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Solar news: July 24th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dismisses an anti-net metering plea, and Trina Solar announces new 600-watt solar panels.

FERC unanimously rejects petition to declare net metering policies illegal

This past week, in a major victory for the solar industry, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected a plea by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) that declared all state solar net metering policies illegal. FERC is the federal agency in charge of regulating the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas.

All four commissioners voted against the petition: “We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,” said FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee in an open FERC meeting. Specifically, the petition argued that FERC, and not individual states, should have jurisdiction over electricity sales from rooftop solar systems and other customer-sited generators.

Opposition to NERA’s stance argued that it would undermine the longstanding net metering policies in states that are crucial to individual state energy and environmental goals.

Trina announces a new 600-watt solar panel, an industry first

Just five months after announcing a record-breaking 500-watt solar panel, Chinese manufacturer Trina Solar has announced another record, a 600-watt solar panel as part of its next-generation Vertex series of modules. 

At a press conference at their headquarters in Changzhou, the company shared details of the new series. The panels will be 60-cell, bifacial models that can yield up to 600 watts (W) of power. The panels will use the same silicon wafers as their 500-watt counterparts, and have boosted efficiency (up to 21.2%) due to the use of half-cut cells, giving the panels an extra punch over competitors.

Trina says it will have 10 gigawatts (GW) of Vertex module production capacity up and running this year, and that capacity will expand to 21 GW in 2021 and 31 GW in 2022. They expect the 600-watt version of the panel in Q1 of 2021.


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