In The News

(May 11, 2015)

Principal Solar chooses Alpha Energy as EPC partner for 100MW plant

Solar power company Principal Solar announced that is has selected Alpha Energy as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner to help develop the Principal Sunrise IV plant in Cumberland County, North Carolina.

Construction on the project begins in May and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Michael Gorton, CEO of PSI, said: “Alpha is a world leader in large-scale construction and solar projects. Their proven expertise and demonstrated commitment to the success of the project are an important asset as we bring this project on-line.”

With a generation capacity of 100MW, the installation will be the largest solar facility established east of the Rocky Mountains. The plant has been tied to a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Duke Energy. Read More...

(May 6, 2015)

Principal Solar Institute hosts webinar by Mark Victor Hansen and Michael Gorton - "The Road To Change: Electric Vehicles Power the Future for Everyone"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT   
Host: Principal Solar Institute

By: Mark Victor Hansen, Founder and Co-creator, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Michael Gorton, Chief Executive Officer / Chairman, Principal Solar

What is the future of electric vehicles (EV) in our gasoline-powered economy? With oil prices plummeting, is there still a growing market for EV? These are just two of the questions that will addressed in this interesting and thought-provoking webinar. Learn More...

(March 10, 2015)

Principal Solar To Build Second Solar Farm In North Carolina

North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing solar industries in the country, and the evidence suggests the clean energy sector has helped boost the state’s economy. Now solar has taken another step forward with Principal Solar’s announcement that it will build a 73 MW solar farm in Fayetteville, which is home to Fort Bragg and lies 65 miles south of Raleigh. Duke Energy Progress has agreed to buy power from the project once the $154 million installation is completed in early 2016.

This is the second project on the drawing board for Principal Solar, which earlier this year said it would build a solar farm in the town of Hope Mills, just seven miles southwest of Fayetteville. According to the company, the Hope Mills solar plant will be the largest such project east of the Rocky Mountains. Both solar projects, once fully launched, should generate enough energy at peak capacity to power approximately 14,400 homes. Read More...

February 4, 2015)

Principal SolarPrincipal Solar to Build Largest Solar Project East of the Rockies

DALLAS, Feb 04, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Principal Solar, Inc. (PSI; OTC Pink®: PSWW), a solar power company that is creating a utility-scale operation, announced today that it will build the largest solar facility east of the Rockies.

The project, located in Hope Mills, NC, with a capacity of 78.5 MW AC, will be the largest solar facility east of the Rockies. Total investment in the project is expected to be approximately $173 million. Duke Energy Progress, Inc. has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy energy from the project. Read More...

(January 29, 2015)

Principal Solar Institute hosts webinar by Charlie Hemmeline - "Will 2015 be the Breakout Year for Solar Power in Texas?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 9:00am - 10:00am EST   
Host: Principal Solar Institute
By: Charlie Hemmeline, Executive Director, Texas Solar Power Association

Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Association (TSPA), will discuss recent trends and developments in solar power, and share his outlook for advancements in supportive policy as Texas’ legislature convenes. This renowned oil and gas state is also a global leader in renewable energy production. Solar developers and investors alike are eager to extend the success wind power has experienced in this energy state. Although the potential is large, solar has lagged other energy producers in terms of regional and state support. TSPA has been established to be a statewide industry trade association focused on eliminating the roadblocks that have prevented solar from wide acceptance in the lone star state. Learn More...

(November 7, 2014)

Principal Solar Institute Hosting Webinar On 2015 Texas Legislative Agenda For Renewables

The Texas-based Principal Solar Institute is hosting a free webinar that will focus on what to expect in terms of renewable energy policies and development from the upcoming 2015 Texas legislative session.

Host Russel Smith, co-founder and executive director of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA), will also provide a summary of the past year's out-of-session activity - the Texas Legislature in only in session every other year. There will also be a question and answer segment following the presentation.

The webinar is scheduled for Nov. 19 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. EDT. For more information and to register, click here.

(October 12, 2014)

Solar firms, power companies battle over 'net metering'

As solar power expands its reach into greater residential use, can solar companies and utilities find common ground?

The flashpoint is over net-metering—a process where consumers use renewable energy to generate their own electricity, then cut their bills by sending excess power back to the grid at retail rates. Read More...

(October 10, 2014)

Here's Where Solar Power
Will Be Huge

Rooftop solar power is a great way for individuals to save money and achieve energy independence. But for solar power to take off on a larger scale, it’s going to take a lot more than a few panels on rooftops. We’ll need solar farms — huge arrays of solar panels capable of capturing and distributing massive amounts of energy.

The map above shows the distribution of solar energy that can be harvested across the United States. The areas in red and orange are where utility-scale solar power, capable of competing with established power sources, are going to develop in a big way, according to Michael Gorton, founder and CEO of Principal Solar, a company dedicated to bringing utility-scale solar to the market.


(October 2, 2014)

What To Look For - And Look Out For - In Selecting Solar Development Sites

Congratulations. The land parcel you've selected for your next solar project is free of encumbrances, has good solar resources and is conducive to building.

However, such site characteristics should only serve as a beginning point, explains Kristen Castanos, a partner at law firm Stoel Rives.

"After the basics, land procurement is often an inexact science," Castanos says. "The types of issues that can arise are really site specific, and solar land procurement requires other special considerations." Read More...

(June 23, 2014)

Matthew A. ThompsonPrincipal Solar Institute, presented the poster, "Lifetime Energy Production™ – A Simple Method for PV Module Comparison"

Matthew A. Thompson, Ph.D., executive director, Principal Solar Institute, presented the poster, “Lifetime Energy Production™ – A Simple Method for PV Module Comparison,” during PV America 2014.  Selected by industry experts as one of the Best Posters of PV America, the poster details how the PV Module Rating provides a quick and simple method for side-by-side comparison of photovoltaic (PV) modules to maximize return-on-investment and enhance the value of a solar project. Watch the presentation here (skip to 14:30)

(June 15, 2014)

Matthew A. ThompsonSolar Speaks: Do You Know Where Your Solar Modules Rank?

