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CHICAGO, IL -- Speaking at the opening session of Solar Power International 2013 -- the largest solar trade show in America -- Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association delivered the following remarks:
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Chicago. Welcome to SPI 2013. And welcome to the Big Leagues.
Homeowners across the United States have begun a rooftop solar revolution. Since 2000, more than 1,460 megawatts of residential solar installations have been installed across the country, and more than 80 percent of that capacity was added in the past four years. In 2012 alone, rooftop solar installations reached 488 megawatts, a 62 percent increase over 2011 installations and nearly double the installed capacity added in 2010.
The media has recently been full of stories about electric utilities being nervous and down right reactionary to adding solar (and wind) on the electric grid. On October 15th, The Huffington Post’s story on the Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) reported, “hundreds of Oahu customers have gotten burned in their transition to solar. They have gotten caught in limbo since September 6 when HECO changed the rules for connecting solar systems.”
In northern New Mexico the sun shines nearly every day of the year. If solar energy is going to be viable anywhere, it will be here—and a small electric cooperative in historic Taos is taking advantage of it. In addition to supporting new solar projects in its service area, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is offering its customers the opportunity to buy solar energy from “plots” in a “garden” of solar power generation.
Residents here probably won't notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.
New solar panels will be installed at the University of Florida by the end of November, reducing the university’s energy costs and serving as a teaching tool for professors and students.
Blue & Green Tomorrow
Six UNESCO World Heritage sites including Qutb Minar, Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb have been earmarked to receive clean energy installations over the coming months.
More solar power generating activity is coming to Yuma County with the announcement that the permitting process has begun for a new solar photovoltaic facility — the Hyder II Solar Power Plant.
Its nickname is "Project Titan." The biggest solar park in Tennessee will be located in Chattanooga when the $30 million project comes on line next to the Volkswagen plant later this year.