PV Tech: Seraphim Solar Establishing 300 MW Module Plant in Mississippi

China-based integrated PV module manufacturer Seraphim Solar System expects to be operational with a planned 300 MW annual capacity solar module assembly plant in Jackson, Mississippi in August 2015.

Seraphim’s website homepage is currently dominated by an image of the American flag and the registered name of its new manufacturing plant, Seraphim Solar USA Manufacturing, Inc., with the words, ‘Opening soon in 2015.'

USA Today: Energy Dept. Loan Chief Leaves a Shored-Up Office

When Peter Davidson was hired as executive director of the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office two years ago, his was not an enviable position.

The controversial program had been operating without a full-time director for more than a year, had made no financial commitments in some two years, and was still reeling from the fallout of a major fiasco: the bankruptcy of one of its major clients, the solar-panel maker Solyndra.

Now, Davidson, who resigned in June to return home to New York, is claiming success for a controversial loan program that supports technologies with the potential to transform the ways we use and produce energy, but with risks that can scare off commercial lenders.

Market Watch: Oil Plunges 4% on Risk of Low Demand, High Supply

U.S. oil futures sank to their lowest level in more than two months Monday, as traders fretted the fallout from Greek turmoil as well as a potential Iranian nuclear deal, which may result in a flood of millions of barrels of oil to global supplies.

August crude dropped $2.64, or 4.6%, to $54.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices for a most-active contract haven’t settled at a level this low since mid-April.

Guardian: How Smaller Batteries Give More Power to U.K. Solar Households

Home energy generation has blossomed in the U.K. over the past four years, with an estimated 650,000 homes fitted with solar panels. In 2010, the government introduced the feed-in tariff scheme to pay householders who produce and supply energy. The scheme aims to push renewable energy in the U.K. toward 15% of total energy by 2020. In 2009, the figure stood at 2%.

Powervault, Tesla and other players in the emerging solar battery market aim to supply the means for householders to store energy produced during the sunniest part of the day for use at peak times, when more people are at home but the sun is down.

Reuters: French Renewables Power Grid Pilot Shows Limits of Batteries in Europe

A major pilot project by Europe's largest power network operator to integrate power from rooftop solar panels into the grid has shown that battery storage of renewable energy is not yet economically viable in Europe.

The conclusion is a sobering one for proponents of sun and wind energy because as more of it comes on tap, better storage will be needed to keep the power produced when it is sunny and windy so it can be used at other times.

The 30-million-euro "Nice Grid" pilot is one of the biggest in a European Union-backed "Grid4EU" scheme in which France's EDF, Italy's Enel, Spain's Iberdrola, Czech Republic's CEZ, Sweden's Vattenfall and Germany's RWE are testing the power grids of tomorrow.