United States – Solar power shares for various solar companies rose this week. First Solar, a company that manufactures photovoltaic panels, rose more than 5% – the highest the shares have risen since July 2009. Other solar power company shares that are on the rise include Rival Suntech Power (4.1%) and JA Solar Holdings (5.2%).
West Virginia – In areas of the United States where coal still powers the majority of homes and businesses, solar power has had a difficult time gaining popularity. Yet, locals in West Virginia (the heart of coal country) are getting behind an 11-kilowatt solar power system. While the system is small compared to larger commercial systems, the initiative is making headlines because coal still reigns in the area. The project is projected to be the first of many that will create jobs and educate area residents on the benefits of using solar power.
Princeton, N.J. – Solar energy is becoming popular among college campuses across the nation, and Princeton University is following suit. The prestigious university plans to install a sizeable 5.3-megawatt collector field for solar energy. The field will span 27 acres and is expected to be one of the largest solar power systems used and maintained by a college or university campus. Construction is expected to complete by the summer of 2012 and the system is projected to generate 8 million kilowatt-hours per year. Superior, a Colorado-based solar company will lease the solar power system to Princeton University.
Florida – As soon as March 15, 2011 Progress Energy customers in Florida will be able to take advantage of a SunSense program that will provide rebates and other financial incentives for going solar. Progress Energy will provide customers $2 dollar per watt rebates for solar panels installed on homes and businesses (one time). Customers can also get rebates worth up to $10,000 depending on the size of their system(s). Homeowners will be credited for any additional power their solar systems may produce. $1 million has been set aside for this program, so Progress Energy customers are urged to act now!