For years, the industry has tried to figure out how to rank solar panels by the amount of energy they produce, but it’s been difficult to decide what criteria should be used.

The Principal Solar Institute, a leading educational organization created by public utility Principal Solarhas created just such a ranking system — and Matthew A. Thompson, the institute’s executive director, dropped by Solar Speaks to talk about it. Listen to Interview...

(June 3, 2014)

Grid Parity For Solar Likely As The EPA Drives Coal Into The Sunset

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) sweeping proposal to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under Section 111 (d) under the Clean Air Act will invariably mean less coal, which should open up a big opportunity for renewable energy, particularly solar and wind power. Read More...

(June 2, 2014)

Obama's New Carbon Plan Makes History for Clean Energy

In a history-making move for clean energy, the Obama administration today, for the first time, proposed a rule to restrict carbon dioxide on existing power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the proposal amid strong praise from several clean energy groups and, not surprisingly, criticism from coal supporters. The rule calls for reducing carbon 30 percent by 2030 over 2005 levels. Read More...

(June 2014)

Solar Inverters Face The Demands Of A New Day With More Functionality

The solar inverter is the workhorse of a photovoltaic array. Although often evaluated in terms of constraints in system design, string size and points of failure, the inverter has evolved into a gateway to the operations and health of the solar PV plant. It provides information about and access to the facility to an ever-expanding circle of stakeholders. Read More...

(May 30, 2014)

Michael MartinSolar Speaks: Is Principal Solar
Ready To Take Off?

Two weeks ago, Principal Solar announced it had reached the financial critical mass it needed to purchase and finance multiple solar projects, which fits into its overall strategy to become a distributed solar utility. We talked to Michael Martin, executive vice president, business development at the Dallas-based, publicly traded solar energy holding company, about what this means for the company’s future — in this edition of Solar Speaks. Read More...

(April 9, 2014)

Michael GortonPSI Ratings: Setting an industry standard for PV modules
By Matthew A. Thompson, Ph.D.

The PSI PV Module Rating is the industry’s first and only comprehensive, independent rating standard. Launched by the Principal Solar Institute (PSI) and guided by an advisory board of highly influential academic and industry experts, the PSI Rating is designed to help large-scale solar consumers make informed, intelligent comparisons and decisions when selecting photovoltaic (PV) modules. Its methodology defines the standard for comparing critical characteristics of PV modules between different manufacturers and across product lines. Read More...

(March 25, 2014)

Michael GortonUnbiased, Comprehensive
Solar Module Rating System

Interview with Matthew A. Thompson, Ph.D.

PV modules already have a nameplate rating -- why is yet another rating needed?

The nameplate rating on PV modules only indicates the power that may be produced at a single, standard test condition. The Principal Solar PV Module Rating uses a computational approach based on Lifetime Energy Production that allows side-by-side comparison of the long-term energy production over a realistic range of sunlight and temperatures. We have found examples where a module with higher nameplate power rating actually produces less energy than one with a lower rating. Read More...

(February 2014)

Michael GortonKeeping PACE with Texas: Financing opens commercial & industrial renewable markets

As a renewable energy provider, Texas is currently a really good state to be working in. Those based in the area can expect to expand their business starting 2014, with the state’s authorization of an innovative financing mechanism for projects on commercial and industrial buildings. Read More...

(February 1, 2014)

Build, Borrow or Buy? Three Strategies for Growing Your Company

Energy Investors Banking on SolarIn their recent HBR book, Build, Borrow, or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma, authors Laurence Capron and Will Mitchell focus on those three growth strategies for companies to expand. Companies that “build” are those that scale up by doing more of what they’re doing now through internal innovation. Companies that “borrow” enter into joint contracts and alliances; and companies that “buy,” grow through mergers and acquisitions. Read More...

(January 31, 2014)

PSI's Michael Gorton & Dan Bedell to be featured speakers at Solar Power Generation Conference

Michael GortonMichael GortonPSI’s Michael Gorton, CEO and Chairman, and Dan Bedell, executive vice president, Strategic and Corporate Development, senior director, Principal Solar Institute, will be featured speakers during the Solar Power Generation conference this February in San Diego, Calif. 

Be sure to catch these sessions:

Dan Bedell – “Optimizing Solar Power Generation” track on Tuesday 4th February 2014, during the Supply Chain Quality Assurance session at 11:35 a.m.

Michael Gorton – Financing Solar Power Generation track on Wednesday 5th February 2014, during the panel discussion “Why has solar power in the U.S. become such an attractive market for investors?” at 1:30 p.m.

For more details, visit Green Power Conferences.

(January 29, 2014)

Energy Investors Banking on SolarWhy Traditional Investors
are Banking on Solar

by Michael Gorton, CEO & Chairman of Principal Solar Inc.

The bankability of solar investments is generating wide receptivity among traditional oil and gas energy investors, making solar part of a much broader capital market.  Large-scale solar is a low risk investment when backed by a power-purchase agreement (PPA), so it is a good investment for risk-matching investors such as pension plans and insurance funds. Read More...

(Winter, 2013)

Energy Investors Banking on SolarEnergy Investors Banking on Solar
by Michael Gorton, CEO & Chairman of Principal Solar Inc.

The bankability of solar investments is generating wide receptivity among traditional oil and gas energy investors, making solar part of a much broader capital market.  Large-scale solar is a low risk investment when backed by a power-purchase agreement (PPA), so it is a good investment for risk-matching investors such as pension plans and insurance funds. Read More (flip to page 10)...

In The News Archives

(December 26, 2013)

Principal Solar gets backing
from Carlyle to become solar utility

Michael GortonPrincipal Solar, Inc. wants to be the world’s first solar utility company, aggregating pure solar power from around the United States.

