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.
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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.
WASHINGTON, DC – A study released today shows ratepayers in North Carolina could see $26 million in energy savings annually if the state were to add 400 megawatts (MW) of wholesale solar and 100 MW of distributed solar generation.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia regulators are considering Dominion Virginia Power's proposed plan to increase the use of solar power.
ROCKFORD, Minn. -- David Schmidt has been intrigued by the idea of generating power from the sun for a long time, but he had never taken the next step.
In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric power supply.
"For most of these states, they're looking at it for economic development and job creation," Ghassemi said, underscoring the reasons why solutions such as cost incentives and utility quotas haven't helped states like New Mexico catch up to California and New Jersey, an unlikely solar leader.
The big question for any homeowner considering installing solar power is a simple one: How quickly will the system pay for itself?
The short answer: It depends on where you live.