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What Happens When You Sell Your Solar Home?

Posted by In Monday, January 31 2011 under: Solar Interest Stories, Solar Homes, Solar PV Panels

A rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system is a long-term investment in your property: that the typical warranty on a solar PV panels is 20 to 25 years. One can do a lot over the course of two decades, including change your address. So what happens to that solar home energy system when you sell your house?

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Ask Miriam: What to Look for in a Good Solar Installer

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Friday, January 28 2011 under: NABCEP, Solar Homes, CEC, solar installers, solar tips

Would you take investment advice from a random stranger?

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U.S. Marines to Move Forward with Solar

Posted by In Friday, January 28 2011 under: Solar Industry News, Solar News, Marines, U.S. Military, government

There have been conflicting reports as to how much the U.S. military would benefit from using solar energy. RAND Corporation, for example, has been very candid it its assessment that the U.S. military will not benefit directly by switching to renewable fuels.

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How to Get Your Neighbors to Install Solar Panels

There are plenty of ways to be a good neighbor: pick up the mail when they're out of town, don't make too much noise at night, return a lost pet. But we think there's one tactic that stands above the fray: convince your neighbor, or several neighbors, to install a solar home energy system. Here are few ways to turn your neighborhood into a solar generation hot spot, starting with the most obvious.

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Keep Your Solar Panels Clean: Soiling Is a Drag On System Performance

Here's a look at the difference between clean and dirty solar panels. It may seem insignificant, but if left unattended, dirt and dust can drastically reduce a system's performance.

A number of factors impact the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, namely: (1) the size, number and efficiency of your solar PV panels, and (2) how much sunlight you get throughout the year. But there's an even more obvious factor that can impact a system's output: cleanliness.

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What Do Electric Cars Have to Do with Solar Energy?

If you're a regular reader of the GetSolar blog, you've probably noticed that we like to keep you up to speed on the latest electric vehicle (EV) developments. But what do EVs have to do with solar energy, you ask? In short, everything.

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Don't Get Too Excited About Solar Shingles... At Least Not Yet

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, January 26 2011 under: Solar Shingles, Obama, Solar Power Info, SOTU, State of the Union

You may have noticed that President Obama gave solar shingles a shout out in his State of the Union Address last night:

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SolarCity to Offer Solar Lease Option to Maryland Homeowners

As SolarCity expands, so too does the number of residential solar installations.

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What Does Utility Solar Mean for You?

We hear it all the time: "A new solar energy plant has been built." Or, "A local utility company has entered into a solar power purchase agreement." Even, "More solar energy will be added to the electric grid." But the bottom line is, how does any of this affect how much you're going to have to pay for solar energy?

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New UCF Center to Test Energy Improvements

Happy Monday everyone. The beginning of the final week of the month brings us great solar energy news from the south, as the University of Central Florida (UCF) has announced the completion of a new energy research facility. UCF has added an energy efficiency testing lab to its Florida Solar Energy Center -- a 20-acre complex that already holds a solar research library, a photovoltaic (PV) materials lab and a solar thermal testing lab.

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Snags in Solar Permitting Add Costs, Delays

Whenever the discussion of solar cost, the focus is usually on the cost of equipment, like solar panels and inverters. But, according to a recently released report from California solar installation company SunRun, there's another factor that's adding up to 30 percent to the solar installation cost: permits. Solar installers across the country are becoming increasingly frustrated with different requirements, even between neighboring counties. So what's the deal with solar permitting?

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Self-Cleaning Oven Technology Could Turn Sunlight into Hydrogen

No, you didn't misread the headline. At a time when scientists are giving birth to solar-powered robots, trash-eating raccoons are being chased away from houses by solar animal repellers and surfers in SoCal are catching swells on solar-powered surfboards, this MAY be the strangest breakthrough of them all... MAYBE.

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TEP to Allow Customers to Buy Directly from New Solar Array

Earlier this week, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) -- the utility service provider for nearly 400,000 customers in southern Arizona -- completed a new 1.6-megawatt (MW) solar installation at the University of Arizona's Science and Technology Park in southeast Tucson. Today, the utility is using its new solar source as an opportunity to offer its customers a new way to purchase solar power.

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California Utility Signs Solar Power Contracts, Faces More Opposition

Tuesday brought good news for California in terms of meeting a 2020 goal of getting a third of the state's electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind.

