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eBay goes solar!

Just like every major corporation that knows the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy, such as solar power is expiring the end of this year is rushing to get solar power installed on their business to take advantage of the generous federal tax credit coupled with the state rebates, really makes it a no brainier for corporations based in California. Google, another dot com company showed off their large solar power system last year and now it seems like EBay is now jumping onto the Bandwagon. SolarCity installed the 650 kilowatt solar power plant on Ebay’s north campus in San Jose, California. Ebay’s solar power installation is the largest commercial installation in San Jose. The solar power system will save EBay around 0,000 in electricity costs for just in the first year of operation. According to Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s chief executive officer, “While many companies talk about environmental responsibility, eBay is ‘walking the walk’ with a multi-faceted commitment to clean power and green building, Our managed solar installation will allow eBay and its employees to measure their collective, positive impact on the environment.” Sure, Mr. Rive…..eBay went solar to exclusively save the environment, it had NOTHING to do with the fact of the high return on investment and all the money the corporation will get back from the federal government and the state of California. I’m so positive when you went into your sales call with eBay executives that all you mentioned was how much the system would do for the environment, give me a break. Mr. Rive of SolarCity sold this solar power system to eBay purely on its financial return. I’m being EXTRA critical because when ever I see a press release about a large corporate solar power installation, I always see quotes from the executive management that the corporation did it for the environment and they never mention how good of an investment it is for their type of entity. The bottom line is that they are “greenwashing” the real reason why eBay purchased the solar power system. All consumer research in the solar power space has proved that consumers buy solar power only if it makes sense financially. Very few people or organizations just do it for the...

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Grid Alternatives donates solar power

There is a great group out there called Grid Alternatives based out of Northern California that raises money for a solar power installation for a low income residents of California. The group established an office out in Los Angeles area a few months ago and I have been informed that they have secured an installation for a low income family in El Monte, California….the installation will not make it easier for one family to lower their operating overhead, but the donated solar power system will give others the opportunity to get their hands dirty on a solar power installation. The great part of this service is that it trains and get the public excited about solar and hopefully some of the volunteer installers who get a chance to be part of the project end up relieving the industry with the lack of workforce problem. Grid Alternatives kills two birds with one stone by exposing solar and developing a qualified workforce for the industry. For more information:...

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ASES Solar 2008 Expo

We’re at the ASES Solar 2008 Expo in sunny San Diego, California this weekend. This show was interesting because there was a wide range of products on showcase we very well developed companies to startups. Some interesting technologies we saw included solar panels which produced electricity and heated water from the same panel, quicker and easier ways to mount solar panels, standardized systems which make it easier for general contractors and other do it yourselfers install solar power with one days work. The expo also featured concentrated photovoltaic solar panels, it seems like this technology is showing up much more at renewable energy tradeshows and as the product continues to develop it will soon hit the consumer market. The expo hall had a lot of emphasis on solar water heating; there has been a lot of progress in the technology, from newer and better evacuated tube and very interesting looking flat plate collectors. It’s great being at the trade shows because we can really find out what is upcoming in the market and deliver that information to you, so you can make educated decisions about your clean energy...

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New Fontana Home Community Offers Solar Power

According to the Fontana Herald News, A new home development in Fontana, California is offering 2.3-kW integrated solar roof tile systems in CenterStone Estates. This deployment of Solar Power integrated into the roofing shingles is a first for San Bernardino County and makes a significant milestone for solar being offered in new home communities. Unlike other communities that offer an option for solar power PD Solar Roofing and CenterStone Communities have made it a standard in their communities. The systems are fully warrantied by CenterStone homes. The solar roofing building integrated shingles can provide up to 30% a family of fours electricity needs based on the average consumption rate for a family of four. Its a bold step and a great indicator for the demand for solar power when home developers include solar power as a standard...

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Nanosolar to serve residential solar market in soon?

Many residential consumers were disappointed this month when they found out Nanosolar is not offering panels to residential homeowners or even businesses. Nanosolar is exclusively dealing with large utilities according to the Nanosolar offical blog. It was not until a flood of emails sent to the CEO of Nanosolar by angry consumers that the CEO address the commented and stated serving the residential market is in their “near term” roadmap. There was no expected date in which Nanosolar would offer $1/watt thin film solar panels to the residential market. I feel as the company’s manufacturing capacity goes up and the have an abundance of product they will start to offer the residential market with cheap solar panels. The first Nanosolar customer was a German utility company that used the thin film solar panels for a large solar array deployment, municipal power plant. So my expectations is Nanosolar will offer cheaper solar panels in a couple years, because it seems like up until now their supply is dedicated to large customers who want to put up municipal power...

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Los Angeles Community College Goes Solar!

The East Los Angeles College (ELAC) inaugurated a 1.2 Megawatt solar electric system at its Monterey Park campus. The school officials switched the system live on earth day to mark a significant milestone for the school. The goal of the LACCD colleges is to become more energy independent and what better city than Los Angeles to have such a great goal. The installation was completed with 6,000 Kyocera KC200 solar panels . Los Angeles is the city with the most average sunshine per day in the entire USA which makes this 1.2 Megawatt plant so special, it will be a great example and benchmark colleges...

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