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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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350w RSi SuperPV Glass displayed at go green expo

Over the weekend I stopped by the go green expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The most interesting solar power product I saw was the Rainbow Solar Incorporated (RSi) SuperPV Glass, which the company calls the “window of the future”. There are a few companies in the solar industry that are working on Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) which means implementing solar cells into existing building materials. What makes the PV Glass from RSi Solar unique is the company claims the 350w Solar PV Glass can not only produce electricity from sunlight but also generate electricity from the heat. Traditionally heat has been a problem for solar cells, since performance decreases as solar temperature increases, how does RSi turn the heat into electricity? That is pretty phenomenal, wouldn’t you agree? RSi representatives would not comment on how the panel RSi also had a thin film SolarPV Glass on display which allowed light to pass through but still generates electricity. According to the company the solar glass product line has efficiencies between 12 to 13%. Don’t expect RSi to sell their unique SolarPV Glass products directly to you, because they are in the business of licensing their technology to glass manufacturers who will turn the technology into finalized products. What do you think? Are you looking at the “window of the...

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small solar panels make a big impact

I wanted to take today to highlight the important work of one of our 501(c)3 non-profit customers the Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation based out Sequim, Washington. The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of the indigenous young women of the Mujeres de Maíz en Resistencia Cooperative in one of the poorest states in Mexico called Chiapas. The cooperative is a group of seamstresses from eight villages in Chiapas, who get together every couple months to exchange knowledge and practice computer skills. Many of the streamstresses have to sew through the night which is difficult due to the lack of electrical power, which forces the streamstresses to use expensive and dangerous kerosene lamps. The Mujeres de Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation took an interesting approach to solve the lighting problem for the streamstresses by donating Everlite Solar Compact Spotlights which are basically a highly efficient LED light with a nickel-metal hydride battery and small solar panel. Now, thanks to the Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation, the streamstresses have access to solar electricity which replaces kerosene oil, an expensive item for the poor women to purchase. This is a great example how even the smallest scale of solar power can make a big impact for people in developing countries, don’t you agree? I think solar power has the largest opportunity to help the billions of people in the world who have no access to power, what do you think? Make a donation to Mujeres de Mujeres de Maíz Opportunity Foundation, as you can see from the foundation’s work they can turn a small donation into a big difference. A little money goes a long way in...

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