The Dallas-based company will start acquiring large-scale solar farms next year with financial consulting from Carlyle Capital Markets, based in Dallas.

On Thursday, I spoke with Dan Bedell, executive vice president of strategic and corporate development at Principal Solar, about the company’s plans for 2014.

His goal is to invest $50 million to $100 million, with backing from Carlyle, in solar utilities. Read More...

(December 10, 2013)

A Better Way to Think About Solar with
Principal Solar Chairman and CEO Michael Gorton

Michael GortonJoining me this week on PowerTalk is Michael Gorton, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Principal Solar Inc. (PSWW). There’s been a lot of speculation by investors in the solar space, some making big money along the way and others losing it in the shares of companies like First Solar (FSLR)SunPower Corp. (SPWR) and of course Solyndra, Inc. It’s the view by those at Principal Solar that many are thinking about the solar industry the wrong way. Rather than replacing traditional forms of energy — nuclear, coal and natural gas — Michael and his team see solar-generated electricity becoming a self-sustaining, investment grade asset within two to three years. Read More...

(November 6, 2013)

ForbesTexas Creates "PACE in a Box"
Written by Charlene Heydinger and Matthew A. Thompson, Ph.D.

The Property Assessed Clean Energy ACT (PACE) creates a new program administered by local governments in Texas. PACE programs use voluntary assessments to attract long term, affordable financing for energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to commercial and industrial property. Under PACE programs, a local taxing authority places a senior lien on a property to secure a loan used to make permanent improvements that increase energy efficiency, conserve water, or add renewables or other on-site power generation. Read More...

(September 2013)

ForbesMarket Watch: Energy
with Dan Bedell, EVP Strategic and Corporate Development Sr. Director Principal Solar Institute

If you're a distributor looking for a new market to target, you'd be wise to consider the energy industry. Very wise. Take the growth of renewable energy, for example. In 2011, solar panel installations increase by 76% in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a Washington D.C.-based trade group. At the same time, solar panel prices within the $11.5 billion industry fell by 27%.

"There will continue to be substantial growth, as the prices of components used to make solar installations continue to get cheaper," says Dan Bedell, vice president of Principal Solar Inc., a solar distribution company located in Dallas. Page 68.

(August 16, 2013)

ForbesUS solar booms as residential, commercial installers prepare for heady growth

Despite the US Department of Energy announcing record rates of wind power installation on Tuesday last week, solar energy rapidly appears to be taking its place as the pre-eminent renewable energy source in the US market, a development highlighted over the past week as several US solar installation companies showed signs of strong growth.

First Solar was perhaps the most outwardly ambitious, acquiring GE's solar thin film intellectual property (IP) portfolio as well as a 1.5 GW project pipeline from Element Power. Read More...

(August 6, 2013)

ForbesINTERVIEW: Principal Solar to seek substantial funding in 2014, targets 2 GW portfolio
with Michael Gorton, Chairman and CEO

Texas-based start-up Principal Solar plans to grow its portfolio to 2 GW, the size of a large-scale distributed solar energy utility, and is gearing up for a large fundraise next year, Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Gorton told Clean Energy Pipeline.

“We are just beginning [the fundraising] process right now,” Gorton said. “In the short term, we’re doing a little $2 million angel round right now. As we go into 2014, we will be raising a fairly significant amount of money.

(July 29, 2013)

ForbesOld Money, New Energy:
Why Funding Solar Makes Sense

by Michael Gorton, Chairman and CEO

Rapid improvements in horizontal drilling and fracking technology have led to a precipitous drop in the cost of natural gas. These same improvements have attracted enormous investments to oil and gas exploration and production. Low-cost natural gas has been forecast for the next decade by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.1 In an economic assessment this is all good news. The risk side of this boom, however, has not received much attention in the media. The historical variability of natural gas prices is well known. Read More...

(July, 2013)

ForbesHow Solar and Other Renewables Can Ensure Energy Independence
by Dan Bedell, EVP Strategic and Corporate Development Sr. Director Principal Solar Institute

U.S. energy independence, the production of energy equal to the amount of energy consumed, can be achieved through cooperative energy policies and technological innovation. Broadly speaking, energy is consumed as either transportation energy or non-transportation energy. Twenty-five percent of the nation's energy comes from petroleum, 22 percent from coal, and 22 percent from natural gas.  Nuclear power supplies 8.4 percent and renewable energy 8 percent, according to the latest studies.  Energy consumption has increased at a faster rate than energy production over the last 50 years in the U.S. This difference is now largely met through imports. Read More...

(July, 2013)

ForbesA Distributed Solar Utility
Interview with Dan Bedell, EVP Strategic and Corporate Development Sr. Director Principal Solar Institute

Principal Solar Inc. is executing a unique roll-up strategy to create the world's first distributed solar utility. How has your recent acquiring of the 3MW Powerhouse One solar farm in Tennessee set a standard for future acquisitions?

The Powerhouse One acquisition was the beginning of our actual acquisition cycle.   Principal Solar completed some test acquisitions of smaller facilities early on, then spent several months creating our Principal Solar Module Ratings and refining our due diligence process.  We’re now ready to begin seriously executing the acquisition stage of our growth plan. Full Interview...

(July 16, 2013)

ForbesAs Solar Panel Efficiencies Keep Improving,
It's Time To Adopt Some New Metrics

Interview with Matthew Thompson from Principle Solar Institute

A lot of attention has been paid to the declining costs of installed solar panels in the past few years, and the increasingly feasible drive towards grid parity in the United States. Recent numbers from the Solar Energy Industry Association indicate that the average cost of an installed watt has fallen by 24.4 percent since just last year. View Now...

(April 17, 2013)

CEO Michael Gorton's
Interview with Dubai TV

View CEO Michael Gorton's interview with Dubai TV April 17, 2013.

