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LEDs Could Get A Lot Cheaper

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As researchers develop new materials to replace rare-earth elements, steep cost reductions are possible
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Researchers at Rutgers University have found a way to replace rare-earth elements in light-emitting diodes with much cheaper and more abundant materials, a step that could lower costs for LEDs by as much as 90%.

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GE Signs Largest Battery Storage Deal to Date

General Electric (GE) signed its largest energy storage deal to date to provide Coachella Energy Storage Partners with a 30-megawatt battery system as part of a contract with Imperial Irrigation District (IID).

The storage facility will be located about 100 miles east of San Diego. IID is the third-largest public power utility in California and the nation’s largest irrigation district. The utility was looking for 20 megawatts to 40 megawatts of battery storage to address ramp, regulation, capacity, ancillary services, system reliability and power quality, as well as to provide black-start capability for an adjacent gas turbine.

Coachella Energy Storage Partners (CESP) beat out eight other vendors in the final round of solicitation, including S&C, AES Energy Storage, Black & Veatch and Duke Energy Business Services.

“We chose GE as the energy-storage system provider for this project because they supplied the most comprehensive solution at a competitive price,” Mike Abatti, president of CESP, said in a statement. The current cost of the project is about $38 million, according to the The Desert Sun.

From the start, IID was only looking for battery storage solutions,...

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US Energy Secretary Thinks Solar Can Compete With a Lower Federal Tax Credit

PV Magazine: Solar Ready to Thrive Without Subsidy, Says U.S. Energy Secretary

The solar industry in the U.S. is primed to grow and survive even without the need for subsidy support, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has said this week.

With the price of solar having fallen dramatically over the past few years, Moniz believes that the cost of electricity from rooftop solar arrays could fall to $0.06/kWh in some U.S. states very soon -- a situation that would make solar "extremely competitive" with fossil-fuel-based power generation sources.

Phys.org: Solar Cell Absorbs High-Energy Light at 30-Fold Higher Concentration Than Conventional Cells

By combining designer quantum dot light-emitters with spectrally matched photonic mirrors, a team of scientists with Berkeley Lab and the University of Illinois created solar cells that collect blue photons at 30 times the concentration of conventional solar cells, the highest luminescent concentration factor ever recorded. This breakthrough paves the way for the future development of low-cost solar cells that efficiently utilize the high-energy part of the solar spectrum.

"We've achieved a luminescent concentration ratio...

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