we need more EVs to use that energy, too…

    A huge challenge, since the electric company’s cheapest EV kilowatt rate is at night!


  6. 6
    Tim Hart

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:32 am)

    Way to go GM. Now release the Spark EV so we can drive more electrically!


  7. 7
    kdawg

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:44 am)

    Curious, where did the solar panels come from? Once Solar City starts producing a gigawatt of solar panels at its new manufacturing facility in New York, prices should be cheap enough for many companies (and homeowners) to start installing solar.


  8. 8
    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (9:10 am)

    Solar on top of commercial buildings really goes far to relieve the grid of the peaking demands, greatly alleviating source generation carbon of all types. Line losses of between two and eight percent are also eliminated, which are ever-present losses few people realize. Those line losses are actually huge because they exist 100 percent of the time.

    I’ve noticed that I keep getting intrusive pop ups from
    Mazda which has no reported “green” efforts going.
    (I had done some online checking for one individual regarding Mazda a month ago, so, an unintelligent search profile linked that as a “desirable” link, when Mazda certainly is not. (For any transaction potential merit.)


  9. 9
    Allen Cohen

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (9:16 am)

    I’m in the first 9 months of the installation of a 10KW solar station and charge both my VOLT and a Ford CMAX-ENERGI for an equivalent of 60 miles of electric driving per day. I have now generated 10,000 KW and expect to reach my goal of 13,000-14,000 KW for the year.

    In NJ I receive an SREC energy credit for every 1000 KW generated. I have sold SREC’s from $150 and most recently $180. So I expect to recover approximately $2200 from the SREC sale.

    The lease is $3000 per year for an expected net of $800. My electric company charge ranges $2.20 in most months and for several of the winter months $70 and $140. I expect that for the month of May I will generate more electric than I consume, resulting in a credit from the electric company.

    Factoring in the savings of generating my own electricity for the automobiles, I save between $100-$150 a month for automobile use alone. Consequently, charging EV cars with your own electricity makes a cost effective option as well as having an environmental impact.


  10. 10
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (9:42 am)

    I’d like to hear more about the “integrated storage” aspect of these installations. Batteries are an essential element to make these intermittent PV installations more practical.


  11. 11
    'georgeBower

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (9:45 am)

    Allen Cohen:

    In NJ I receive an SREC energy credit for every 1000 KW generated.I have sold SREC’s from $150 and most recently $180.So I expect to recover approximately $2200 from the SREC sale.

    So NJ must be doing cap and trade with some other east coast states.???

    I’d like to see Az join the Ca cap and trade system.


  12. 12
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:26 am)

    ‘georgeBower: I’d like to hear more about the “integrated storage” aspect of these installations.

    #10

    Yeah, that was a really interesting tidbit. +1

    I would like to hear more about it too. Maybe a bit of a Google search later on.


  13. 13
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:27 am)

    Tim Hart:
    Way to go GM. Now release the Spark EV so we can drive more electrically!

    #6

    Second the motion on both counts. +1


  14. 14
    Jackson

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:36 am)

    Noel Park,

    Personally, I’d want something a bit bigger, with longer range (not necessarily in “S” territory, but more than LEAF). Spark EV would be a great start though, and I would like to see it rolled out in all States (particularly Georgia, where the Atlanta market is a LEAF sales hot spot).


  15. 15
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:40 am)

    All that solar, and it provides only a fraction of GM’s total power requirement. We’re used to concentrated energy sources such as nuclear and coal. Collecting diffuse energy is hard and we’re only at the beginning of the learning curve.

    More “power” to them … literally. ;-)


  16. 16
    'georgeBower

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:45 am)

    Boy I guess everyone got burned out yesterday.
    few comments today.
    Where’s kdawg?

    ….probably busy at work

    ….go kdawg!


  17. 17
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:45 am)

    ‘georgeBower:
    I’d like to hear more about the “integrated storage” aspect of these installations. Batteries are an essential element to make these intermittent PV installations more practical.

