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Tucson Electric Signs Slew of Solar Energy PPAs

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Sunday, May 30 2010 under: Tucson Solar, Arizona Solar, TEP, Utility Solar, Tucson Electric Power

Last week, Tucson Electric Power announced that it signed and submitted for review ten purchasing agreements (PPAs). If approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), the PPAs will together total 160 megawatts (MW) of solar energy generating capacity.

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Air Force to Try Out Concentrating Solar in Hawaii

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Saturday, May 29 2010 under: Hawaii Solar, CSP, Concentrating Solar Power, Air Force, Solar Technology

The United States Air Force has signed a contract with the Schafer Corporation of Massachusetts to allow a test of concentrating solar power (CSP) at a Maui, Hawaii military site in an attempt to offset a military computer system's power demand.

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Santa Monica Schools Distinguished, Solar Powered

Three elementary schools belonging to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) this year made the California Board of Education's list of California Distinguished Schools. Living up to this accolade, the district is demonstrating it can distinguish in the realm of renewable energy, too.

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, May 28

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, May 28 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Today's installment of the Solar Power Rundown will be abbreviated because, let's be honest, everyone has already checked out for the long Memorial Day Weekend. Without further ado...

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Arizona Invests in Renewable Energy Projects for Non-Profits

Non-profit organizations across Arizona are set to receive a boost from the state government, which is continuing to demonstrate strong leadership when it comes to renewable energy.

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Pythagoras Solar Windows to Combine Clean Power, Energy Efficiency

What do you get when you cross a solar panel with an energy-efficient window? You may find an answer from Pythagoras Solar, a solar photovoltaic (PV) technology design company.

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Solar Power Rundown for Wednesday, May 26

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, May 26 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy hump day, everyone. There's a ton to read about today, including: plans for a new solar energy plant in Taiwan; admission by BP of a fundamental mistake in the Gulf oil rig accident; and a big, new, cow-powered renewable energy project that is slated for construction in China.

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USDA Issues Call for Energy Grant, Loan Applications for 2010

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it has allocated $60 million in 2010 energy grants for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Beginning in 2003, the program has each year offered grants and loans to farmers and other producers, tribal government entities, rural electricity cooperatives and public power utilities. The aim is to promote renewable energy and encourage economic activity in rural America.

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Friedman's Store Gets Solar in California, Gears up for Summer

Friedman's Home Improvement store in Sonoma, California, last fall took advantage of California solar rebates and federal tax credits to make the switch to solar.

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What Makes a Roof 'Good' for Solar?

Posted by Adam Sewall In Tuesday, May 25 2010 under: Solar Homes, Solar PV Panels, Rooftop Solar

Updated 2016: This post is as timely as ever. More and more Americans are discovering that they can significantly reduce their electricity bills by installing a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system. In fact, with the right mix of solar rebates, tax credits and a number of other variables -- like net metering and a high unit price for electricity from the grid -- installing a PV system can truly be a great investment.

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Dow Chemical Unveils Net-Zero Energy Home in Michigan

Last week, the Dow Chemical Company and Cobblestone Homes in Michigan unveiled what is being billed as the nation's first affordable, net-zero energy home. The home, in other words, is designed to generate as much (or more) electricity than is needed -- resulting in a net-zero electric bill.

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Bowdoin College Awarded Grant for Solar Hot Water System

Bowdoin College, the nationally known liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, several weeks ago received a $50,000 grant from the state's Public Utilities Commission to install a solar hot water system.

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Solar Power Rundown for Monday, May 24

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 24 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy Monday, everyone. Here's your daily jolt of solar news and info -- short and sweet, just like you like it...

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New Solar Thermal Collector Gets Certified, Qualifies for Rebates

Free Hot Water, a San Jose, California-based solar company, recently received a seal of approval that qualifies its newest model of solar thermal collectors for state rebate programs.

About a month ago, the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) OK'd the solar manufacturer's 7000 series solar collector to receive an OG-100 certification. Many federal and state solar incentive programs require equipment to be SRCC-certified, so the announcement represents a milestone for the company.

Free Hot Water's new solar thermal collector can output 1.65 kilowatts (kW) per hour equivalent, equal to about 28,000 BTUs per panel per day. Install these collectors, in other words, and you can use the sun to meet a good portion of your domestic hot water needs.