View Now...

(April 14, 2013)

Solar drives Nevada to forefront of innovation

Move over, Florida.

Since adopting the moniker nearly half a century ago, the Gulf Coast stalwart has been known as the “Sunshine State.”

When it comes to leveraging the solar boom seen in the past few years, however, most of the action is happening elsewhere — including the Silver State. Read More...

(April 11, 2013)

What Does Warren Buffett See in Solar?

Everyone wants to see inside Warren Buffett's head. One of the world's most successful investors, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is a rock star among those who check the markets before their breakfast. His annual shareholder letters are famous, generating the kind of hoopla among his followers as a just-released Harry Potter novel does among children. Even U.S. President Barack Obama listens to Buffett, or at least he quotes him often. In fact, headline writers have come to call Buffett the 'Oracle of Obama', a play on the Nebraska native's nickname of the 'Oracle of Omaha'. Read More...

(April 11, 2013)

Michael GortonWhy Is Peter Lynch Bragging About His Solar Stocks?

Welcome to another edition of Solar SpeaksSolar Power World’s podcast series that gives you the opportunity to hear from the industry’s biggest newsmakers — in their own words.

We’re spoke to Peter Lynch, an advisor to Principal Solar Institute, investment banker and expert in renewable energy. He also penned the December 2012 cover story on feed-in tariffs in Solar Power World. This time, Peter is back to brag about the performance of his solar stocks last year, which is probably better than you might imagine. Read More...

(March 7, 2013)

Consultant: Sky's the limit for solar in Texas

Someday, solar panels could be just as common as wind turbines in West Texas and the two renewable energy sources would use the same infrastructure.

That’s the vision of energy consultant Ron Siedel, who sits on the board of directors at Principal Solar, a Dallas-based company that aggregates solar generation into a single solar utility. Read More...

(March, 2013)

Michael GortonHot New Markets

When identifying a good sector to target, ad apecialty distributors tend to look for a claear set of characteristics. It should show growth in number of companies and jobs. It should reflet increased marketing efforts by firms in the industry. And, it sould be stable enough to withstand economic twists and turns.. Read More...

(February, 2013)

Japanese Saying Goodbye To Electric Vehicles
Interview with Michael Gorton

Buying new technology too early is expensive and could leave you out in the cold if it doesn’t catch on.

The Betamax vs VHS format war is an often-cited example of why it’s smart to wait until the marketplace has solved an issue before buying a new product. Besides, technology only gets cheaper over time as it’s mass-produced. Read More...

(February, 2013)

Solar Portfolio Up 39% for 2012
By Peter Lynch

Michael GortonOur solar portfolio currently consists of three stocks - First Solar (FSLR), Jinko Solar (JKS) and MEMC Materials (WFR) all three positions where initiated at the close of the market on November 29 2012 at the following prices – FSLR - $27.21, JKS - $4.44, WFR - $2.98.

This portfolio closed the year UP 20.7% in a little over of month of trading.

In the beginning of the 2012 we also initiated a portfolio, held the stocks for a total of 9 weeks and closed out the portfolio with a gain of 18.98%.  For a total 2012 year return of 39.7% (18.98% + 20.7%). Read More...

(February 19, 2013)

Mike Warren, J.D.PV module rating scheme explained
by Matthew A. Thompson, Principal Solar Institute

The solar energy industry now has an independent tool for comparing photovoltaic (PV) modules: the PSI PV Module Rating, a comprehensive, independent rating standard based on lifetime energy production. 

Launched by the Principal Solar Institute (PSI) and guided by an advisory board of academic and industry experts, the PSI Rating is designed to help large-scale solar consumers make informed, intelligent comparisons and decisions when selecting PV modules. Its methodology defines the standard for comparing critical characteristics of PV modules between different manufacturers and across product lines.Read More...

(February 11, 2013)

Michael GortonSolar capitalism

Solar energy has been promoted as a clean, safe energy source that has the potential to reduce the nation's reliance on nuclear energy and fossil fuels. For many years, the cost of producing electricity from the sun has been prohibitive compared with traditional electric power generation sources. To be viable, technology must be economically sustainable, with a balance between cost and value. Read More...

(January 16, 2013)

Michael GortonSaving energy and eating better

The US consumer wants food to be fresh, local and organic. But that means larger grocery bills in an economy where most people need them to be smaller.

As the New York Times tells it, 20-somethings, just out of college, feel the squeeze the most. They are more intent on Whole Foods-style eating than their predecessors, but less able to afford it. Read More...

(January 10, 2013)

Michael GortonSolar imperatives - Strategies for accelerating PV growth (By J. Peter Lynch, Advisor, Principal Solar Institute)

Moving the photovoltaic (PV) industry forward and enabling it to make a significant contribution to worldwide electricity generation -- greater than 25 percent -- will require four strategic initiatives:

  • Accelerating research to develop new innovative disruptive PV technology
  • Developing advanced electricity storage technology
  • Passing common sense legislation and/or utilize alternative financial mechanisms
  • Educating the public on solar and why it is the only viable long-term source of power for the United States and the world


(January, 2013)

Solar as an Energy Partner
Power Production’s Paradigm Shift

Much discussion and news about solar energy has occurred lately prompted largely by the Solyndra bankruptcy and the federal loan guarantees, which took taxpayer dollars down with the Company. In fact, the Solyndra debacle generated enough press for the solar industry to become a partisan political topic with the House passing a “No More Solyndra” bill. Additionally, the United States announced import tariffs on Chinese solar modules after concluding the Chinese government was unfairly subsidizing the manufacture of their modules. The resulting image of solar as a government dependent industry too expensive to stand on its own is widely considered to be an accepted fact. In addition to this negative PR, the solar manufacturing industry has seen radical decreases in share prices of its major players and is undergoing a broad phase of mergers and general consolidation. Read More...

