The White House Goes Green

The White House is going to put solar panels on their roof again, but this time to stay! In 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the White House roof which were used to heat the White House’s water. It was six years after the OPEC oil embargo, a time when solar power was ascending in the U.S.  However they were removed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.  Putting the solar panels back on is a very symbolic move and urges us to rethink how we create energy in America. They are going to put both thermal for hot water and PV for electricity on the roof of the White House. This shows that President Obama is committed to our country becoming a leader in the solar energy field and creating jobs in the renewable energy industry.  When will the project on the White House be completed? They’re estimated completion date is spring 2011.

We have more great news for America! There’s an article in the NY Times that tells us another great thing reflecting the Obama administration’s resolve to promote renewable energy, they just approved a 709-megawatt project, on 6,360 acres in the Imperial Valley. This project is proposed by Tessera Solar, and they will use “Suncatchers” or reflectors in the shape of radar dishes to concentrate the solar energy and activate a four-cylinder engine to generate electricity. And if your not totally blown away by that project, I have one more for you. Chevron Energy Solutions proposed A 45-megawatt system featuring 40,500 solar panels and it will be built on 422 acres of the Lucerne Valley. Together these projects could generate enough energy to power over 500,000 homes. These are only a couple of the many projects that are being worked on to change the way we get our energy.  We can officially say we have taken the biggest step so far in leading our country to a clean energy economy.

Why Freeport Long Island should invest in Solar Power?

New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the village of Freeport, Long Island are offering great solar incentives right now. They will be spending a total of $125,000 on rebates for Solar Electric (PV) systems. This is a wonderful opportunity for those residents in Freeport to take advantage of. Especially those who have great roof space and low amounts of shade on their homes. Do you think you have a home that has great potential for solar panels? Then you should keep reading. These solar incentives are so good that they are only going to be able to fund up to 5 houses/businesses max and for a limited time, August 6th is the deadline to get your proposal for solar on your roof in.  They are offering a $4/watt rebate up to a max of $40,000 per location for a 10kW system.  That means you can get an extra $40,000 rebate when you install solar panels on your home, that’s not including the New York State tax credit or the Federal Tax Credit for solar.  These savings together add up to making your electricity investment affordale.  I call it an investment because when you add up all the months that you go without an electric bill to pay, you will see the incredible amount of money that you have in your pocket that you can use for your new car, house, education, charity, fundraiser, wedding, dream vacation, and I can keep going.  Freeport Electric is taking a great initiative for our future, and we should all be doing this. Because we cannot keep depending on foreign countries for our energy, and the only way to stop that is by producing our own electricity. Freeport is different than the other towns, cities, and villages on Long Island in that it is one of the very few places that produces its very own electricity. The other two towns that I know of that produce their own electricity are Rockville Center 11570 and Greenport 11994. Long Island mainly gets its electricity from LIPA.  All the details are in this power point. If you have any questions just ask. Comments on this program will be appreciated. Thanks for checking out my post.

13,000 Solar Panels!

13,000 Solar Panels! Wow that’s a lot of panels. Where are they putting all those solar panels? The South Brunswick Dow Jones campus, placed like canopies in the parking lot. Literally! Renewable energy is on its’ way now quicker than ever.  It is so great to see a large campus take advantage of the space it has and use it as a way to produce clean energy. I hope to see more campuses follow there lead.

New Jersey is one of the best places for solar. Why? Well one because NJ has some of the highest electricity rates, therefore the rebates are the largest.  They have a special incentive called SRECs, Solar Renewable Energy Credits.  What can you do with these credits? Well,  a home accrues 1 credit for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy produced, and each credit is currently worth around $600. A new solar energy system is eligible to produce SRECs for 15 years.  This  means that an average roof could earn over $75K by selling credits over that time period.

What states are eligible for SRECs?

North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Ohio, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.

In response to the multi million dollar solar project, the two senators  in New Jersey and others who spoke related this clean energy movement as a direct response  to the environmental disaster going on in the Gulf of Mexico. The nation’s thirst for foreign oil really needs to end, and it is really important for everyone to consider our future and where we are going to get our energy from.  Can we really keep getting our energy from oil?  Do we have enough? We already get 60% of our oil from foreign countries. Oil leads to increased prices in goods and services, pollution, and war.

Think.

Where do i get energy from?

What are solar panels made of anyway?

There are several different technologies that are already in force, and there is billions of dollars going into the research and development to make solar panels more efficient.  Solar Panel efficiency is the percentage of solar energy that is captured and converted into electricity.

Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells are costly, but are the most efficient in absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity.  There are two layers in this cell, one positive and one negative. Electric field is created within these two layers.  Photons from suns rays hits onto the semiconductors. Then electrons are released and an  electric charge is created. This electricity is transferred as direct current (DC) in the panel.

Another type of technology is called Thin Film Solar Cells. They are simple, durable, lighter, and easier to assemble compared to silicon module solar cells.  Amorphous is used to build the best quality thin film cells. In this form of solar cells atoms arrangement is not in any particular order. It can convert a lot of usable solar energy to electricity when it is exposed to light only by using amorphous silicon thin film cell.