The federal government is currently offering a 30-percent tax credit for the installation of qualifying solar hot water systems (and solar electric systems). Beyond this, a number of state- and utility-sponsored solar hot water incentives are available across the country.

According to Renewable Energy World, in some states Free Hot Water's new solar collector qualifies for a rebate that's larger than the actual installed cost of the system.

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Obama to Visit Solyndra, a California Solar Panel Maker

President Obama will on Wednesday pay a visit to California-based Solyndra, a manufacturer of cylindrically shaped solar panels. A little over a year ago, the U.S. Department of Energy extended to the company a $535 million federal loan guarantee, funded via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Perhaps the President is checking in on operations to make sure all is running smoothly...

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Marine Corps to Receive Solar Hot Water in North Carolina

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Saturday, May 22 2010 under: Solar Thermal, North Carolina Solar, Solar Homes

This week, the military housing manufacturer Actus Lend Lease and FSL Energy announced that they have teamed to add solar hot water heating systems -- also called solar thermal systems -- to 900 homes at the Marine Corps' Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The project, already underway, is the biggest solar thermal initiative in the continental United States.

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WePower, Retailers Help Homeowners Cash in on Solar Hot Water

The California-based renewable energy innovator WePower is making solar hot water installations easier than ever.

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, May 21

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, May 21 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Here it is, your moment of solar power for this Friday:

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BioSolar Uses Beans to Develop 'Natural' Solar Backsheets

Thanks to BioSolar, Inc., the solar energy industry is about to take another step towards independence from the fossil fuels.

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Maryland's New Energy Bills Boost Solar

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley today signed into law five energy-related bills that aim to promote renewable power and accelerate the creation of green jobs across the state. A number of the new provisions are relevant -- and helpful -- to Maryland solar installations, which is music to our ears...

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More Funding for North Carolina Energy Efficiency Announced

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, May 20 2010 under: North Carolina Solar, Energy Efficiency & Green Building

In an effort to invest more money in green technology and create more jobs in the renewable energy sector, North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue this week announced the state has invested another $4.9 million dollars for North Carolina's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Program.

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Extension of Fed Programs Could Add 10 GW of Solar, 200K Jobs

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has teamed up with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to push hard for two federal programs that together have the potential to create by 2012 as many as 200,000 new jobs in America.

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Solar Prototype Protects Your Noggin, Charges Your Phone

Have you ever been biking through the back roads and needed to make a quick call? Maybe you've got a flat tire, or simply want to call a friend. But, as you pull out yourcellphone, you're bummed to find its battery is dead. Fear not...

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Solar Power Rundown for Wednesday, May 19

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, May 19 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Here is today's overview of solar energy news and related info.

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Solar Farm a First for California, PG&E and Developer

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, May 19 2010 under: CalRENEW-1, PGE, California Solar, Utility Solar

In 2002, the California legislature approved Senate Bill 1078, which created the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS), one of the most ambitious of its kind in the country. Later reaffirmed by Senate Bill 107 in 2006, the RPS requires electricity corporations to increase the amount of energy they receive from renewables by 1 percent annually. The goal back then was to reach 20 percent by 2010. By 2020, that figure increases to 33 percent.

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Yingli Green Energy to Power France's Largest Solar PV System

At GetSolar, we focus above all else on solar energy here in America. So much so that we sometimes forget that solar energy systems and technology are being developed, designed and installed in so many other parts of the world. An announcement yesterday, made in Baoding, China, should serve to refresh our memory.

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Yosemite National Park to Install Solar, Cut Emissions

Posted by Adam Sewall In Tuesday, May 18 2010 under: ARRA, Solar PV Panels, Federal Funding, California Solar

Yosemite National Park in California will soon be home to the largest solar energy installation in the U.S. National Park System. Officials yesterday announced that the park will install a 539-kilowatt (kW), grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system at a maintenance complex located just outside park boundaries.

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Anheuser-Busch Installs Solar Atop New Jersey Brewery

A leading brewer in the United States is playing a significant role in promoting one of the nation's fastest growing industries.

