In this week's Newsletter: Introducing the Tesla Powerwall battery system, Clean EC is back on May 21, biking tips for new NYC cyclists, and much more!
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Elon Musk Announces Tesla Energy and the Powerwall Battery Pack

One of the everlasting complaints about solar power is that the sun isn't shining all the time. Of course the sun is shining all the time, though not necessarily on your solar installation. Wind also doesn't blow 100% of the time in most places, and energy is notoriously difficult to hang onto once it's been generated from any source.

So energy storage is a big part of the switch-to-renewables puzzle, and a lot of smart people have been working on fancy new battery technologies, but none are commercially viable just yet. Enter Tesla, the electric car maker: This week CEO Elon Musk gave this keynote address introducing the Tesla Powerwall, a cleverly designed wall-mounted battery pack for renewable systems or even as a backup for grid power. The battery packs are available in 7kWh and 10kWh sizes for residential use, but industrial-scale batteries are also available. The price is relatively low: $3,500 for a 10kWh system, $3,000 for 7kWh.

Some people think is a game-changer on a huge scale, while others are more skeptical. Whether the Powerwall itself will be the next big thing in the transition to renewables, or another, more efficient battery technology will knock lithium-ion down, remains to be seen. But one thing's for sure: Energy storage is about to get big and cheap, one way or another.

Next Clean Energy Connection Panel Coming Up Soon: Architecting Energy's Future

Join Clean Energy Connections for our second event of 2015 - Architecting Energy’s Future: Grid Edge Technologies Underpinning An Intelligent, Distributed Utility System or stream it live here!

Today, millions of utility and customer-owned devices contribute to the reliable and efficient operation of power systems around the world. As the deployment of distributed generation, storage and controllable load continues to grow, their capabilities are becoming more important to increasingly dynamic distribution grids.

This panel will discuss advancements in grid edge technologies, their capabilities, and their impacts on the grid. For more information on the topic, panel speakers and schedule, visit the Clean Energy Connections website. Tickets are $25 general admission/$10 student admission and are available on Eventbrite.

Tips for Beginner Bicyclists in NYC: Rules of the Road

It's no wonder May is a big bike month in NYC, what with nice weather, Transportation Alternatives' Bike to Work Challenge (see sidebar), the 5 Borough Bike Tour last weekend and just more people who generally want to get out there and ride! But if you're contemplating getting more biking into your lifestyle, the city can be pretty intimidating.

Well and Good has some great tips for beginning city cyclists, including laws about headphones (you can wear only one but you probably shouldn't), texting (not illegal but not recommended either) and how to signal. Making your intentions known and acting predictably are key to staying safe on the unpredictable streets!

And don't forget to wear a helmet. No, you don't have to if you're an adult, but you really, really should

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Solar One Family Day: NYC Wildflower Week Interactive Plant Fair
At Solar 1, 23rd Street & the East river, 10am-2pm, free

Other Events

2015 Bike to Work Challenge
All day, everywhere, free

Challenges and Solutions for Renewables in NYC
Rutgers Presbyterian Church, 236 West 73rd Street near Broadway, 5th floor, Manhattan, 6:30-9pm, $10 suggested donation (no one turned away)

Spring E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (DUMBO)
Pearl Street Triangle, Pearl Street bet Water & Front Sts, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free
For a list of accepted electronics, click here.

{Green Careers} May 2015 Meeting - Resume Workshop
National Grid, 1 MetroTech Roadway, Conference Room 2-04A, Brooklyn, 6:30-8pm, free

Sierra Club Sustainability Series: Transportation: New Ways to Get Around
Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, corner of Irving Place, Manhattan, 6:30-9pm, $6 suggested donation/$3 students
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