While all eyes may be rested on the gubernatorial races, there remains incredible solar growth and innovation in states and cities across the US. Local solar is driving the movement, so here are a few recent developments that add new meaning to the phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally.”
Green Jobs Growth in the US: 3.1 Million Green Jobs in November
There were 3.1 million “green jobs” in the US as of November 2011. Green jobs are growing faster than overall job growth in the US. They pay well, and there’s an increasingly wide range of them accessible to Americans of every level of education and experience, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s “Counting up to green” analysis of the Labor Dept. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s (BLS) groundbreaking Green Jobs report.
CL&P awards $6M to 76 renewable projects
Connecticut Light & Power awarded $6 million annually over 15 years to 76 solar and fuel cell projects in Connecticut, in the first year of the state’s 21-year, $1 billion program to proliferate clean energy installations. CL&P received 296 bids in total, and all mostly solar or fuel cell proposals.
San Diego CSI is Oversubscribed
SDG&E has officially reached the end of its residential CSI rebate bucket. We are living in a post-state incentive world!
5 Reasons for an American Clean Revolution
Clearly, it’s better to invest in technologies of the future rather than technologies of the past, and the country could benefit now from greater energy independence. The path is clear in this infographic: use clean energy innovations like solar to transform the economy.
Clean Energy Projects Primed to Replace Indian Point’s Power
NRDC released a report definitively showing that we can replace Indian Point with entirely clean sources like solar without affecting the reliability of the grid, and with minimal cost increases to consumers. New York should lead with bold new policies to ensure that energy efficiency, wind and solar power play the key role in replacing Indian Point’s power. The core of this report provides a detailed policy roadmap that describes how the state can secure this clean replacement power.
Avg. Size of Solar in the United States: Small
It often seems like big progress on clean energy only comes in big pieces, but in solar power the sweet spot is small. The following infographic from ILSR shows that the average size of installed solar PV in the U.S. is just 34 kilowatts, enough to power about 7 homes.
LA Chooses Clean Energy Over Coal
A major victory occurred when the Los Angeles City Council approved the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s plan to invest in clean energy, rather than continue to ship customer’s money out of state to buy coal. This move will create more than 5,000 jobs in energy efficiency and rooftop solar and boost the local economy. LADWP plans on building out 650MW of solar to help replace dirty coal from the Navajo Generating Station.
CPV Manufacturing Plant Now Open in NC
Semprius opened its first 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility last month in Henderson, North Carolina. It is expected to produce 5-6 MW worth of CPV modules per year, but that could eventually expand to as much as 35 MW and employ as many as 250 people in doing so.
100 MW of Renewables Could be Added in Portland
Portland’s utility, the Portland General Electric Company, is requesting proposals for the development of 100 MW of renewable energy. The extra power created by the renewable energy developments is expected to be operational between 2013 and 2017. This RFP will be an important step in meeting the state’s renewable power goals.
Chicago Voting on Community Aggregation
This fall, community choice aggregation could be poised for a huge leap forward, as citizens of Chicago will vote on a referendum to allow the largest city in the Midwest to choose a new electric company. Community choice aggregation lets municipalities pick from competitive electricity suppliers for their residential and small business customers. While many communities have used aggregation to simply select a new, less expensive electricity supplier, a few communities are also attempting to use their new-found control to maximize local distributed clean energy development like solar.
Hawaiian Island to Run on Solar Power
If billionaire Larry Ellison has his way, the Hawaiian island of Lanai will run on solar power and have electric cars. Lanai has about 3,200 residents. Ellison bought about 98% of it, which is over 88,000 acres of land, including two golf courses and a small solar farm. La Ola Solar began operating in 2009 with a design capacity of 1.2 MW.