Competition forces battery makers to either match the scale or carve out a niche -- neither of which proved to be compelling for S&C.

Chicago grid equipment company S&C Electric built its first large-scale battery storage system in 2006, before almost anyone else was doing it. Now, it's winding down that business.

Storage will still appear in its microgrid offerings, but the employee-owned company will procure it rather than making it in-house, said Senior Director for Business Development David Chiesa. Meanwhile, S&C is refocusing on what it sees as its core competency: medium voltage switching and protection, with a special focus on microgrids.

The move reflects the maturation and consolidation of the market in the 12 years since S&C built its first utility-scale battery, a sodium sulfur

Can big money help standardize microgrid development?

Most companies have a hard time fronting the cash to build a microgrid, and financing one can be a major headache.

Theoretically, that headache would go away if an entity with functionally unlimited capital bought the project and operated it on behalf of the customer in exchange for service payments.

The Carlyle Group, the D.C.-based private equity behemoth, set up a business unit last fall to do just that. Dynamic Energy Networks will deploy Carlyle capital to create microgrids, then operate them in an energy-as-a-service model for long-term contracts.

This model has been deployed in a few instances already; it eliminates up-front capital requirements and

Brown doubled down on his vision for America's first electrified high-speed rail system.

During his final State of the State address, California Governor Jerry Brown took the opportunity to victory lap on many of the state’s accomplishments over the last eight years. 

In the climate realm he discussed the state’s cap-and-trade law, electric vehicle goals, appliance efficiency standards, and target to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. But one especially glaring project remains on the agenda: Brown’s vision for America's first electrified high-speed rail system.

“I make no bones about it, I like trains and I like high-speed trains even better,” said Brown. “Government does what individuals can’t do, like build roads and bridges

Solar experts say tariffs can work, just not in this scenario.

As a broad cross-section of the U.S. solar sector condemned new tariffs on imported solar cells and modules this week, President Trump insisted they would spur new American jobs.

“Our action today helps to create jobs in America for Americans,” he said at a televised signing ceremony in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “We’ll be making solar products now much more so in the United States. Our companies have been decimated, and those companies are going to be coming back strong.”

Numerous trade experts, policymakers and industry analysts believe that’s just not true. The Solar Energy Industries

GTM Research's latest Global Solar PV O&M report tracks the latest tech innovations.

At a recent conference, I argued that current utility-scale PV operations and maintenance prices in the U.S. were dangerously low, posing a threat to quality of service and vendor survival. I added that O&M prices might bounce back after bottoming out, as they did in the wind industry a few years ago.

A fellow presenter and esteemed industry colleague rejected this idea: he thought that prices never would go back up, citing the computer and cell phone markets as examples. But this comparison ignores that O&M is a service, not a piece of hardware that gets cheaper with manufacturing volumes and experience.

The primary sources

India's solar industry is facing steep tariffs. Developers hope Modi's backlash against Trump is sign he'll abandon them.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed Trump’s protectionist policies this week, after the White House slapped 30 percent tariffs on imported solar cells and modules.

Solar developers in India hope that Modi's embrace of free trade means he'll strike down tariffs that could stunt the country's PV market.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Modi labeled protectionism as one of the world’s three biggest threats. But his government is also considering a solar import tariff more than twice as high as the one announced by the White House on Monday.

Analysts predict India’s fast-growing solar sector could be hobbled by a 70 percent safeguard

 The wind industry’s tendency towards creating bigger machines shows no sign of slowing down in the coming years, according to a recently report from MAKE Consulting. If anything, in some segments of the market the trend could speed up.

Wood Mackenzie-owned MAKE’s 2017 Global Wind Turbine Trends report, published at the end of last month, includes upwardly revised estimates for turbine growth compared to the 2016 edition.

The average rating of wind turbines worldwide is now expected to be close to 2.8 megawatts by 2022, up from a prediction of around 2.5 megawatts a year ago.

The revision comes after average turbine

India's solar industry is facing steep tariffs. Developers hope Modi's pushback against Trump is a sign he'll abandon them.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed Trump’s protectionist policies this week, after the White House slapped 30 percent tariffs on imported solar cells and modules.

Solar developers in India hope that Modi's embrace of free trade means he'll strike down proposed Indian tariffs that could stunt the country's PV market.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Modi labeled protectionism as one of the world’s three biggest threats. But his government is also considering a solar import tariff more than twice as high as the one announced by the White House on Monday.

Analysts predict India’s fast-growing solar sector could be hobbled by a 70

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