Are other businesses going solar?

Are other businesses going solar?

Growth
The business sector is going solar big time. In the case of Ikea - the biggest. Commercial solar power makes good financial sense - it makes good sense because you will save on your energy costs, but it also makes good sense because your customers give a damn. We care about our future, we care about tomorrow and in between - we are choosing to spend our money where we believe we can receive the services we want in addition to making a slight bit of difference (even if it isn't every purchase, just when we can). And if you don't believe me... [caption id="attachment_190" align="aligncenter" width="587"] Who else has gone solar?[/caption]
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Navy signs largest-ever U.S. solar deal

Navy signs largest-ever U.S. solar deal

Construction, Installations
The Navy announced Thursday that it will buy power from a sprawling solar farm in the Arizona desert to help power 14 military installations in California, in the largest renewable energy purchase by the U.S. government to date. San Diego-based Sempra Energy expects to have the Mesquite 3 solar facility online in 2016. The 150 megawatt solar array is being built at a power complex 60 miles west of Phoenix, and has the capacity to power nearly 100,000 California households at one time by one common measure. The Western Area Power Administration, which markets and delivers hydroelectric power across 15 states, helped broker the power contract, which will supply a third of the power to 14 Navy and Marine Corps installations, including Naval Base Coronado. Read the rest of the…
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Solar Advocates Look For Answers On Net Metering

Solar Advocates Look For Answers On Net Metering

Commercial Solar, Construction
Phil Cavallo surveys a large plot of land off MacArthur Drive in Bourne, not far from the Bourne Bridge. Bulldozers hum in the background, clearing the 7-acre tract, which, by mid-October, will be covered with 4,300 solar panels. This is the future home of the Bourne Community Solar Farm, and Cavallo’s company, Beaumont Solar, is handling the installation. Cavallo said community solar farms are perfect for people whose homes don’t meet the criteria for solar panels. “This is sort of a non-invasive version of it, which is, ‘Hey, I can get the solar power. I can get it as cheaply as I could get it if it was on my roof, but I don’t have to drill holes in my roof.’ So it’s an innovative way and an alternative to…
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Where Does Trump Stand on Solar?

Where Does Trump Stand on Solar?

Politics
What would a Trump presidency mean to the US solar industry? Since Solar Tribune published the “Solar Scorecard” of 2016 presidential contenders in January, The Republican field has grown even larger, while the field has narrowed on the Democrat’s side of the race. In fact, the Republican side is becoming so crowded that it takes not one, but a series of debates to get them all on stage. Similarly, it will take a series of articles to cover the solar stances of all of the candidates. As of this writing, Donald Trump continues to be the frontrunner in the Republican race. The bombastic billionaire media-hound continues to make headlines with his condemnation of big government and the status quo, and those headlines are keeping his poll numbers high. Most political…
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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Own ‘Em—Utilities Muscle in to Rooftop Solar Market

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Own ‘Em—Utilities Muscle in to Rooftop Solar Market

Utilities
In the past five years, rooftop solar has revealed the limitations of the archaic electric utility business model, as customers have found generating their own power more cost effective than taking 100% of their energy from the incumbent monopoly. For years, utilities have fought back by trying to make competition less cost effective, at a substantial cost to their image (and ratepayer’s own money). Now they want a piece of the action. It was only a matter of time until electric monopolies realized that co-opting would be less costly than confronting, and several utility companies are now planning to own solar on their customers’ roofs. Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning put it bluntly, “If distributed generation is eroding your growth, own distributed generation!” The big question is: Will utility-owned rooftop solar add to or replace customer ownership of solar?  And secondarily, is this…
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Wind and solar surge sends EU emissions tumbling

Wind and solar surge sends EU emissions tumbling

Environment
Many countries that promised to cut GHG emissions under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol are now exceeding their targets, bringing new hope for success at the Paris climate talks. Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling fast, mainly because of the rapid spread of the wind turbines and solar panels that are replacing fossil fuels for electricity generation. European Union data shows that once countries adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), they often exceed their targets − and this finding is backed up by figures released this week in a statement by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Convention’s statistics show that the 37 industrialised countries (plus the EU) that signed up in 1997 to the Kyoto Protocol − the original international treaty on combating global warming – have frequently exceeded…
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Global Power Grid – it’s always sunny on half of the Earth

Global Power Grid – it’s always sunny on half of the Earth

Futurology
Imagine you are sometime in the early 1800's and you wanted to send a letter to the United States from England - well - with the newest technology built into ships, the best maps and experienced captains would take you only two weeks. That's a heck of a lot better than Marco Polo taking a decade to get back from China. Now, let's jump to 1858 - the first TransAtlantic Telegraph Cable led to the first near instant communication across a great ocean. It was an amazing creation! Through the existence of human beings - communication of information was dangerous, expensive and time consuming. Today, of course we have The Internet. And you can not only communicate around the planet instantly from a tiny smartphone in your pocket - but…
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