In a first, last week Budweiser announced that not only will this year’s Super Bowl be powered by wind, the Entire city of Atlanta will be powered by wind for a whole week. Meanwhile solar is expected to resume its international growth in 2019, with a new report suggesting it will surpass 100 gigawatts (GWs) of new installations this year. In the US some of that will come from corporate growth and more community solar.
But, let’s start with the fun stuff. Super Bowl LII is coming to Atlanta this year and Anheuser-Busch InBev is donating enough wind power to power the host city for a week. It’s a big play that lines up both with the city’s and InBev’s goals as both have committed to going 100 percent renewable in the future. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz stadium itself also is solar powered, increasing the green energy in the city.
It’s becoming easier for companies like InBev and Facebook to acquire renewable energy, too. Last week Facebook and a company it leases data center space from, Digital Realty, signed an agreement for 80 megawatts of solar power to operate its Facebook data centers in North Carolina. The virtual power purchase agreement will allow Facebook to reap the benefits, including renewable energy certificates of the solar farms that SunEnergy1 will own and operate on Facebook and Digital Realty’s behalf.
Another part of the solar industry that’s poised for growth is community solar. New Jersey, which is one of the biggest rooftop solar markets in the country is finally launching a community solar pilot program. The state is making sure 40 percent of the community solar capacity is reserved for projects that benefit low- and moderate-income residents in the state. The pilot will add 75 megawatts (MWs) of community solar projects it the first year and at least 75 MWs in each of the second and third years.
The US is an increasingly smaller part of the overall international demand for solar power, so is China, and that’s a good thing. A new analysis by Woods Mackenzie anticipates that though solar demand in leading markets like the US and China are still high, demands in more markets are increasing. That’s led the firm to anticipate more than 100 gigawatts of new solar power for the year 2019, which will be a record.Tweet