Solar Energy News for Monday, April 12

Posted by Daniel Kulpinski

Apr 12, 2010 3:17:00 AM

Solar Racers Defy Overcast Skies on Grand Prix Race Day

Hundreds of middle school and high school students raced solar cars in a Solar Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif., April 10. The cars were model-sized; most finished the race despite overcast skies. In January, participants were given a small solar panel and a motor; they had to incorporate those pieces into their car design.

So. Cal. Edison Covers Warehouse Roofs With Solar Panels

Utility company Southern California Edison has blanketed two warehouse roofs with solar panels and plans to do another in Los Angeles. During the next five years, the company will put solar on 125 roofs—about 1.5 square miles of rooftop--according to USAToday. All those solar panels will generate enough electricity for 162,000 homes. Large-scale rooftop solar is in its infancy, and this Southern California Edison project may serve as an experiment to see how well it works.

Many Approve of Solar on U.S. Land

The Solar Energy Industries Association issued a report last month that included survey results showing 75 percent of respondents favored putting large-scale solar power projects on public lands.

Solar Energy Is a Growing Source of Green Jobs

The solar-power industry creates many jobs beyond that of solar-panel installer. Take solar manufacturing, for example, and large-scale solar-power plants. One University of Arizona economist says that solar energy could become a new economic driver for the U.S. economy, if it results in more manufacturing. In a related story, solar-power start-up Green2V announced last week that it will build a manufacturing plant and its headquarters in Rio Rancho, NM. The project will create 1,500 jobs over five years.

Georgia Power to Build Its First Large-Scale Solar Power System

The utility is seeking regulatory approval to build four to six ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects that would generate a combined 2.5 megawatts of clean power—enough energy for about 1,250 homes. Georgia Power Co. has been criticized for embracing renewable more slowly than utilities in neighboring states. The company said customer demand is driving its plans to build the project, reported the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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