(December, 2012)

Feed-In Tariffs: The Proven Road Not Taken

Michael GortonFeed-in tariffs(FIT) are policy mechanism designed to accelerate investments in renewable energy technologies. Renewable energy producers are paid a set rate for the electricity they create, usually differentiated according to the technology used (wind, solar, biomass, etc.) and the size of the installation. FITs guarantee that anyone who generates electricity from a renewable energy source - whether a homeowner, small business or large utility - is able to sell electricity into the grid and receive long-term payments for each kilowatt-hour produced. This provides much needed investment certainty. Read More...

(December 21, 2012)

Principal Solar Paper Compares CST, PV

Michael GortonPrincipal Solar (PSI) has published a whitepaper comparing the role of concentrated solar thermal (CST) and photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies, exploring how each succeeds or fails in relation to the electric power generation marketplace.

Technological Niches: Concentrated Solar Thermal vs. Photovoltaic Solar, is authored by Brett T. Gage, PSI research associate PSI, and Rick Borry, Ph.D., PSI chief technology officer. Read More...

(November 20, 2012)

A Breakthrough PV Module Rating System?

Michael GortonNew solar module rankings from Principal Solar Institute (PSI) based on manufacturers’ own data could add downward pressure to solar prices and move the industry to higher quality standards.

“You always hear about dollars per watt,” explained PSI Executive Director Matthew A. Thompson. “That is a comparison. It helps make some decisions early on, but what you really need to know is how much energy a solar project is going to produce over its lifetime.” Read More...

(November 13, 2012)

Michael GortonPV Module Rating: A New Tool for Mining the Sun

Like any natural resource, solar energy must be economically produced in order to support a sustainable energy business model. Historically, levelized cost of energy (LCOE) models have been used to assess the economic viability of various electrical power generation technologies, including coal, gas, nuclear, wind and solar, among others. Read More...

(November, 2012)

Cover storyMichael Gorton for "Solar Power World" - The Capitalist Ca$e for Solar

Principal Solar White Paper "Investing in the Power of the Sun - The Capitalist Case for Solar Energy," authored by Michael Gorton, CEO & Chairman, and Dan Bedell, EVP Corporate Development, is featured as the cover story of Solar Power World's November issue. Read More...

(November, 2012)

Cover story for "Solar Power World" - The Capitalist Ca$e for Solar

Principal Solar White Paper "Investing in the Power of the Sun - The Capitalist Case for Solar Energy," authored by Michael Gorton, CEO & Chairman, and Dan Bedell, EVP Corporate Development, is featured as the cover story of Solar Power World's November issue. Read More...

(Oct 18, 2012)

The Capitalist Case for Solar Power (
Michael Gorton, Dan Bedell, Principal Solar Inc.

Michael GortonThis paper examines the recent past and potential future of photovoltaic (PV) solar in terms of how it has compared with traditional generation and how, even without government subsidies, solar utility scale projects will reach a price per KWh that will be at - or less than - traditional generation, possibly as soon as 2014.

Now is the time for traditional conservative thinking to re-examine the facts about solar energy and explore its potential for not only delivering more efficient and less costly power, but also for creating jobs and opportunities that jump-start economic growth. Read More...

(October 15, 2012)

Deciphering the solar dumping conundrum

Michael GortonThe duck in the AFLAC commercials knows firsthand how a single leak can turn into a much bigger problem. Standing in a rowboat in a recent commercial for the insurance firm that he represents, the duck frantically moved around trying to prevent new holes (and the subsequent waterspouts that they generated) from sinking the vessel. Read More...

(Oct 12, 2012)

Solar Energy Sparks Economic Resurgence
By Michael Gorton, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Principal Solar

Michael GortonDespite the sluggish economy, the US solar industry has seen massive growth in the past two years, creating jobs across the country, driving innovation and attracting investors. In fact, solar installations reached 742MW in the second quarter, up 45 percent over the prior quarter, and a 116-percent increase over the period a year ago, according to GTM Research and the US-based Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Read More...


(Oct 9, 2012)

Solar Speaks: The United States Needs A Solar Feed-In-Tariff

Welcome to another edition of Solar SpeaksSolar Power World’s podcast series that gives you the opportunity to hear from the industry’s biggest newsmakers — in their own words.

Today, we are talking to Peter Lynch, who has worked, for 35 years as a Wall Street security analyst, an independent security analyst and private investor in small emerging technology companies. He has been actively involved in following developments in the renewable energy sector since 1977 and is regarded as an expert in this field. Lynch also sits on the board of advisors for the Principal Solar Institute. Lynch recently published a white paper titled Feed-In Tariffs: The Proven Road Not Taken… Why Not? He spoke with our Editorial Director Frank Andorka about his conclusions. Listen Now....

(Oct 9, 2012)

Solar PV Grid Parity Could be Reached in 2013

Solar power is expected to reach grid parity when solar panels can be produced for under $0.70/watt with a total system cost under $2.00. As solar PV costs have been trending downward, grid parity could be reached as early as 2013 if the trend continues. This is according to a new free white paper, “Investing in the Power of the Sun: The Capitalist Case for Solar Energy,” authored by Michael Gorton, chief executive officer and chairman of Principal Solar along with Dan Bedell, executive vice president of corporate development of Principal Solar. Read More...

(Oct, 2012)

A strategic partnership - Michael Gorton Interviewed by Sun & Wind Energy on Electric Vehicles

While the solar market is growing and prices are coming down quickly, automobile companies are starting to deploy an increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs). But the EV industry faces many challenges before the majority of American consumers will be interested in buying their product.. Read More...

(Sept 26, 2012)

Solar Speaks: Come Learn About Solar At The Principal Solar Institute

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYWelcome to another edition of Solar Speaks, Solar Power World’s podcast series that gives you the opportunity to hear from the industry’s biggest newsmakers — in their own words.

