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Nevada School District Goes Solar to Save Money, Enivronment

You can add the Pershing County School District in Nevada to the long list of districts across the country that have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems atop their schools to save money on utility bills and promote environmental consciousness.

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New Maryland Law Aims at Boosting Solar Energy Use

A new law in Maryland scheduled to take effect on January 1st will require state utility companies to purchase more electricity generated from solar energy resources sooner than originally scheduled.

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New York Solar Association Reveils Future Goals

Earlier this month, Ron Kamen, president of the New York Solar Energy Industries Associaton (NYSEIA), spoke about the group's future goals at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Buffalo. Here are some of the main projects the group will be working on in 2011 and beyond:

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Milk Street Solar Energy Farm Set To Go Live In Massachusetts

Less than four months after proposing the construction of a solar farm to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation, Solarflair Energy and Westboro 21 South Street Inc. are jut about finished building the Milk Street solar farm -- a 240-kilowatt (KW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy installation in Westboro Massachusetts.

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Delaware Charter School One Step Closer to Solar Roof

Solar Energy Initiatives -- a clean energy manufacturing company -- has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to build a 300-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system atop a charter school in Delaware.

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Affordable Housing Complex Gets Solar Power in San Diego

One of the major reasons California is a leader in solar energy is its initiatives aimed at encouraging homeowners to install solar panels. Under the state's flagship program, the California Solar Initiative (CSI), solar rebates are made available to qualified home and business owners looking to install solar.

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Porterville Solar Power Plant Near Completion in California

Southern California Edison (SCE) -- one of California's three major investor owned utilities (IOUs) -- is just about finished with construction of a 29,000-panel solar energy plant in Porterville, California that, when completed, should produce enough energy to power 4,300 homes in Porterville each year.

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More Solar Set for Massachusetts During Governor Patrick's Second Term

Since the inauguration of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2007, the state has installed 29.8 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity, ranking it behind only California and New Jersey when it comes to states with the most installed solar capacity. With such an increase in solar capacity during his first term, it would have been easy for the state's governor, Deval Patrick, to call it a job well done, satisfied for at least a few years with the state's progress.

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Cerium is Key in Liquid Fuel Research

Today, Caltech Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering Sossina Haile and a team of Swiss researchers are one step closer to developing liquid fuel from sunlight after discovering a commonly used element can do the trick. Earlier this week, Haile shared the findings of her research and her hope for the future with NPR. You can listen to it here, or read the details of the study that we've pulled out.

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New Guide Offers Roadmap For Developing Solar Communities

Residential solar energy systems are, in most cases, installed in a distributed fashion atop the roofs of single-family homes. But what happens if your roof is no good for solar? Or you live in a multi-tenant building, which often posses challenges relating to roof access and ownership.

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New California Program to Promote Lower Cost Solar, Other Renewables

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently approved a pilot program through which prices will be set for electricity coming from renewable energy resources.

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New Option Allows Alteris Customers to Monitor Solar Energy System Performance

Residential customers of Alteris Renewables now have a new option that will enable them to know exactly how much their solar energy system is producing.

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Sixty South Carolina Homes to Get Solar Hot Water Systems

Some folks in South Carolina -- which is currently ranked a dismal 20th in the nation in terms of total installed renewable energy capacity -- are making an effort to move the state up in the ranks.

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Nevada To Host Two New Solar Plants, Create Jobs

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, December 21 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Thermal, Nevada Solar, Solar Technology

It's been quite the busy day in Nevada in terms of solar energy, as developers of two major solar power plants took steps toward completing their projects.

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Residents in Goodyear, Arizona Get a Glimpse of Solar Home Energy in Action

You can read about solar energy all you want (and please continue to do so) but there is no substitute for an up-close look at a working solar energy system in order to fully understand the benefits of a solar home energy system.

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Report: By Mid Century, Clean Energy Could Power Most of Utah

Earlier today, the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah) released a study saying that the majority of the entire state's energy needs could be met with renewable energy by the middle of this century.

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White House Unveils Plans for Solar Energy in the West

The Obama Administration on Thursday released a much anticipated draft of the federal government's plan to build solar energy projects on public land throughout the western United States.

