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20th Century Fox gets Solar, Ohio Solar Grants Running out of Money

20th Century Fox Studios is about to get a whole lot brighter! Solar Power, Inc. just finished installing a 160-kilowatt photovoltaic system at the studio this week. The solar system was installed on the roof of Building 99 and is the company’s first venture into the world of renewable energy. Vice President of Fox Studio Operations, Hal Haenel explained, “this project is a key component of our ongoing commitment to sustainability.” Hopefully this project is an indication of future solar energy initiatives for the studio.

Residents of Canton, Massachusetts are making good use of their capped landfills. The town is embarking on a solar trend they hope will become the national norm. A landfill in Canton was capped and buried 25 years ago, but last year the town decided to turn it into New England’s largest solar array. Southern Sky Renewable Energy plans to install 24,000 panels that will hopefully generate 5.6 megawatts of power by the year 2012, which is an improvement from the 76 megawatts currently produced by the entire state.

Residents in Ohio may be in for some sticker shock when purchasing their solar energy systems. It seems that recent statewide grants made to ease the cost of solar power installation are quickly running out. Because businesses and homeowners jumped on the chance to take advantage of these incentives, the funds are rapidly depleting. The grants originally came from a monthly fee of $0.9 added to residents’ electricity bill, but this fee expired at the end of the year. Before the grand was depleted, over $15 million was given for 161 solar panel and wind turbine projects across the state. It’s an uplifting sign that so many people were able to take advantage of the grants given by the state. Hopefully the government will do more to make more funding available for this amazing resource.

Gilbert Public Schools in Arizona is completing its first solar energy project. Campo Verde High School will soon be generating one-fourth of its power from a photovoltaic energy system connected to the Salt River’s Project grid. The system is expected to start working in April. 1,680 solar panels will cover three of the roofs on campus including the gym and the cafeteria. The panels should generate 650,000 kilowatt-hours, saving Gilbert Public Schools $372,430 over twenty years.