Today, we are talking to Matt Thompson, executive director of the Principal Solar Institute, an organization designed to educate people both inside and outside the industry on the benefits of solar power. Listen Now...

(Sept 25, 2012)

Solar Plays Led By Juniors Like Principal Solar as Grid Parity Approaches

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYSolar companies have gotten a bit of a bum rap over the past year with plenty of criticisms about failure to perform.   A lightning rod of controversy, Solyndra is in the hot seat after filing bankruptcy earlier this month and saying that it can’t repay the $528 million that the U.S. government gave it to promote clean energy businesses.  China’s Suntech Power Holdings Inc. (NYSE: STP) is facing delisting because it is not meeting minimum NYSE-listing requirements.  LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK) has seen its shares plummet from $76 to about $1 in five years.  JA Solar Holdings (NASDAQ: JASO) has lost most of its value; carving-off about $27 a share since 2008 highs to less than a buck per share presently. Read More...

(Sept 5, 2012)

Advanced solar roof racking solutions mitigate PV system cost

SOLAR NOVUS TODAY Photovoltaic solar rooftop installation raises a number of challenges that could slow widespread adoption among homeowners and businesses, including maintenance of roof water-tightness; roof warranty; continuous operation; aesthetics; stability; durability of materials; and high costs of labor. The benefits to utilities are huge, including being a low-risk investment that encourages energy efficiency and conservation, and reduces dependence on the electricity grid. Read More...

(August 21, 2012)

Can I really save money by putting solar panels on my roof?

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYTwo factors are making solar panel installation a better deal for homeowners than it was in the past—the Federal and state tax incentives, and the rising cost of electricity from traditional sources.

According to a study from the Einstein Electric Institute, electricity prices went up 2.5% annually from 2000 to 2006, (which means they beat inflation, which was calculated to be increasing 1.99% annually in that period) and are following a steady upward trend. That rising cost is being driven in part by the rising cost of fuels, such as coal and natural gas. Read More...

(August 9, 2012)

Feed-in Tariffs: The Proven Road Not Taken

Feed-in tariffs (FIT) are a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. Producers of renewable energy are paid a set rate for the electricity they produce, usually differentiated according to the technology used (wind, solar, biomass and so on) and the size of the installation. FITs guarantee that anyone who generates electricity from a renewable energy source -- whether they are a homeowner, small business, or large electric utility -- is able to sell that electricity into the grid and receive long-term payments for each kilowatt-hour produced. Payments are set at pre-established rates, often higher than what the market would ordinarily pay, to ensure that developers earn profitable returns. Read More...

(August 2, 2012)

Principal Solar launches Principal Solar Institute

Principal Solar, Inc. recently launched the Principal Solar Institute, an effort by the company to help keep all interested in solar power abreast of the latest and greatest information in terms of policy, technology and more. The company is working to create what it calls a distributed solar utility. The Institute will sponsor educational events, including webinars, resource guides and white papers. Read More...

(July, 2012)

Navigating By The Sun

Navigating by The SunFeatured in the July Issue of Solar Power World - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a long-standing tradition of accelerating technological innovation, serving as early adopters and impacting the broader commercial market in such areas as aviation, computing and global positioning systems (GPS). For the past several years, the DoD has been playing this same role in the renewable energy space. In fact, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that the DoD clean energy investments increased 300 percent between 2006 and 2009, from $400 million to $1.2 billion Projections for 2030 are set to eclipse $10 billion annually, with an overall target of obtaining 25 percent of the DoD’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. Visit Solar Power World | Download White Paper

(July 10, 2012)

What can the Texas solar energy industry learn from California?

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYCalifornia is the nation's largest solar energy market. Between 2008 and 2010, California-based companies accumulated nearly $4 billion in solar venture capital investments, reflecting the state's high concentration of solar development and activity. California is also the leader in solar jobs, with approximately 36,000 and more than 1,000 solar companies, or 30 percent of all solar firms in the U.S.. Read More...

(May , 2012)

U.S. Colonel Buzz Aldrin Honored at West Point’s Historic Thayer Hotel - Principal Solar, Inc. and Hunt Consolidated, Inc. team up to honor legendary astronaut

Colonel Buzz Aldrin, Ph.D. , West Point graduate and retired U.S. Air Force pilot who served as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 11, was honored with the dedication of a room in his name at the historic Thayer Hotel, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, on the hotel grounds located at the United States Military Academy at West Point in West Point, N.Y.  Watch highlights from the ceremony here and see what some of the well-regarded guests and dignitaries had to say about the honoree and solar energy.

(May 30, 2012)

How to make the switch to solar electricity

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYIt may be time to install some solar panels on your roof to counter that electricity bill that is through the roof. Here is a brief guide to solar panels and solar electricity systems.

How do solar panels work?
Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight directly into electricity. Today, thousands of people take advantage of this process by using individual solar PV systems to power their homes. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the solar panels used for homes are made up of modules of about 40 solar cells. The average home will need 10 to 20 solar panels. Read More...

(May, 2012)

Base Load - Land owned by the U.S. military could be ideal for solar energy bombardment.

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYTo industry observers and participants alike, it is becoming increasingly clear that the U.S. military is taking an aggressive role in turning to renewable energy sources for a variety of reasons. And that bodes well for the solar industry.

A recent 500-plus page report underlies a growing belief within the Department of Defense (DoD) that solar energy will not only reduce demand for traditional energy, with its highly fluctuating prices, but also play a critical role in national security. Read More...

(May 23, 2012)


SOLAR NOVUS TODAYPrincipal Solar, a Dallas-based renewable energy holding company, just released a White Paper called “Navigating the Sun: U.S. Department of Defense Takes An Aggressive Lead As Early Adopters Of Solar Energy.”

In this edition, we spoke with Dan Bedell, executive vice president of marketing and corporate development for the company, about the paper — and its implications for the future of the solar industry in the United States.

