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Pocono Raceway Boasts Largest Sport Venue Solar Installation

I don't know about you, but when I think about dozens of gas-guzzling racecars circling a track, burning rubber tires at over 100 miles-per-hour, I don't exactly think environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, NASCAR is working overtime to develop a green identity. And, by some measures, it's putting its money where its mouth is: the sport's latest effort even set a new world record.

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Are You a Good Candidate for Solar Hot Water?

Posted by Annie Lindseth In Friday, July 30 2010 under: Commercial Solar, Solar Hot Water, Solar Water Heating

So you're interested in solar hot water? We're happy to hear it. Solar water heating is an effective way to lower your utility bill. And, compared to solar electric -- or photovoltaic (PV) -- systems, solar water heaters are typically less expensive. (For more info on the differences between these technologies, see our post Solar Hot Water vs. Solar PV.)

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, July 30

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, July 30 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Here it is, your moment of solar power for this Friday, July 30...

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Vodaphone Releases Solar Phone to Serve Rural India

Three days ago, Vodafone revealed a new product in Mumbai, India designed specifically to serve the millions of mobile subscribers living in rural parts of the country with limit access to electricity.

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Yolo County Completes California Solar Installation at Detention Center

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, July 29 2010 under: Yolo County, Davis, Solar PV Panels, Sacramento, California Solar

Yolo County in northern California was able to piece together a variety of clean energy bonds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and a 15-year, one percent interest loan from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in order to install a 1-megawatt (MW) solar energy system at its county jail in Woodland. Located north of Davis and northwest from Sacramento, Woodland's new 3,560-panel installation was completed and officially put online at a 9 a.m. ceremony on Tuesday morning. The feat was done at no out-of-pocket cost to the county.

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Solar Energy and The Good Morning America Effect

Posted by Annie Lindseth In Thursday, July 29 2010 under: Good Morning America, SunRun, Cost and Financing, solar lease, GMA

Being featured on Good Morning America this morning, solar power has been put in a very pleasant spotlight. If any industry deserves its five minutes in the sun, it's solar, an we're always happy to hear that topics related to solar, other renewables, and energy efficiency are reaching a broad audience.

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Senator Boxer Visits Solaria, a California Solar Panel Maker

Not to be outdone by President Obama, who several months ago visited an up-and-coming California solar manufacturer, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) traveled to Fremont, Calif., this week to visit the manufacturing plant of Solaria, a clean technology company that designs, manufactures and markets photovoltaic (PV) modules.

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Hawaii's Solar Hot Water Miracle

When it comes to solar hot water, these are The Little Islands That Could. Hawaii's strong investment in solar water heating technology has given their state the enviable designation of Solar Hot Water Leader within the United States. It's also made these water heating systems an even more attractive investment. Check out the size of Hawaii's market compared to other key states:

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Solar Energy Adds Green Dimension to 'Inception'

We've found yet another subplot in "Inception," this summer's sci-fi thriller that has been packing theaters across the country for the last several weeks. (No need for a spoiler alert here -- proceed at will.)

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How Many Showerheads Will $5 Billion Buy?

Judging from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's actions this week, it seems America won't be getting a renewable energy standard (RES). With mid-term elections coming up and the beltway as contentious as ever, Democrats just don't have the votes, according to Reid, to enact an RES at the national level -- let alone put a price on carbon in the broader economy.

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Richmond, California a Leader in Bay Area Solar Energy Surge

Since the California Solar Initiative (CSI) was launched in 2007, northern California's San Francisco Bay Area has been an epicenter of activity within the state's solar industry. Richmond, a city in the east Bay Area, has thus far played second fiddle to San Jose, the region's perennial leader in solar energy installations. Last week, however, the former received some recognition for its efforts.

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Will the U.S. Get a Renewable Energy Standard?

For the next week on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats will tussle over whether or not to include a renewable electricity standard (RES) in legislation that may be put to vote in the Senate within the next week.