    Battery usage on huge scales would help more than Solar; it would even out the load for traditional power sources. More expensive generators, used during peak hours, would be rendered unnecessary; the least-expensive-to-fuel plants would store off peak power to use on-peak. Savings don’t end there: if there were large batteries at every substation, they could charge off peak and allow the existing power-delivery networks to be used to deliver more electricity overall. Costs of updating all the lines to carry peak loads is astronomical.

    Power companies need to see large, professionally managed battery plants as sources of wealth, not economic liabilities. They need to man up, step up and amp up.


  18. 18
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:49 am)

    ‘georgeBower,

    He’s probably off somewhere making a chart. :-P


  19. 19
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (11:57 am)

    ‘georgeBower: Where’s kdawg?

    Jackson: He’s probably off somewhere making a chart.

    #16 & #18

    See #7, LOL

    You can’t keep a good man down!


  20. 20
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (12:00 pm)

    OT I know, but the new Autoweek contains a small blurb about the return of Bultaco to the motorcycle world with electric bikes. Supposedly unique in that arena because they feature regenerative braking. Built in Barcelona, I’m happy to say.

    They used to build some bikes with real soul, witness the classic Metralla, so I’m looking forward to what they offer.


  21. 21
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (12:26 pm)

    Noel Park,

    … and no less a titan than Harley Davidson is taking the plunge …

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/24/harley-davidson-electric-idUSL4N0P13AV20140624

    … to the dismay of fans.


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (12:29 pm)

    Lots of room for solar here…

    SwartzCreek_zpsd7eb1377.jpg


  23. 23
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (12:52 pm)

    Jackson: … to the dismay of fans.

    #21

    Well it’s kind of like the Volt in a way. The future is coming, whether we like it or not.

    And, as the Harley guy alluded to, they’ve probably gotten enough “ink” out of it already to make it worth what it cost to build it. Not unlike a lot of “dream” or “concept” cars that never see the light of day.


  24. 24
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (1:30 pm)

    Noel Park,

    The “Hog” Riders/Loud Pipes guys will hate it, but everyone else will love it (whether they buy them or not ;-) ).


  25. 25
    Sean

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (1:51 pm)

    Way to go GM!

    This is the way to go!

    I hope they’ll install more of these in the future once again.

    Speaking of renewable energy they should also focus on urbanized wind turbines as well too to get extra electricity and as well if there isn’t as much sunshine like say in the fall and winter months they could use them more often when it gets windy.

    Last but not least if they need a natural gas generators just in case if there still tied to the grid if the power goes out but it might also come in handy.

    Anyway.

    This is great news this is what I want to hear guys.

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  26. 26
    Loboc

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (3:35 pm)

    Sean: Last but not least if they need a natural gas generators just in case if there still tied to the grid if the power goes out but it might also come in handy.

    GM already uses methane from garbage dumps to partially power their facilities.


  27. 27
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (3:49 pm)

    Jackson: Noel Park,

    The “Hog” Riders/Loud Pipes guys will hate it, but everyone else will love it (whether they buy them or not ).

    #24

    True that. +1

    I stumbled across a video of it a bit ago. One of the best looking bikes Harley has ever built IMHO.

    I own a Sportster and a Harley powered Buell. I have ridden bikes since 1959 when I turned 15-1/2 and could get a permit. I cringe in embarrassment every time I hear a Harley with open pipes or a “rice rocket” with a super loud exhaust. It just makes all of us look bad in the eyes of the pubic. Here in SoCal the cops do NOTHING about same. I don’t get it.


  28. 28
    'georgeBower

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (4:14 pm)

    Noel Park: #24

    I own a Sportster and a Harley powered Buell.

    Noel,

    My sportster:

    scan0012_zps8c4c2527.jpg


  29. 29
    Jackson

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (4:24 pm)

    Noel Park,

    WOW, Noel Park, I didn’t know you were that old! ;-)


  30. 30
    Jonathan Baker

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (4:35 pm)

    @28 George, are those straight pipes without any semblance of muffling? Why not muffle the noise, I mean, really muffle the noise?


  31. 31
    Jonathan Baker

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (4:40 pm)

    Jackson: Noel Park,

    WOW, Noel Park,I didn’t know you were that old!

    That’s not old! Age is just a number. Keeping active and engaged keeps that number from meaning “old”. 8^)


  32. 32
    'georgeBower

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:02 pm)

    Jackson: Noel Park,

    WOW, Noel Park,I didn’t know you were that old!

