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L.A. Unified school district going solar

It’s not ironic that the Los Angels Unified School District (LAUSD) has a sun in its logo. Today the school district announced they will be investing $350 million dollar into solar panels to generate 50 megawatts of power by 2012. The solar panels will be located on sunny rooftops across a portfolio of buildings the school district owns. The goal of the investment in solar panels would be to lower the school districts 80 million dollar annual electric bill and allow for economic stimulus, by creating green collared jobs. LAUSD will play an interesting teaching role in this project by offering solar installation training courses at their adult schools by using the coursework that was developed by Professor Brian Hurd at the East Los Angeles Skills Center, the leading solar panel installation class in the nation. I say it’s about time LAUSD looks into solar panels to reduce their high energy expenses, I wonder if the school district has done everything possible to reduce their usage through energy efficiency? I like the fact they are involved in the training of the people who are going to end up installing the solar panels for LAUSD, this is a true economic stimulus that cannot go unheard. The proposed project will clean up the air we breathe, save LAUSD millions of dollars per year on energy expenses, and create green collared jobs. On top of that LA is such a great place for solar panels, we have an average sun hours (solar irradiation) of 5.5 per day. What do you think, is this a move in the right direction for...

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Clean Power to the People house party

What are you doing Thursday, February 12th? If you’re not doing anything, Greenpeace is throwing national house parties for people to support clean power for everyone. I suppose this is a good cause to rally behind to show our government that the people want to invest in a clean and independent energy future. Do you agree? The theme of the party is to discuss the March 2nd Greenpeace Capitol Climate Action in Washington, D.C., which is essentially a peaceful protest at a coal plant to send congress a message that we need to curb climate change and support clean power. To attend all you have to do is RSVP to a party near you or host a party...

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it’s unanimous! first feed in tariff in america is here

Gainesville voted unanimously to pass the first feed in tariff in America this week. A feed in tariff of 32 cents per kwh (kilowatt-hour) over a 20 year period will be given to homes and businesses who install solar power systems. policies like these will truly sitmulate the economy because it will create customer demand and provide new jobs in the area. what do you think? feed-in tariffs are a great incentive system because it evens out the playing field, the energy you contribute from your solar panels should be bought at a premium from the utility company. Don’t you agree? Germany, the world leader in solar power invigorated investment in solar panels by offering feed-in tariffs. Do you think this will happen in the U.S.? Will gainesville’s leadership in feed-in tariffs be contagious to other...

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dupont deploys ground mounted array

Dupont, the company well known for making paint, recently installed a one acre ground mounted solar array consisting of 1,500 evergreen solar panels. The solar electric system is located at Dupont’s research and development facility in Kauai, HI and has the capability to generate 706,205 kilowatt-hours (kwh) per year, which means Dupont will save about 0,000 per year. Dupont is no stranger in the solar photovoltaic industry, the company has been supplying materials and technology for photovoltaic development over the last 25 years. Hawaii, is a good location to install solar electric systems because electricity out on the island is very expensive. In fact, HI has the highest electric rates in the nation which makes solar electric systems an investment with a higher return. The economics have to make sense for most people to go solar, so if you have a high electric rate, it may make sense for you to look into a system for your home or business. Very few customers buy solar panels based solely on the environmental...

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solar panels energizing the super bowl

The Super Bowl is one of the most energy intensive events in the USA, since an estimated one trillion people this year will be watching the Arizona Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for NFL supremacy. All the lights, sound and endless electronic equipment required to drive the NFL experience week and the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, FL will consume 187,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric power according to Tampa Electric, the local utility supplying electricity for the Super Bowl. This year, together the NFL and Tampa Electric decided to “go green” in terms of acquiring their power by generating the power needed to fuel the Super Bowl through renewable resources such as solar, wind and even bio-trash to electricity. The NFL paid Tampa Electric a premium per kWh of clean electricity to offset their consumption through renewable energy resources. The amount of clean electricity the NFL used this is comparable to taking 20 cars of the road for one year, seems very insignificant wouldn’t you agree? Well, I’m not going to criticize the NFL, at least this year a small fraction of their power is coming from clean energy, hopefully next year the NFL offsets even more. I suppose this is a step in the right direction, I hope they make an announcement during the game to raise awareness that the electricity powering the Super Bowl is coming from renewable...

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Californians leading the country in solar panel installations

image credit: “SMA Solar Technology AG”. In 2008, Californians installed double the capacity of solar power then the year before according to a report released today by the the California Solar Initiative (CSI). Homes and businesses installed 158 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, despite the recession there is still a strong demand for residential solar electric systems. In December 2008 a record number of Californians put in rebate reservation forms, to secure incentives for their solar electric systems. Solar energy is not only successful in California because of it’s sunny climate, but more importantly the rebates they offer. For example, even though Los Angeles has more solar irradiation then San Fransisco, SF has more solar panels installs than LA. Since SF gives out a rebate on top of the CA state rebate and federal tax credit. Incentives are driving the demand for solar panels here in California. Other states have not put together incentive programs that can match California’s rebate program, why do you think that is? With record corporate layoffs this week and the economy continuing on a downward trend, what do you think is in store for solar power in california this...

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