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Southern California Edison Signs 60MW in Rooftop Solar Deals

Coming to us via a press release is news that Southern California Edison (SCE) has awarded contracts totaling nearly 60 megawatts' worth of solar electric projects. According to agreements signed with a number of independent power producers -- like Tioga Solar, SunEdison Utility Solutions, Photon LLC and others -- solar panels will be installed on 31 rooftops and five ground-mounted sites across SCE's service territory.

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Fun Stuff! Solar Hot Water Rating System Explained

“OG-300” might sound like something George Lucas invented for a Star Wars movie, but it actually marks a rating designation that’s crucial for solar water heaters.

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PGE, Prologis Install Big Rooftop Solar Project in Oregon

The completion of the largest rooftop solar installation in the Pacific Northwest was announced today. Situated atop seven separate warehouses in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas, Oregon, the project covers 673,000 square feet of roof space -- an area roughly equal to 14 football fields.

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After a Disappointing Week, Ten Million Solar Roofs Bill Shows Promise

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Monday, July 26 2010 under: Ten Million Solar Roofs, Energy Policy, U.S. Senate

The Ten Million Solar Roofs legislation proposed by Bernie Sanders (I-VT) got the seal of approval from the Senate Energy Committee yesterday, giving hope to renewable energy supporters after comprehensive climate change legislation was put on ice last week.

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Somerset County, New Jersey Embarks on Solar Plan

Somerset County in New Jersey recently announced the first phase of its bold new renewable energy program. Part of the plan calls for installing solar energy systems at a number of the county's schools. So when students return after summer vacation, they'll see a number of new projects in the works.

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Who Killed the Solar Water Heater?

Posted by Annie Lindseth In Sunday, July 25 2010 under: Solar Hot Water, Solar Water Heating, Energy Policy

Solar water heating technology -- also referred to as solar thermal technology -- has been around for ages. But its effectiveness hasn’t lead to broad adoption in the United States. Why you ask?

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General Mills Completes Massachusetts Solar Installation

General Mills, the world's sixth-largest food company, began its environmentally responsible business practices in 2009 when the company began harnessing wind power to run its facility in San Adrian, Spain. Wind power now accounts for one-third of the facility's annual energy use.

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Intersolar North America: We Came, We Saw, We Took Detailed Notes

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Saturday, July 24 2010 under: Intersolar, Solar Industry News

Last week, GetSolar visited the Intersolar North America Conference last week -- it was a full 5 blocks from our office, so naturally our able bodied staff decided it would be worth the long and strenuous journey to the Moscone Center.

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Private Sector Pushes for Energy Efficiency Standards

Harry Reid has had a disappointing week, to say the least. Lacking the votes to advance a comprehensive climate change bill, the Senate majority leader yesterday was forced to introduce a scaled-back bit of energy legislation. Reid did receive a consolation prize Wednesday, however, in the form of a missive from corporate America.

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, July 23

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, July 23 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

After a two-week hiatus, the solar power rundown is back. With a vengeance...

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Colorado Governor Puts Forth Energy Challenge to State Businesses

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, July 22 2010 under: Colorado Solar, Energy Efficiency & Green Building

"Throwing down a challenge is an infallible way of appealing to people of spirit," wrote Dale Carnegie in "How to Win Friends and Influence People," a 1936 top-selling book on leading to success.

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Solar Hot Water vs. Solar PV

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, July 22 2010 under: Solar PV Panels, Solar Hot Water, Solar Water Heating

So you want to get solar but haven’t heard much about solar hot water? If you’re a little confused on how this technology compares to photovoltaic (PV) systems, you’re not the only one. Here are a few points to note:

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Californians Very Satisfied with Solar System Performance, Report Says

Earlier this month, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) release its 2010 assessment of the California Solar Initiative (CSI), a multi-year effort to increase the number of solar installations statewide. Among the report's most interesting bits? The results from a phone survey CPUC conducted in 2009.

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Summer Tips from SCE to Keep Cool in California and Beyond

Southern California Edison (SCE), one of California's three major utilities, has been recognized by multiple environmental organizations for its work in the realm of energy efficiency. One of those organizations is the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). So if you don't want to listen to GetSolar when it comes to energy saving tips, listen to THEM!

