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MASHABLE: SolarCity Unveils ‘World’s Most Efficient’ Panel

On Friday in New York City’s Times Square, SolarCity, the nation’s largest installer of residential solar panels, and company chairman Elon Musk introduced what they claim is the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving a peak efficiency of 22.04%.

SolarCity said the rating was verified by the Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy based in Fremont, California. The panels are the same size as traditional panels, but, according to SolarCity, produce 30-to-40% more power. They also claim that the panels perform better than competing products in high temperatures.

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CNBC: Utilities’ newest solar battleground: California

California, the very heart of the rooftop solar panel industry, could be facing a major roadblock in the coming months, and its status as one of the most solar-friendly states in the country could change as a result.

The California Public Utilities Commission on Monday holds hearings that could result in changes to the way that solar panel users are reimbursed for the power they generate, improbably making the Golden State the newest front in a battle between power companies and rooftop solar firms. On one side are proponents of solar energy and the companies that make the panels, while arrayed against them are utilities that want policy changes that would result in solar power being less cost-effective for homeowners and businesses that want to use it.

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CBC NEWS: Banff solar panel incentive program the 1st of its kind in Canada

Solar panels are popping up all over Banff, thanks to an incentive program that pays residents for extra electricity. The Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program is the first of its kind in Canada. It requires residents to install their own solar panels, and if more power than needed is produced, it goes into the public power grid and the town buys it.

“We’re sending out cheques on a quarterly basis based on how much your system is producing,” said environmental co-ordinator Chad Townsend. Sixteen of the 47 applications for the program were approved in 2015, and a lottery system will determine who will be approved next year. The program is available for homes and businesses.

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FAST COMPANY: Solarcity’s rooftop panels are about to get, way better

SolarCity, the solar energy company that Elon Musk helped found, has been on a tear over the past several years, adding thousands of employees, expanding across the country, and building what will be North America’s largest solar panel manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York. Now it has a new claim to fame: maker of the world’s most efficient solar panels.

Later today at an event in New York City, SolarCity founder and CEO Lyndon Rive will announce that his company’s forthcoming rooftop panels will be the most efficient in the world, with a module efficiency of just over 22%. (The measurement refers to how much energy the panels generate. Industrial-scale panels can have much higher efficiencies, but the result is a breakthrough for a product that is small enough and affordable enough to go on your roof.) Calling the new super-efficient panels the “holy grail” of home solar energy, Rive says that they’ll help reduce costs while making renewable energy work for an ever-growing percentage of Americans. “This opens up the market,” says the 38-year-old South African native.

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Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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