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Solar news: March 19th, 2021

In this week’s weekly news round-up, we discuss an important announcement in electric vehicle technology and We Energies reveals a new large scale solar installation in Milwaukee.

Volkswagen announces new battery technology

General Motors and Volvo are not the only automakers to announce ambitious plans to transition to electric vehicles. Volkswagen recently announced that they are working on a new battery technology that will cut the cost of producing electric vehicle batteries in half, while also reducing charging time to a mere 12 minutes. They plan to roll out this new battery in 2023, and their goal is to have this technology power 80 of their electric vehicles by 2030. Volkswagen also announced a larger plan to make electric vehicles cheaper and more convenient, which involves building six battery factories and 18,000 charging stations across Europe to support the transition to electric vehicles.

This announcement, made on Volkswagen’s “Power Day,” was seen as an answer to Tesla’s “Battery Day” event. Battery Day, which was held earlier this year, touched on similar themes of improved battery technology and a decrease in pricing of electric vehicles.

We Energies installs 2.25 MW community solar array

Wisconsin utility We Energies unveiled a large array earlier this week alongside Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The project sits on a landfill, and is part of a larger effort by We Energies to cut their carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The system will generate enough electricity to power ran estimated 500 homes, and add to a suite of We Energies clean energy investments that will help save customers roughly one billion dollars over the next 20 years.  We Energies also announced plans to install two additional community solar projects that could provide energy for an additional 135,000 homes. 

This installation follows the solar industry having a record-breaking year in 2020, and also illustrates the growing popularity of community solar around the country.


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