Also on the rise: the zero-emission vehicle manufacturer Hyzon Motors is planning a Saudi production facility and a project to use retired EV batteries to store solar energy in a nationwide competition.

April 29, 2021

Accela, a provider of cloud-based government solutions, announced a new partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to introduce SolarAPP + (Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus), a new one Instant online solar approval platform for residential solar energy and battery projects.

Software-as-a-Service is deployed to 1,500 agencies and made available to Accela’s current state and local customers. The tool is designed to speed up exposure to sunlight from an average of two weeks to instantaneous. Accela said it works with over 80% of the largest cities in the United States and has worked with agencies to modernize the solar permit.

The tool developed by NREL detects any code problems, typos, and other errors, and returns corrections to the applicant, so that simple projects can move forward quickly while freeing up more bandwidth for staff to focus on more complex or unique applications. Accela says its customers can integrate SolarAPP + with software to expedite review and approval processes and track approvals in a single system.

Hyzon signs development agreement

Hyzon Motors, based in Rochester, New York, and Modern Industrial Investment Holding Group, a Saudi industrial conglomerate, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NEOM Company Development of a plant in Saudi Arabia for the assembly of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Under the agreement, Hyzon and its partners will work over the next 18 months to finalize plans for the facility, which is expected to assemble up to 10,000 vehicles per year. Hyzon and Modern Group plan to set up a joint venture, Hyzon Motors Middle East, to focus on the delivery of Hyzon brand commercial vehicles across Saudi Arabia.

NEOM is part of the portfolio of the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

Hyzon had previously signed a separate letter of intent for a joint venture with renewable fuel company Raven SR. The two plan to build up to 100 hydrogen production centers in the US and around the world. As part of the deal, Hyzon announced that it would acquire a minority stake in Wyoming-based Raven.

Second life for retired EV batteries

A team of researchers from Utah State University and Maryland-based security research firm Dream Team were named finalists in the fourth round of the nationwide American-Made Solar Prize competition.

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Hongjie Wang works in a team to develop solar storage systems using batteries from retired electric vehicles.

Image: Utah State University

The team is developing Solar energy storage systems using old batteries from electric vehicles. For their submission, the researchers developed solar energy storage systems using batteries from retired electric vehicles. They said the goal is to reduce the cost of solar energy storage systems by 50%. Their approach is supported by the fact that the cost of batteries for retired electric vehicles is lower and can be used to power energy storage systems with newly developed active life balance technologies. Retired EV batteries can hold up to 85% of their original storage capacity.

Sponsored by the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the award is a $ 3 million competition designed to turn the best solar ideas into marketable technology solutions. Last year 121 teams submitted ideas for the three-stage competition. In December, semi-finalist teams were selected to take part in the competition. Teams of finalists were announced in early April, each receiving a cash prize of US $ 100,000, US $ 75,000 to finance technical support, and a place to participate in the final round this September.

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