With spring in full bloom and people coming out of hibernation, many home and business owners are considering solar energy with their spring cleaning and home renovations. Here is a look at notable solar power projects throughout the US this week:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Energy for America Program is funding solar energy programs throughout rural areas in the US. In Primm Springs, Tennessee the Weesner family has a solar energy system that generates enough energy to net $7,000 in returns from the electric company each year. The Energy for America Program has funded $6.5 million in grants and loans in the past three years. Other recipients that have used grant money for solar power systems in Tennessee include a medical clinic, a custom saddler, and a native-species nursery.
At Arizona State University, almost 30% of the campus’s power needs are generated through solar energy. Through PowerParasol, a solar panel platform extending five acres, ASU has the biggest single-university solar system in the country. Solar systems in Arizona are incredibly feasible because of the amount of sunlight the state receives yearly.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is researching the benefits of 3D solar panels, and how they may be more efficient than their flat counterparts. By experimenting with cube and tower shapes, researchers have discovered that 3D solar power panels have the potential to generate up to 20 times more energy. What’s more, sophisticated accordion-style solar arrays save space, and are more efficient because they use two sides of solar panels. MIT, located in Massachusetts is a solar power researching giant.