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Solar news: May 20th, 2022

In this week’s news round up, we discuss an exciting update in Massachusetts and an upcoming electric vehicle (EV) battery innovation.

Electricity demand hits its lowest point ever in New England

New England grid demand hit its lowest point ever on May 1st, in part due to good weather and stress being taken off of the grid by self-generating solar arrays on homes and businesses. According to regional grid operator ISO New England, rooftop solar has also changed the timing of the lowest grid stress to mid afternoon rather than at night. These trends are expected to continue into the future as more New Englanders switch to rooftop solar and should also help to minimize stress on the utility grid for all users.

Nissan and NASA team up to create fast charging EV battery

Earlier this year, Nissan announced plans to phase out the production of many of its internal combustion automobiles. As a part of this initiative, earlier this spring Nissan revealed a new solid state battery to replace its lithium ion batteries for their EVs by 2028. Solid state batteries use solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte, instead of liquid electrolytes, which are found in lithium ion batteries. They also have higher energy density and are non-combustible. Nissan’s solid state battery will be about half the size of traditional lithium ion batteries and is also expected to be able to reach a full charge in just 15 minutes.

Regarding this announcement, Nissan’s executive vice President, Kunio Nakaguro, stated:

“Nissan has been a leader in electrification technology through a wide range of R&D activities, from molecular-level battery material research to the development of safe, high-performance EVs. Our initiatives even include city development using EVs as storage batteries…The knowledge gained from our experience supports the development of all-solid-state batteries and we’ve accumulated important elemental technologies. Going forward, our R&D and manufacturing divisions will continue to work together to utilize this prototype production facility and accelerate the practical application of all-solid-state batteries.”


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