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Run on Sun Monthly Newsletter

In this Issue:

January, 2012

Volume: 3 Issue: 1

Sunny California Solar Highlights from 2011

The latest newsletter from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) highlights some of the precedent shattering developments in solar this past year. Here's our summary of the most notable developments of 2011:

  • In October, California reached a major milestone:
    1,000 Megawatts - 1 Gigawatt - of solar power has now been installed throughout the state in more than 100,000 installations. More than 60% of those installations are a result of the CSI program, with the remainder due to municipal utility programs.
  • In just 2011 alone more than 20,000 PV systems were installed with a capacity of 241 MW. CSI paid out some $283 million in rebates.
  • Of those 20,000 systems installed during 2011, more than 19,000 were residential systems, accounting for 94 MW installed capacity at an average system size of just under 5 kW. Residential system owners received a total of $67 million in rebates.
  • The remaining non-residential systems accounted for 149 MW of capacity for an average system size of 172 kW. Those systems qualified for an anticipated $267 million in performance-based incentive payments over the next five years.
  • SCE alone authorized nearly 9,000 projects to go online during 2011 - a 40% increase over the 2010 total.

We will be writing more about the details of all of this growth in the coming weeks. What oddities and outliers will we discover then?

“1 Gigawatt of solar power has now been installed in California at more than 100,000 sites…”

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Power Outage Safety

In December a freak wind storm - described by some as a once in a generation event - toppled trees, ripped off roofs and downed power lines throughout the LA Basin. (It also damaged a number of poorly installed solar power systems - more on that in future Newsletters.)

In light of the dangers surrounding downed power lines, we thought it would make sense to pass along this advice from LADWP:

LADWP strongly encourages the public to stay away from any downed power lines and poles as well as downed trees and limbs, and protect children home from school today from the same. Beware of traffic signals that may be affected by power outage and proceed with extreme caution. Allow access for uniformed LADWP crews, all of whom carry Department-issued identification cards, so they may service infrastructure in need of repair.

In the event of a power outage:

• Stay calm.

• Have a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Don't use candles in a power outage.

• Turn off lights but leave one light turned on so you will know when your service is restored.

• Turn off and unplug appliances and other electrical equipment. Unplug heat-producing items like irons and space heaters. This helps prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service.

• Call us and report your outage at 1-800-DIAL DWP (1-800-342-5397). If you encounter a downed power line:

• Report any downed power lines immediately by calling the LADWP at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397). If you or someone else is in danger, call 911.

• Do not touch a downed or dangling wire or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed line is still energized.

• If a power line falls on your car, stay in the car and wait for help. If you must get out, make sure you do not touch the metal parts of the car and the ground at the same time. The safest exit method is to open the door, stand on the door sill and jump free without touching the car.

• Stay away from metal fences, such as chain link fences, as there may be a power line down and touching the fence somewhere beyond your sight.

• If there is damage to the connection from the power pole to your house, you should go to the electrical box and turn off the main switch or shut off the fuse switch. Again, always assume electric lines are live.

• In case of an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. Don't become a victim while trying to help others. Call 911.

• If someone is shocked or not breathing, apply cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR.) Then cover the victim with a blanket, keep their head low and get medical attention.

The public and members of the media are encouraged to check the Department's news site at www.ladwpnews.com and Twitter page, @LADWP, for updates.

For folks not served by LADWP, you can report downed power lines by calling:

  • Pasadena Water & Power (PWP): (626) 564-0199 or (626) 564-0299
  • Glendale Water & Power (GWP): 818-548-2011
  • Southern California Edison (SCE): 911 and report an "electrical emergency" - see their safety tip sheet.

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Sanyo Springs to Panasonic

Sanyo solar panel

Top-performing Sanyo HIT solar panels from premier solar panel manufacturer Sanyo Electronics will officially be re-branded as Panasonic HIT solar panels effective April 1, 2012, according to a press release from the company.

Run on Sun has been a Sanyo, make that Panasonic, dealer since our inception and we continue to believe that the Sanyo/Panasonic solar panels will remain the go-to product for maximum performance solar installations. (A rose by a any other name, etc.)

We are hoping that Panasonic will make good on their marketing claim:

"The current manufacturing operations and sales structure will continue under the Panasonic Group. The Group will continue to invest in the solar business, allowing us to offer a higher level of service to our business partners and provide our customers with higher quality, more efficient modules."

The move should provide the Sanyo division with increased capital and greater distribution support, and help Panasonic meet its stated goal of becoming the "Number One Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry" by Panasonic's 100th Anniversary in 2018.

While Sanyo was a very well known brand within the solar industry, adopting the more broadly known Panasonic brand should assist the company in competing against consumer electronics giant LG Electronics that announced its entry into the U.S. solar panel market at this year's SPI.

“We continue to believe that the Sanyo/Panasonic solar panels will remain the go-to product for maximum performance solar installations…”

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