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Section 1603 Renewable Energy Grants Extended for One Year

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, December 17 2010 under: Solar Energy Incentives, Solar Energy Grants, 1603 treasury grant

It's getting late here on a Friday afternoon, so we'll keep this brief. The big, nay HUGE, news for solar power today is that an important renewable energy incentive program -- the so-called Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program -- was extended as part of the tax compromise bill singed this afternoon by President Barack Obama.

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Report Says Residential Solar Getting Cheaper, Installations More Efficient

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, December 16 2010 under: Solar News, Solar Homes, cost of solar power, financing, residential, solar cost, NREL

Results released today from a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report is great news for homeowners looking to install solar energy systems.

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Freetown, Massachusetts May Turn Landfill into Solar Power Plant

It seems solar carports and parking structures aren't the only hot trend in solar power these days.

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When It Comes to Solar for Homes, Silicon Solar Panels Still King

You may have come to picture solar panels as rectangles angled toward the sun atop homes and businesses across the country. What you're picturing is most likely an array of silicon-based solar panels -- which come in two common "flavors," monocrystalline and polycrystalline. But next time you see such a system, take a good look... maybe even snap a picture. There's an emerging kind of solar panel that could soon make today's standard model look as old as your dad's Walkman: thin-film solar. There's been a lot of talk about this kind of technology lately, so we thought it wise to explain a bit about solar thin-film technology.

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Colorado Maker of Solar Thin Film to Expand Production

More thin-film solar panels could soon be available to property owners looking to install solar energy systems, as a Colorado-based maker is poised to expand its production.

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Maricopa Solar Plant One Step Closer to Reality in Arizona

The proposed Crossroads Solar Energy Project in Mariposa County, Arizona, is one step closer to construction today after SolarReserve -- the Los Angeles, California-based utility-scale solar project developer -- earned two Certificates of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) from the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.

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U.S. Senate Pushes Tax Bill, Solar Grants to Official Vote

As expected, the U.S. Senate yesterday pushed the tax compromise bill to an official vote. Why do we care, you ask?

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India Poised to Meet Solar Energy Goal

Today, India's renewable energy secretary announced that the country will soon reach an important benchmark on its way to meeting its 2020 solar energy target.

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Los Angeles Cruise Terminal Installs Rooftop Solar Power

The World Cruise Ship Termal at the Port of Los Angeles has installed a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system that's expected to produce 1.2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy each year. Roughly equivalent to the annual usage of 110 typical American homes, the system's output will be fed into the electric grid of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

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Renewable Energy Grant May Be Extended

The word out of Washington late this week was that senators and the Obama Administration have agreed on a plan to extend the U.S. Treasury Department's Treasury Grant Program for another year.

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Solar, Renewable Energy Grant Extension a Step in the Right Direction

As the fate of an important renewable energy grant program has earned a spot in the Senate's tax bill, we thought it'd be timely to share a telling info-graphic that was released -- and subsequently circulated widely -- a little over a year ago.

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Clean Energy Advocates Take Their Case to Capitol Hill

The expiration clock continues to tick on a federal grant that many clean energy advocates credit with providing an incredibly helpful boost to the solar and wind energy economy in the United States. And with few options left, supporters of the federal program have taken their case to Capitol Hill in a final effort to convince a lame-duck Congress to extend it.

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Solar Boat Sails into Cancun Port During U.N. Climate Talks

What better time than now -- when delegates from around the world are gathering in Cancun for a second week of United Nations climate talks -- to show the world what we can do with solar power?

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Santa Rosa YMCA Breaks Ground on Solar Carport in California

The YMCA in Santa Rosa, California is going solar -- and is doing so by using a hot new trend in the industry: by installing a solar carport.

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San Francisco Completes Biggest Muni Solar Project in California

Big news came out of San Francisco this morning, as Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the completion of the Sunset Reservoir Solar Project, which the city claims is the largest municipal solar installation in California. Recurrent Energy, the solar project developer that installed the 24,000-panel system and will own and operate it, took things a step further by calling it one of the largest such projects in the entire country.

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Report Says Builders Lag in 'Green' Homes Category

It's no secret that one of the U.S. industries hardest hit by the recession has been homebuilding, which in many ways is still trying to grapple its way back to even years after taking a nosedive.