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UES Solar Energy Rebates in Arizona Strained by High Demand

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, July 21 2010 under: Solar Energy Rebates, Solar Energy Incentives, Arizona Solar, UES

As the cost of installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in Arizona has come down over the past year or so, homeowners and businesses continue to purchase systems at an spiraling rate. The systems are being bought so fast, according to Unisource Energy Corporation, that the figures have exceeded even its highest-demand projections.

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Arizona Offers Statewide Solar Hot Water, Energy Efficiency Rebates

As of July 1, Arizona homeowners may receive a cash rebate after they purchase a solar water heater or an Energy Star-qualified appliance.

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Solar Home of the Future Built in Lancaster, California

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, July 21 2010 under: Electric Cars, Lancaster, KH Homes, Solar Homes, BYD, CA, batteries, California Solar

The future, it seems, is now -- at least in Lancaster, California, the eighth largest city in sunny Los Angeles County and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. What better place -- thought the heads of KH Homes, an American home builder, and BYD, a China-based maker of batteries -- to construct a solar-powered, smog-reducing home of the future? The result of the two companies' efforts is a trailblazing design for energy-efficient homes.

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Buckeye School District in AZ Moves to Solar

With the help of three separate construction businesses -- G.V. Enterprises, CORE Construction and Orcutt-Winslow -- the Buckeye School District in Arizona's southwest valley will install solar panels atop six schools and the District office. With a total cost of $20 million, the Arizona solar panel installations have the potential to account for 80 percent of the district's total energy needs, according to AZCentral.

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City of Aurora Sweetens Colorado Energy Efficiency Rebates

The City of Aurora, Colorado, is using $1 million in federal stimulus funds to provide energy efficiency rebates to it residents. The funds -- worth up to $1,000 for homeowners and $1,500 for businesses -- may be combined with those available via Xcel Energy's energy efficiency rebate program.

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WSJ Article Paints Energy Efficiency as a Fashion Trend

We couldn’t help noticing Gwendolyn Bounds’ article, In the New Dream Home, Majestic Boilers and Designer Pipes. It’s one of the first articles I’ve seen that makes energy-efficiency equipment look like a luxury good.

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GetSolar Publishes 1,000th Blog Post...

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Monday, July 19 2010 under: GetSolar, Solar Power Info, Blog

...and now we're speechless with gratitude. At least our more seasoned writers are -- that's why they had the intern write this for them.

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Scottsdale Company Wins Grant for Battery Research

Fluidic Energy, an Arizona-based based company, is in the process of developing a storage battery capable of holding enough energy to be used for industrial projects. Now, it appears, the U.S. Department of Energy is going to chip in to help them bring this battery to the industry sooner rather than later.

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For Now, San Jose is California's Leading 'Solar City'

Judging from number released a couple of weeks ago, San Jose can rightfully claim to be "the most" solar city in California.

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Tucson Electric Solar Rebates Could Soon Be Reduced

Arizona homeowners take note: If you're a customer of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and are thinking about taking advantage of the utility's SunShare solar rebates, now is the time to act.

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Fictional Oilman JR Turns to Solar

Posted by Adam Sewall In Sunday, July 18 2010 under: Solar Interest Stories, Solar Industry News, SolarWorld, Solar Homes

If you ever watched Dallas, you know J.R.

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California Sues Feds for Haulting PACE Program

By filing a suit on Wednesday, July 14, in an Oakland federal court, California Attorney General Jerry Brown clearly defined the battle lines in a fight that could impact the future of the clean energy industry in California.

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Late State Budget Stalls New York Solar Installation

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Friday, July 16 2010 under: New York Solar, Energy Policy

New York's state budget is over 110 days late, and counting. And, as state legislators continue to debate the details of the budget, dozens of city projects are left gathering dust.