    Uh oh
    You’re in trouble now….. :)


  33. 33
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:03 pm)

    Jonathan Baker:
    @28 George, are those straight pipes without any semblance of muffling?Why not muffle the noise, I mean, really muffle the noise?

    Sorry to say but the Sportster is gone now.


  34. 34
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:34 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Noel,
    My sportster:

    #28

    I dunno, looks pretty loud to me, LOL. Kick start too. That’s when men were men!


  35. 35
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:37 pm)

    Jonathan Baker: That’s not old!Age is just a number.Keeping active and engaged keeps that number from meaning “old”. 8^)

    #31

    Damn right! Thank you! +1

    I’m still driving race cars and riding Harleys and doing a few other fun things as well, LOL. I know it can’t last forever, but I’m going flat out as long as I can.


  36. 36
    Noel Park

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:41 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: Sorry to say but the Sportster is gone now.

    #33

    There’s another one of those “Damn, why did I sell that?” moments. +1

    Although, if it was kick start only, it really can get a bit tiresome after awhile. There are literally dozens of funny/depressing YouTube videos of poor souls trying to kick start Sportsters. I won’t even bore you with my experiences in that arena.


  37. 37
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (5:47 pm)

    Jackson: Noel Park,

    … and no less a titan than Harley Davidson is taking the plunge …

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/24/harley-davidson-electric-idUSL4N0P13AV20140624

    … to the dismay of fans.

    And then you have people taking things in the opposite direction. If someone thinks the asking price is out of this world for some e-bikes, try $136k for a 2-stroke –

    http://www.sportrider.com/sportbikes/ronax-500cc-v-four-two-stroke-trackday-streetbike?cmpid=enews062414&spMailingID=21038373&spUserID=NjMxMTcwMzMwMzES1&spJobID=341332894&spReportId=MzQxMzMyODk0S0

    BOSCH Question

    I see the Bosch PowerXpress EVSE is being investigated by NHTSA. Does anyone have experience with this over the Power Max?

    Are concerns warranted? Xpress is built heavy duty, more all weather, longer 25′ cord.

    I was offered one or the other for review …


  38. 38
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:45 pm)

    Jackson: The “Hog” Riders/Loud Pipes guys will hate it, but everyone else will love it (whether they buy them or not ;-) ).

    I’m sure Bose will come up with a system to make them louder than gas Harleys, if anyone wants to.


  39. 39
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:47 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: try $136k for a 2-stroke –

    #37

    Not gonna pass smog here, LOL. OR, you could look around for a Suzuki RG500. We know a guy who has one which was somehow gray-marketed in from Canada. Probably very expensive and hard to find, but gotta be cheaper than $136K.

    I kick myself every time I remember that I sold my RD400.


  40. 40
    Noel Park

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (7:51 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: I’m sure Bose will come up with a system to make them louder than gas Harleys, if anyone wants to.

    #3

    No doubt! +1

    One of my all time favorite cartoons from Hot Rod magazine back in the day was 2 guys sitting in a drive in in a 6 cyl Nova with a 45 rpm record player (can anyone remember them?) behind the grille making big “rump-rump” sounds.

    Kind of puts me in the mind of the comment yesterday that nobody listens to CDs any more, LOL.


  41. 41
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:10 pm)

    Noel Park: #28

    I dunno, looks pretty loud to me, LOL.Kick start too.That’s when men were men!

    Yes but Noel.
    Look at the actual kick part.
    Totally trick machined (no stinkin’ cheap rubber covered Kick peg.


  42. 42
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:20 pm)

    Noel Park: #33

    There’s another one of those “Damn, why did I sell that?” moments.+1

    Although, if it was kick start only,

    No Noel it was electric start also.

    but now that you ask you have to hear another story:

    The Sportser carb was so simple. Not much different than a Briggs and Stratten ( my brother and I had mini bikes that beat anyone in the neighborhood)

    It would start on the first crank………..

    but you had to do it EXACTLY right:

    A small carb accel pump injection followed closely behind by the electric starter with the throttle just barely cracked.