Listen and let us know what you think.

(May 16, 2012)

Navigating by the sun - U.S. Department of Defense takes aggressive lead as early adopters of solar energy

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYBy Rebecca "Becky" Halstead, Brigadier General (retired)

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a long-standing tradition of accelerating technological innovation, serving as early adopters and impacting the broader commercial market in such areas as aviation, computing and global positioning systems (GPS). Read More...

(May 9, 2012)

Navigating by the Sun: U.S. Department of Defense White Paper

SOLAR NOVUS TODAY Principal Solar, Inc has released a white paper entitled Navigating by the Sun: U.S. Department of Defense Takes Aggressive Lead as Early Adopters of Solar Energy. The paper explores the leadership role the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is playing as early adopters of solar energy technologies. Read More...

(May 9, 2012)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin honored at West Point

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYWEST POINT – Col. Buzz Aldrin, who piloted the Apollo 11 moon mission lunar module with Neil Armstrong in 1969, was honored at the US Military Academy at West Point Wednesday evening with the dedication of a room in his honor at Hotel Thayer.

Before that he was a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force.

Over 100 attended the invitation-only ceremony, where Aldrin spent most of the night shaking hands and taking pictures with delighted guests. Sponsoring the event, representatives of energy firms Principal Solar and Hunt Consolidated unveiled a plaque transcribing Aldrin's many achievements, which will decorate his room at the Thayer. Read More...

(April 30, 2012)

Week in review: Spring kicks off new season of solar fun

Last spring a number of companies in the U.S introduced new incentives and awards to get more people to go solar. It looks like that trend is continuing this year. Already at least one company has announced a giveaway of a photovoltaic (PV) array this summer and more are likely to follow. Meanwhile the adoption of solar is growing across the U.S. and one of the biggest supporters of renewable energy is actually turning out to be the military. And that’s just some of what happened last week.


(April 27, 2012)

Principal Solar white paper anticipate US military’s aggressive adoption of solar

Among other things, the paper, written by retired Rebecca Halstead, Brigadier General and Principal Solar CEO Michael Gorton, cited a Pew Charitable Trusts report which showed that DOD spending on renewables has increased from $400 million in 2006 to $1.2 billion in 2009. And it’s slated to rise far beyond that, to $10 billion annually, by 2030. That’s almost as much as the DOD spent on energy in 2009. “In fiscal year 2009, the DoD spent just over $13.2 billion dollars on the consumption of 932 trillion BTU [i.e. British thermal units] of energy,” Gorton said.

View White Paper | Read Full Article...

(April 19, 2012)

Interconnectivity and the Grid: More Power to Clean Energies
by Ken Allen, Chief Operating Officer, Principal Solar

SOLAR NOVUS TODAY Read PSI's "Interconnectivity and the Electrical Grid: More Power to Clean Energies" on Renewable Energy World.

As the nation looks to the sun for alternatives to conventional fossil fuels for generating power, the electrical grid is being seen by policymakers in a significant new light. Improving interconnectivity of the electrical grid infrastructure has the potential to accelerate the advancement of renewable energies – solar, wind and geothermal – into the nation's mainstream power supply.


(April 18, 2012)

Incentives and Financing of Solar in the US
by Dan Bedell and Peter Dauterman

SOLAR NOVUS TODAYConstructing power plants is no small undertaking. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) put the average cost for a 650,000 kW APC coal-fired power plant at a little over $2 billion, and the cost for a 1,300,000 kW APC coal plant at almost 3.7 billion in 2010. Nuclear construction was estimated as low as $1,300/kW and as high as $3,500/kW for the most advanced, third-generation nuclear plants. Read More...

(April 9, 2012)

Nat Gas vs. Electric Vehicles: Which Will Drive
U.S. Passenger Car Market?

StarTelagramT. Boone Pickens and other energy industry executives have been promoting the increased use of natural gas in the U.S. as a means of developing a market for the abundant U.S. shale gas supply now available, as well as bolstering the U.S. economy and weaning the nation of its dependence on foreign oil. Read More...

(March 28, 2012)

Solar: Spurring growth of the US economy

StarTelagramBy Scott Deatherage, J.D., Partner at Patton Boggs LLP, Advisor to Principal Solar - Solar energy is spurring economic growth in the U.S. at an impressive rate. In fact, 2011 was a historic year for U.S. solar, with the installation of an astounding 1.7 gigawatts of photovoltaic (PV) panels in 2011. Read More...

(March 23, 2012)

CEO Michael Gorton interviewed on WRKO's The Financial Report

StarTelagram Listen to Principal Solar CEO Michael Gorton discuss solar power in the Northeast on WRKO Boston’s radio show, The Financial Report, hosted by Barry Armstrong from The Armstrong Advisory Group Listen Now...

(March 2012)

Principal Solar featured in the March 2012 issue of Directors and Boards magazine

StarTelagramPrincipal Solar is featured in the March 2012 issue of Directors and Boards magazine. CEO, Michael Gorton discusses the luminaries on board with PSI’s game-changing solar venture.

(March 2, 2012)

StarTelagramPSI CEO Michael Gorton Featured
In D CEO Magazine

PSI CEO Michael Gorton is featured in the March/April 2012 issue of D CEO magazine in his native, Texas. Pick up a copy to find out why the future is bright for Principal Solar.

(March 1, 2012)

Grid Parity - Interview with Michael Gorton

StarTelagram Grid parity is achieved when the output cost of solar can compete with traditional generation on the grid.  Stated another way: grid parity happens when large scale solar can compete with, or beat wholesale pricing from coal plants, the nuclear facilities and combined cycle natural gas.   Read More...

