At a special meeting two days ago, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education approved plans for solar installations at nine schools throughout the district. The projects will be financed through an agreement with REgeneration Finance LLC. The Santa Monica Mirror reports that "The offer will save the district almost $1.1 million in energy costs and avoid the production of 23,822 tons of greenhouse gases over the next 25 years". The luck schools are:
If you haven't been following the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon since its first run in 2002, you've been missing out. The Solar Decathlon invites teams of college students from around the world to submit ideas for a net-zero energy house of approximately 800 square feet. 20 of these teams are then selected to fully plan, design, and build their homes.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released a report earlier today on solar market behavior in 2009. "US Solar Industry: Year in Review 2009" (PDF) reveals some sobering truths about the effect the recession had on the growth of solar energy in the United States--but also showed that the residential solar sector doubled in size.
Last year, San Diego was named California's top solar city by advocacy group Environment America, but Los Angeles has been making headlines left and right with some of the most daring solar plans in the country. So which city really deserves the title "Hottest California Solar Market"?
This Friday and Saturday, the 2010 installment of one of the largest and most successful student-run conferences in New England will pose the question: How have our energy needs and systems evolved, and how will they continue to evolve in the 21st century? The Tufts Energy Conference began in 2006 as two small discussion panels--and just four years later, has some big-name backing and expects over 400 attendees.
Major Arizona utilities SRP and APS have recently each announced reductions to their available solar rebates. SRP will begin offering the new, reduced rebate level after April 30 (so if you're an SRP customer, get a free quote now, people!), while APS has applied to the Corporation Commission for permission to do the same thing.
How long does it take for a thriving solar industry to find uses for $4 million? About three hours, it turns out. On Friday, one of two solar rebate programs in Massachusetts opened to applications at 9:00am and closed before noon, all of its quarterly-allocated funds having been spoken for. The Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Program funds solar installations for commercial projects 10-200 kW in size.
This morning at 9:00 a.m., Block 2 of the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate Program opened to applications for $4 million in funding for commercial solar installations. At just before noon, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center sent around a nice email letting everyone know that all funds have been spoken for and the program is now closed. Executive Director Patrick Cloney wrote to express his "heartfelt appreciation to everyone involved in the solar industry in Massachusetts for his or her continued hard work in expanding solar renewable energy generation within the Commonwealth."
The California Solar Initiative manages solar incentives for the state's three investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). PG&E and SDG&E just met their last CSI goals for residential solar capacity and have scaled their rebates back accordingly, from the previous $1.10/w to the current $0.65/w.