    If you didn’t follow these strict procedures you were in a world of hurt.


  43. 43
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (8:24 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: And then you have people taking things in the opposite direction. If someone thinks the asking price is out of this world for some e-bikes, try $136k for a 2-stroke –

    http://www.sportrider.com/sportbikes/ronax-500cc-v-four-two-stroke-trackday-streetbike?cmpid=enews062414&spMailingID=21038373&spUserID=NjMxMTcwMzMwMzES1&spJobID=341332894&spReportId=MzQxMzMyODk0S0

    BOSCH Question

    I see the Bosch PowerXpress EVSE is being investigated by NHTSA. Does anyone have experience with this over the Power Max?

    Are concerns warranted? Xpress is built heavy duty, more all weather, longer 25′ cord.

    I was offered one or the other for review …

    I thought the old 500cc moto GP bikes were not V’s.


  44. 44
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (10:38 pm)

    Noel Park: #37

    Not gonna pass smog here, LOL.OR, you could look around for a Suzuki RG500.We know a guy who has one which was somehow gray-marketed in from Canada.Probably very expensive and hard to find, but gotta be cheaper than $136K.

    I kick myself every time I remember that I sold my RD400.

    Yeah, no doubt – cheaper than $136k. That’s $5k more than the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid I’ve been cruising around with this week! Dropped by to show it to a friend who actually has a nice restored and mildly upgraded RG500 Gamma — Blue and white original colors. That was always a neat bike. He’s known as a machinist who can fix /restore vintage MV Agustas. Has a 1-off MV Jay Leno was after for a while.

    Here’s a video of a worked RG trying to go against later model liter bikes. I used to do stuff like this in WERA sanctioned races on a gen 1 GSXR 750.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmt5RhAF9VA

    So much fun!


  45. 45
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jun 25th, 2014 (10:59 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I thought the old 500cc moto GP bikes were not V’s.

    Some were. I recall also a 3-cylinder Honda, maybe an NSR 500. They also had 4-cylinder V4 Hondas. Suzuki RGs might have been square fours.

    I saw the first USGP al Laguna Seca in 1988. Eddie Lawson on his factory Yamaha won against Aussie Wayne Gardner before the home crowd.

    Back then no traction control, no ABS, no nothing. The best of them would steer in part with the throttle – drifting both ends through a corner banked way over. It was nuts to watch. They’d come leaned over slithering to the edge of the dirt, and straighten up, lifting the front before the bike was even straight up and down. Hard to guess the speed, but easily around 100 in this one corner I was watching.


  46. 46
    jeffhre

     

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    Jun 26th, 2014 (1:29 am)

    Mark Z: A huge challenge, since the electric company’s cheapest EV kilowatt rate is at night!

    A little solution, offsets :)


  47. 47
    Sean

     

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    Jun 26th, 2014 (1:39 am)

    Guys I found some hard evidence of why Elon Musk is getting into so much trouble and the main reason is that it could be because the Model X will be released next year in earlier 2015.

    Here’s a link that tells you about the Model S and the other reasons about Tesla including about letting people buying direct in New Jersey.

    Let’s hope Tesla can become more successful in the future?

    http://evworld.com/reviews.cfm?mfg=tesla&model=S

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  48. 48
    jeffhre

     

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    Jun 26th, 2014 (1:44 am)

    ‘georgeBower: I’d like to hear more about the “integrated storage” aspect of these installations. Batteries are an essential element to make these intermittent PV installations more practical.

    Funny everyone says “storage” when the masters of the grid have chosen to go with increasing interconnections every time. When their own money is on the line. IMO every opportunity for interconnections and changing the grid mix eg offshore wind to balance solar and geothermal to augment baseline, will be tried before storage is pursued in a big way. With these steps first, then literally fractionally tiny amounts of storage can make a difference. Better prediction algorithms are already allowing more and more intermittent sources to be integrated economically.


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    Nicholas Brown

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nicholas Brown
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    Jun 27th, 2014 (9:21 am)

    Mark Z,

    Looking at the glass as half-full, this means the solar panels can be used to recharge EVs directly during the day, and utility companies’ low cost off-peak electricity could be used to charge them at night.