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'Solar Trees' to Shade Pennsylvania Parking Lots

Each time a new product that utilizes solar energy is revealed, it becomes increasingly clear how difficult it is to predict the form and function of future applications of solar technology. One day you could be pedaling along in a solar-powered bike helmet, and the next you could be online tracking the 24-hour historic flight of a solar-powered airplane.

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India's 2015 Renewable Energy Goal Within Reach

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, July 15 2010 under: international solar, India Solar, Energy Policy

Bright news came out of the Indian solar market yesterday as the county's top energy officials announced that India is capable of reaching its 2015 renewable energy goal. The goal, set by India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), calls for meeting 10 percent of the nation's energy needs with renewables.

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First Solar Buys NextLight, Nets Arizona Solar Plant

What can $300 million get you in today's market? If you're First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) -- the Tempe, Arizona-based manufacturer of solar thin-film modules -- it'll get you NextLight Renewable Power, a solar development firm. Included will be a 2.2-gigawatt pipeline of utility-scale solar projects across the U.S., including a big solar project in your home state, Arizona.

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Play with Our Solar Cost Calculator!

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, July 13 2010 under: Solar Cost Calculator, SRECs, New Jersey Solar, Cost and Financing

Update 2016: GetSolar has partnered with EnergySage to provide customers with fast, competitive solar quotes. The partnership leverages their Solar Quote Engine that was developed with backing from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to streamline the US solar consumer buying process. EnergySage Quote Engine

We at GetSolar feel so strongly about the power of consumer choice and the accuracy of EnergySage's new comparison quote system that we have made it the default solar calculator for GetSolar customers!  Check it Out here! 

Solar Instant Estimates

Original Post (We've kept some of the original content because it is interesting to see the progression of solar pricing over time): Hey. I’m Annie, GetSolar’s summer intern. As one would hope for an intern here, I like solar panels and playing with numbers. As a result, I think our beta calculator might be the coolest thing since sliced bread. Let me show you how it works.

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In California, Utilities Likely to Miss Renewables Targets

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, July 13 2010 under: SCE, SDG&E, PGE, California Solar, Utility Solar

The midnight hour is fast approaching for the three major California utilities. According to state law, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are by 2010 supposed to meet 20 percent of their retail electricity sales using renewable resources, like solar, wind and geothermal. It's increasingly clear this ai'nt gonna happen.

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New Solar Facility Will Be Tennessee's Largest

In mid-May 2009, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen proposed the Volunteer State Solar Initiative (VSSI). Backed by $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, the state-sponsored program will, according to Bredesen, stimulate job creation within the solar sector, boost Tennessee's economy and increase clean power production within the state.

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California Solar Initiative Making Good Progress, CPUC Says

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, July 12 2010 under: SCE, California Solar Initiative, CPUC, SDG&E, PGE, CSI, Utility Solar

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week issued its annual assessment of the California Solar Initiative, a $2.2 billion effort to install 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity across the state by 2016. On balance, the commission's findings are positive:

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Georgia Eager for Cleaner Energy Policies, More Megawatts

The Georgia Public Service Commission recently gave the green light for Georgia Power to build its own solar power installations. But the move has not satisfied Georgia residents who envision a vibrant, homegrown renewable energy industry. Nor is Georgia Power's plans, which call for one megawatt at the outset, enough to move the state up from its current ranking of 38th in the nation in solar power supplied by individuals into the grid.

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Nevada May Become Epicenter for U.S. Solar Development

There may be no better way to turn around a struggling state economy than by promoting renewable energy jobs. So goes the collective mindset of Nevada Senator Harry Reid and U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, as they announced yesterday a plan to bring a solar thermal testing site to the state of Nevada. Construction of the site is set to begin in 2011 and bring thousands of long- and short- term jobs to the state, which currently has a 14 percent unemployment rate, according - Home foreclosures, another economic barometer, are high, too: one in every 79 homes are in foreclosure, according to fox5vegas.