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Solar Power Rundown for Monday, May 17

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 17 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy Monday, everyone. You may have noticed the Solar Power Rundown was conspicuously absent from the second half of last week. This is due, in part, to the fact that we're shifting to a new schedule. The Rundown will no longer be posted daily. Starting this week, we'll aim for a Mon-Wed-Fri format and see how it goes. Either way, you can still come here, to GetSolar, for all your solar energy news and information. So enough jabbering. Here's what happened over the weekend in solar and renewable energy...

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Concentrating Solar Gets $62M Backing From DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last week announced it would invest $62 million in concentrating solar power (CSP) technology.

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Renault, Trina Solar Bring Solar to Forumla 1

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Saturday, May 15 2010 under: Solar Industry News, international solar

It's no secret that auto racing is not the most environmentally friendly sport out there. But a number auto-racing companies are teaming up with clean energy companies in an effort to make the sport more green.

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New Hampshire Solar PV System the State's Largest

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Friday, May 14 2010 under: Commercial Solar, Solar PV Panels, New Hampshire Solar

A New Hampshire manufacturing company is the proud new owner of the state's largest photovoltaic (PV) installation.

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San Diego to Get Sneak Peek of Plug-In Prius

Toyota will in 2012 release a new model of its energy-efficient Prius equipped with an electric plug-in option. The new feature will allow drivers to jet around town for 13 miles solely on battery power before the gasoline engine kicks in.

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New Los Angeles Solar Installation Provides Shade, Clean Power

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, May 13 2010 under: Los Angeles Solar, Solar Technology, California Solar

Last week, Los Angeles Air Force Base became home to the largest solar shadeport in the area. Designed and built by Solar Electrical Systems (SES), a California solar installer, the 360-kilowatt (kW) solar installation is not only expected to shave some $70,000 off the base's annual electricity costs while generating clean, renewable power. It will also bring with it a highly coveted commodity: a cool car seat in the middle of the scorching southern California summer.

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CIGS Rooftop Solar Installation in Italy Largest of Its Kind

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, May 12 2010 under: international solar, Global Solar Energy, CIGS

Earlier this week, Global Solar Energy officials announced the company's CIGS technology is powering an 820-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system for a plastics manufacturing business in northern Italy. By Global Solar accounts, it is the biggest CIGS rooftop solar energy system in the world.

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NJ Solar Rebates Off Again, On Again, Off Again

In April, we reported that New Jersey was putting its popular solar rebate program on hold for a month -- until the state could get its financing straight. Last Monday, the state started accepting applications again. While the new rebate level was revised downward, to $1.35 per watt, it was still something. Now, it seems the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), which administers the rebates, has suspended the program outright.

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New York City Solar Map in the Works

In an attempt to create a bird's-eye view solar map of New York City, City University of New York representatives and city officials last month joined forces to fly a laser-equipped airplane over the Big Apple.

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ProLogis, SCE to Add Solar, Make Good Use of California Roof Space

ProLogis, an owner and operator of warehouses, yesterday announced that a second rooftop solar installation project will be added to five of its facilities in Southern California. Together with the company's first -- a 2-megawatt (MW) solar panel system already installed at a facility in Fontana, California -- the newly announced 11.1-MW project will bring the company's solar tally to some 13.5 MWs installed in the U.S., and 26.6 MWs installed globally.

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Solar Power Rundown for Tuesday, May 11

Posted by Adam Sewall In Tuesday, May 11 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Today's rundown of solar and energy news will be short and sweet. Without further ado or distraction:

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Colorado State University Plans Record Solar Farm

Colorado State University (CSU) may soon be home to higher education's largest solar energy installation.

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Solar Power Rundown for Monday, May 10

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 10 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy Monday, everyone. Here's your daily recap of solar news and other energy-related stories, from around the country:

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New North Carolina Solar Panel Installation Announced

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Sunday, May 9 2010 under: North Carolina Solar, Commercial Solar, Solar PV Panels

The North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP), a 2,500-acre industrial park located 80 miles southeast of Raleigh, will join the state's campaign to develop and use renewable energy by installing solar panels atop one of its buildings this summer.

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Cape Wind Has First Energy Buyer

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Saturday, May 8 2010 under: Cape Wind, Massachusetts Solar, National Grid, Utility Solar

One week after the federal government gave the green light to the Cape Wind project, developers have locked up their first electricity buyer.

