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Villaraigosa makes a push towards solar for L.A.

Its about time! San Francisco has been beating us here in L.A. in terms of solar capacity installed, its a pity since we live in a sunnier climate. Today Mayor Villaraigosa gave the go ahead to execute the project called Solar LA, which is aimed to secure 1/10th of L.A.’s energy by solar by 2020. The city wants to roll out 1,280 megawatts of solar capacity! The Solar LA project will create new jobs and stimulate the economy, although there has been some controversy around the ballot measure that funds the plan because it could give the contracts for the deployments of the solar power systems to department of water and power versus private companies who could be locked out. LA residents will also see an increase in their electric rates as a funding vehicle to finance the project…do you think that is fair to the rate payers in L.A.? I think this is a good step towards solar, even though electric rates will go up because, when do electric rates ever go down? Historically they haven’t so at least this time the rates go up we know its going towards clean energy. L.A. should of been the king of solar power already but we’re still lagging behind other cities with less sun resources who are using the power of the sun more effectively than Los...

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Stronger, Easier to Install Solar Panel Racking

Make sure your solar panels aren’t gone with the wind, your making a long term investment so having a reliable solar panel racking system is critical. Released in 2003 the SunFrame manufactured by UniRac has redesigned their product as a stronger and easier to install solar panel mounting frame. The new SunFrame is compliant to the 2007 California Building Code, which minimizes your chances of running into problems with a building inspector during the final check off of your completed solar power system. Grounding your solar power system is simple with the SunFrame therefore it not only reduces your installation time but also means you have to make less penetrations thus reducing the risk of compromising the roof. The SunFrame is offered in anodized silver and...

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More people are installing solar panels and wind turbines

According to an article, titled “Private wind power, solar pan use grows“ by Andrew Ostroski a staff writer for Del Marva Now states that more private residences are turning their homes into power plants through solar panel and wind power technology. Andrew states that renewable energy in Del Marva, a coastal community is becoming a more popular option for homes. Solar Panels and Wind turbines are showing up around the city, although home owners still had a challenge installing wind turbines due to city zoning law. The article interviews a couple of Del Marva residents who have either installed wind power systems or solar panels on their property and the most interesting interview note was the fact that a resident points out that there is a common misconception about wind turbines being noisy, although the resident points out that small scale wind turbines are often more silent then air conditioners. I think in 2009, since the US federal government removed the $2,000 cap on residential solar power system installations, we’ll finally see more private residences right here in the USA with renewable energy...

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SMA Sunny Webbox – Visualize your performance

Typically once a solar power system owner installs solar panels, they get enjoyment of seeing their meter spin backwards. Although more system owners these days want more detailed output of how the solar power systems are performing. Customers who have purchased a SMA grid tie inverter have an easy option to add detailed performance monitoring through an add on device called the SMA Sunny Webbox. The Sunny Webbox can interface with up to 50 SMA grid tie inverters which connects to the internet through your router and uploads performance data to the free Sunny Portal. Historical data is also recorded on the Sunny Portal therefore installers and system owners can keep an eye on the system from anywhere in the world to make sure the solar panels are operating most efficiently. The internet is a great place to share information and critical data such as a solar power system performance should be easy to access, analyze and share to extend the experience of a solar power system after the installation is complete. The data can be access through any standard web browser, which is great because it will work on all types of operating systems. The Sunny Webbox connects to your SMA Sunny Boy through a RS485 cable and gives the solar power system owner the ability to remotely configure the...

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Arizon Utility offers EZ financing for Solar Panels.

A partnership between the Arizona Utility, APS and the non-profit organization, Electric & Gas Industries Association now offers a new loan program that provides unsecured installment financing for residential renewable energy power generation systems such as solar electric systems and solar hot water panels. According to APS, the new GEOSmart loan is designed to eliminate upfront costs related to solar energy systems, which enable customers to use part of the financial incentives applicable to each system to buy down interest rates. For example, a 3 kilowatt (kW) costs about $21,000, when you factor in the residential tax credit for 2008 and the state rebates, the final cost is approximately $9,000. Through the financing program homeowners will have the option of financing the remaining finial cost, thus removing the upfront cost of going solar and eliminating out of pocket expenses that often are the largest barrier to entry for most customers. As I have mentioned in the past, technologically solar is doing great, much innovation is bringing down the cost per watt every year. Although the financial end is key to driving solar energy mainstream. If you think about the reason automobiles are so popular out here in America is because of the easy unsecured on the spot financing. Very few options like this exists for solar energy systems, banks are still understanding the value in financing solar energy systems for people. As the systems become more widely accepted, I feel more banks will create specialized programs to make solar energy systems affordable. Why do you think there is a lack of widely available financing for solar energy...

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