“By incentivizing solar development on landfills, brownfield sites, rooftops and parking lots, and at affordable housing facilities, developers will be encouraged to install solar in locations that are most appropriate and do not already have a higher and better use,” said Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater’s environmental director. “Solar in these areas also promotes resiliency, if storage is incorporated to create 24-hour reliability.” Greene said by including affordable housing in the mix, the program will allow those who otherwise couldn’t afford solar power reap its benefits while creating green jobs in their neighborhoods. Read morehere.
Photo: Telesis Inc’s net zero energy complex in Lincoln, Nebraska’s Haymarket. Credit: J-Tech Solar
Two of the solar arrays on the west penthouse of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Universities across Utah and the nation are spearheading student-led sustainability programs that include renewable energy projects. Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library
USA Today: Solar power more affordable for some Utah students, by Matthew Kunes
[Weber State University], an hour north of Salt Lake City, is one of many state universities tackling sustainable solutions to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint, which includes carbon neutrality, clean energy and energy efficiency. This year, its Sustainability Practices and Research Center will launch a new solar program that allows students, faculty and community members affordable access to solar energy for their homes. A typical five-panel set up, for example, might cost $2000, half of the normal expense.
Weber followed in the footsteps of a similar program sponsored by the University of Utah, which brought solar energy to Salt Lake City “U Community Solar” program in 2014.
Recently Bill Loveless, writer for USA Today, interviewed David Crane, CEO of NRG Energy, the largest independent producer of electricity in our nation. NRG is aiming to “eventually becoming a strong rival” to Solar City, currently the industry leader in rooftop installations. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“I’m very bullish on the idea that within three to five years people will be able to go off the grid,” Crane said . . . He said he has “no time for the debate” over whether state policies promoting rooftop solar punish non-solar customers by leaving them with a greater share of a utility’s operating costs. One of those policies, known as “net metering,” requires utilities to compensate homeowners for solar power they generate but don’t use.
“What will happen is that when people can go all the way off the grid, the debate over whether net metering is fair to people who don’t have solar panels will become moot because people will have gone completely beyond the reach of the system,” he said.