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Allentown, PA Solar Panels Could Be First of Several in State

With the help of a solar energy grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), Allentown, Pennsylvania has installed a $517,000, 420-panel solar array atop the city's Bridgework Industrial complex that city officials hope will be the model for future installations throughout Lehigh County in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Muddy Setbacks Could Signal End to Owen Lake's Solar Plant

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, July 8 2010 under: Owen's Lake, Los Angeles Solar, LADWP, California Solar, Utility Solar

The beginning of 2010 saw a promising plan for Owens Lake, the dry expanse in the eastern Sierra Nevada in Inyo County, California, an area that has been plagued by dust storms since the early 20th century.

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San Francisco Solar Rebate Program Re-Opens

San Francisco has reopened its solar incentive program for the 2010-11 fiscal year, according to Brighter Energy. Made possible by local city and county governments, the GoSolarSF program provides solar rebates to San Francisco residents and business owners who install solar qualifying solar energy systems. Until an announcement last week by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, it wasn't clear that funding would be made available for the program.

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Solar Impulse Attempts 24-Hour Solar Powered Flight

Just before 7 a.m. local time on Wednesday, a lone pilot by the name of Andre Borschberg took off from Payerne, Switzerland with a less-than-modest mission: a 24-hour, non-stop flight in a solar-powered aircraft.

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Georgia Power Plan to Install a Bit of Solar OK'd

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, July 7 2010 under: Georgia Power, Georgia Solar, Southern Company, Utility Solar

The Georgia Public Service Commission yesterday OK'd a plan that will allow Georgia Power Co. to develop its own solar energy projects, while rejecting a proposal that would have required the utility to purchase from third-party solar power developers.

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Aequus Solar Boat Has Summer Debut

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Wednesday, July 7 2010 under: Solar Technology, Solar Boats

All Bruno Hervouet wanted was a day of sailing with his family free from the smell and noise of a diesel-powered boat motor. What the champion sailor now has is the Aequus 7.0, a first-of-its-kind solar-electric day cruiser powered by solar panels that are embedded in the cruiser's retractable Canopy.

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'Floatovoltaics' Could Inform Future Solar Designs

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, July 6 2010 under: floatovoltaics, Solar PV Panels, Solar Technology, California Solar

Far Niente Winery in Northern California's Wine Country has been drawing attention from more than just wine connoisseurs these days. The 13-acre estate is now receiving visitors from as far as Australia who have come to study the winery's new solar electric installation. The system could be a key in the long-term goal of finding more efficient water conservation and desalination methods.

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U.S. to Invest $2 Billion in Solar Energy Projects

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, July 6 2010 under: Obama, Solar Industry News, Abengoa Solar, DOE, Energy Policy, Abound Solar

President Obama topped headlines over the weekend by announcing a $2 billion in federal loan guarantees that will allow two solar companies to build three solar energy projects in three different states, creating thousands of jobs in the process.

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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, July 2

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, July 2 2010 under: Solar Power Info, Solar Power Rundown

Charcoal? Check. Hot dog buns? Check. Sparklers? Check. Freakishly large, solar-powered cooler on wheels? Check. Welcome to Friday, everyone -- hope you're all gearing up for the holiday weekend. Here it is: your moment of solar power.

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Atlantic Wind and Solar Adds Solar Capacity North of Border

Travel north of the U.S. border to the Canadian province of Ontario and you'll run into a thriving solar energy industry. You'll also find the work of Atlantic Wind and Solar (AWSL), a renewable energy company that has made considerable headway with solar installations and technology development across the province. Through the Ontario government's Feed-In Tariff Program (FIT) and a relationship with the Ontario Power Authority, AWSL has become a leading solar installer in the Canadian province.

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Fannie, Freddie Frustrate Clean Energy Home Improvement Financing

As if weak home prices and sluggish sales weren't enough bad news for the U.S. housing sector. Now, it seems, fresh uncertainty has splashed cold water on an innovative approach to financing energy-related home improvements.

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Ronald McDonald House of San Diego Invests in Solar Energy

Homes and businesses in California's San Diego County have been among the nation's trailblazers in solar energy. Ronald McDonald House recently added to that trend by installing a rooftop solar system at its San Diego branch.

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