(February 28, 2012)

Ensuring stable, reliable power systems
in the renewable energy age
- by Ron Seidel

StarTelagramSources of renewable energy -- such as wind and solar power -- have great potential as developers continue to innovate. But the unpredictable nature of solar and wind power makes it challenging to integrate them onto the electric grid. System planners and operators need to understand and plan carefully to avoid major power outages, which have more than doubled in the last decade and are still rising, according to recent studies.  Read More...

(February 20, 2012)

The Growth Of Solar Power In Our World

Listen to Michael Gorton discuss the solar power industry with Alternative Energy HQ: Let’s face it in earthly terms as well as in business terms the solar energy industry is in its infancy as a maturing market for supplying and allaying the need for other energy such as oil. It is barely walking yet. There are many who would like to belittle its growth and even discount the eventual contribution of solar energy to our needs as a nation and as a world.  Read | Listen

(February, 2012)

Principal Solar add renewables expert to board

StarTelagram Principal Solar, the listed US renewable energy company, has appointed J. Peter Lynch to its advisory board. An acknowledged renewables pioneer within the investment banking industry, Lynch has over 35 years’ experience as an emerging technology analyst and investor. He was also contributing editor for the Photovoltaic Insider Report for 17 years. More...

(January 6, 2012)

Subsidy pullback to hit wind, biomass
harder than solar, say experts

The expiration of the 1603 US cash grant programme is likely to slow but not stop the solar industry’s fast march toward grid parity, as solar costs continue to decline rapidly, said industry experts.

However, preserving government subsidies for other renewables remains critical as they try to reach parity with traditional energy sources, experts said. 

The Section 1603 Treasury grant programme expired on 31 December after an effort to include an extension in must-pass legislation failed. Solar industry advocates were the strongest supporters of an extension and have vowed to keep pushing for the programme to be retroactively renewed. 

One more year of the 1603 programme would have put solar on course to become cost-competitive with other forms of generation – so-called grid parity – during 2014-16, said Michael Gorton, CEO of Principal Solar, an Addison, Texas-based company that seeks to acquire solar assets. However, the march toward parity will only be delayed for about a year without the cash grant programme as solar costs continue to fall dramatically, he said.   Read More...

(January 5, 2012)

Expiry of US grant programme to spur
innovative renewables financing, say experts

Competition for financing for US renewable energy projects will become fiercer following the expiration of the cash grant programme, but its absence will see alternative financing mechanisms take hold and new tax equity investors courted, financing experts said.

The Section 1603 Treasury grant programme expired on 31 December after an effort to include an extension in must-pass legislation failed. 

“A lot of people would prefer to have the 1603, but it’s not the end of the world,” Nancy Pfund, managing director of San Francisco-based venture capital firm DBL Investors, told Environmental Finance. “There’s a very compelling Plan B.”   Read More...

(December 28, 2011)

Solar energy consolidation: How to benefit

Solar markets are booming in the US, despite the country’s sluggish economic recovery. In fact, strong consumer demand and financial incentives from the federal government, states, and utilities have sparked some impressive solar installation numbers. 

In 2010, the US installed 887 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV), up 104% from the 435MW installed in 2009, according to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. In a few years, the report notes, the US market may be the largest in the world. One of the report’s key findings was the increase in grid-connected PV installations in Q2 2011 -- up 69% since the same quarter last year and up 17% over Q1 2011. These have now reached 314MW, or enough to power 63,000 homes. In addition, cumulative grid-connected PV in the US is now at 2.7 gigawatts (GW).  Read More...

(December 22, 2011)

Principal Solar gets $15 million to
support purchase of solar power plants

Principal Solar, Inc (PSI; OTC Pink: PSWW) a renewable energy holding company, said it received $15 million in reserve equity financing from AGS Capital Group, LLC to support the company’s purchase of solar power plants. The company already has purchased some plants and plans to continue purchasing larger projects.

The company will use the financing to support legal and other cash expenses as the company pursues purchases, according to Principal Solar CEO Michael Gorton. It’s the third round of financing for the company, but it is a much larger round of financing for the company.

The company has already acquired three projects and has more in the works.

“We are just focused on generating facilities that have long-term power-purchase agreements,” Gorton said. “Our primary interest today is acquisition using 144k stock transactions.” Read More...

(December 10, 2011)

Michael Gorton Appears on CW33’s
Socialy Sound With Shama

StarTelagramWatch PSI CEO Michael Gorton discuss giving back to the community on Socially Sound with Shama (CW network- Dallas)

Watch Video...

(October 16, 2011)

Texas sun may soon heat up solar power

Texas' solar ambitions aren't limited to municipal utilities.

StarTelagramMichael Gorton, CEO of Addison-based Principal Solar, said his 2-year-old company hopes within several years to begin building huge solar farms with hundreds of megawatts of capacity. Sun-drenched West Texas, with ample open space and cheap land, is prime territory for such projects, he said.

"We think Texas should be the solar-power leader for the country," Gorton said. "We're not now, but we're going to be." Read More...

(October, 2011)

What is the BIG NEWS for Solar in 2011?

Many people probably believe that the failure of Solyndra is the big news of the year for the solar industry. It is not.

The big news of the year for solar revolves around a positive move in the sector’s most important metric, which is down, dramatically down. Read More...

(September 20, 2011)

Michael Gorton discusses energy production and Power Purchase Agreements on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Michael Gorton, CEO, Principal Solar, discuss energy production and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) on Blog Talk Radio’s “The FireWalker Flare- A Renewable Energy and Environmental Solutions Talk Radio Show.”  Listen Now...

(May 11, 2011)

Green Energy From City Skylines

by Kate Springer

Medill Reports Chicago

While large wind and solar farms catch grief from nearby residents, engineers and designers have created ways to incorporate renewable energy systems into city skylines, including Chicago's. Read More...

(April 7, 2011)

Michael Gorton interview on News @ 7

Michael Gorton was interviewed by HealthyLife Radio on the topic of solar power tax incentives and government loan guarantees. Listen to this 10-minute interview below.

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