When I visited the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which sits in the Mojave Desert on the border between California and Nevada, I had to be careful where I looked. The engineers warned me not to look directly at the receivers arrayed on top of the centralized solar towers, which collected the desert sunlight concentrated by thousands of mirrors on the desert floor. The solar receiver was as bright as the heart of the sun, glowing with a retina-melting white. I had to force myself to look away.
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Joy Hughes was living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, a place with a “tremendous amount of solar potential,” so good that the valley’s residents were being overwhelmed by proposals for large-scale solar power plants. One had a “field of things like radar dishes” and another included a “600 foot tower.” The influx of outside companies seeking solar profit led Joy to ask, “Why not just set up solar arrays that can provide power for people in the local community and offset their electric bills?”
A solar-energy group is offering a plan to resolve a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, saying import duties currently in place are crippling the industry in both nations.
After a first debate that mentioned infamous solar manufacturer Solyndra but offered little substantive energy policy discussion, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made energy issues a central topic during their second debate on Tuesday night. Solar energy garnered several specific call-outs from both candidates.
The FedEx Express arm of FedEx Corp. today broke ground on its largest solar panel project to date, which will be mounted on the rooftops of its three distribution facilities at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The price of solar panels continues to drop, making solar power more cost-effective for mainstream use
Solar power has long been known for its environmental benefits, but as the technology becomes more affordable, it's taken on mainstream use in homes, farms and businesses.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officially announced last week that the Department of the Interior has designated 285,000 acres of public land for solar development on pre-sited zones in the Western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, as RenewableEnergyWorld.com reported in July.
Making electricity from the sun always appealed to Bruce Monson, an Air Force veteran who lives on a rolling farmstead southeast of Columbia. But when Monson looked to install solar panels on his property, he learned it would cost $22,000. Then he discovered an electric cooperative wanted to charge him $50 a month to connect the panels to a power line.