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Got Solar Home Questions? Miriam Has Answers

Hi, everyone! My name is Miriam and I am a member of our customer service team here at GetSolar.

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Conservationists Sue Federal Government Over California Solar Energy Plant

It's been a long, hard road for the Ivanpah Solar Project, a 392-megawatt (MW) solar thermal plant to be built in California's Mojave Desert. In an effort to gain regulatory approval, project developers have scaled back the project's scope, faced environmental setbacks and had the project opened for public comment.

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Big Solar Energy Plant To Be Built Atop Landfill in Western Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts is preparing for its next big solar energy plant. This after the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) -- which serves over 200,000 commercial and residential electric utility customers in the Bay State -- yesterday announced its plan to build a 4.2-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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Public Meetings On 'Solar Zones' in Western U.S. Slated for February, March

In preparation for a big expansion of solar energy projects on public lands in six western states, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will host a number of public meetings in the areas that will be most affected by the projects.

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Project at Former Mine in British Columbia to Show Benefits of Solar Power

For the last 30 years, the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook, British Columbia has been gathering data to prove that the region has one of the highest solar intensities in all of Canada. For the most part, the airport's figures have failed to garner significant support for major solar energy development in the area. Now, it appears, the movement is catching some attention and spurring clean energy development.

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IKEA Aims to Extend Solar Power Trend to Costa Mesa

After announcing in October 2010 plans power eight of its stores and warehouses throughout California with solar energy, the Swedish furniture and home product retailer IKEA made it known last week that it isn't done yet.

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2010 Was Year of Venture Capital for Solar, Wind, Energy Efficiency

According to a recently published report by Peachtree Capital Advisors, a New York-based investment bank, investors loved renewable energy in2010. The report notes that the wind industry closed the year at $4.8 billion in transaction value while solar finished at $.3.2 billion. Not to be forgotten, smart grid and LED lighting companies closed at $2.5 billion.

As far as 2010 investments in cleantech companies went in 2010, energy-efficiency start-ups closed the most deals with venture capitalists (VCs). But it was actually solar energy start-ups that saw the most VC money. As for wind? It's a more mature market with a greater number of companies already well-positioned, meaning there was less room for start-ups to move in to the sector.

So what does all this fancy finance talk mean for the future of clean energy? It means that investors -- most of which spend their time dissecting scores of markets in order to find wise investment -- see a great upside in renewable energy. And as long they keep investing, the industry will keep moving forward.

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Declining PV Cost Could Spell End for Solar Thermal, Says New Report

A new report from Greentech Media Research outlines a number of possible outcomes in the solar thermal industry.

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Sol Systems Expands Energy Credit Financing to Massachusetts Solar Buyers

Posted by GetSolar Staff In Thursday, January 13 2011 under: Massachusetts Solar, incentives, Commercial Solar, Solar Homes, SRECs, Sol Systems

This week brings good news for both homeowners and business owners in Massachusetts looking to install solar panels. Washington, D.C.-based Sol Systems announced a trio trio of finance options designed to make solar energy even more affordable throughout the state.

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Fort Collins, Colorado Aims High for 'Net Zero' Energy Goal

Talk about an ambitious energy goal -- and true community effort.

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When it Comes to Solar Panels, Pentagon Must 'Buy American'

A military authorization law recently signed by President Obama could lead to a solar standoff between the U.S. and China -- now the world's largest producer of solar panels.

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Massachusetts Library to Host Solar Power Seminar

The Ipswich Library in Ipswich, MA will host a solar seminar on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Homeowners near the Massachusetts coastal town of Ipswich in Essex County will have a great opportunity tomorrow to learn about the new solar initiatives that took effect in the state following the new year.

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Smart Homes, Solar Energy Products Showcased at CES

For over four decades, tech junkies from everywhere have descended upon Las Vegas, Nevada at the beginning of the new year for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) -- the largest consumer technology trade show in the world.

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State Governors Aim for More Solar Power in 2011 and Beyond

Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York: residents of these states can expect prime opportunities to go solar in 2011, as these five state's governors have made solar energy production and solar technology development a top priority for the new year and beyond.

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New Jersey Solar Energy Credits Provide Cash Payments to Homeowners, Businesses

In New Jersey -- and a growing number of other states -- owners of solar energy systems are able to sell things called solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). In a nutshell, SRECs provide cash payments to homeowners and business owners who install solar panels.