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, May 7

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, May 7 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy Friday, everyone. Here's a rundown of today's top solar energy news stories, for your reading pleasure...

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California Solar Boat Race Set for Next Weekend

Seven hundred students from 36 high schools in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California will drift into Lake Skinner in Temecula, California for the eighth-annual Solar Cup competition, May 14-16.

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European Firm Touts 'Virtually Invisible' Thin-Film Solar

A Spanish-German partnership has helped provide a glimpse into the future of the solar industry. It's a future where roof-mounted frames are obsolete and homeowners associations can't object to the look of solar because the panels are nearly invisible.

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MIT Researchers Print Paper Solar Cell

If research continues along its current path at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), students could be harvesting solar energy while jotting down class notes.

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Sign On to the Solar Bill of Rights

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, May 6 2010 under: Solar Industry News, SEIA, Solar Bill of Rights, Energy Policy

In 2009 at Solar Power International, the largest solar conference and expo in North America, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President Rhone Resch unveiled the solar bill of rights. Among the manifesto's eight points are provisions promoting the solar industry's right to develop solar on public lands, and the consumer's right to be compensated for the power generated by their solar panels by at least the going retail rate charged by their utility.

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Solar Power Rundown for Wednesday, May 5

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, May 5 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

To all you Mexicanos out there: Happy Cinco de Mayo! To everyone else: Please (please) whatever you do, do not dress like this guy when you go out for your requisite burrito and token margarita...

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At 3 Bucks a Watt, Tucson Solar Rebate is the Best Deal Going

Two of Arizona's utilities -- Arizona Public Service (APS) and Salt River Project (SRP) -- have in recent weeks announced reductions in the per-watt rebate available to homeowners who install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Tucson Electric Power (TEP), however, is holding strong. Via its Green Energy program, TEP appears to still offer a solar rebate worth $3 per watt for grid-tied residential PV systems, up to 60 percent of total system costs.

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Solar Could Meet 11 Percent of Global Energy Demand by 2050

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Monday, May 3 2010 under: international solar, IEA, Solar PV Panels

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was yesterday the source of an encouraging finding for the solar industry, courtesy of Paolo Frankl, the head of the agency's renewable energy division.

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Solar Power Rundown for Tuesday, May 4

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, May 3 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

What's the skinny on solar energy today? A San Diego solar installer pulls a reverse merger (and drives to the hoop). SunEdison has plans for a dozen solar projects in Italy, when it should, in our professional opinion, aim for a baker's dozen. A Hawaii solar installation company hits a momentous milestone. And Florida researchers are trying to learn from the photon-trapping properties of purple ectoplasm -- or something. Keep reading for details and sources...

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Arizona Solar Power Society to Host Community Forum

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Monday, May 3 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Arizona Solar

If you're a Phoenix, Arizona-area resident with an abundance of interest in solar energy systems, then does the Arizona Solar Power Society have the event for you.

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New Jersey Solar Rebates Resume

About a month ago, we reported that New Jersey solar rebates were being put on hold until the state could figure out its finances. What ensued was confusion, frustration and pandemonium... Well, maybe not pandemonium -- but we did speak with a number of New Jersey solar installers who were pretty miffed by the sudden suspension of solar funds.

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SunPower, PG&E Add Power to California Solar Plan

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Sunday, May 2 2010 under: SunPower, SunEdison, PGE, California Solar, Utility Solar

Sun Power Corp. and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) have etched out a contract that will add 40 megawatts (mW) of photovoltaic (PV) energy capacity to the planned California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, California. Today's announcement comes on the heels of the original agreement, in August 2008, to build the California Valley Solar Ranch, bringing the total planned capacity to 250 megawatts.

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Solar Power Rundown for Monday, May 3

Posted by Adam Sewall In Sunday, May 2 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Happy Monday, everyone. Here is today's recap of solar energy news:

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Fresh Funds Revive Vermont Solar Rebates

Posted by Adam Sewall In Saturday, May 1 2010 under: Solar Energy Rebates, Vermont Solar, Solar Energy Incentives

As of April 22, a new batch of Vermont solar rebates is available. The Vermont Small-Scale Renewable Energy Rebate program has been reopened, thanks to $5.25 million in funding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We'll cut right to the chase: what does this mean?

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