November 23, 2010 |
Approval for the first of what could be at least a dozen large solar energy projects planned for the high desert near the Los Angeles-Kern County line is under threat from an unlikely source: the military industry. Northrop Grumman Corp. contends that a proposed 230-megawatt plant near Rosamond to be built by First Solar Inc. could impair operations at a sensitive installation for testing radar-evading stealth technology on aircraft. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other supporters fear that if Northrop succeeds in blocking the project, the state would be hobbled in its efforts to create tens of thousands of green-tech jobs and fight global warming by building renewable power plants in the sun-drenched desert of Southern California.
October 12, 2010 |
Despite being barely one-20th the size of the U.S. and more often overcast, Germany still manages to produce four times as much solar-generated power. That's because, according to green-tech analysts, Germany has a government-mandated program that requires utilities there to pay homeowners, warehouse operators and companies for power from their rooftop solar installations. Called a feed-in tariff, it's an arrangement that clean-tech proponents are pushing California to replicate, hoping that such programs can boost alternative energy production in the state.
October 6, 2010 |
WASHINGTON ? More than two decades after President Reagan had a solar water-heating system removed from the White House roof, President Obama will become the first to use solar energy as a means for powering the first family's White House residence. Plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House residence were announced Tuesday by Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley as part of a larger Energy Department effort to portray solar power as reliable and accessible.
October 5, 2010 |
Federal officials Tuesday approved construction of the first two California solar energy projects to be built on public land in the sun-drenched Mojave Desert and Imperial Valley. The go-ahead from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar could bolster the chances for seven other major solar projects in the state awaiting approval from him and the U.S. Energy Department. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is banking on the building boom to infuse the state with more than $30 billion in new investments in green energy and create more than 12,000 high-paying construction and manufacturing jobs from about two dozen planned wind and solar facilities.
July 5, 2010 |
For decades, the push for solar power has stalled not on public support but on cost. That might be about to change with the launch of a tax program that's exciting some industry veterans. Gary Garber is one. Garber built his first solar panels from scratch back in 1976. They went up on his parents' rooftop in nearby Walnut Creek, Calif. Today he runs Sun Light & Power, a 60-employee solar panel installation firm that's been behind some of the San Francisco Bay Area's biggest solar power arrays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2010 |
After a rough ride through narrow desert washes, Alfredo Figueroa came to a clearing and ordered the vehicles to halt. The giants were waiting. Figueroa strode briskly across the plain. Before him, clear lines in the stony sand formed a 200-foot-long image of the flute-playing Native American god Kokopelli. Beside him was Cicimitl, an Aztec spirit said to guide souls to the afterlife. "No one has a clue that this stuff is out here," Figueroa said, picking his way around a massive foot.
March 22, 2010 |
On a dirt plot near Bakersfield where a massive refinery once churned out gasoline and asphalt, one of the world's largest oil companies is looking for something more green. On Monday, Chevron Corp. plans to reveal that it has transformed the 8-acre site into a sprawling test facility with 7,700 solar panels. The panels, in various sizes, represent seven cutting-edge photovoltaic technologies from seven companies that Chevron is checking out as possible candidates to power its operations worldwide.