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FedEx continues to reduce bottom line with Solar Power

When I was at the Earth Day Festival on Sunday, it was interesting to see FedEx’s booth promoting their use of Solar Power. Today on the Official Earth Day, FedEx Freight has completed the installation of a solar-electric system in Whittier, California and is nearly completed with a similar solar power operation at its Fontana, CA location. Both systems are designed to reduce the peak time usage FedEx faces when operating their business in California. The 282 kW system in Whittier is capable of producing over 414,000 kWh of electricity each year. The CEO claims that they did it for the environment, although consumer research proves the majority of people / organizations who buy solar power do it for the financial benefits before the consider what the system does for the environment. Obviously producing 40% of the facilities annual needs from solar power is only going to increase the value of FedEx’s stock price. FedEx purchased BP Solar Panels (which we do feature on our shop, hint hint*) for their installation. It seems like all these corporations are sprinting to get their solar electric systems up and running before December, 31 2008, the last day a tax paying entity can receive the 30% Federal Tax Credit form the government. By the way, Happy Earth Day!! From the entire

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City of Berkeley Helps Finance Solar Power

The upfront investment of going solar is a major reason solar power is not as popular as its potential. The city of Berkley being a progressive city and supporting solar power has identified this bottle neck for consumers to buy solar power and have approved a loan program to get homes and business started with solar by offering a flexible loan program. Berkeley pays for the upfront cost of installing solar power by offering loans to property owners who pay the loan back over 20 years through their property taxes while taking advantage of lower power bills. Some solar industry professionals have stated that they are not sure if the Berkeley loan program is a good deal or not because its unclear if the property taxes will drop after the 20 years payback of the loan. One of the main advantages of solar power in California is that your property taxes don’t go up even though solar power adds significant value to your home or business. Even though the Berkeley program lets a property owner go solar without an upfront investment, I suppose it has its negatives. Although I really feel this program is worth it and more cities around the US should offer easy financing for property owners because the benefits are very...

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Earth Day Santa Monica Green Apple Festival

I decided to make it out to Santa Monica in celebration for earth day today for the Green Apple Festival. Over 5,000 people showed up for the event focused on making lifestyle changes to help the environment. I assumed that there wasn’t going to be much renewable energy representation although I was quite surprised about the overwhelming interest in Solar and Wind Power. When I first approached the Santa Monica Pier where the concert for the earth was being held, there was a booth of aggressive promoters of renewable energy for Los Angeles County, they were very passionate about getting people to sign a petition to increase funding to create more research and development projects for renewable energy. It was quite surprising how many people didn’t even bother to sign the petition which I found very interesting since gas prices are climbing close to four dollars a gallon. The vendors at the Green Apple Festival included solar installation companies and alternative fuels. The most anticipated artist was Ziggy Marley who promoted change in the way we think about the earth and a promoted of renewable energy. Overall the event was a great platform to raise the awareness of solar and wind...

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Department of Energy provides funding for America’s top solar cities

Today, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman made a public announcement that the DOE will be funding 2.4 million dollars to 12 cities across the country. These Solar America cities have been chosen for their commitment to the deployment of solar technologies. Cities selected as Solar America Cities will receive $200,000 (doesn’t sound like much, but it’s better than nothing) to implement a variety of solar technologies throughout the cities. The funded cities include: Denver, CO Houston, TX Knoxville, TN Milwaukee, WI Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN Orlando, FL Philadelphia, PA Sacramento, CA San Antonio, TX San Jose, CA Santa Rosa, CA Seattle, WA In addition to the funding the DOE will provide technical assistance to the cities for them to implement solar technologies. The cities will be free to implement various renewable energy technologies from solar water heating, photovoltaics to concentrating solar...

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The Future of Solar Energy at the Tiger Woods Learning Center

The Tiger Woods Learning Center is a 35,000 square foot, 14 acre education facility located in Anaheim, California. The center’s goal is to help young students excel in education and sports after school. Last week I joined the LA/OC Alternative Energy Meetup Group for a tour of the facility not because of the educational value the learning center promoted, but because of the awesome solar photovoltaic system they have integrated into the high tech facility. The roof of the learning center features a standard rooftop array, although the most interesting element of the solar system is the Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), basically what that means the some of the building’s windows actually has a tint, that turns the sunlight into electricity! The windows have thin-film solar cells sandwhiched between two plates of glass. The solar photovoltaic system was designed by Solar Design Associates (SDA) of Harvard, Massachusetts. The BIPV solar window curtain wall is made up of custom, thin-film modules with special glass from Schott Solar, the standard rooftop array was provided by PowerLight. The tricky part of this installation was the design of the solar powered windows was both curved and sloped which required SDA to specify BIPV window of different size, shape and light transmissions. The Tiger Woods Learning Center of the only places in the USA that has successfully implemented and using BIPV to generate free clean electricity from the sun! Learn more about the tiger woods learning center:...

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