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100 Solar Jobs Coming to Canada, Courtesy of SunEdison

Sun Edison announced today a partnership with the electronic manufacturing facility Flextronics to begin construction on solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in Ontario, Canada. A specific aim is to help the region fulfill product demand for its new feed-in tariff program (FIT) -- the first such electricity pricing structure in North America. A FIT ensures that an owner receives a premium for the clean energy they generate.

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Solar Home Energy an Easy Sell, Residential Wind Faces Resistance

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Tuesday, December 7 2010 under: San Francisco, solar development, NIMBY, Solar Homes, California Solar, Wind Energy

Two sources of renewable energy -- solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind power -- are heading in opposite directions in San Francisco where, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, solar home power installations have doubled over the last two-and-a-half years while the tally for residential wind projects is stuck in the single digits (nine, to be exact).

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San Diego, Los Angeles Counties Lead in Residential Solar Energy Numbers

One of the nice things about solar rebate programs -- beyond the fact that they help reduce the cost of solar installation -- is that they can provide a trove of interesting solar-related data.

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Starting Jan 1, Progress Energy to Offer Solar Home Rebates in North Carolina

The solar market in North Carolina is slowly but surely picking up steam, thanks in part to a number of state- and utility-sponsored initiatives. North Carolina homeowners, for instance, may take a state tax credit worth up to 35 percent of installed solar energy system costs, up to $10,500. Add to that the 30-percent tax credit available from the federal government, and the cost of installing solar panels may be considerably reduced.

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Colorado in Top Two for Solar Power Potential, Arizona Study Says

Arizona State University's School of Business released a report in late November that places Colorado among the top two states in the country in potential solar energy generation -- and among the top three in states that would benefit the most from widespread deployment of solar energy.

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Audi to Add More Solar Panels Atop its German Facility

The worldwide leader in solar power -- Germany -- is set to add a little more energy capacity to its resume this week, as Audi yesterday announced plans to expand the solar photovoltaic (PV) system that currently sits atop the car maker's manufacturing facility at Ingolstadt, in the southern part of the country.

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Nevada Solar Project is Now Nation's Largest PV Plant

The largest photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the United States was completed last week, as Arizona-based First Solar finished building the Copper Mountain Solar Facility in Boulder City, Nevada, 40 miles east of Las Vegas.

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China Announces New Solar Energy Subsidies

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, December 3 2010 under: Solar Energy Incentives, international solar, china, Kyoto Protocol, Coal

Late yesterday, China announced a new raft of energy subsidies meant to bolster the country's growing solar energy sector.

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Global Solar Power Capacity to Reach 980 Gigawatts by 2020, Group Says

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Friday, December 3 2010 under: Sustainability, Solar Industry News, large scale solar, Climate Change, SEIA

A new report released yesterday by the Solar Energy Industries Association(SEIA) predicts that, by 2020, global solar capacity could reach 980 gigawatts. One gigawatt (GW) is enough to power roughly 200,000 American homes.

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Qatar Wins World Cup Bid, Will Use Solar Power to Cool Stadiums

"Scorching desert rays to power air conditioning systems" sounds like an oxymoron. But that's exactly what's going to happen in five soccer stadiums in Qatar in 2022, when the country will become the first Middle East country to ever host the World Cup.

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Pennsylvania Makes Big, Quick Strides in Solar Energy

The latest data released by the Nation Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have Pennsylvania moving up the charts. The state has rocketed to third in the nation in terms of the number of current operating solar installation and fourth terms of total installed solar energy capacity.

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New Jersey Utility Converts Another Brownfield into Solar Power Plant

In July 2009, New Jersey state regulators approved the Public Service Electric & Gas Company's Solar 4 All program -- a $515 million plan for the utility to own and operate 80 megawatts (MW) of solar power by the end of 2013.

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Property Owners Race to Cash in on Commercial Solar Grant

In 2009, the United States federal government converted a 30 percent tax credit for business owners who power their property with solar energy into a 30 percent treasury grant. What's the difference? The property owners receive a check reimbursing them for 30 percent of the project's cost within 60 days of completing the installation rather than waiting to use the tax credit against taxes they owe once a year.

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