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Solar Power Rundown for Friday, March 12

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, March 12 2010 under: Solar Industry News, Solar Power Rundown

Today we've got solar energy news from Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi and California. Without further ado:

The Arizona Solar Power Society today offered an open invitation to solar companies worldwide: bring it on. According to the group's press release, more than 275 residential solar installation companies have opened shop in the past 18 months, attracted by the state's "booming residential solar market."

Yet another utility-scale solar installation has been given the green light in California. State regulators yesterday approved a contract that utility PG&E signed with NextLight Renewable Power, via Sunpluggers. The 230-megawatt solar installation is being developed in Antelope Valley, with the 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) set to begin in 2014.

A community center in Reno, Nevada has discovered the merits of solar power, via The Reno Gazette-Journal. Among them: utility bill savings and lower carbon-dioxide emissions.

San Antonio is (wisely) hopping on the solar bandwagon. Mayor Julian Castro said yesterday that the city will use state grant money to, in the words of San Antonio Business Journal, "vastly expand the amount of solar power generated in San Antonio."

You may soon see solar panels stamped with "Made in Mississippi." Via BusinessWeek comes news that Mississippi lawmakers have passed a bond bill to attract an unnamed company that might build solar panels in the state. The company would invest $132 million, with the state stumping up a $50 million loan

Judging from his piece on L.A. CityWatch, Jack Humpreville -- President of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) Advocacy Committee -- is not particularly fond of the utility's plan to raise electricity rates by five percent. In related news: Like most cities in California (and the country, for that matter), L.A. is struggling to close a budget gap. Yesterday, in fact, saw the first budget-related layoff.

In broader energy news, the International Energy Administration (IEA) today revised up its 2010 forecasts for global energy demand. According to the Paris-based organization, China, notably, will this year account for nearly one-third of total demand for oil.

Finally, today comes a follow-on from Wednesday's Solar Power Rundown: news of even more solar schools! Unbelievable. (In a good way, of course.) Jim Witkin of Triple Pundit reports that the San Jose Unified School District yesterday broke ground on what will eventually be a 3.7-megawatt solar installation, sited on six schools across the East Side Union High School District.

That is all for this Friday -- have a safe and relaxing weekend. We'll see you back here on Monday.

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