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Congresswoman Giffords An Unwaivering Supporter of Solar

Gabrielle Giffords has been serving in the U.S. Congress since 2007.

One of the nation's strongest supporters of solar energy is still in critical condition today in Arizona's University Medical Centre after being shot in the head on Saturday morning outside of a Safeway near Tucson, Arizona.

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North Jersey Media to Host One of NJ's Largest Solar Systems

More good solar news came out of New Jersey earlier this week as the North Jersey Media Group -- which is comprised of several community newspapers including The Record and the Herald News -- announced that it has partnered with KDC Solar to install a roughly 4.2-megawatt (MW) of solar energy system at its Rockaway, New Jersey printing facility.

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Green Homes To Get Better in 2011 and Beyond

What's in store for green homes in 2011? Portland Oregon's Earth Advantage Institute -- which has certified over 11,000 environmentally friendly homes -- has released a report citing what the Institute expects this year's eco-homes to look like. USA Today's Green House section highlighted some of the key elements of the report, and we trust their judgment.

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Ohio Glass Maker Set to Install Solar Panels at Brownfield

Pilkington North America Inc. -- a Toledo, Ohio-based manufacturer and marketer of safety glass for both buildings and cars -- is set to install a 250-kilowatt (kW) ground-mounted solar energy system atop a former brownfield in Toledo.

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Solar Lease Option Comes to Oregon in 2011, Courtesy of SolarCity

While the world was saying goodbye to 2010 on New Year's Eve, many in the solar industry were gladly welcoming in 2011 -- a year that brings with it the extension of a federal renewable energy grant program for commercial solar projects, and a number of other helpful solar incentive programs.

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Arizona Solar Rebates Going Fast in 2011, APS Customers Should Act Now

Toward the end of 2010, Arizona Public Service (APS) ran out of funds for its residential solar rebate program. In what's become a common problem for state- and utility-sponsored solar incentive programs across the country, there were simply too many homeowners interested in solar power and too few rebate dollars to go around.

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New Portable Solar Power Charger Unveiled at CES

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, January 5 2011 under: Solar Gadgets, Goal Zero, Solar PV Panels, Portable Solar, Consumer Electronics

It's late in the day here in California, but we thought we'd relay this solar-related news tidbit coming out of Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held this week in Las Vegas. A maker of "portable solar power systems," Goal Zero, took the opportunity at CES to unveil a new product:

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Solar Cost About Seven Bucks a Watt in 2010, Says NREL

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, January 5 2011 under: Open PV Project, solar cost, Cost and Financing, NREL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has for several years been gathering data on the U.S. solar energy market. Under the lab's Open PV Project, solar installers from around the country voluntarily submit information on each installation they complete, noting metrics like solar cost-per-watt, system size and location.

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European Union to Top its Clean Energy Goal

As the European Union's 27 countries inch closer to their combined 2020 renewable energy mandate of getting 20 percent of their total energy from renewable sources, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has reported that the EU is well on its way to exceeding the goal. Individually, the EU 15 countries out the 27 states are expected to meet and surpass their own clean energy requirements by that same 2020 deadline.

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Which States Enacted the Best Renewable Energy Policies in 2010?

Within the solar energy industry, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is looked to as a leading source of information on renewable energy policy -- at the municipal, state and federal levels. In addition to helping run the DSIRE database, the organization issues countless reports and studies on things like net metering, interconnection and workforce development.

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Cost of Solar Power Debated in California's San Joaquin Valley

Last week, we featured an on-going discussion about solar costs in Florida, where lawmakers are considering adding a small surcharge on monthly electric bills to boost the amount of renewable energy deployed in the state. Today, we switch coasts to northern California's San Joaquin Valley, where utility companies and renewable energy development firms are racing to meet the state's renewable energy mandate while at the same time butting heads over the cost of renewable power.

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Denver Map Shows Solar Potential, Available Solar Rebates

With the help of a $180,000 federal grant, the Denver Regional Council of Governments has expanded the use of the Denver Regional Solar Map -- a tool originally intended for approximately 2,000 commercial property owners in Denver to figure out how much solar energy they can harvest on their roofs.

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How Much Would You Pay for Solar Energy?

"How much are you willing to pay for solar energy?" It's a question that's sure to pit two important priorities against once another: environmental stewardship versus our checkbooks. Let the battle begin.

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